Ask Andrew Dowling what he believes to be the two most important questions in the world, and he will tell you: “Why?” and “Why not?” This handful of words, he claims, could make all the difference in the future fight against climate change. Dowling is MD of GPY&R Sydney, one of five WPP agencies globally that has teamed up with former US President and environmental lobbyist Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project as part of an international campaign designed to shine a spotlight on world leaders’ policies regarding carbon emissions.
“In any language across the world, children ask why and why not from a very young age, over and over again,” says Dowling. “They ask the first to try to understand the world, and the second when they want to change that world. We want people of all ages to continue to ask these questions of their elected representatives to help highlight the problem in the current approach to climate change, and advocate the future solutions we should be sanctioning now.”
In addition to GPY&R Sydney, participating agencies include JWT, Maxus, The Futures Company, PPR Australia, The Glover Park Group, Blue State Digital, and media affiliate VICE. The multidisciplinary campaign encompasses strategic planning, advertising, media investment management, digital communications, PR, public affairs, and youth marketing. The initiative encourages children from around the world to create a video which represents their generation; six will then be selected to attend the Climate Summit on 23rd September and present their video to world leaders.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Mr. Gore in addressing the most important issue facing our planet,” says Jon Steel, Group Planning Director at WPP. “Our aim is to frame the problem in a simple, personal way, and to convince people that we cannot leave this to future generations to solve. Climate change is already affecting millions of people, and I, for one, don’t ever want to look my children and grandchildren in the eye and admit that I knew, and did nothing. Unlike most previous campaigns, ours has an optimistic tone. The majority of people want to solve this problem, but don’t know how. The ‘Why Not?’ part of our campaign suggests how it can be done.”
David Joubert strongly believes that giving a platform to concerned members of the younger generation is crucial, and will help put pressure on leaders to take action against climate change. “We wanted to give the younger generation a voice in this debate,” he says. “It will be our children and grandchildren who will see the most extreme effects of our leaders’ inaction on climate change, yet they have no voice in the legislative process and the most to lose if we do not act quickly and decisively.”
To find out more about the Why? Why Not? Campaign, and to get involved, contact [email protected].