Unveiling a groundbreaking initiative at COP28 in Dubai, Arts Help collaborates with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to introduce the Digital Climate Library — an unprecedented endeavour set to revolutionize accessibility to historical climate data. This pioneering project aims to digitize the expansive UNFCCC archives, providing free and universal access to invaluable resources. This first-of-its-kind undertaking promises to unlock a wealth of knowledge, empowering global communities with unparalleled insights into climate negotiations and actions.

The collaboration between UNFCCC and Arts Help marks a disruptive alliance, as it signifies the first instance where the UNFCCC has partnered with an arts-focused nonprofit organization to spearhead this transformative initiative. The endeavour has ambitious goals, including creating a public access portal to the UNFCCC's archives for direct access to invaluable historical information. It focuses on implementing cutting-edge preservation technologies to safeguard the archives’ integrity, reliability and accessibility for future generations. It also involves cataloging audiovisual recordings and transcripts from various significant UNFCCC sessions, such as the Conference of Parties (COP) and its related bodies. This guarantees a comprehensive repository of vital climate-related discussions and decisions.

Image courtesy of Alex Filipas/Arts Help.

Tracing Climate Milestones: The Physical UNFCCC Archives

Vanguarding the global response to climate change threats, the UNFCCC Secretariat diligently preserves the history of pivotal climate negotiations since the Conference of Parties and its inception in the early 1990s. An extensive collection, including 200 terabytes of digital content, 25,000 hours of audiovisual recordings, and 1.7 million paper archives, provides authentic insights into climate processes and decisions.

The archives hold pivotal records from the Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations since February 1991, as well as vital documents that led to the adoption of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, obligating industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, they encompass crucial materials related to the historic 2015 Paris Agreement, symbolizing unparalleled global cooperation and shaping modern climate policies toward a sustainable future.

Increasing climate disasters necessitate better solutions. Source: Unsplash

As they stand today, the UNFCCC's archives pose a complex challenge due to diverse formats, including paper, digital, and outdated mediums. Early paper documents face deterioration risks, while scattered digital fragments hinder access, demanding centralized efforts for sustained accessibility in multiple physical locations — preservation is urgent.

Funding Climate Heritage: Arts Help's Drive for Global Impact

Fundraising for the Digital Climate Library is a significant venture, and the project will cost a substantial €6 million. Arts Help leads in fundraising efforts, basing its strategy on leveraging a pivotal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy certification program that will drive the campaign. Arts Help emphasizes CSR principles through this program, urging the private sector to align with social and environmental awareness. This dual focus encourages corporate entities to contribute to this initiative, facilitating the preservation of climate heritage and promoting global social and environmental consciousness.

Digitization will be a herculean but integral effort. Picture for representation purposes.Image courtesy of Meaghan Scanlon.

The funds raised by Arts Help will help build the Climate Library in two phases. In the first phase, precious paper records will be digitized, alongside creating a comprehensive catalogue featuring digital images and audio-visual recordings. In the second phase, the library's integrity and accessibility will be fortified through systematic and automated preservation methods. This will guarantee that the digital archive perseveres as an enduring resource for the future, adapting to evolving needs and demands.

Bringing the AI Revolution to the Fight Against Climate Change: Arts Help’s AI Tool

Arts Help’s AI tool will be easy to use and widely accessible. Image courtesy of Alex Filipas/Arts Help.

Technology is a formidable ally in the fight against climate change, and harnessing its potential enables a collective leap toward mitigating environmental challenges. Putting this notion into action, Arts Help will build a user-friendly AI tool to work with the digital repository. The tool will employ the potential of generative AI with powerful functionalities. Acting as a comprehensive search engine for credible climate and environmental data, it will cater to multiple languages and be accessible across web and mobile platforms, including WhatsApp and Facebook. Users can also generate shareable artwork — illustrations contextualizing data like rising global temperatures — for social media. Emphasizing transparency, the tool will provide crucial source links to ensure credibility. This innovative tool will aim to transform information accessibility, offering reliable data with visually engaging content. In addition, it will also redefine how climate information is obtained, understood, and disseminated, bridging the divide between data retrieval and artistic representation.

Enabling Universal Access: The Digital Climate Library and AI Tool Empowering Diverse Stakeholders

The Digital Climate Library, coupled with its AI tool, will serve as an inclusive repository crucial for various stakeholders engaging with climate data. Ensuring platform accessibility will democratize access for policymakers, scholars, educators, and the wider public. Providing historical insights into climate negotiations will enable informed decision-making. It also empowers global citizens to hold influential policymakers accountable for their climate commitments. From key officials shaping climate policies to scholars and educators conducting research and curriculum development, this library bridges diverse interests. Museums, journalists, artists, and filmmakers will find a wealth of material for awareness campaigns. NGOs, UN bodies, and activists will leverage it for advocacy and knowledge transfer, reinforcing its pivotal role in fostering climate awareness and action for a sustainable future.

Raising awareness about the growing climate crisis is essential. Source: Unsplash

Empowering Tomorrow: A Beacon of Climate Hope

In a world racing against time to combat climate change, the Digital Climate Library will stand as a beacon of hope and empowerment. This collaboration between Arts Help and the UNFCCC preserves our environmental heritage and democratizes access to invaluable climate data. The repository and AI tool will bridge knowledge gaps, fostering informed decisions and inspiring collective action. Together, they will redefine how we access and share vital climate information, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient world.

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