Dubai: In an unprecedented move, a bastion of dedication to entertainment and culture has risen within the heart of Expo City Dubai. As the sun sets on COP28, the stage is ablaze with the birth of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion in the Green Zone – a ground for innovation and creativity.
The the meticuously-crafted pavilion embraces the spirit of entertainment and culture, echoing of passion and fervour resound as four of climate advocates unite to orchestrate this symphony of eco-consciousness.
Pooja Tilvawala, a luminary amongst COP28 delegates and the maestro of Programming & Youth Engagement, stands alongside Kirsten Wessel, a Communications Specialist at the United Nations Joint SDG Fund, both visionaries who breathe life into this monumental endeavour.
Samuel Rubin, the Director of Impact & Partnerships and a Co-founder of the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion, casts his influence, weaving threads of impact and innovation into the very fabric of this historic venture. Gunjan Nanda, the Director of Admin & Operations, a stalwart in her own right, stands shoulder to shoulder as a Co-founder, ensuring the pavilion’s operational symphony resonates flawlessly.
At COP28, this quartet of pioneers has etched their names into the very core of climate advocacy. The Entertainment + Culture Pavilion does so with the weight of history upon its shoulders – a beacon of hope, a sanctuary for the arts amidst the tumultuous seas of climate change deliberations.
Culture, entertainment, heritage, tradition
“This is the first time a pavilion has been dedicated to conversations and interactions around culture, entertainment, heritage and tradition,” said Nanda.
“It is a platform where we have been able to gather different leaders, storytellers, communicators, activists and advocates so they can share their experience and journey. It is the first time in the history of a Conference of Parties of UNFCCC where we have been able to unite culture in the space of climate action and social impact justice.”
Rubin said: “The pavilion is a very dynamic platform with people from all over the world. Culture and entertainment have historically been powerful drivers to instigate dialogues that catalyse social, economic, and political change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has high confidence in the potential of narrative shifts, social influencers, and thought leaders to drive widespread adoption of emissions-reducing technologies, behaviors, and lifestyles.”
Rubin added: “These cultural efforts create favourable conditions for the implementation of ambitious policy solutions. The IPCC estimates that new social norms require the committed engagement of roughly 10–30 percent of social influencers and thought leaders. We are glad that the pavilion is here at COP 28.”
The main mission of The Entertainment + Culture Pavilion at COP28 is to serve as a bridge between the UNFCCC and the creative industries, providing sectoral representation and unity in influential decision-making settings.
“It facilitates interdisciplinary activations and programming events that inspire concrete climate action, fostering collaboration and leveraging the power of culture and entertainment to engage a global audience in the fight against climate change,” said Rubin.
“Our mission is to provide a platform for collaboration, education, and inspiration, and to establish a vital connection between the creative industries and the global climate discourse. By fostering unity among creative professionals, and supporting diverse programming events and interdisciplinary collaborations, the Pavilion seeks to catalyse tangible climate action within the creative sectors and beyond.
"Its ultimate goal is to leverage the influence of the creative industries to raise awareness, advocate for climate policies, and inspire concrete steps towards a sustainable and resilient future for all.”
Nanda added: “The main mission of the pavilion is to unite regions around the world, who have their stories and their experiences underrepresented. We often forget that culture needs to be talked about and how it’s connected to climate impact and climate. That is why culture has become a huge point of conversation at COP28 and why now it has started to be included in policy negotiations and discussions.”
Rubin said the Entertainment + Culture Pavilion comes with five key objectives, with one of them being to increase ambition and awareness in the entertainment industry for decarbonisation and alignment with Paris Agreement goals.
“We are also keen on fostering interdisciplinary collaboration for artistic climate expression and resilience storytelling, establish a global hub for cross-cultural exchanges, frontline community spotlighting, and Global Majority cultural celebration, offer infrastructure and mutual aid to existing climate-culture initiatives to share knowledge and prevent duplication of efforts, demonstrate the need for funding from climate-focused donors to expand cultural spaces like the E+C Pavilion.”