Cultural organisations & the climate crisis
Many cultural organisations are already reducing the impact they have on our environment through mitigation efforts: reducing their greenhouse gas emissions that result from their energy and water consumption, and the modes of travel they use. But this is no longer enough: proactive action is required address the impacts that ‘locked-in’ climate change will have.
Like all sectors of society, cultural organisations need to recognise the risk that climate change poses to how they work, where they work, and who they work with. They need to anticipate the likely adverse effects, and take appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or take advantage of opportunities that may arise.
However, the cultural sector is distinct from the sectors of infrastructure and construction, where adaptation knowledge and resource is often concentrated: it consists almost entirely of SMEs, with a huge public audience, with a huge variance of activity, typically funded through grant-giving bodies. Some of the sector’s needs when it comes to adaptation are therefore quite unique, whereas others are comparable to SMEs in general: logistics disruption, increasing travel and resource costs, altered audience accessibility and greater health & safety concerns are only a few of the potential impacts of climatic changes, with implications for the financial and reputational success of a cultural organisation, programme or event.