Manchester Museum and Manchester Climate Change Agency present at the United Nations
Manchester Museum and Manchester Climate Change Agency (MCCA) jointly presented Manchester’s approach to climate change engagement at the 5th Dialogue for Action for Climate Empowerment, held in Bonn in May. The Dialogue is an annual event, organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in advance of the COP climate change conference, with the objective of sharing experiences, good practice and lessons learned, and putting forward ideas to help scale-up and accelerate climate action globally. The focus of the 5th Dialogue was education and training to enable climate change action.
Jonny Sadler, Programme Director for MCCA presented on Manchester’s approach to involving stakeholders in the development and delivery of the city’s climate change strategy. He spoke about the importance of using diverse methods to reach as many people as possible, including the Eco-Schools initiative (91% of Manchester schools are members), the UpRising Environmental Leadership programme and Carbon Literacy project.
Jonny said “Manchester is a city passionate about action on climate change. Based on the views of our residents and businesses, the city has committed to become zero carbon by 2050, or even sooner if that’s what it takes to play our part in global efforts to limit temperature increases to well below 2°C. This level of science-based ambition is what’s possible if you properly involve local stakeholders in the development of local policy. The key to success is now continuing with this inclusive approach so that every individual and organisation in the city is supported and enabled to help realise our shared ambitions."
Henry McGhie, Head of Collections at Manchester Museum, spoke about the potential of museums as sites for climate empowerment: they reach large numbers of people with a thirst for learning, their collections span human and environmental history, and they promote critical thinking and aim to inspire visitors. He spoke how museums could reposition themselves to focus at least as much on the future as they do on preserving the past, and to give people more opportunities to express what matters to them and the concerns they have.
The Museum’s ‘Climate Control’ exhibition (developed in partnership with MCCA and Dr. Sarah Mander of Tyndall Manchester in 2016 as part of European City of Science) was presented to demonstrate this approach. In a period of four months in 2016, the exhibition reached nearly 100,000 people who were given opportunities to share their views and ideas. Henry said ‘by connecting excellent exhibitions and events with contemporary issues and really strong partnerships, and truly aiming to inspire and enable people, we can support people to make the difference they want to make. This is what it means to be a civic museum that is socially relevant, responsible and purposeful.’
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See below for a full report of Manchester Museum and Manchester Climate Change Agency's time at the UN Climate Conference.