The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance declares a Climate and Ecological Emergency
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance pledges to work with and support the organisations and individuals we work with, as well as our partners in health, social care and local government in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:
1. We 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.
CHWA will communicate with citizens, in particular our membership and partners, and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed. We will include a climate update in our monthly bulletin, and include information and discussions about climate and ecological emergency in our annual conference.
2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
CHWA pledges to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero* by 2025. For our organisation this means
- using public transport for our work wherever it is an option;
- reducing our use of single-use plastics to zero;
- ensuring all catering for our events is vegetarian;
- keeping our international travel for work to a maximum of one long-haul and one short-haul flight per employee per annum;
- minimising our use of materials, including printed materials, and using recycled materials where possible
We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where we interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
We will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice / our organisation can regenerate the planet’s resources:
As experts in bringing together creative and cultural practice, health and wellbeing, many of our partners and members specialise in making impersonal systems more human. We pledge to use these skills in relation to digital technology to develop new, creative forms of knowledge-exchange that allow us to maintain open, productive, critical international relationships without the need for physical travel; and to support the development of new forms of knowledge-exchange that may lead to similar outcomes.
We pledge to make these intentions public and to encourage similar commitments from our partners and members.
3. We are 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.
We 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.
We will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
We 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.
We also acknowledge that climate change will impact the most vulnerable in society first. The movement of people will likely increase over the coming years and as experts in participatory creative and cultural work we believe it is part of our role to increase the strength of our communities, to build resilience and to foster a society that responds to the movement of people with resilience and openness.
We acknowledge that young people may be impacted by climate change more than older people, and that we have a responsibility to support young people and ensure their voice is clearly heard in all debates about the future of the environment.
*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.