A Letter to Leaders

Over 350 artists and creative leaders from the worlds of music, film, theatre, literature and art signed a letter calling for an ambitious climate agreement at COP21, December 2015.

To: Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France and President of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP21.

Dear Executive Secretary Figueres and COP21 President, Minister Fabius,

We, the creative community as represented by the signatories below, ask all those responsible for negotiating the post 2020 climate change framework to agree an ambitious and inspiring international agreement.

The creative community – design, advertising, broadcasting, publishing, film, gaming, fashion, literature, music, the performing and visual arts, galleries and museums – can make a unique contribution to the global sustainability challenge. Collectively we shape not just our material world, but our conceptual world too, including the values that underpin our lives. The creative industries generate wealth and employment but we also innovate, we shape and express cultural values, influencing how people feel and the choices they make: as such we have huge potential to prompt, and reinforce, positive and sustainable change.

We are deeply concerned that our global economic and industrial systems are accelerating rates of extinction, desertification and soil depletion, degrading ecosystems, acidifying and littering our rivers and oceans, and resulting in a relentless rise in greenhouse gas emissions driving irreversible climate change. In short, we are overwhelming the planet’s life support systems. The outcomes of COP21 and the political decisions taken over the next months will determine many of the long-term conditions that will affect us today and for many generations to come.

In combining our collective strengths the creative community will amplify your commitments to positive change and strengthen the implementation of good policy decisions you make now. An international policy framework with a long term and realistic goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions below 2 degrees of warming will give us the confidence to deploy our considerable energy towards a sustainable and equitable future. A healthy creative community relies on collaboration. Using this as a first principle for action we will:

  • Take action ourselves to make our businesses and our industries more sustainable, actively managing our impacts.
  • Speak out to our audiences and customers, using our creative voices to affect the public narrative and create social consensus for action on climate change and environmental degradation.
  • Work together to influence and support policy makers who have the capacity to accelerate positive change, to make the right decisions.
  • Take a leadership role with a cultural mandate for action, which exceeds the commitments of governments.
  • Do what we do best and use our creativity and our collaborative culture to help find, and scale, solutions to global environmental challenges.

We ask you to agree to a comprehensive, binding international framework agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, with mechanisms to assess, review and revise commitments over the long term.

We ask for:

  • An ambitious commitment to climate action, starting now, that will limit future global warming to below 2.0°C (3.6 °F) relative to pre-industrial levels
  • A legally robust and accountable global climate governance framework and implementation strategy that we will be able to support
  • Realistic delivery timetables which account for the long term and which enable us to invest in future-focused and collaborative creative practice
  • Financial mechanisms to stimulate extensive infrastructure for poorer nations to support them in achieving their reduction commitments while permitting equitable development
  • Significant investment in low carbon infrastructures which we can champion and deploy
  • Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals

We understand the gravity of climate change and the historic opportunity represented by COP21. We will come together and intensify our efforts, but we need you to give us confidence in a sustainable future, to share our ambition, and recognize our capacity to strengthen your leadership.

We Must, We Can, and together We Will act on climate change.

Read the COP21 Creative Manifesto Briefing Notes

List of Signatories

Wil-Dog Abers, Musician Ozomatli

Roy Ackerman, MD Pulse Films

Ackroyd and Harvey, Artists

Sidsel Agensø, Actress

Damon Albarn, Musician

Karina Albers, CEO Kontent Real Films

Sian Alexander, CEO Lyric Hammersmith

Yu-Lan van Alphen, Programme Manager DOEN Foundation

Anastacia, Musician

Ian Anderson, Musician Jethro Tull

Anggun, Musician

Lisa Armstrong, Fashion Director The Daily Telegraph

ATM, Street Artist

Margaret Atwood, Writer

Deborah Aydon, Executive Director Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse

Steve Backshall, Writer/Television Presenter

Bettina Bakdal, Fashion Designer

Maria Balshaw CBE, Director Whitworth, Manchester/City Museums

Emma Banks, Music Agent

Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, Singer

Courtney Barnett, Musician

Angus Baskerville, 13 Artists

Neil Bartlett, Author/Director

Blick Bassy, Musician

Alex Beard, CEO Royal Opera House

Simon Beaufoy, Screenwriter

Louise Beck, Artistic Director Opera Nord/Board Danish Agency of Culture

Momtaz Begum, Singer/MP Bangladesh

Dominique Behar, Reseau Eco-evenement

Ulises Bella, Musician Ozomatli

Melvin Benn, MD Festival Republic

Laura Bergmann, Musician The Family Crest

Boris Berlin, Designer

Amanda Berry OBE, CEO Bafta

Tamara Bracic Vidma, Bunker Institute

Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, Musician

Bidisha, Writer/Broadcaster

Andrew Bird, Musician

Ditte Maria Bjerg, Artistic Director Global Stories/Chair Committee for Performing Arts, Danish Art Council 

Björk, Musician

Matt Black, Musician Coldcut

Tom Blankenship, Musician My Morning Jacket

Tamsin Blanchard, Journalist

Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse

Bon Iver, Group

Kamila Boudova, Designer

David Robert (Bowie) Jones, Musician

Stéphane Braunschweig, Artistic Director Theatre National La Colline

Zowie Broach, Designer Boudicca

Carl Broemel, Musician My Morning Jacket

Simon Broughton, Editor-in-Chief Songlines

Paul Brown, Head of Props Glyndebourne

Alex Bruford, Partner ATC Live

Pilani Bubu, Musician

David Buckland, Artist/Founder Cape Farewell

Else Marie Bukdahl, Dphil.

Paul Burger, CEO Soho Artists

Simon Burstein, CEO Browns

Robert Butler, Journalist

Burak Cakmak

S. Carey, Musician Bon Iver

Orsola de Castro, Co-Founder Fashion Revolution

Carolina Caycedo, Artivist Rios Vivos Colombia

Rob Challice, Coda Agency

Tom Chauncey, Agent Partisan Arts

Elaine Chia, Director International Signature Projects Australia Council for the Arts

Adam Chodzko, Artist

Caryl Churchill, Playwright

Danny Cohen, Director of Television BBC

Coldplay - Guy Berryman, Musician

Coldplay - Jonny Buckland, Musician

Coldplay - Will Champion, Musician

Coldplay - Chris Martin, Musician

Lily Cole, Model

Pandora Colin, Actress

Paule Constable, Lighting Designer

Steve Coogan, Actor

Dominic Cooke, Theatre Director

Lionel Copley, Designer

Frances Corner OBE, Head London College of Fashion, PVC University of the Arts

Chris Cotton, CEO Royal Albert Hall

Liliana Coutinho, Curator Teatro Maria Matos/Imagine 2020

Carrie Cracknell, Theatre Director

Michaela Crimmin, Art in the Public Domain

Deborah Curtis, Creative Director

Dessa Darling, Musician

Lucy Davies, Executive Producer Royal Court

Siobhan Davies, Choreographer/Dancer

Kerry Dean, Fashion Photographer

Charles Deull, Broadway Green Alliance

Graham Devlin CBE

Dido, Musician

Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo Soprano

Paul Dillinger, Vice President Innovation Levi Strauss

Collette Dinnigan, Fashion Designer

Jo Dipple, CEO UK Music

Sir Michael Dixon, Director Natural History Museum

Diane Dodd, Director IGCAT

Ged Doherty, Chairman BPI

Jonathan Dove, Composer

Jane Dyball, CEO MPA Group

Jonas Eder-Hansen, Danish Fashion Institute

Olafur Eliasson, Artist

Chen Feng, Co-Founder Natur Wuhan

Rose Fenton, CEO Free Word

Colin Firth, Actor

Livia Firth, Creative Director Eco Age Consultancy 

Silja Fischer, Secretary General International Music Council

Dan Fogler, Actor

Marie Fol, Programme Manager Dutch Culture/TransArtists

Aminatta Forna, Writer

Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Founders Translocal Institute

Caryn Franklin, Fashion Journalist and Broadcaster

Kyle Frenette, Manager Middle West Management

Bella Freud, Designer

Alastair Fuad-Luke, Designer

John Fulljames, Associate Director Royal Opera House

Merrill Garbus, Musician Tune-Yards

Adam Gardner, Musician Guster/Founder Reverb

Sevan Garo, Founder Garogosi

Guy Garvey, Musician

Lauranne Germond, Director COAL

Bobby Gillespie, Musician Primal Scream

Ed Gillespie, Co-founder, Futerra

Odie Gilbert, Stylist

David Gilmour, Musician

Peter Gingold, Founder Tipping Point

Martin Glover, Musician/Producer Youth

Simon Green, Musician Bonobo

Ian Grenfell, Quietus Management

Jay Griffiths, Writer

Lynda Grose, Fashion Designer

Patrick Gyger, Director Lieu Unique

Amir Haddad, Theatre Director

Patrick Hallahan, Musician My Morning Jacket

Katharine Hamnett, Fashion Designer

Alex Hartley, Artist

Richard Hawley, Actor

Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director Gate Theatre

Rachel Healy, Artistic Director Adelaide Festival

Andy Heath, Beggars Group/Chair UK Music

Caspar Henderson, Writer

Sean Holmes, Artistic Director Lyric Hammersmith

Kasper Holten, Director of Opera Royal Opera House

Robert Horsfall, Lawyer

Tansy Hoskins, Author

Nan van Houte, Secretary General IETM

Sue Hoyle, CEO Clore Leadership

Marion Hume, Fashion Journalist

Iris Hung, MD Bamboo Curtain Studio

Chrissie Hynde, Musician

Sir Nicholas Hytner, Co-Founder, London Theatre Company/Film/Theatre Director

Bez Idakula, Musician

Chase Igliori, Manager Middle West Management

Singh Intrachooto, Design Principal Osisu

Professor Tim Jackson, Poet/Playwright/Academic

Bel Jacobs, Fashion Journalist

Jim James, Musician My Morning Jacket

Jack Johnson, Musician

Ilse Joliet, Artist and Coordinator Imagine 2020

Dylan Jones, Editor-in-Chief GQ

Patrick Jordan, Manager Red Light Management

David Joseph, Chairman and CEO Universal Music UK

David Jubb, Artistic Director Battersea Arts Centre

Didier Juillard, Director of Theatre National La Colline

John Kampfner, Creative Industries Federation

Kathy Kane, Manager

Amar Kanwar, Artist/Filmmaker

Prosper Keating, MD 7Post Magazine

Penn Kemp, Poet/Novelist/Playwright

Ulrich Khuon, Artistic Director Deutsches Theater Berlin

Angélique Kidjo, Musician

Juliet Kindersley, Founder Neals Yard/Dorling Kindersley Publications

Peter Kindersley, Founder Neals Yard/Dorling Kindersley Publications

Morten Kirkskov, Artistic Director Royal Danish Theatre

Marda Kirn, Founding Director EcoArts Connections

Clayton Knight, Musician Odesza

Judith Knight, Director ArtsAdmin

Nevenka Koprivsek, Artistic Director Bunker Institute

Peter Kosminsky, Writer/Director/Producer

Bo Koster, Musician My Morning Jacket

Tania Kovats, Artist

Astrid Krogh, Artist

Marco Kusumawijaya, Director Rujak Centre for Urban Studies

David Lan, Artistic Director Young Vic

Sophia Lapiashvili, Green Art Lab Alliance

Phyllida Law OBE, Actress

Lazerbeak, Musician Doomtree

Debbie Levin, President EMA

David Lewis, COO Effect Partners

Leona Lewis, Singer

Rebecca Lichtenfeld, Director Bertha Philanthropies

William S.W. Lim, Chairman Asian Urban Lab

Craig Logan, Artist Manager Logan Media Entertainment

Juan Lopez-Aranguren, Architect and Public artist

Michelle Lowe-Holder, Fashion Designer

Dara Lynch, Director D&AD

Robert Macfarlane, Writer

Ursula Macfarlane, Director/Producer/Cinematographer

Ian MacKaye, Musician

Sabrina Mahfouz, Poet

Rosemary Mangope, CEO National Arts Council of South Africa

Valeria Marcolin, Co-Director Association Culture at Developpement

Korda Marshall, Founder Infectious Music/VP BMG Recordings

Michael Martin, CEO Effect Partners

Penny Martin, Editor-in-Chief The Gentlewoman

Steve Martin, Agent APA

Liam McCormick, Musician The Family Crest

Colin McDowell MBE, Fashion Writer

Ian McEwan, Writer

Alistair McGowan, Comedian/Actor

Kate McGrath, Theatre Producer,/Co-Director Founder Fuel

Patrick McIntyre, Executive Director Sydney Theatre Company

Darragh McKeon, Writer

Nathan McLay, Founder Future Classic

Deborah Meaden, Entrepreneur/Presenter

Natalie Merchant, Musician

Nicholas Merriman, Director Manchester Museum

Aston Merrygold, Musician

Ute Meta Bauer, Founder NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Courtney Miller, General Manager Australian Fashion Chamber

Harrison Mills, Musician Odesza

Katie Mitchell, Director

Jon More, Musician Coldcut

Andrew Morgan, Director

Vicki Mortimer, Designer

Jesper Moseholm, Designer

Eric Mouquet, Musician Deep Forest

Dave Moutrey, CEO HOME Manchester

Farai Mpfunya, Founding Trustee Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust

Brenda Munsterman, General Manager Sensation International

Zoya Naskova, Freelance consultant

Lucy Neal, Writer and Theatremaker

Amanda Nevill, CEO BFI

Thandie Newton, Actress

Adam Nicholson, Writer

Vivian Nielsen, Playwright

Alex Noble, Fashion Designer

Rufus Norris, Artistic Director Royal National Theatre

Yoko Ono, Artist/Musician/Peace Activist

Lucy Orta, University of the Arts London

James Osterberg aka Iggy Pop, Musician

Max Osterweis, Fashion Designer

Raúl Pacheco, Musician Ozomatli

Paul Pacifico, on Behalf of Featured Artists Coalition

Mark Padmore, Tenor

Carl Palmer, Musician Emerson Lake and Palmer/Asia/Carl Palmer Trio

Sir Antonio Pappano, Pianist/Conductor/Music Director Royal Opera House

Cornelia Parker, Artist

Tim Parry, Managing Director Big Life

Lluís Pasqual, Artistic Director Teatre Lliure

Michael Pawlyn, Founder Exploration Architecture

Ricardo Peach, Director Vrystaat Kunstefees/Arts Festival/Tsa-Botjhaba

Mick Perrin, Director Worldwide

Glen Phillips, Musician Toad/The Wet Sprocket

Bruno Pieters, Fashion Designer

Robert Plant, Musician

Justin 'El Niño' Porée, Musician Ozomatli

Kevin Price, COO Bafta

Heydon Prowse, Satirist/Comedian

Philip Pullman, Writer

Peter Quicke, Ninja Tune

Christopher Raeburn, Fashion Designer

Bonnie Raitt, Musician

Jonathan Reekie, CEO Somerset House*

John Reid, President of Concerts Live Nation

Damien Rice, Musician

Robin Rimbaud, Musician/Composer Scanner

Timo Rissanen, Fashion Designer

Henry Rollins, Musician

Tanya Ronder, Playwright

David de Rothschild, Ecologist Sculpt the Future Foundation

Caroline Rush, CEO British Fashion Council

David Ryding, Director City of Literature Melbourne

Mark Rylance, Actor

Jay Ryves, Art Director Future Classic

Maibritt Saerens, Actress

Aruna Sairam, Singer US Congressional/Padma Shri Awardee

Larry Sakin, Green Entrepreneur

Shaheen Samad, Singer

Olivia Sautereau, Collectif 12

Josh Schachter, Photographer

Elisabeth Schweeger, CEO/Artistic Director Academy for Performing Art Baden-Württemberg/President MITOS21

Jess Search, CEO BRITDOC

Helen Searle, Lawyer

Philip Selway, Musician Radiohead

Graça Seligman, Photographer

Orlando Senna, Film Director

Elif Shafak, Writer

Kamila Shamsie, Writer

Alice Sharp, Artist/Curator

Zakee Shariff, Designer

Jane Shepherdson CBE, CEO Whistles

Margaret Shiu, Founder/Artistic Director Bamboo Curtain Studio

Stefan Siegel, Founder/CEO Not Just A Label

Lucy Siegle, Writer/Broadcaster

Asdrubal Sierra, Musician Ozomatli

Lily Silverton, Features Director Hunger Magazine

Justine Simons OBE, Chair World Cities Culture Forum

Joe Smith, Cultural Commentator

John Smith, General Secretary Musicians’ Union

Paul Smith, Director Oxford University Museum of Natural History History

Carry Somers, Designer/Co-Founder Fashion Revolution

Marie le Sourd, Secretary General On the Move

Alistair Spalding CBE, CEO Sadler’s Wells

Dinaz Stafford, Filmmaker

Sóley Stefánsdóttir, Musician

Nick Starr, Co-Founder London Theatre Company

Sting, Musician

Michael Stipe, Musician

Helen Storey MBE, Designer

Duncan Stutterheim, Founder ID&T

Josh Sundquist, Manager Middle West Management

Meera Syal CBE, Actress

Adrian Sykes, Manager

Seth Tabatznik

Iphigenia Taxopoulou, General Secretary MITOS21

Juergen Teller Fashion Photographer

Neil Tennant, Musician Pet Shop Boys

Martin Terefe, Music Producer

John Thackara

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp OBE

Emma Thompson, Actress

Alison Tickell, Founder Julie’s Bicycle

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp OBE, Chief Executive, The Place

John Tiffany, Theatre Director

Harold Tillman CBE

Amon Tobin, Musician

Elisa Toffoli, Songwriter

Steve Tompkins, Architect

Ruth Ben Tovim, Creative Director Encounters Arts

Philip Treacy, Millner

Andreya Triana, Musician

Seth Troxler, DJ

KT Tunstall, Musician

Gavin Turk, Artist

Benjamin Twist, Director Creative Carbon Scotland

Renata Tyszczuk, Artist

Philip Uzo, Music Director

Wally Valdez, Musician Ozomatli

Martijn Van Daalen, Director Mysteryland International

Diana Verde Nieto, CEO Positive Luxury

Carla Visi, Singer

Joris Voorn, DJ      

Tanja Vranic, Coordinator HIVOS/Arts Collaboratory

Dubravka Vrgoč, Artistic Director Croatian National Theatre/President ETC

Tony Wadsworth CBE, Chairman Julie’s Bicycle

Alexander Walter, Director WOMEX

Russell Warby, WME Entertainment

Neil Warnock, The Agency Group

Steve Waters, Playwright

Sara Watkins, Musician Nickel Creek

Cilla Ware, TV Drama Director

Christina Wendelboe, Dramaturge

Alison Wenham OBE, CEO AIM

Vivienne Westwood, Designer

Heidi Wiley, General Secretary European Theatre Convention

Tim Wilson, Musician Ivan and Alyosha

Dilys Williams, Designer Sustainable Fashion

Grace Woodward, Fashion Stylist/Presenter

Harry Cory Wright, Photographer

Jiro Yamaguchi, Musician Ozomatli

Thom Yorke, Musician Radiohead

Brian Yost, President, On-Site Products Live Nation

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey

Madani Younis, Artistic Director Bush Theatre

Young Fathers - Kayus Bankole, Musician

Young Fathers - G Hastings, Musician

Young Fathers - Alloysious Massaquoi, Musician

Ada Zanditon, Fashion Designer

Richard Zijlma, Director, Amsterdam Dance Event

Julie’s Bicycle would like to thank the many individuals who have helped to bring together this group of signatories especially; Heather Ackroyd, Melvin Benn, Simon Broughton, David Buckland, Paule Constable, Lucy Davies, Rose Fenton, John Fulljames, Peter Gingold, Søren Krogh, David Lewis, Mike Martin, Aaron Matthews, Nick Merriman, James Murtagh-Hopkins, Kevin Price, Tanya Ronder, Larry Sakin, Josh Schachter, Anupama Sekhar, Manitu Szerman, Tony Wadsworth, Selina Webb, Dilys Williams

* Somerset House Trust including:

Somerset House Studios
Somerset House Exchange

and residents:

7 Wonder
Achill Management
Animal Vegetable Mineral
Covent Garden Physio
Developments in Literacy Trust UK
Global Poverty Project
Good for Nothing
Improbable Theatre Company
Julian Stoneman Associates Ltd.
Machido Team
Matthew Gill
Our Path
Rare Day
Roland Ellis
Sound and Music
Street and Co
The Clore Leadership Programme
The Council

We would also like to thank the many organisations who have been very supportive in helping to bring together this list including;



Sustaining Creativity