Hello and welcome to 1.5 Degrees Live! We are excited to share our resources and experience with you so that you can share this event in your community. If you have any questions please get in touch! 1.5degreeslive@gmail.com

What is the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. In October 2018, they rocked the world with their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC. Global headlines declared that we have 12 years left to save the world.

Why is it important and why should we read it?

The report says a lot. A lot. It details the science and the likelihood of the impact of 1.5 degrees of warming as compared to 2 degrees warming on both nature and humans. It tells us we need to get our act together and transform our societies starting right now. The report is written by a huge number of scientists, references thousands of studies, and is produced by an extremely well respected international body. It is quite difficult, at times, to read aloud, and may prove challenging to listen to and comprehend. Do not despair! By bearing witness to this report we, collectively, bring awareness to the warnings and the opportunities for change. 

We want everyone to be able to play their part in the conversation about how we get out of this mess. This is too important to leave to politicians and corporations alone. We deserve this truth. We demand it.

“All pathways begin now and involve rapid and unprecedented societal transformation.”

IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees: Section 1.7

The report calls on us to transform the way we live, especially those countries that are most responsible for the current crisis. We face the biggest creative project of all time. We know our future will require creative solutions and minds of great imagination and compassion.

Who we are

We are a small group of ordinary people who are worried about the climate and ecological crisis. So we decided to read the whole IPCC report out as a show in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We asked more than 100 performers, activists, politicians, scientists, artists and members of the public to join us for a 50 hour endurance test in which we made the IPCC Report on Global Warming a presence in the Edinburgh Festival in 2019. 

Since then we have supported communities and groups to stage reading events in London, Perth (Australia) and Christchurch (New Zealand) and in 2020 we have readings in Canada, USA, UK as well as the Adelaide Fringe and we are planning more.

The report tells us that we will all need to play our part in making a fairer, more beautiful and biodiverse world. We want as many groups to share this event as possible. 

‘Embedded in the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is the opportunity for intentional societal transformation.’

 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Chapter 1.4.3

How does it work?

This is up to you. Basically it’s about getting a space, arranging for people to come and be part of the public reading and facilitating discussions around the issues raised in the report.

So far we have had 3 main ‘styles’ of event.

Theatre Show– We sold tickets and asked people to stay for 1 hour to hear 2 readers introduce themselves and read from the report. We staged it in a shipping container with space for 10 audience members but you could use any small space. The seating encouraged people to listen and engage as if we were a performance or theatre piece and because we staged it in a festival we were able to ask lots of performers, actors as well as activists and politicians. This small, intimate space led to an interesting and effective learning and sharing space.IMG_5927

Protest– We used this style of event at the Scottish Parliament as well as in Western Australia. Here the report was read as a  protest. It was read outside the Scottish Parliament to protest the recent Climate Bill, and at the gates to an art festival sponsored by a fossil fuel company in Western Australia. We did not really establish an audience but many more people were able to witness the event for a short period of time as they passed by. In Scottish Parliament we read for 5 hours each day for two days, in Australia the team read for 1 hour a day for 10 days.IMG-20190924-WA0000

Open Seating– Used in London and Christchurch, although the Christchurch event was the full 5 day reading and London was 10 hours. These events were open to the public to walk past and join us but we set up seating for audience members to be able to engage with the reading. Both events used microphones to make the readings more accessible and utilised interviews and chat between the audience and readers and ‘host’.


We invited a variety of people to read (members of the public, politicians, community leaders, teachers, activists as well as artists, authors and performers). You can choose who you think might be interested to read, and who you think will be of interest to your audience or activists. 

Other ways to use the materials

As well as a 10 and 50 hour version of the report, we have gathered shorter sections (a few minutes) and key quotes (single sentences) which you might like to use. Quotes could be put on banners, social media, to back up a media story, or used as talking points. Short sections could be used to build people’s knowledge on a particular subject, as a short reading at a performance event, or to prompt a discussion about a topic. You are welcome to use them in the way that seems most useful to you.

The language of the report can sometimes be challenging and inaccessible so we suggest you consider this in your plans. In some sessions we’ve had readers able to explain the content, in others, we’ve cut out the more technical sections, sometimes we’ve just read it all. Different approaches will suit different groups.

These are just examples of ways we have used the report in our communities and we want each group to add to our ideas, our experience and our story.


Videos of the events can be found here- https://vimeo.com/user99303115

Our website is here https://1point5degreeslive.org

Our main twitter is @1point5degrees1