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Assessing the policy climate



Our research indicates that there is a lack of government support for artistic projects that specifically address climate change in most European countries. Often there is support around a specific event related to climate change, but outside of a strategic framework. For example, there were diverse activities and projects in Denmark with a climate change focus prior to the COP15 event in 2009, but there was no focused government programme or funding direction as a result of it. In some cases, local governments, as well as local sponsors, step up to the plate to support artistic projects responding to climate change, especially related to public art, festivals, ad hoc events, etc.

“Our five-year-old organisation is dedicated to increasing the engagement of artists with climate change, which we undertake by holding events that bring together a broad range of artists and others with expertise in science and policy issues around the subject”

Peter Gingold, Co-director of TippingPoint

The British Government has taken a significant position on climate change: the UK is the only country in the world to have a Climate Change Bill, with binding targets for emission reductions. Arts Council England recognises the importance of the subject, and is still trying to find practical ways of engaging with it (apart from providing modest support for a few small organisations). TippingPoint seems to be the only national organisation in the UK that has specifically commissioned artistic work on climate change. The organisation offers a range of activities centred on exposing artists from all art forms to the enormous challenges of climate change, working in tandem with the scientists at the forefront of the subject. TippingPoint’s role is to be a catalyst and to find new ways of increasing artists’ level of engagement in this complex issue. It is an efficient example of how artists reflect global issues by focusing on something local.

The PESETA Project (Projection of Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Sectors of the European Union Based on Bottom-up Analysis, 2009) [1] makes the first regionally focused multi-sectoral integrated assessment of the impacts of climate change in the European economy. The main motivation of the PESETA project has been to contribute to a better understanding of the possible physical and economic impacts induced by climate change in Europe during the 21st century, paying particular attention to the sectoral and geographical dimensions.

The project also suggests an innovative modelling framework able to provide useful insights for adaptation policies on a pan-European scale, with the geographical resolution relevant to national stakeholders. Five impact categories have been addressed: agriculture, river floods, coastal systems, tourism and human health.

[1] PESETA was coordinated by JRC/IPTS (Economics of Energy, Climate Change and Transport Unit) and involved ten research institutes.

[1] PESETA was coordinated by JRC/IPTS (Economics of Energy, Climate Change and Transport Unit) and involved ten research institutes.


Research results: a collective response


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