An Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant worth £136,750 has been given to the scheme which aims to accelerate the museum sector’s ability to respond to the climate crisis.

A key goal of the project is to train and certify 1,500 museum professionals and volunteers as ‘carbon literate’. Supporting 300 museums in developing organisational pledges to take action against climate change will also be integral.

Carbon literacy training for museums throughout England will be rolled out with ever-increasing reach during the initiative’s initial two-year remit, with the development of a shareable toolkit seen as the best way to boost engagement and maximise accessibility.

“We are passionate about the role that museums can and should play – here in Manchester, and nationally – in addressing the climate emergency,” notes Esme Ward, director of Manchester Museum and manager of Museum Development North West.

“Through this unique collaboration with Museum Development North West and the Carbon Literacy Trust, this project will be pivotal in developing museum practice further, transforming our sector’s capacity to support ecological thinking and action to build a sustainable future and inspire post-pandemic green recovery.”

How can museums get involved?

Opportunities for museums within Roots & Branches include:

  • Taking part in a social media campaign to promote what museums can and are doing to address climate change in the run up to and during the COP26 conference
  • Attending museum-focused online Carbon Literacy workshops for people who govern, work and volunteer in museums
  • Using the free sector-specific Carbon Literacy Toolkit to roll out the training within a museum
  • Taking commitments further by becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation
  • Attending additional training arranged through the Museum Development Programme to deepen knowledge and develop action plans

As part of the scheme Manchester Museum will play host to a co-working hub of “cultural environmental action”, aiming to unite museum staff, educators, environmentalists, artists, researchers, third sector organisations and students.

This strand of the project’s work will be coordinated by an innovative new post shared between Manchester Museum and the Carbon Literacy Trust.

The launch of Roots & Branches will take place as part of a Carbon Literacy Action Day on 1st November, coinciding with the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

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