Shaping a ‘just and green cultural recovery’

Olafur Eliasson, Ice Watch London

The newly formed Cultural Renewal Taskforce must embed environmental practice at the heart of its strategy. Image: Olafur Eliasson, Ice Watch London. _andrew, Flickr.

Leading cultural figures are calling on Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, to ensure that the newly formed Cultural Renewal Taskforce embeds environmental practice at the heart of its strategy.

A letter sent by Julie’s Bicycle, the leading UK charity working with the cultural sector to promote environmental sustainability and climate action, to the Secretary of State makes the case for a just and green cultural recovery strategy.

The letter has been endorsed by Sir Mark Rylance and Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys and cultural leaders including Maria Balshaw of The Tate, Nick Merriman of The Horniman Museum, Louise Stewart, CEO of Alexandra Palace, Richard Mantle, GM Opera North and Music Declares Emergency, Heritage Declares Emergency, Culture Declares Emergency and Architects Declare Emergency.


Leading music industry executives Peter Quicke, Chair of AIM, Merck Mecuriadis, Laurence Bell, owner of Domino Recordings, and Caius Pawson of Young Turks / XL Recordings have also made public their support.

Alison Tickell, MD Of Julie’s Bicycle said: “Government must do the right thing now and tackle both the climate crisis and systemic racism together. A just and green cultural recovery programme offers a once in a generation chance to do this.”

Frances Morris, director Tate Modern said: “Government commitment to a long-lasting – and inclusive – green recovery programme is a crucial, and urgently required, step to creating a future in which we can not just survive but thrive. Only with great leadership and widespread collaboration can we meet this challenge. Time is running out.”

London Mayoral candidate and grime artist, Drillminister said: “It’s time to listen to the people. Get a just green deal.”


Julie’s Bicycle is in prime position to suggest a progressive, quantifiable and effective renewal strategy with environmental concerns at its heart.

Their work over thirteen years within UK culture and beyond has established best practice and innovation that yields both environmental and financial gains.

Amongst a host of examples, the pioneering Arts Council England programme in partnership with Arts Council England has reduced energy consumption by 23 percent whilst delivering savings of £16.5 million for portfolio organisations since 2012, demonstrating how sustainability and profitability can coexist.


Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist’s content editor. This article is based on a press release from Julie’s Bicycle. 


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