Two hundred of the world's leading health journals which released a joint statement, are pleading global leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, which they say is the greatest threat to public health1.
Ambitious climate action has now become a matter of urgency according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)2. Especially since the initial NDC Synthesis report, and the final NDC publication, showed that the world is not on track to reach the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in accordance with the Paris Agreement to address climate change.
Therefore, World Leaders are urged to focus on the theme, ‘Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people and revitalize the United Nations’ ahead of the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, and the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK in November.
“Global Governance may sound lofty or abstract, but it is not” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he unveiled vision for future-oriented UN report titled ‘Our Common Agenda’.
During this International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development that has witnessed the rapid spread of the highly transmissible variants of covid, amidst the worst wildfire season on record, I am participating in fifteen international art shows during September, with the theme of a sustainable and resilient recovery from the covid-19 pandemic with my "Breathe Life" and “Art in the Time of Corona” series of art shows. In my art shows, I explore the theme of pollution’s impact on corona. Here are my art shows running parallel to UNGA:
Global Week #ACT4SDGs
The Global Week to Act for SDGs runs from September 17-28, begins on World Patient Safety Day on September 17. In nine events, I will exhibit The Time of Corona series of art shows on World Patient Safety Day at the Patient Safety Movement Organization; The CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change; The #SolidarityShows: COVID-19 Arts Initiative World Health Organization & Create 2030; The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, September 10-173; The Forli Vernice Art Fair, Italy September 17-194; the #Act4SDGs September 17- 28; the European Sustainable Development Week from September 20-265; the 8th International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Sri Lanka September 21-226; and World Peace Day September 21th which has a theme of “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.7”
The global week to act for Sustainable Development Goals is a global campaign aiming to drive action and change while reminding world leaders that people around the world are doing their part to accelerate progress on the SDGs. Held during the high-level week of United Nations General Assembly, Climate Week New York City, this year’s Global Week to #Act4SDGs raises awareness for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sustainable green recovery plan from the pandemic necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health, and inequality; and implementing ambitious climate change policies, which align with the Paris agreement. The United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a call for action by all countries, people to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. More important than ever, these goals provide a critical framework for a COVID-19 green recovery.
My art shows—with paintings that were acknowledged in numerous United Nations art competitions— reflect these themes.
Climate Week NYC
Art in the Time of Corona Series of Art Shows by Selva Ozelli for Climate Week NYC
Climate Week New York City is held from September 20-26 and will include both virtual and physical events hosted by the Climate Group in conjunction with the United Nations, and in partnership with UNFCCC COP 26 and the City of New York.
Climate Week NYC aims to provide a platform for showcasing leading climate actions organized into 10 themes: built environment, energy, industry, food, environmental justice, transport, finance, sustainable living, nature, and policy.
Ingmar Rentzhog, the Founder of We Don’t Have Time who is hosting an event www.wedonthavetime.org/circularity at Climate Week NYC in his interview with TiredEarth explained “when I had my first kid. Becoming a father got me thinking more about the world of tomorrow, the world my children was going to inherent, and so I started reading about the climate crisis. At first I thought: It cannot be this bad. If it was, everybody would talk about it, and our leaders would focus all their energy on trying to solve this crisis. But as I dug deeper into it, I realized that it actually was far worse than I thought it was, and that it still was not taken seriously.”
In a hopeful development, this year ahead of Climate Week NYC, in back-to-back landmark decisions, top government officials were held to be negligent in tackling air pollution which has worsened the impact of the global pandemic.
An Indonesian court, in a landmark decision has ruled that President Joko Widodo and other top officials have been negligent in tackling air pollution, since Jakarta's particulate pollution levels are six times the World Health Organization's guideline level, according to the University of Chicago's Air Quality Life Index.
France’s former health minister Agnès Buzyn also has been charged over her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic after investigators at a special court in Paris concluded there were grounds to prosecute her. Buzyn said in January 2020 that there was “practically no risk” of importing COVID-19 from the Chinese city at the origin of the outbreak, Wuhan, and then said the “risk of a spread of the coronavirus among the population is very small”.
In interviews with TiredEarth, Viviane Gosselin, the Director of Collections and Exhibitions for the Museum of Vancouver and a member of the Advisory Group for the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice and myself explained “I just want to stress that it’s clear […] that social and environmental justice are interconnected. That the interdisciplinary nature of environmental connections span between literature, art, science and much more according to Ava Hedeker, the founder of F(earth)er Magazine. And that art as well as museums and NGOs play a part in raising awareness about climate change according to Angela Haseltine Pozzi, Founder and Artistic Director of the Washed Ashore Project - Art to Save the Sea; Semine Hazar, Artist; Ilhan Sayin, Artist; Fatma Kadir, Artist ; Myself, Artist; Cecilia Lam, Founding Director of CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change; Captain Raymond Ashley, President and CEO, Maritime Museum of San Diego; Patrick Hamilton, Director of Global Change Initiatives, Science Museum of Minnesota; Diane Drubay, Founder of We Are Museums; Florian Schlederer, Founder of Museums For Future; Cassia Patel, Program Director at Oceanic Global Foundation; and Austin Dinesh Joseph, Head of Operations at TIIKM Conferences.
Tired Earth Interviews can be found here: https://www.tiredearth.com/interviews
Other art shows during September:
2021 Clean Air for Blue Skies, in Nairobi, New York and Bangkok (Breathe Life) Sept 7;
2021 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Sep 16 at the UN Biodiversity;
2021 Net Zero Festival London from September 29 to October 1, 2021.
2021 World Maritime Day, Sep 30 Maritime Museum of San Diego, exhibiting Art in the Time of Corona as part of the TiredEarth #Maskuary Campaign.
First Origins Exhibition by DoinGudHQ, (NFT) end of September date TBA – my exhibiting my first NFT Recovery Rose with sale proceeds donated to fund SDG 17 causes around the world.