Culture for Climate Scotland

Culture for Climate logo surrounded by image with colourful paint strokes

Logo designed by Emily Nicholl

Culture for Climate Scotland (Cultar airson Gnàth-shìde Alba) is a working group initiated by Creative Carbon Scotland, comprising members of the Green Arts Initiative and Green Tease network.

We are co-organising an event on Scotland’s Climate Assembly Report & the Cultural Sector on 29th July. Find out more and register via the event page.

The Culture for Climate Scotland group is working towards these co-developed aims:

Project aims

  1. Identify how the cultural and creative sectors can contribute to a just and green recovery from COVID-19 in Scotland.

    • Identify concrete actions we can take and principles we can commit to.
    • Identify barriers to the sector playing a key part, and explore how we can collectively remove them.
    • Understand and articulate the complexity between our sector’s good intentions and desires and the factors that slow our progress towards these.
    • Collaborate with and learn from those in the cultural sector who are already acting in these areas.
  2. Encourage and empower cultural organisations, creative businesses and freelancers to take those actions and challenge those barriers.

    • To help establish greener ways of working, not just individually but across the sector.
    • To engage, empower and benefit more people and communities in Scotland.
    • In doing this we aim to promote climate justice and other forms of social justice.
  3. Use our influence with the public, including audiences, participants, policymakers and decision-makers, to better address climate change and climate justice.

    • Encourage creative organisations, businesses and freelancers to speak publicly about what they are doing, and their successes and failures.
    • This could be through case studies, leading by example, using our public profiles to take a stance on issues, or through artistic/cultural work.
    • Aim to amplify the voices and stories of cultural organisations, businesses and freelancers.
  4. Make the case for the cultural/creative sectors to be recognised, promoted and invested in as a key player in a just and green recovery.

    • To enable us to continue providing high-quality jobs and enriching lives and wellbeing.
    • To enable us to spend more time and resources on environmental initiatives and to make our buildings and practises carbon neutral (or climate positive), aiming for 2030 and by 2045 at the very latest.

Group members

  • Katja Armknecht, General Manager at Red Note Ensemble
  • Jean Cameron, Freelance Creative Producer
  • Hazel Darwin-Clements, Theatre Maker and Podcaster
  • Jassy Earl, Photographer and Film Maker
  • Dawn Taylor, Artistic Director & CEO at Puppet Animation Scotland
  • Jennifer Hunter, Executive Leader at Culture Counts (advisory member)
  • Kate Leiper, Artist and Illustrator
  • Becca Lewis, Facilities Management Officer at Glasgow Women’s Library
  • Callum Madge, Engagement & Office Manager at Birds of Paradise Theatre Company
  • Fadzai Mwakutuya, Visual Artivist, Scottish Artist Union Exec Committee & EDI Advisory Panel – Creative Scotland
  • Emily Nicholl, Circus and Physical Theatre Artist
  • Janie Nicoll, Visual Artist and Scottish Artists Union Projects & Campaigns Manager
  • Inge Panneels, Artist and Research Fellow at Creative Informatics
  • Emma Jayne Park, Dancer, Theatre Maker, Collaborator and Micro-Activist
  • Gemma Swallow, Technical Director at National Theatre of Scotland
  • Jeremy Wyatt, Chief Executive at Ayr Gaiety
  • Amanda Grimm, Creative Carbon Scotland
  • Lewis Coenen-Rowe and Gemma Lawrence, Creative Carbon Scotland

Our first external activity was to contribute questions to Culture Count’s Culture Hustings which took place on 23rd April:

  1. How would your party actively engage, support and champion the cultural sector as a key player in Scotland’s just and green recovery?

  2. There are several barriers which currently limit the cultural sector’s ability to reduce its carbon footprint. For example, shortage of funding limiting our ability to make changes (to our buildings, heating systems and practices) or make more sustainable choices (e.g. lower carbon transport options are often more expensive); the value system which places a higher value on artistic work that tours internationally (which produces significant carbon emissions) than more sustainable work for local communities; or the disparate freelance workforce having limited agency to make change. How would your party help shift these barriers to greater sustainability? 

  3. As opposed to measuring the success of our society through GDP, would your party move to valuing a wellbeing economy which would enrich lives and promote mental as well as physical health? If so, how would you collaborate and invest in the cultural sector in order to make this change meaningful?

Read a blog about the Culture Hustings and politicians’ responses to our question on how their parties would engage, support and champion the culture sector as a key player in Scotland’s just and green recovery.

The group has signed up for an initial six-month pilot project. If there is enough interest we may apply for funding for a second stage, to continue working towards our aims. Some projects we might pursue include co-organising an event with the Scottish Climate Assembly and developing a crowd-sourced climate action pledge for the cultural sector.

We are not currently recruiting more group members, but there will likely be opportunities for a wider pool of cultural organisations and individuals to contribute to our work. You can contact to express interest in contributing to the project.

Promoted by Creative Carbon Scotland on behalf of Culture for Climate Scotland, Room 9/50 City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh.

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About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

0131 529 7909

Supported by

Creative Scotland logo City of Edinburgh Council logo

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City logo Federation of Scottish Theatre logo Scottish Contemporary Art Network logo