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Cultural Institutions at the United Nations Conference of Parties

    COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland (2022)

    CEO, Sarah Sutton attended the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26) on behalf of Environment & Culture Partners in November 2021. Sutton participated in multiple events and met with attendees representing international and national cultural sector representatives and other cross-sector attendees whether from government, NGOs, the youth movement, or other non-profit institutions.

    • Sutton presented with additional sector representatives on Culture Over Carbon: The U.S. Cultural Sector Advancing Climate Action at the U.S. Climate Action Center at COP26. View the presentation here. Other representatives in this presentation included: Pat Hamilton, Director, Climate Change, Energy & the Environment, Science Museum of Minnesota, Jen Kretser, Director of Climate Initiatives, The Wild Center, and Richard Piacentini, President & CEO, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
    • Sutton also participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Climate Heritage Network, Lessons from the Vernacular and Historic Built Environment. The session was a conversation between specialists in vernacular and historic built environment from around the world that focuses on three themes: 1) the relationship between buildings and climate; 2) understanding the carbon of buildings; 3) the future for the vernacular and historic built environment.
    Sarah and Stephanie discuss the role cultural institutions play in climate at COP25

    COP25 in Madrid, Spain (2019)

    At COP25 in Madrid, Spain, Sarah Sutton and Stephanie Shapiro represented the Cultural Sector of We Are Still In, participated in five presentations in four different ‘country’ settings. 

    At COP25 in Madrid, we sent a signal to the World that US museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums and historic sites are valuable resources for understanding environment and climate issues, and partners for achieving the goals. We were stopped in the street and thanked for our participation despite the lack of federal engagement. And we were consistently greeted with surprise as people slowly came to realize that cultural institutions have a distinctive ability to engage the public and the media with data, images, and knowledge.

    Cultural institutions made an important showing in Madrid. Not only were there representatives from the United States, we joined with others from the UK to fan out across the participating countries’ pavilions to spread the word that cultural institutions – museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums, history museums and heritage sites – are not only taking action on climate issues but are excellent partners to any sector tackling mitigation, adaptation, resilience, research and public engagement.