Introduction - Museums Association

Our Museums for Climate Justice campaign supports museums in tackling the climate and ecological crisis. We’re empowering museums to be bold and brave in taking action, putting forward a systems change approach which focuses on climate and social justice. 

Julie’s Bicycle explains that climate justice “frames the climate crisis as an ethical, social, environmental and political issue, rather than one that is purely scientific or physical”. We know that to take meaningful action, we cannot treat the climate and ecological crisis as a standalone issue.

Museums have a vital role to play in raising awareness and activating communities to create change. In delivering this campaign, we aim to align work to tackle the climate and ecological crisis with our ongoing anti-racism and decolonisation campaigning, showing how these issues intersect.

We have created a steering group to help shape and inform our Museums for Climate Justice campaign. This group includes Sara Kassam, MA climate trustee and sustainability advisor at UK Sport, Jacob Dafydd Ellis, change maker lead at the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, and Rachael Rowley, head of resources at Museums Galleries Scotland. 

There will be lots of opportunities to get involved in the Museums for Climate Justice campaign. We’ll be inviting members and the wider sector to take part in our digital hive, sharing the actions you’re taking to tackle the climate and ecological crisis. We’ll use our platforms to share good practice and resources, supporting members to take action and create change. 

Campaign aims

The MA will support museums across the UK to: 

  1. Raise awareness: use your collections, programmes, exhibitions and learning and engagement work to explore climate and ecological issues and encourage audiences to take action for climate justice. 
  2. Champion change: work with all partners to implement regenerative policies in your local area.  
  3. Be the change: embed climate action across all decision making and processes. Focus on having a net positive impact and make sure your organisation’s footprint is as low as it can go. Commit to targets for reducing energy and water consumption, waste and carbon emissions. 

As part of this campaign, the MA will: 

  1. Advocate on behalf of the sector to increase resources and facilitate partnership working on climate and ecological issues.
  2. Continue to reduce the MA’s climate impact further by implementing our own sustainability plan.
  3. Embed climate activism across all MA campaigns and activities, taking an intersectional approach with a focus on climate and social justice. 
Antonia Canal, policy and campaigns officer at the MA, introduces Museums for Climate Justice

Lead image, this page: Parade for Climate Justice, Carnival of Crisis, UAL Climate Emergency Network, 2021 (c) Ana Blumenkron

Main landing page image courtesy of Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, copyright Stuart Walker Photography