Over 1,000 Signatories Back Global Call to Embed Culture into Climate Policy at COP 28

Over 1,000 cultural organisations, leaders and practitioners have added their voices to a Global Call to Action which happened in advance of this year’s COP 28 in Dubai, which started on 30 November and runs until 12 December. They are urging the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) to adopt a groundbreaking ‘Joint Work Decision on Culture and Climate Action’ to ensure culture-based solutions to climate change are recognised and implemented.

Existing climate policies have proven inadequate and left the world struggling to meet Paris Agreement targets. Culture-led solutions that are inclusive, rights-based, place-specific, demand-oriented, and focused on people and nature are already abundant. Yet in spite of its potential, culture has not yet been integrated into climate policy and planning.

This global campaign asks for a ‘Joint Work Decision (JWD) on Culture and Climate Action’, a UN process which would trigger policies and frameworks to enable culture to bolster climate action. A High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Culture-based Climate Action has been scheduled for 8 December at COP 28, with a view to asking the UN to adopt the JWD at next year’s COP 29.

Culture has the power to help people imagine and realise low-carbon, just, climate resilient futures. Heritage, including traditional knowledge, strengthens resilience, helps communities to adapt to climate impacts, protects places, and offers green, circular and regenerative solutions. The arts speak to hearts and minds, challenge dominant perspectives and inspire action through dialogue, images, storytelling and shared experiences. The creative sectors – design, music, fashion and film – shape our lifestyles, tastes and consumption patterns.

“We need everyone from across the cultural landscape to unite and support this campaign – from artists, musicians, museums to designers, story-tellers and heritage keepers. We also need those voices who understand that culture matters,” stated Alison Tickell, Founder of Julie’s Bicycle, who are working with partners Climate Heritage Network and others on the campaign.

“The cultural dimension must be put at the heart of climate policy and planning because without it, climate action will fail.” Andrew Potts, Climate Heritage Network.

Over 250 leading organisations from a wide array of sectors ranging from culture to climate and the built environment, are supporting this campaign, including International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICMS), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Climate Heritage Network, to name a few.

Culture is a powerful force that shapes all of our lives, wherever we are in the world. Harnessing the knowledge, passion and creativity of the cultural and creative sectors for climate policy would enable transformative climate action – allowing it to scale up, influence key decisions on net zero and adaptation, and ensure that heritage is safeguarded for future generations.

The Call to Action remains open to the public. If you recognise the extraordinary potential of culture to strengthen global climate action, sign up to support and widely disseminate this Call, as a network, organisation or individual. Add your voice and help amplify the campaign!

Written by Theatrefullstop