UNFCCC Launch #Art4Climate Series to Spotlight Role of Arts and Culture in Climate Action

From Fiji to Fort Worth and Fortaleza to Freiburg UN and Julie's Bicycle to Spotlight Role of Arts and Culture in Climate Action

Julie’s Bicycle is working with the team at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on a weekly showcase of creative initiatives and cultural responses from around the world that highlight the full force of creativity within global efforts to act on climate change.

The international arts and cultural community are leading the way to ensure the challenge of climate change does not get ignored or silenced: turning venues and events into laboratories for sustainable living; policymakers working with artists, audiences and citizens campaigning for change; cultural leaders speaking out; and artists producing work that speaks to the heart.

Every week, in the lead up to the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany which takes place between 6 - 17 November 2017, the UNFCCC and JB will showcase one arts initiative that celebrates innovation, courage, and inspiration. This idea was inspired at a Salzburg Global Seminar within the Julie’s Bicycle programmed session on The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, Renewal which brought together UNFCCC spokesperson Nick Nuttall, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and artists from around the globe.

As human beings, we live by values shaped through our culture, communities, and experiences. Policy is increasingly recognizing the importance of culture to sustainable development. Who we identify with, how our values are expressed, and how we ‘feel’ about the world are all critical triggers for change. The creative community, existing as it does at the heart of culture, has a particular part to play.

We believe highlighting creative responses to climate change will provide a vital way to set the scene as nations work to implement their commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement and as the UN prepare for the next annual UN climate conference taking place in Bonn, Germany in November 2017 under the Presidency of the Pacific small island of Fiji.

“Art and cultural works, from painting and sculpture to theatre, music and poetry have the unique power to shift perceptions and provide emotional connections to complex issues that are facing communities and countries world-wide”

– Nick Nuttall

“There can be few subjects as complex and as challenging as the existential threat of climate change, but we need the arts to shape the discourse and provide new impulses for action. For it is the decisions taken today by governments but also individuals, cities and companies that will echo down the centuries, defining the lives of billions of people alive today and many more who are yet to be born,“ he added.

The first instalment in this series published today is about the work of Irish painter Siobhán McDonald who calls such phenomena as acoustic signals coming from the Eyjafjalla Glacier and a set of 350-million-year-old Irish coral fossils her muses.

We are looking for creative responses to climate change to be featured on the UNFCCC website in a weekly feature. Send 100 words briefly outlining the project, how it is addressing climate change, and what the impact has been, along with any images and weblinks via the link below. Chosen stories will be contacted and asked for a 200 to 500-word write-up to be shaped together with the UNFCCC communications team. 

Please submit any proposals for showcase articles here

Spread the word using #Art4Climate #COP23

Sustaining Creativity