Culture Declares Emergency
The Lyric Hammersmith joins forces with other arts and cultural organisations in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency.
In October 2018 the world’s leading climate scientists, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned that we have only 12 years to make the necessary changes to how we live that will keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C and in line with the international Paris Agreement. Beyond this point the risks of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty for hundreds of millions of people significantly worsen.
Since then there has been further evidence of climate and ecological breakdown with extreme weather events world-wide and species extinction gathering pace. Climate change is already worsening injustices faced by people in the Global South and over time it will intensify the inequalities experienced in every country, including ours.
This is an emergency that requires an urgent response from everyone at all levels of our society – to make systemic changes to policy and infrastructure but also to change the individual actions, behaviours and choices we all make.
We have only 12 years to make positive changes to how we live if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown. Business as usual is no longer an appropriate response.
There is a growing recognition of the contribution of arts, heritage and civic organisations to raise awareness of climate change; to prompt shifts in our values and behaviours and the ways we relate to each other and to the world; to imagine positive futures; and to model practical responses.
We are a longstanding cultural leader in environmental sustainability and have taken significant action to reduce our own environmental impact. We work to positively influence both the cultural sector response to this issue and champion awareness in our local community in West London. The Lyric’s extensive work with young people makes this issue particularly pertinent.
We will work with and support our communities and stakeholders in urgently tackling this Climate Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
The Lyric commits to the following actions:
We will encourage everyone to discover the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency that we face and its impact.
We will play our part in raising awareness of the issues, the urgent change required and of positive action that can be taken.
We will take concerted action to reduce our carbon emissions and consumption levels to sustainable levels and encourage others to do the same.
We will actively work to imagine and model environmentally sustainable practice and share our learning with others.
We will use our voice to advocate for urgent change in the face of this Climate Emergency.
We will ensure that our theatre is a space that is open and welcoming to our local community for creative conversations – with artists, audiences and communities – around positive action.
We will work to enable dialogue and expression amongst all our communities and stakeholders about how the Climate Emergency will affect them, the changes that are needed and the social justice issues involved.