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 with any sector tackling mitigation, adaptation, resilience, research and public engagement.