LONDON — Vivienne Westwood is among a cohort of celebrities, children and business leaders participating in the “Letters to the Earth” project, in which she expresses her commitment to helping the earth thrive.
Letters to the Earth is a global campaign in response to the planetary crisis that launched in collaboration with Culture Declares Emergency in 2019. It invites the public to write a letter to or from the earth, or to other species, people in positions of power, or future or past generations.
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Contributing authors so far include Yoko Ono, Indigenous activists in the Amazon and Philippines, climate scientists and policy experts, children, teachers, nurses and journalists.
The latest project — which will release videos filmed at Shakespeare’s Globe theater and letters on the Letters to the Earth social media platforms and select media outlets each day beginning a week from the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, on Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland — aims to inspire people everywhere to add their voices in a global call for ambitious climate action by world leaders.
This year, participants include Love Island presenter and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Laura Whitmore, “Skins” star Freya Mavor, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors Steve Waygood, founder of Riverford Guy Singh-Watson, climate justice activist Daze Aghaji, and “Britain’s Got Talent” semifinalists SOS From the Kids.
Kay Michael, cofounding director at Letters to the Earth, said they are building a new story, one “where everyone everywhere is inspired to dream big and take courageous action to make the world greener, fairer and more resilient.”
“As the U.K. takes up its presidential role on the global stage at COP26, we’re excited to bring together a diverse cast of changemakers to Shakespeare’s Globe stage. From within this national and historic institution, we aim to raise our national ambition on climate change. The future needs us all,” she added.
Westwood said, “The world economy means ‘household management.’ Earth is our home, so on a global scale economy means sustainability. We don’t have that. We have no future. We have a financial system based on perpetual trade wars and competitions.…True economy is based on the value of the land. The land belongs to no one.”
The campaign will culminate at and during COP26, where all letters received will be distributed and read at events during the conference. Delegates, business leaders, Indigenous leaders, youth activists and Glaswegian locals are all invited to take part.
In early November, Letters to the Earth will host a public performance reading at The Briggait in Glasgow, and a workshop for leaders across sectors, including a group of Indigenous leaders from delegations including The Mother Earth and Minga Indigina, at the former Bank of Scotland building, which is taken over by Hub Culture & Bill McDonough as a “hub for innovators to heal the climate while designing for sustainability.”