NO AWARDS ON A DEAD PLANET: Extinction Rebellion UK refuse shortlisting in the Design Museum’s Beazley Designs of the Year 2019

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  • Extinction Rebellion UK refuse shortlisting in the Design Museum’s Beazley Designs of the Year 2019 and “call upon other designers who have been invited to contribute to the show to follow our lead and also Tell The Truth by refusing inclusion in the exhibition.”
  • The annual award is sponsored by the insurance company Beazley, who offer “speciality environmental liability insurance”

The annual exhibition, billed as “the Design Museum’s annual celebration of the most original and exciting products, concepts and designers in the world today” is due to open at the Kensington Museum in September.

Extinction Rebellion UK are refusing to be part of the shortlisted exhibition due to the show’s sponsors, the insurance company Beazley. Beazley offer insurance in the categories of environmental liability, war, aviation, energy and weather.

Tim Crosland​, from Extinction Rebellion UK’s Legal Strategy team, said:

”The insurance industry is the one part of our economy that is designed to have regard to the longer term future. As Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has ​indicated, the climate crisis is an urgent threat to the insurance industry itself. Already insurers are going out of business in California, unable to meet their liabilities from wildfires. ​More and more property in the UK is becoming uninsurable due to flood risk. Yet the industry is failing to disclose the resulting financial risks to the ordinary people who are their customers. People are paying into life insurance policies on a monthly basis, without being warned of the risk the policy may never pay out, because of the fundamental risk the climate crisis presents to the industry’s business model.

We call upon the Insurance Industry to tell the truth to the British Public, which is that without urgent and radical action on the climate and wider ecological crisis their insurance policies are at risk.

Unless and until they do the right thing we cannot accept this award nomination.”

Clare Farrell a spokesperson for the Extinction Rebellion UK Art Group, who are responsible for the movement’s designed output, said:

“This is yet another example of a major cultural institution attempting to Artwash the unacceptable behaviours of its financial backers. For Extinction Rebellion to be co-opted by an organisation like Beazley runs counter to our movement’s values. We are in the business of refusing business as usual, and the insurance industry, which supports the mitigation of financial loss caused by immoral environmental practices is not something we can have anything to do with.

We call upon other designers who have been invited to contribute to the show to follow our lead and also Tell The Truth by refusing inclusion in the exhibition.”

Art Group colleague Clive Russell added:

“The Design Museum says in its blurb that the exhibition allows us to ‘explore how the future is fast becoming the present’. We don’t need The Design Museum to be exploring this. We can see how the future is fast becoming the present. It is happening before our very eyes in the form of the 6th mass extinction, and in the form of climate and ecological breakdown. For the majority world, our northern hemisphere’s future of rising seas and crop-destroying temperatures and weather is already their present.”

Notes to editors

About Extinction Rebellion:

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

UK website: https://rebellion.earth/

International website: https://xrebellion.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion

Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/

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