We are in the midst of climate breakdown
We are increasingly witnessing extreme weather as climate systems break down, natural habitats are destroyed, and biodiversity is lost at an alarming - and accelerating - rate. Unfortunately, irreversible change is now inevitable. However, it is possible to limit the worst of these outcomes, if we take urgent action.
The science is clear on how to do this: we must halve global greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 2030 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
We have a responsibility to clean up our sector (especially as international governments aren’t doing so)
During the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, the world’s governments agreed on a legally binding target to halve global emissions by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5°C. Remaining under this threshold gives the world a good chance of avoiding the worst-case scenarios of runaway climate breakdown.
However, while some positive steps have been taken, governments across the world have not yet put the policies in place to effect the changes needed to reach these targets. This means it falls to all of us – in every sector of society - to spearhead change.
GCC is calling for a cross-sector alignment in order to take urgent climate action to mitigate the damaging environmental impacts of our industry. We are focussed on educating the sector, improving efficiency and implementing a foundation of environmental responsibility within our operations, through collaboration and innovation.
We have the opportunity to set a positive example that will reverberate beyond the industry
By working together, the visual arts have a huge opportunity to act in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and halve its emissions by 2030. As well as fulfilling the sector’s own climate responsibilities, this would have significant knock-on effects on other sections of society: by supporting clean energy, and better transport and packaging initiatives at this crucial moment, we can help scale up various solutions so that they become more available and affordable for others to access.
Beyond our operations, art has the ability to influence hearts and minds, provide creative solutions to the issues we face, and tackle wider systemic issues and the causes of the climate crisis
Art has played an important role in times of change - from the Renaissance to the LGBT+ movements - but this valuable role will be impeded if the art sector doesn’t also question its complicity in the climate crisis.
We understand that the art sector alone will not solve the crisis we face, but what we can do is set a precedent for other industries to follow, and in doing so build upon culture's rich platform to reach and influence wider society.
Over 800 arts organisations around the world have joined GCC. That is thousands of individual professionals across the world, aligned to our targets and committed to act with hope, positivity and ambition in the face of the climate crisis. Together, we have huge potential to shift the art sector onto a lower carbon path, and to help the arts - and everyone - to thrive into the future.