New film for COP26 shows climate action needs culture

Published: 16 Nov 2021

Still of Eunice Olumide MBE from Climate Action Needs Culture

Still of Eunice Olumide MBE from Climate Action Needs Culture. Credit: Picture Zero.

In a powerful short film, Scottish-Nigerian supermodel, actress and activist Eunice Olumide MBE calls for culture to be front and centre of climate action.

“Economists, scientists and politicians can’t fix the climate emergency on their own. They can’t change the way people think and that’s what is required. Climate change needs cultural change and cultural players are waiting to help, armed with powerful skills, resources and audiences.”

In Climate Action Needs Culture, created by Creative Carbon Scotland and partners from across the Scottish cultural sector for the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 at Glasgow, Olumide says “Reaching net zero and a world adapted to the changed climate will require massive global transformation. But without culture providing a new positive vision of the future, can we actually create it?”

The film strongly argues that culture is the secret ally of climate policy makers.

Culture is a powerful force to shift societies’ embedded thinking and transform the status quo that’s only working for a small minority. Artists, historians and librarians think differently. They bring different imaginations, skills and experiences that can help other professionals think outside the usual boxes- Eunice Olumide MBE

Ben Twist, Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, the charity working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland, says “Scotland’s cultural institutions and creative sector have a compelling story to tell of the dynamic ways they can and do contribute to climate action but it’s a story that has been often overlooked until now. We realised COP26 is a perfect time to share this story through the film and the compelling voice of Eunice Olumide.” Twist adds “As the climate emergency grows more intense, increased public understanding and engagement are urgently required and innovative ways of thinking and working are needed, and the film addresses this head on.”

Climate Action Needs Culture was produced by Picture Zero, the film company specialising in climate solutions and human climate change stories. The partner organisations that collaborated with Creative Carbon Scotland on the project are Creative Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Galleries Scotland, the National Library Scotland, and the Scottish Library and Information Council.

Creative Carbon Scotland and the partner cultural organisations hope that players from both the climate and the culture sides will start collaborating; that policy makers will want to learn more; and that members of the public will ask their favourite arts and cultural organisations how they are responding to the climate emergency.

Watch the film now, plus find out more about our activities and funded work on Environment.