How to declare?
As an established organisation you will need to discuss the process with your board, leaders or stakeholders. Here are some steps you might take:
Step 1: Do we all understand the Emergency? Do we have a sense of what it means for each of us? How will it affect the mission and longevity of our organisation?
Step 2: What impact do we hope to make by declaring? Who do we hope to influence? What ultimate change do we want to see?
Step 3: What do we have to offer? What do we have to offer to our local civic institutions and communities in this Emergency? Your assets can include people, qualities of practice, ideas and values, not just resources.
Step 4: What actions can we take beyond a declaration? How will we show our pledges are meaningful? What changes are we willing to make to respond to the Emergency?
Step 5: Do we all agree that we should go ahead? Use an inclusive process to agree, taking time to consult and involve stakeholders, and consider funders. For charities, the Board of Trustees would need to be confident that any declaration or related campaigning "must be undertaken by a charity only in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes. You could add to your Declaration text a form of words such as "the Emergency endangers our ability to deliver [insert charitable objective] because [insert reasons]". If we can’t reach agreement as a whole, can smaller teams or individuals get support to take some action?
Step 6: How will we make the declaration? What text do we want to issue? How will we adapt the template text (below)? How will we announce it?
However creative you want to be in your announcement, please work with us so that we can capture and share news on who is declaring. Register with us using this form. Use the kitemarks we've supplied. We can include you in press releases, open letters, or celebratory events such as the launch that took place on 3rd April. If you all agree you're not ready, commit to returning to the decision.
Step 7: How will we evaluate it? How will we check in to maintain action and see if it is having an impact? How will we review change at all levels, including operations, programming, partnerships and ethos? Who is responsible amongst us?
Here is the declaration text that you could download here. You could adapt this declaration text, including changing the pledges and adding your own detail about how your organisation intends to respond.
We ( add name) declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
We pledge to work with and support our community and local government in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:
1. We will tell the Truth
Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
We will communicate with citizens and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero* by 2025.
We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where we interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
We will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice / our organisation can regenerate the planet’s resources.
3. We are committed to Justice
The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours.
We will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed.
We will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles*, led by and for marginalised people.
See below for advice on deciding how to adapt, apply and communicate this.
*Net zero means that on balance one's activities are zero emissions, taking into account all possible Greenhouse Gas emissions and actions taken to mitigate or offset those emissions.
*Awareness of how systems of power combine to multiply the impacts on those who are most marginalised in society.