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Climate Action Plan

A person shouts at the camera while wearing a tunic covered in multi-coloured strings and material. They also have a monitor on their head, which is covered in multi-coloured string
A person shouts at the camera while wearing a tunic covered in multi-coloured strings and material. They also have a monitor on their head, which is covered in multi-coloured string
Aramatou Toure, 2022 BA Textile Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL | Photograph: George Eyo

Connecting climate-oriented action into a plan for systemic change.

As one of the world’s biggest creative institutions, we must play our part in achieving climate justice.

Doing so demands institutional change at every level. We will use our creative insights to imagine and create new futures.

Four action areas

Our role in climate action

As a place where new forms of thinking and making are developed, we must:

  • use creative practice and thinking to change the world for the better
  • help nurture and support the next generation as they imagine and create new futures
  • set an example of how large organisations can redirect their activities towards climate justice.

Our Climate Action Plan is a commitment to climate justice. It recognises that the climate and biodiversity emergencies are intertwined with social, racial, and global inequalities.

Creative practitioners are ideal partners of scientists, policymakers and industries in this shared global predicament. Our projective ways of thinking and our abilities to act in contingency are essential in engaging with the complexities and uncertainties around us.

— Professor Jeremy Till, Professor of Architecture Central Saint Martins and UAL Climate Emergency Lead 2019-2022
A hand using a scientific pipette to draw colourful liquid, next to a plate with a colourful design and two oyster shells
Cassie Quinn, 2021 MA Biodesign, Central Saint Martins, UAL | Photograph: Cassie Quinn

Creativity and climate

In his 2016 book, The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh asks why writers, like himself, have failed to live up to the challenges posed by the climate crisis.

"When future generations look back…” he writes, “they will certainly blame the leaders and politicians of the time...But they may well hold artists and writers to be equally culpable - for the imagining of possibilities is not, after all, the job of politicians and bureaucrats."

For Amitav Ghosh, the climate crisis represents a failure of vision. The purpose of this action plan is to develop these transformative capabilities within UAL and beyond.

A glass sphere with electrical equipment inside it, surrounded by glass baubles with rocks inside, connected to small branches by electrical wires
Hyejo Shin, 2022 MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL | Photograph: Hyejo Shin
It has always been the task of creative people to imagine new possibilities, and bring them to life. The climate crisis must be no exception. We must act now: for ourselves, for the planet, and for future generations who will remember this as the moment we not only imagined a better world but helped to create it.

— James Purnell, President and Vice Chancellor UAL

What we're doing now

  • A person stands and looks at cardboard open wardrobe with a jacket hanging inside it
    Zeyu Wang, 2022 MA Narrative Environments, Central Saint Martins, UAL

    Climate Action Plan case study: Critical Climate Unit

    BA (Hons) Critical Practice in Fashion Media at London College of Fashion (LCF) has developed a new unit entitled ‘Critical Climate’. The unit equips students with the ability to identify and respond to climate narratives and theories. Enabling experimentation with different forms of activism within the context of environmental justice.

  • Top down view of students gathered around a table looking at items
    MA Material Futures work in progress presentation in The Street at Central Saint Martins | Photograph: John Sturrock

    Climate Action Plan case study: MA Global Collaborative Design Practice

    MA Global Collaborative Design Practice is a two year Masters course at Camberwell College of Arts focusing on taking action on global challenges. It is led in partnership with the Kyoto Institute of Technology and offers a dual award. The course prepares students for effective collaborations. It equips them with the skills to address complex problems.

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