Heritage Responds: Taking positive action on climate change

The Historic Environment Forum exists to bring people together. And there is no other single issue that requires us to work more closely together than climate change. As the world turns its eyes to COP26 in Glasgow, Heritage Responds highlights the positive contribution heritage organisations and their partners are making to the climate change debate and the actions needed to adapt to a changing world.

The work is the culmination of six months of collaboration by the members of the Historic Environment Forum COP26 Task Group and showcases how the sector is responding to Climate Change, including investment in traditional low-carbon building adaptation techniques, nature-based solutions to mitigate the future impact of Climate Change, and renewed efforts to increase the lifespan of heritage assets and save the embodied carbon which might otherwise be sacrificed in demolition, new construction or poor upkeep. 

As a member of the Historic Environment Forum COP26 Task Group, WMF contributed toward a case study in Heritage Responds on the 2019 global Sea Change conference organized at Blackpool Piers, a 2018 World Monuments Watch site, on the impacts of climate change on coastal heritage. 

Alongside the new report, the Historic Environment Forum in collaboration with Historic England has also launched a new Heritage Responds Climate Change Story Map, a geographical mapping of the key case studies demonstrating how the heritage sector is acting to address climate change – and how heritage is part of the solution to climate change.

“What ‘Heritage Responds’ clearly demonstrates is the proactive hard work of so many organisations working across the heritage sector in finding solutions. We are working across sectors to bring approaches to nature and culture closer together to help manage the green lungs in our cities and adapt to new environmental challenges. This isn’t about protecting the past but using heritage to find solutions for the future.” - Rob Woodside, English Heritage, Chair of the HEF COP26 Task Group

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