Dazed reports that David Bowie, Björk, Thom Yorke, Damon Albarn, Phil Selway, Courtney Barnett, Robert Plant, Chrissie Hynde, Bobby Gillespie, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver’s S. Carey, and more signed an open letter asking international leaders to reach a deal at the UN’s climate change conference in Paris on Monday. 300 artists, musicians, and other respected creative types signed the letter, which was composed by the non-profit organization Julie’s Bicycle, which seeks to work with artists and the creative community to promote environmental sustainability. The letter initiates as follows:
We, the creative community as represented by the signatories below, ask all those responsible for negotiating the post 2020 climate change framework to agree an ambitious and inspiring international agreement.
The creative community – design, advertising, broadcasting, publishing, film, gaming, fashion, literature, music, the performing and visual arts, galleries and museums – can make a unique contribution to the global sustainability challenge. Collectively we shape not just our material world, but our conceptual world too, including the values that underpin our lives. The creative industries generate wealth and employment but we also innovate, we shape and express cultural values, influencing how people feel and the choices they make: as such we have huge potential to prompt, and reinforce, positive and sustainable change.
The letter then illustrates the way in which artists can work together as activists to create more awareness of environmental issues:
In combining our collective strengths the creative community will amplify your commitments to positive change and strengthen the implementation of good policy decisions you make now. An international policy framework with a long term and realistic goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions below 2 degrees of warming will give us the confidence to deploy our considerable energy towards a sustainable and equitable future. A healthy creative community relies on collaboration. Using this as a first principle for action we will:
-Take action ourselves to make our businesses and our industries more sustainable, actively managing our impacts.
-Speak out to our audiences and customers, using our creative voices to affect the public narrative and create social consensus for action on climate change and environmental degradation.
-Work together to influence and support policy makers who have the capacity to accelerate positive change, to make the right decisions.
-Take a leadership role with a cultural mandate for action, which exceeds the commitments of governments.
-Do what we do best and use our creativity and our collaborative culture to help find, and scale, solutions to global environmental challenges.
They then lay out a list of demands:
We ask for:
-An ambitious commitment to climate action, starting now, that will limit future global warming to below 2.0°C (3.6 °F) relative to pre-industrial levels
-A legally robust and accountable global climate governance framework and implementation strategy that we will be able to support
-Realistic delivery timetables which account for the long term and which enable us to invest in future-focused and collaborative creative practice
-Financial mechanisms to stimulate extensive infrastructure for poorer nations to support them in achieving their reduction commitments while permitting equitable development
-Significant investment in low carbon infrastructures which we can champion and deploy
-Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals
Read the letter in full here.