In 2019 a collection of galleries and related professionals - primarily from London’s commercial art sector - came together to discuss their community’s role in the global climate crisis and the industry’s responsibility to take action. This group would later become GCC’s co-founders (listed below).
At this time, some public institutions had taken groundbreaking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and waste, but there was a lack of equivalent initiatives and resources for the commercial sector.
Initially, the GCC’s co-founders intended to host a symposium on sector-related environmental topics for the UK art community, but this event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the subsequent lockdowns - and in response to increasing interest from galleries and artists - the plans for the initiative evolved.
Following several months of development, GCC was formally established as a charity, with the primary goal of facilitating decarbonisation in the visual arts sector by a minimum of 50% by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement.
By October 2020 galleryclimatecoalition.org officially launched as the visual art’s first open source destination for sector-specific tools and free environmental best practice guidelines on a range of topics. Crucially, GCC was established as a coalition and a free-to-join membership organisation, which prioritised community, collaboration, innovation, and most importantly - effective and urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.
In response to significant interest from all corners of the art world following the launch, GCC’s scope and ambition evolved from a community project for commercial galleries in London, to include all organisations in the arts sector, internationally: Artists, Non-profits & Institutions, Art-sector Businesses, Individuals Professionals, as well as Galleries. In addition to this, we have active International Volunteer Teams operating in Berlin, Italy, Los Angeles, Taiwan as well as London, with further groups in formation stages. We are honoured and excited to work with a truly global and cross-sector coalition.
As GCC’s membership grows we will continue to evolve to serve the needs of the thousands of individual professionals that make up the coalition, so that as a sector we can respond to the climate crisis with confidence and collective action.
Kate MacGarryLouisa Buck
Freelance journalist & broadcaster
Sadie Coles HQ
Thomas Dane Gallery
Sadie Coles HQ
Lisson GalleryHeath Lowndes
Thomas Dane GalleryKate MacGarry
Scott & CoMatthew Slotover