In October 2019 the Nordic Ministers for Environment and Climate signed a declaration to strengthen the Nordic co-operation on oceans and climate. The Nordic Council of Ministers wanted a film to communicate that the impact of climate change is already being felt in the seas and if the world fails to act now, the damage will be extremely serious. The film shows how the Nordic countries take some serious climate action and also motivated talks during the Nordic Climate Action Weeks, which was happening at the same time as the UN Climate negotiations, COP25. The film was distributed and spread through the social media network, We Don’t Have Time, and #NordicClimateActionWeeks.
Nordic Declaration on Oceans and Climate
The film “Nordic Declaration on Oceans and Climate” was solved by using Ministers and young activists as main characters. The film starts with several Nordic climate activists sending video messages from their “back yards” to the Nordic Ministers at a summit. Footage of the Ministers coming together is mixed with the dramatic message from the activists: “something is seriously wrong with how we manage our oceans”, “when the oceans change the climate changes, and the entire planet” and “without the oceans there would be no life on earth, so why do we so frequently forget about the ocean when we talk about climate issues?”.
The film builds urgency, but suddenly pauses when the Ministers take a break to watch the messages from the activists on their phones. This method brings them together without meeting physically and connects activism with politics. The film also uses a lot of stock shots from boats, coastlines, wildlife and the Arctic. A narrator communicates the worrying facts about dead zones in the oceans, increasing acidification and warming sea temperatures. The music is both dramatic and energising.
The film was made in a long and short version. This type of documentary film needs a lot of logistical planning so that all the participants understand the context they are part of and agree on the message. The film crew also has to be flexible and adaptable to make the most of the few hours they have with the Ministers.