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The need to reduce CO2 emissions is continuing and obligations must be met whatever the prevailing financial circumstances. The present economic downturn and a reduction in Government funding have, of course, resulted in budget tightening across the whole public sector.  However, the projects described in this paper have shown that it is possible to maintain, and even improve, the conditions suitable for the care of a collection of Old Master paintings, while decreasing the use of energy and overall running costs.

The National Gallery is on target to meet and surpass the Government's general CO2 reduction target of 34% by 2020, although it remains more challenging to plan to meet the target of an 80% reduction by 2050. At some stage, particularly as some institutions expand their exhibition spaces, the museum sector may well have to move to a more appropriate way of measuring energy use efficiency, such as energy used per volume of conditioned space, rather than simply considering general total CO2 emission percentage reductions.

The National Gallery from the top of Nelson's column

The Gallery is committed to continuing to prioritise the need to reduce its carbon footprint and, where it is feasible, to invest in systems that will further that goal. Improving the environment is a continuing and challenging process, and we will need to examine new ideas and technologies, consider and discuss the various options and share with others the knowledge that is gained.

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