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’’All of the Above’’
’’Why cultural heritage needs to be in the European Green Deal’’
Graham Bell, Board Member, Europa Nostra


On II December 2019 the European Commission published the 24-page report entitled ‘The European Green Deal’. It is an ‘umbrella’ policy proposal that will define the tone and context objectives for most other actions. It translates the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals into Europe’s strategic response. A prominent component (though not the only one) is the ‘Renovation Wave’ – an incentive to retrofit these global principles into existing buildings to reduce energy waste and cut carbon emissions.

But nowhere in the Green Deal will you find mention of ‘cultural heritage’ or any recognition that renovation might apply to the historic assets that characterise most urban settlements.

Europa Nostra, working with the support of ICOMOS, is preparing a ‘Green Paper’ for submission to the Commission to address this surprising omission.

Graham Bell’s presentation will share a glimpse into this Work in Progress and ask what it means for Estonia.



Graham Bell is a board member of Europa Nostra and an active representative on many of its initiatives. He is on the Advisory Group for the Green Deal, the Climate Heritage Network, 7 Most Endangered Advisory Panel and advisor on digital cultural heritage. He is Director of Cultura Trust (an award-winning UK cultural heritage NGO) and the Hungarian Renaissance Foundation. His particular interest in traditional skills led him to be on the executive committee of the European Federation for Architectural Heritage Skills and a member of European Commission OMC emerging skills and digital innovation panels, aligning traditional and digital techniques. He has worked with the UNESCO Chairs on Digital Cultural Heritage as well as Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainability, and is a specialist advisor to National Trust and various European NGOs. He is a postgraduate tutor in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the UK, an author in academic and professional publications, a participant in Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, FLIP2 and other European sustainable development partnership programmes. He advises on governance, succession planning, sustainability and Smart/Big Data for NGOs. Through Cultura he is responsible for industrial heritage collections and seven historic sites including developing a farm in a World Heritage Site to demonstrate holistic SDG principles: archaeology / model farm conservation / biodiversity / renewable energy / Social and Therapeutic Care Farm.