25 March 2021
Both JPI CH”s Advisory Group Members, Europa Nostra and ICOMOS launched the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper, “Putting Europe’s shared heritage at the heart of the European Green Deal” on 22 March 2021. The Paper focuses on the role of cultural heritage in achieving the ambitions of the European Green Deal. It is produced in close cooperation with the Climate Heritage Network, with the input of other members of the European Heritage Alliance, and supported by the European Investment Bank Institute and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
At the online launch event attended by over 550 people, Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra stated: “This ground-breaking document demonstrates the relevance of cultural heritage for achieving the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal, launched by the European Commission to make Europe the first carbon-free continent by 2050. The European Green Deal states that ‘All EU actions and policies will have to contribute to the European Green Deal objectives’. Our European Cultural Heritage Green Paper gives the response: Count Cultural Heritage in!” Andrew Potts, Lead Author of the document and Coordinator of the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group stressed that “The European Cultural Heritage Green Paper aims to integrate cultural heritage into climate action and inspire the mobilisation of the heritage community for transformative climate action. Holding global warming to below 1.5C is our best chance at sparing the planet, its people and their cultures from the worst impacts of climate change. The European Green Deal helps put the world on that path. The future of Europe’s cultural heritage depends on its success. At the same time, Europe’s shared values and common heritage offer undeniable potential to help accomplish the Green Deal’s mission. This is why cultural heritage is essential to the success of the European Green Deal”.
The Paper correlates the contribution of cultural heritage to all key areas of the European Green Deal, including Clean Energy, Circular Economy, the Renovation Wave, Smart Mobility, Farm to Fork, Green Finance and a Just Transition, Research and Innovation, Education and Training, as well as Green Deal Diplomacy. It proposes a series of concrete recommendations both for policy-makers and for cultural heritage stakeholders. Potential conflicts, real or perceived, between heritage safeguarding and European Green Deal action are also identified, as well as win-win strategies for overcoming these conflicts.
As a follow-up, Europa Nostra plans to launch a European multi-stakeholder platform on heritage and climate action in order to build on and deepen the collective knowledge developed with this Paper and in order to engage all parties concerned into ensuring adequate implementation of the proposed recommendations. The European Investment Bank Institute has also announced the introduction of a new strand of its future activities dedicated to the topic “Cultural Heritage and Climate Action”.
Climate Change being a pressing challenge that no country can tackle alone, dovetails also with one of the JPI CH’s four Priority Research Areas. In collaboration with the JPI Climate, the Initiative is working on a joint White Paper Cultural and Climate Change: New challenges and Perspectives for Research. Already in 2019, the two JPIs met several times to explore areas of shared interest and potential development and organized a joint expert workshop in September 2020 (workshop report available here). The main objective of this White Paper is to identify the needs and gaps at the interface of cultural heritage and climate change. It would build on the outputs of the workshop and rely on the expertise of the Working Group to develop identified topics or to address the ones that may be missing in the workshop summary. It will be an important starting point for the later development of a joint call or other concrete instruments on this topic.
We shall keep you tuned in to the latest news of the JPI CH/ JPI Climate White Paper here at the Heritage Research Hub. For more and to read the Green Paper of Europa Nostra and ICOMOS, please refer to this webpage.