Australia’s Climate Guardians: Acting for climate justice

About

ClimActs is an Australian theatre troupe using striking visual spectacle as well as satire to communicate the urgent need for the world to respond to climate change.

Its founding act is the Climate Guardians, who use angel iconography to highlight the guardianship of our natural world, and its vital role in addressing the global threat from climate change.

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Graceful, haunting and iconic, our mute Angels, adorned with sweeping wings, appear in public settings to both challenge the daily inertia we cocoon ourselves in, and rouse the deeply felt mesh of emotions people feel about climate change to create awareness and galvanize action.

The Climate Guardians play a role of peaceful resistance; appearing at major rallies, backdropping political events, and bringing a theatrical and poignant presence to public demonstrations as well as non-violent direct actions calling for climate justice.

ClimActs in Paris 2015

The Climate Guardians will travel to Paris for COP21 to represent the voices of the majority of Australians who want more action on climate change, but have gone unheeded. We hope our presence will inspire the Australian delegation to commit to earlier, sharper emissions reductions, on the global stage.

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As Australian performers in Paris during COP21, the Climate Guardians will highlight the vital role we all play in guardianship of the natural world and the Earth’s biosphere for future generations. Performances will help highlight the injustice of Australia’s disproportionate contribution to the climate crisis, while ignoring those worst affected and least responsible.

Our motivation

Measured on a per capita basis, Australia is one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. The Australian delegation to the COP21 has committed to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Yet climate scientists have called for cuts to emissions by about 65 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to keep global temperatures below 2C – itself a target many argue is arbitrary and inadequate to mitigate climate disaster. We fear our delegation will not take responsibility for our nation’s disproportionately high per capita emissions and instead prioritize plans to expand coal and gas (LNG) exports.

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This reckless approach will see Australia take far more than its fair share of the world’s carbon budget. To compromise the prospects of our own and the world’s future generations amounts to negligence in its duty of care. It amounts to indifference to the impacts already being felt by the world’s most vulnerable people, including Indigenous people.

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The Climate Guardians will bring a poignant message from Australia: that our Government’s recalcitrance on climate action does not represent the wishes of Australian people, nor our attitude as global citizens.

Background

During more than two years of performance installations and protests the Climate Guardians have become recognised for movingly and dramatically communicating the gross injustice of climate change.

In 2014 the Climate Guardians officially opened the acclaimed Lorne Sculpture Biennale with a Coal Requiem performance (below).

Coal Requiem

A performance at the G20 in Brisbane (below) won widespread acclaim and strong media attention for its dignified and peaceful nature.

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Angelic delivery

As one of their COP21 protest actions, the Climate Guardians will be hand-delivering letters and artworks from Australian Children to international delegates asking them to secure their future in a safe and just climate.

Climate angels with children

Opportunities for collaboration

In addition to providing spectacle at climate demonstrations, the Climate Guardians will appear at iconic sites across Paris during COP21, including the Jardin des Tuileries, Sacré Cœur and Tour Eiffel.

The Climate Guardians will be collaborating with a a team of filmmakers and a visual and projection artist and would welcome the opportunity to work with others to appear peacefully and poetically in Paris at climate-related events throughout COP21. With their expansive, lustrous wings and graceful bearing, the Climate Guardians lend pageant and poignancy even to the most iconic sites.

To discuss collaboration opportunities, or to arrange a performance by the Climate Guardians, please contact us.