Guest Blog: Santa for Climate

A guest blog from Anna-Kaisa Koski, from the very first cohort of Creative Climate Leaders. Anna-Kaisa is a freelance curator and climate activist based in Helsinki, Finland.

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Two learnings I took home from my CCL attendance in Wales concerning climate communication were, one, that polar bears are too easy to ignore and, two, we need to bring forward local issues for local people to identify and co-operate with. These ideas brought to the context of Finland inspired a new concept for communication in our campaign Coal-free Finland.

Santa Claus and his reindeer Rudolf who are known to live somewhere around the arctic circle in Northern Finland are suffering from the effects of climate change, like the constant lack of snow during Christmas. What if Santa would start worrying about climate? What if he would actually become a climate activist? He’s funny, warm and everyone in Finland knows him. He’d be the perfect messenger to explain that climate change is not something in the distant future and far away, but already happening in Finland as well.

Climate Santa appeared first in a postcard campaign aimed at politicians: the cards made people smile and sign. In October 2018 during the biggest climate march in Finland ever Santa made his first live appearance and was interviewed for several media. The reporters were asking him for solutions to solve the climate crisis and of course everyone wanted a photo of Santa and Rudolf the reindeer who was also marching.

Early December we launched a climate calendar for 2019 that is using the character of Santa as a way to give tips on how to move from recycling your own trash to solving bigger climate issues. The main focus of the calendar as well as all other Santa materials is to help people vote climate friendly. We have our parliamentary election coming up in the spring and with the help of Santa we hope to have a new government without any climate-naughty politicians.