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The Natural History Museum in London have announced a range of events that they’ll be involved with during the COP26 climate conference. In a statement, the museum said that it would be collaborating with The New York Times Climate Hub, a debating centre that would run online as well as in person at the Glasgow-based summit of world leaders. The idea is to provide a physical and virtual space that will allow climate thinkers and scientists as well as political decision-makers to join forces with the wider community. According to the museum, the hub will allow for more debate among interested parties to help explore what it referred to as ‘actionable climate strategies’.
The museum’s statement said that together with the New York Times, they would run a nine-day event space within the Climate Hub. It will be here that guests can connect with the museum’s proposed solutions to the climate crisis as well as the science behind them. The New York Times will also be inviting a number of climate activists, explorers and business leaders to bring their input to bear at the hub along with its highly regarded climate change journalism.
As the project is intended to be a virtual one as well as an in-person event, the museum will also post frequent blogs and updates about what is going on at Glasgow on its website. Among the live reporting that will be expected throughout COP26, the hub will feature so-called ‘deeper dives’ into some of the more contentious topics surrounding climate change and how to fight it. In London, this will be backed up by a display called ‘Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It’ that will be free to visit. According to the museum, it covers many of the issues humanity currently faces and how we can still shape our futures.
The Natural History Museum’s Director, Doug Gurr, said that he thought it was part of the institution’s wider mission to create advocates for the planet. “Whether they are policymakers, business leaders, school students or families, it is fantastic to be engaging decision-makers and delegates on the ground in Glasgow,” Gurr said. He also welcomed the fact that the project would mean joining forces with an illustrious publication like the New York Times. “With the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, [we want to keep]… our digital audiences up to speed,” he said. According to Gurr, providing a dedicated space for these themes to be explored online, in London and at COP26 was the best way of doing so.
According to the New York Times, access to some of the 300 or so globally renowned scientists at the museum who have expertise in biodiversity loss, marine biodiversity and green agriculture, among other areas pertinent to climate change, will help to improve their coverage of COP26. Many will be involved in panel discussions throughout the conference. The newspaper said that these sessions will also be publicly available and streamed live via its Climate Hub digital channels.
Interested in how museums can respond to the climate crisis? Join us for the Green Museums Summit in March 2022.
About the author – Manuel Charr
Manuel Charr is a journalist working in the arts and cultural sectors. With a background in marketing, Manuel is drawn to arts organizations which are prepared to try inventive ways to reach new audiences.