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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Better Batteries


Better Batteries is a UK-wide campaign encouraging the music and theatre industries to make the switch to using rechargeable battery systems, particularly for portable sound equipment, and increase battery recycling rates in line with government regulations.


  • Rechargeable batteries have 32 times less impact on the environment than disposables.
  • Rechargeable batteries are completely reliable.
  • Significant cash savings can be made from using a rechargeable system.

Julie’s Bicycle invites you to find out more and get involved at, they are launching the nationwide campaign to raise awareness to the environmental and financial benefits of using rechargeable batteries.

Recycle your Batteries

In 2009 only 10% of batteries were recycled in the UK and in February 2010 regulation was put in place requiring this to increase to 18% in 2011, and 45% by 2016. Recycling batteries is crucial to reuse finite natural resources and prevent the release of harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury or cadmium.

Case Studies and more information available here

Go to Arcola Energy

The Great Fen Project

I write this as we set off for a meeting in Peterborough which is, wonderfully, interested in the connection between the arts and environmental issues. I had a brilliant taster with respect to the Fens in an extraordinary concert at King’s College, Cambridge in their stunning chapel. This was in support of the Great Fen Project – “the most important conservation project in the UK for 100 years” – With Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, the music soaring upwards as the dusk light spread through the building, it seemed anything is possible!

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

End of the world party

The artist Bob and Roberta Smith (aka Patrick Brill) will be performing “apathetic music” at the End of the world party at Spring House, Camden, London on May 14, alongside performances from Leigh Clarke, Victor Mount and others. Limited places. Email

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Eco Arts: Students Create Musical Instruments From Recycled Materials – Ecofriend

Students at the Applewild School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, have a green mindset at an age none of us would have ever thought about conserving the environment. A team of students in grades four and five at the school were in need of some musical instruments for a concert, but unlike us they didn’t buy them, but instead they created their own instruments and that too from trashed objects. The instruments were made from materials like washboards, pans, pots, PVC piping and plastic water jugs. Each instrument created was unique since no one knew how they would sound before someone tried to play them.


via Eco Arts: Students Create Musical Instruments From Recycled Materials – Ecofriend.