Music offers a breakthrough for communicating on climate change

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

In several ways, music dominated discussions at ‘Development and Climate Days’ in Warsaw, Poland, reported Climate & Development Knowledge Network.


The ‘Development and Climate Days’, held on 16–17 November 2013 at Polonia Palace Hotel during the UNFCCC climate talks, COP 19, saw participants singing songs, improvising collective rhythms, and playing games with dice and cards. These unconventional activities were conceived as a way jump-start creative thinking on climate communications.

The participants shared experience on grassroots communications strategies that have changed communities’ behaviours and have led to new decisions on climate compatible development and disaster risk reduction, and it turned out that many of these positive experiences involved music and performance arts.

Another role for music which was discussed at the Climate Days was the possibility of musical improvisation to stimulate creative thinking in disaster situations.

The ‘Development and Climate Days’ drew more than 60 participants from relief and disaster risk reduction agencies, and climate and development organisations, working from the global to the community level, from countries as diverse as Uganda, Kenya, Nepal the Philippines, Germany and Poland.

More information:


» Article by Mairi Dupar, CDKN’s Global Public Affairs Coordinator:

Canberra, Australia, on 1 December 2013

Canberra, Australia, on 1 December 2013

In Belgium, the campaign ‘Sing for the Climate’ proved, according to the organisers, “that a mass mobilisation around climate change is still possible even after the COP15 in Copenhagen.”

Belgium now appeals to local groups and organisations worldwide to organise their own version of ‘Sing for the Climate’. More information, tools and support for local action can be found on

More about music and climate change

» Concerned musicians communicate climate problems

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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