David Bowie, Björk, Radiohead and more call for ‘ambitious’ climate change deal in open letter

Other artists to sign the petition include Coldplay, Damon Albarn and Iggy Pop

A host of famous musicians have called on negotiators at next week’s climate summit in Paris to secure a “ambitious” deal to “come together and intensify our efforts” against climate change, signing a new open letter and petition.

The COP21 conference takes place in the French capital from Monday (November 30), with the likes of Damon Albarn, Björk, David Bowie, Radiohead, Iggy Pop, Coldplay and more signing a new petition that calls the summit an “historic opportunity”.

Other musicians to sign the petition include Robert Plant, Bobby Gillespie, Chrissie Hynde, Leona Lewis, Guy Garvey, David Gilmour, Courtney Barnett, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Henry Rollins, Pet Shop Boys and KT Tunstall.

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Various artists, actors and celebrities have also signed the petition, including Steve Coogan and Emma Thompson.

World leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping and David Cameron will all be in attendance at the summit.

Read the full open letter below:

Dear Executive Secretary Figueres and COP 21 President, Minister Fabius,

We, the creative community as represented by the signatories below, ask all those responsible for negotiating the post 2020 climate change framework to agree an ambitious and inspiring international agreement.

The creative community – design, advertising, broadcasting, publishing, film, gaming, fashion, literature, music, the performing and visual arts, galleries and museums – can make a unique contribution to the global sustainability challenge. Collectively we shape not just our material world, but our conceptual world too, including the values that underpin our lives. The creative industries generate wealth and employment but we also innovate, we shape and express cultural values, influencing how people feel and the choices they make: as such we have huge potential to prompt, and reinforce, positive and sustainable change.

We are deeply concerned that our global economic and industrial systems are accelerating rates of extinction, desertification and soil depletion, degrading ecosystems, acidifying and littering our rivers and oceans, and resulting in a relentless rise in greenhouse gas emissions driving irreversible climate change. In short, we are overwhelming the planet’s life support systems. The outcomes of COP21 and the political decisions taken over the next months will determine many of the long-term conditions that will affect us today and for many generations to come.

In combining our collective strengths the creative community will amplify your commitments to positive change and strengthen the implementation of good policy decisions you make now. An international policy framework with a long term and realistic goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions below 2 degrees of warming will give us the confidence to deploy our considerable energy towards a sustainable and equitable future. A healthy creative community relies on collaboration. Using this as a first principle for action we will:

Take action ourselves to make our businesses and our industries more sustainable, actively managing our impacts.
Speak out to our audiences and customers, using our creative voices to affect the public narrative and create social consensus for action on climate change and environmental degradation.
Work together to influence and support policy makers who have the capacity to accelerate positive change, to make the right decisions.
Take a leadership role with a cultural mandate for action, which exceeds the commitments of governments.
Do what we do best and use our creativity and our collaborative culture to help find, and scale, solutions to global environmental challenges.
We ask you to agree to a comprehensive, binding international framework agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, with mechanisms to assess, review and revise commitments over the long term.

We ask for:

An ambitious commitment to climate action, starting now, that will limit future global warming to below 2.0°C (3.6 °F) relative to pre-industrial levels
A legally robust and accountable global climate governance framework and implementation strategy that we will be able to support
Realistic delivery timetables which account for the long term and which enable us to invest in future-focused and collaborative creative practice
Financial mechanisms to stimulate extensive infrastructure for poorer nations to support them in achieving their reduction commitments while permitting equitable development
Significant investment in low carbon infrastructures which we can champion and deploy
Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals
We understand the gravity of climate change and the historic opportunity represented by COP21. We will come together and intensify our efforts, but we need you to give us confidence in a sustainable future, to share our ambition, and recognize our capacity to strengthen your leadership.

We Must, We Can, and together We Will act on climate change.