Beginning this early December and almost at its completion, the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is holding the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties in Paris, France. For short, the conference is called – COP21. As there are increasing concerns on global warming and climate change, the world is watching as over (a record) 190 countries will meet to talk and take action on our shared environmental impact. However, many are concerned with how much actual change will come of this conference. One such group is, Brandalism – a group centered on reclaiming the public realm from corporate control and is the biggest anti-advertising campaign in world history. Brandalism has organized over 80 artists, from 19 countries to also converge on Paris and take back public space by replacing advertisements with original artworks directed toward COP21 and environmental change. Some of the artists included are Gilf, Paul Insect, Escif, Aaron Li-Hill, Jimmy Cauty, Neta Harari, and David de la Mano, just to name a few. Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climate talks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris by November 30th – ahead of the beginning of the United Nations summit.
Brandalism is concerned about the talks (like many other individuals, groups, and organizations), because the COP summits have been increasingly dominated by corporate interests, and other major polluters include energy companies, car manufacturers and banks. They write, “…In 20 years of UN climate change talks, global emissions have risen by 63%. This year’s talks in Paris are being held at an airport and sponsored by an airline. Brandalism aims to creatively expose this corporate greenwashing.”
COP summits have been happening since 1995, where the first was held in Berlin. Since, there have been several others happening in cities like Kyoto, Montreal, New Deli, Copenhagen, Durban, Cancun, and Lima. What makes COP 21 significant is that will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. Great work, Brandalism, and the 80 international artists they wrangled together to take action! Be sure to check out their website for the full rundown!