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Strengthening cultural heritage resilience for climate change - Where the European Green Deal meets cultural heritage


The European Green Deal is Europe’s response to the grand challenges posed to our societies by climate change and aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In line with commitments made under the Paris Agreement, it seeks to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, with no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, economic growth decoupled from resource use and no person or place left behind. However, cultural heritage was not explicitly mentioned in the Green Deal. Contemporaneously, in accordance with the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022, an Open Method of Coordination group of Member States’ experts on strengthening cultural heritage resilience for climate change was established. The group’s mandate was to explore the contributions of cultural heritage to the European Green Deal and identify threats and gaps related to cultural heritage in the context of climate change.

Our cultural heritage is being damaged and lost as a result of climate change, which is advancing at an unprecedented speed and scale. At the same time, cultural heritage offers green, sustainable solutions to the climate crisis. One key solution is the renovation of old buildings, which has been proven to be more climate friendly than demolition. Research and innovation are indispensable drivers of change that can make substantial contributions in the fight against climate change. Adaptation and mitigation measures must be in line with quality principles to ensure the protection of cultural heritage, avoiding maladaptation resulting in a cultural heritage crisis. Appropriate measures will stimulate climate resilience, economic recovery and skills development in line with the European Green Deal. Europe’s joint effort, which has already produced good practice examples, will be a source of inspiration for other regions of the world.

Reference information

European Commission

Published in Climate-ADAPT Sep 09 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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