The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is set to begin this Sunday, October 31, in Glasgow, Scotland. This seminal meeting will bring together representatives from the nearly 200 nations that are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to advance global action on climate.
COP26 provides an ideal opportunity lift up some of the ways that the science center community is working to advance climate solutions. Several ASTC members are directly involved in COP26, including attending aspects of the conference and hosted ancillary events.
COP26 Green Zone
COP26 includes a Green Zone designated as the place for public engagement and will host a range of events, including workshops, art exhibitions and installations, presentations, demonstrations of technology, and musical performances. The Glasgow Science Centre is the official venue for the COP26 Green Zone and will host a variety of programs and exhibits including Reimaging Museums for Climate Action. In total, there will be more than 200 events in-person and online to be held November 1-12.
Those in the United States may be especially interested in the activities of the U.S. ACE Coalition, a “group of organizations, institutions, and experts working to accelerate just, efficient, all-of-society action towards a climate-safe future.” Consult the calendar of coalition events for a growing list of in-person and virtual events.
Organized under the auspices of American Is All In and its partners, the U.S. Climate Action Center (USCAC) is the hub for U.S. non-federal leaders and institutions at COP26. Located within the official Blue Zone, the USCAC pavilion will host in-person and online events.
Several ASTC-member institutions are participating in COP26 or otherwise taking the opportunity to highlight climate. For example,
- The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, New York, is sending ten people to Glasgow including a significant youth delegation and Wild Center leadership. Learn more.
- The International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, is unveiling Gaia, a exhibition by artist Luke Jerram, to highlight the fragility and wonder of our planet. Learn more.
- The Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul, Minnesota, will host events in the U.S. Climate Action Center in the COP26 Blue Zone.
Role of museums
Earlier this year, the G20 recognized the essential role of museums in addressing climate change in a joint declaration.
Indeed, just this week, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services emphasized the role of museums and libraries on promoting social wellbeing in a new study, Understanding the Social Wellbeing Impacts of the Nation’s Libraries and Museums.
And at ASTC’s 2019 Annual Conference in Toronto, the Alan J. Friedman Science Center Dialogues focused the lens on climate, fostering a robust conversation among leading climate scientists and science communicators: