COP21: 350 Arts Leaders Call for 'Ambitious' Deal in Paris

Over 350 artists and creative leaders from the worlds of music, film, theatre, literature and art are calling for an ambitious climate agreement at COP21 in Paris next month.

Representing the international creative community, the group has signed a letter, organised by London based sustainability charity for the arts Julie’s Bicycle, outlining the need for decisive action by the 195 countries negotiating a climate agreement for beyond 2020. Their call to action includes six specific asks to prevent the devastating impacts of climate change.

Signatories include David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Damon Albarn, Bjork, David Gilmour, Colin Firth, Philip Pullman, Guy Garvey, Lily Cole, Steve Coogan, Thandie Newton, Mark Rylance, Emma Thompson, Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan.

The group commits to taking action on climate change as the creative sector. It makes specific asks of the leaders, namely:

1) An ambitious commitment to climate action, starting now, that will limit future global warming to below 2.0°C relative to pre-industrial levels

2) A legally robust and accountable global climate governance framework and implementation strategy that we will be able to support

3) Realistic delivery timetables which account for the long term and which enable us to invest in future-focused and collaborative creative practice

4) Financial mechanisms to stimulate extensive infrastructure for poorer nations to support them in achieving their reduction commitments while permitting equitable development

5) Significant investment in low carbon infrastructures which we can champion and deploy

6) Alignment with the United Nations 2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Their letter will be handed to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris and states that:

“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…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.

Alison Tickell, Founder and Director of Julie’s Bicycle added:

“This letter is about the gravity of climate change and the historic opportunity represented by COP21. These influential signatories come together as a creative industry and will intensify their efforts, but they need world leaders to give us all confidence in a sustainable future, to share our ambitions, and recognise the capacity of these individuals to strengthen their leadership.”

A recently released report, ‘Sustaining Creativity’, from Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England found that England’s arts and cultural sector has made significant efforts to address climate change, making savings of over 12,000 tonnes of C02 emissions and £2.3million in the last two years.

The list of signatories continues to grow. If you would like to join us please email Alison Tickell, Chief Executive, Julie's Bicycle alison@juliesbicycle.com.

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