Declaring Climate Emergency
Having performed a poem at the Culture Declares Emergency (CDE) Bristol launch on Friday 28th, I’m making my individual declaration of Climate Emergency.
Declaration: I , Caleb Parkin, declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency I pledge to work with and support our community and local government in tackling this Emergency, and call on others to do the same. These are my intentions:
1. I will tell the Truth Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
I will communicate with citizens and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. I will take Action Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels. I pledge to work towards reducing emissions to net zero* by 2025. I will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where I interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels. I will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice can regenerate the planet’s resources. 3. I am committed to Justice The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours. I will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed. I will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government. I believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice, based on intersectional principles**, led by and for marginalised people.
*Net zero means that on balance one’s activities are zero emissions, taking into account all possible Greenhouse Gas emissions and actions taken to mitigate or offset those emissions. **Awareness of how systems of power combine to multiply the impacts on those who are most marginalised in society.
If you’re an artist or cultural organisation and wish to state your intention publicly to take action on the climate and ecological emergency, there is a template to do so here.
It might not seem like much – but I feel that there can be a cultural, as well as a climate, tipping point. And if we keep on applying pressure, keep up visibility, and actively work towards an inclusive environmental movement – then every step like this counts. So I encourage you and your organisation to make a Declaration too.
I’ll try to blog more on this – and what it actually means in day-to-day practice – in future.