UN to Highlight Role of Arts and Culture in Climate Action After Salzburg Global Program




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Mar 11, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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UN to Highlight Role of Arts and Culture in Climate Action After Salzburg Global Program

UNFCCC to build on work achieved at Salzburg Global session The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, and Renewal Fellows of Session 573 - The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal

The UN is to shine a weekly spotlight on the role of arts and culture in climate action, building on work achieved at Salzburg Global Seminar.

The UNFCCC will highlight projects from Fiji to Freiburg and is keen to hear from new artists and organizations.

This initiative follows on from conversations which took place at Schloss Leopoldskron earlier this year. In February, artists, cultural workers, and creatives came together for The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, and Renewal.

These participants were brought together by Julie's Bicycle, a UK-based charity that works with the creative community on climate change and sustainability.

Julie's Bicycle has been collaborating with Salzburg Global since taking part in Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, which took place in February last year. 

UNFCCC spokesperson Nick Nuttall was among the participants involved at the latest session.  As a result of this session, the UNFCCC has been inspired to showcase one arts initiative each week in the run-up to the UN Climate Conference in Bonn.  The initiatives highlighted will celebrate innovation, courage, and inspiration.

The UNFCCC believes the creativity community, existing at the heart of culture, has a part to play in achieving positive change. In particular, it envisages artists setting the scene as nations work to implement their commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement and as the UN prepares for the annual climate conference in November. 

Mr. Nuttall said, "Art and cultural works, from painting and sculpture to theater, music and poetry have the unique power to shift perceptions and provide emotional connections to complex issues that are facing communities and countries worldwide."

“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 UNFCCC is looking for creative responses to climate change to be featured on the UNFCCC website in a weekly feature.

Please send 100 words briefly outlining the project, how it is addressing climate change, and what the impact has been, along with any images and web links to us. Chosen stories will be contacted and asked for a 200 to 500-word write-up to be shaped together with the UNFCCC communications team. 

The UNFCCC is working with Julie’s Bicycle to spot and propose super recent and new works in this broad field, but we also want to hear from you too. 

Please send any proposals for showcasing to newsroom@unfccc.int or Chiara@juliesbicycle.com

People are encouraged to share posts on Twitter using the hashtags #Art4Climate and #COP23.