Reposting from Artists & Climate Change, Kyoto Forever? UN Climate Conferences as Political Theatre is a valuable exploration of the ways in which theatre can open up and imagine global environment policy-making, particularly as enacted in UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conventions of the Parties (UNFCCC COPs, particularly with COP26 coming to Glasgow in November.
Perhaps the most consequential theatrical forums of the moment are the UN climate conferences, or COP meetings, which occur every year in a different city and at which the governments of the world negotiate coordinated attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Or at least they perform diplomatic negotiation and perform commitments to reduce emissions. Global emissions continue to rise as climate impacts worsen, heightening the fictive, performative impression given by these conferences. At times they appear to be nothing but deceitful political theatre.
Chris Fremantle, Anne Douglas and Dave Pritchard have been working with global environment policy in a chapter and a timeline to be published in the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Art and the Public Realm. Addressing the works of Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b. 1932) in parallel with the step-change in global environment policy-making in the early 1970s the new texts explore different understandings of time.