Animating and singing our way to a Low Carbon Future…

Low Carbon, High Priority
Low Carbon, High Priority
Some 100 world leaders are due to gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York this week for the highest level summit meeting on climate change ever convened.

As the New York Times reported: “In convening the meeting, the United Nations is hoping that collectively the leaders can summon the will to overcome narrow nationalinterests and give the negotiators the marching orders needed to cut at least the outline of a deal.”

Recognising climate change as one of the greatest social, economic, political and environmental challenges facing our generation, the British Council has launched the Low Carbon Futures project. It has focus on mitigating the effects of climate change in an urban environment. It is part of the British Council’s major global climate security project and India is, along with China, one of the top two priority countries for this work. Sri Lanka, with less than 2% of India’s population and correspondingly lower carbon emissions, is a lower priority.

One strand in the Low Carbon Futures project is to engage communications professionals – journalists, writers and film makers to help them better understand the issues around mitigation and get across key messages to readers/viewers more effectively.

As part of this project, the British Council collaborated with Music Television (MTV) to produce a music video and two viral video animations on climate friendly, low-carbon lifestyles.

British Council’s first Music Video on Climate Change produced by MTV features VJ Cyrus Sahukar. Combining animation, lyrics and melody, the video talks about how small individual actions can help conserve natural resources and save the climate. MTV VJs have a cult following and the video ends with Cyrus Sahukar, MTV’s face in India, encouraging young people to take that first step. The video was launched in New Delhi on 1 June 2009 in the presence of 50 International Climate Champions from across India & Sri Lanka.

According to the British Council India website, “The video has created a flutter and there is growing demand to screen the video on various institutional networks across India and even outside fulfilling higher level objectives of impacting young urban aspirants. Young Indians are an emerging generation who are ambitious and internationally minded with the potential to be future leaders. The MTV video aims to influence this influential group.”

The Low Carbon Futures project has also released two short, powerful, animated messages that are ‘tongue-in-cheek’- making use of everyday events with a touch of humour. “We are hoping that the messages will be seen as creative, funny and innovative to tempt the recipient to forward it to their peer group. As the virus spreads, so will the message. The British High Commission and the The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) are also promoting these virals to spread the message amongst the staff members and their external audiences,” says the project website.

The first viral video animation is called Green Journey, and shows a little known benefit of car pooling. Its blurb reads, simply: Meet 3 Mr Rights on the wrong side of the road!

The second viral video animation is called Play Cupid, and gives us one more reason to plant more trees! Blurb: Lets leave the young couples in peace and solitude of nature!

Watch out for more interesting videos from British Council India’s YouTube channel.

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

One thought on “Animating and singing our way to a Low Carbon Future…”

  1. If VJ Cyrus Sahukar can do to Indian music scene what Michael Jackson did at global level with his Earth Song and other pro-green songs, it would make a real difference!

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