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Welcome to 1.5 Degrees Live! Join us


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!

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-

Our website is here

Our main twitter is @1point5degrees1

1.5 Degrees Live! Western Australia

We have been so proud to be a part of the actions in Perth this past couple of weeks.

See news from Perth on the link below.

Protesters rock Fringe








Degrees Live! Christchurch

Christchurch Image

24 January 2020

Major Climate Change Event in Christchurch’s City Centre

More than 110 people from all walks of life – musicians, scientists, politicians, activists, journalists, comedians, farmers and more – are getting together in Christchurch for the New Zealand premier of a free, public performance of the most important document on climate change ever released!

1.5 Degrees Live! is an attempt to generate engagement and discussion around perhaps the most important document that you’ve never read. In a powerful demonstration of the breadth and depth of concern felt across the country, 116 individuals are working together to stage a mass reading of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Climate Change.

Readers include politicians Chlöe Swarbrick and Megan Woods, Christchurch’s mayor Lianne Dalziel and ECAN chair Jenny Hughey, NZ-music legends Delaney Davidson and Roy Montgomery, school strikers Lucy Gray and Mia Sutherland, Christchurch developer Mike Percasky and ChristchurchNZ CEO Joanna Norris, and more than a hundred more.

Event co-organiser Ryan Reynolds says “We’re particularly pleased to welcome contributions from Canterbury University’s Bronwyn Hayward, one of the report’s lead authors, and other scientists and academics including VUW’s James Renwick, one of the best communicators around when it comes to clear and rational discussion of climate change. The event is a great chance for visitors to sit down and talk with influential and interesting individuals for a discussion on our global future.”

From 11am to 7pm, Sunday 26 January until Saturday 1 February, readers will take turns to read the report from an open sided shipping container on the Christchurch Art Gallery forecourt. The full report is expected to take 50 hours, and readers will be announced on each of the seven days of the event.

Event co-organiser Davy Simpson says “The IPCC report makes it clear that there are solutions to many of the problems we face, if we can learn to shape our society around them. These are important conversations and we believe we should have them face to face rather than shouting across our social media. We are here to make it clear that caring for our planet and the desire for a healthy future is something we all have in common.”
For further information please contact:
Event Organisers
Ryan Reynolds
Davy Simpson

Selected reader images can be found here.


About 1.5 Degrees Live!
1.5 Degrees Live! was first performed in August 2019 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and it has since been read at the Scottish Parliament in Hollyrood, at Westminster Abbey and in Perth, WA. It is currently programmed as part of the Adelaide Fringe and it will be performed in cities around the world including Venice, Melbourne and Perth in 2020.

1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch is not affiliated with any organisation, activist group, political party or company. 1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch is just a handful of concerned humans.

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Our Key Objectives for 1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch

To bear witness. This could be the most important document ever produced.

To move beyond click-bait headlines. This action will generate a sense of public ownership over a document that allows us to understand how we are changing our world.

To learn. The collective reading means we’re learning together. This is key as we’re going to need to work together to fix this.

To stand up. This is a powerful demonstration of the breadth and depth of concern felt by citizens from across our society. We need to make it clear that this is not a fringe viewpoint – this is a mainstream understanding of facts.

To open up. By democratising the science, we hope to open the way to a democratised response. This is a way to encourage and normalise discussions around the need for social transformation – if we’re going to have to redesign our society, who do we want those decisions to be made by?

To speak truth to power. This allows us to say to decision takers and policy makers ‘we’ve read the science – have you?’

To hope. The report is not all doom and gloom – there are solutions to all the problems we face, if we can learn to shape our society around them.


1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch


First held in August 2019 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 1.5 Degrees Live! was a 50-hour mass reading of the most important report on climate change ever released. It was read by over 140 people from all walks of live – from politicians to sports personalities to activists. It has since been read at the Scottish Parliament in Hollyrood, and at Westminster Abbey; it is currently programmed as part of the Adelaide Fringe and formed part of the Climate Change Competition – The Grand Challenge at the Shylock Association of Theatrical University Center of Venice in October 2019.

1.5 Degrees Live! is an attempt to generate engagement and discussion around the most important document that you’ve never read.

Twitter @1point5degrees1

1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch will follow the same format, taking place over a seven-day period during January/February 2020. Timed to coincide with the 2020 Buskers Festival  it will capitalise on the festival’s foot traffic and engaged public. We are looking at sites  on the Gallery Forecourt. 

The readings will take place in a modified open sided shipping container, and we will activate the surrounding space as a place to gather, talk and take action. The container provides space for branding and decorations, and we will make this as visually attractive and appealing as possible, including working with local artists or schools. We expect to provide space for gathering, discussion, seating and refreshments.  We will be bringing a diverse range or interesting and influential speakers to the Gallery to talk during the week.


In 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set out for the first time the pace and depth of change required in order to combat the existential crisis humankind now finds itself in. The report was quickly distilled down to one key takeaway message by the media – we have twelve years to do something. And it quickly became mired in politics and inertia. 

The report states that ‘Embedded in the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is the opportunity for intentional societal transformation.’ 1.5 Degrees Live! aims to encourage as many people as possible to engage in shaping this societal transformation through the democratisation of this report. It helps us to hold decision and policy makers to account by allowing us to say ‘We have read the science. Have you?’

Why here?

We urgently need to take control of the narrative around climate change, and resist efforts to continue portraying it as a political choice. The 2018 IPCC report has largely been distilled down to one key takeaway message by the media – we have twelve years to do something. 1.5 Degrees Live brings people together to bear witness to, discuss and share this incredibly complex and important document. 

We will be approaching readers from across the political and social spectrum and by activating the potential of the site for people to gather and actively participate in the event, this project will contribute to cementing the Gallery’s identity as a key public space in Ōtautahi.

We are running out of time and the city needs to get behind the public in its need and desire for change. Both CCC and its affiliated organisation ECAN agrees that this is an emergency. It is all our jobs to address this issue.

If not us, then who?


1.5 Degrees Live! was created by Katie Smith and Paddy Dunne, with a large team of volunteers. 1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch will be managed by a team of volunteers, and draw upon the expertise of a number of key local professionals. The local organisers are Ryan Reynolds, co-founder of Gap Filler who brings a huge amount of experience in activating spaces, and David Simpson, who brings experience as a writer and communicator to the project. We’re also working with Lizzie Davidson of Brown Bread for communications, and Leon White for design. The original organisers of the project, Katie Smith and Paddy Dunne are relatives of David’s and we have full access to all their invaluable experience in running the project.

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