Climate Visuals featured on Google Arts and Culture

Photographs from the Visualizing Climate Change open call, along with the seven Climate Visuals principles, feature in a new microsite on Google Arts and Culture that is launched today.

This site forms a new, immersive and shareable resource for communicating the images in the collection and the evidence base behind them. All too often, climate change imagery is ineffective at driving change – it may be aesthetically pleasing and illustrative but not emotionally impactful. The Climate Visuals evidence base proves that imagery needs to embody people-centred narratives, local impacts and positive solutions, and must resonate with the identity and values of the viewer.

Viewers can see the 100 images in the Visualizing Climate Change collection, scroll through the seven principles, and follow direct links to the Climate Visuals library where registered users can download images in the collection free for use by non-profits, educators and the editorial media.



About Google Arts & Culture 

Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 3,000 cultural institutions from over 80 countries at people’s fingertips. GoogleArts & Culture's mission is to make the world's culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s a doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world, and discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings, Puerto Rico’s heritage, sports in Australia or the women's right movement to ancient Maya temples, Japanese food and Indian railways.

Climate Visuals contact

For further information please contact visuals[at]

A new collection of Creative Commons images for Wikipedia and beyond

The Climate Visuals library has a new curated collection of images available to use with a wide range of Creative Commons licences. This collection contains over 300 images of climate change causes, impacts and solutions from around the world, bringing the total number of Creative Commons images in the library to over 800.

Technician working on a solar panel installation. Renovus Solar offers affordable solar solutions for everyone who pays an electric bill in upstate New York, including residential and commercial clients.

Night operations on the Pine Gulch Fire in Colorado, USA. August 2020.

The new collection is the result of a project to analyse and expand the Creative Commons images within the Climate Visuals library, with specific focus on images available for use on Wikipedia, where images are only accepted if the image licence allows commercial re-use and modification.

Following analysis of existing images in the library, the Climate Visuals team carried out targeted picture research to add images to the library that cater to known content gaps on Wikipedia, as well as those identified by Climate Visuals’ work in other contexts and user feedback. Some of these content gaps included; renewable energy solutions and the associated industry, images visualising the relationship between agriculture and the climate, and heatwaves and the management of heat and other weather events in urban areas.

Agroforestry (main species silvopastoral system) at Bolfracks Estate, Upper Farrochil, by Aberfeldy, Scotland.

A Tesla electric car is driven past a sign warning of extreme heat and the need to save power between 4-9pm. Los Angeles, USA. September 2022.

As well as being accessible via the Climate Visuals library, the images are hosted on Wikimedia for use in Wikipedia articles, forming a collection of high quality, effective, and compelling climate imagery available for widespread use. So far, images from the collection used in articles across the topics of exercise, organic farming, and on Cyclone Idai.

Registered users navigating the collection in the Climate Visuals library will see an ‘obtain the image’ button in the bottom right corner of the image preview window. Clicking this link will take the user to the image source where it will be available to download for uses compatible with that image’s licence. Not registered yet? Register here - it’s free and takes only a few minutes.

An image from the collection in use on Wikipedia.

Ocean Visuals exhibition at TED2023 in Vancouver

Images from the Ocean Visuals collection are being exhibited at TED2023 - POSSIBILITY in Vancouver, Canada, April 17-21.

Daniella Zalcman, a member of the Ocean Visuals advisory board, will be in attendance and available to discuss the collection and the wider Climate Visuals project.


Photo credit: Daniella Zalcman


The Ocean Visuals collection of 93 images is accessible and free to use by the media, journalists, non-profit sector, campaigners and educators in articles and communications.

Ocean Visuals is a response to the urgent need for more impactful, diverse and equitably accessible ocean-climate imagery while ensuring ethical and fair payment to photographers. The project is a partnership between Climate Visuals and Communications Inc, funded by Erol, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Macdoch Foundation / NPT Transatlantic.

Ocean Visuals is a thematic extension of the Visualizing Climate Change open call, an equitable participatory concept originally conceived by Climate Visuals and TED Countdown ahead of COP26.

Contact Climate Visuals for further information.



Ocean Visuals Exhibition at the Sydney Opera House

Ocean Visuals has arrived at the Sydney Opera House, with a free exhibition along the Western Broadwalk from 29 March to 7 April.

Visitors are invited on a visual journey into the critical - but often poorly understood - connections between climate change and oceans.

The ocean plays a vital role in regulating the climate and in doing so protects us from the worst impacts of climate change. Despite this, the links between the climate and the ocean are not commonly understood, talked about or integrated into the way we tackle the climate crisis. Ocean Visuals aims to better incorporate the ocean and be inclusive of the diverse experiences of coastal communities including estuaries, rivers, inland waterways, urban, rural and remote environments, into global communications about climate.

The exhibition showcases 32 images from the Ocean Visuals collection, which was generated through a global call in partnership with Communications Inc. The full collection of 93 images, available through the Climate Visuals library, provides visual stories of climate change causes, impacts, solutions, resilience and justice.

This Climate Visuals exhibit is a collaboration between the Macdoch Foundation and Climate Outreach, with the support of the Sydney Opera House who is hosting the exhibit.



Anna Kucera

Anna Kucera

Anna Kucera


The photographers whose work is included in the exhibition:

  • Moniruzzaman Sazal - Image ID 3849
  • Michael Snyder - Image ID 4015, 4016
  • Nuno Rodrigues - Image ID 4047, 4050
  • Jashim Salam - Image ID 4072
  • Vlad Sokhin - Image ID 4116
  • Adam Sébire - Image ID 4134
  • Lars Engelgaar - Image ID 4183
  • Raunaq Singh Chopra - Image ID 4203
  • Nicole Holman - Image ID 4267
  • Beau Pilgrim - Image ID 4278
  • Lachlan Gardiner - Image ID 4299
  • Alain Schroeder - Image ID 4316
  • David Menzel - Image ID 4345
  • Tom Vierus - Image ID 4369, 4371
  • Joan Sullivan - Image ID 4380
  • Jerry Chidi - Image ID 4396
  • Maurizio Di Pietro - Image ID 4416
  • Adam Sébire - Image ID 4444
  • Milos Bicanski - Image ID 4450
  • Michael Hall - Image ID 4467
  • Amitava Chandra - Image ID 4472
  • Rodney Dekker - Image ID 4478, 4479, 4484
  • Nelly Georgina Quijano Duarte - Image ID 4495
  • David Alfaro - Image ID 4507
  • Adam Hill - Image ID 4512
  • Giuseppe Suaria - Image ID 4519

The Ocean Visuals collection is freely available to the media, non-profits, campaigners and educators to download and use in their communications.


Grassroots Storytelling: Clean Energy & Climate Justice

Climate Visuals and The Sunrise Project, funded by the European Climate Foundation (ECF), are working on a storytelling project in three countries across Europe; Poland, Germany and the UK, to document and amplify the impacts of the cost of living crisis, with a specific focus on the solution of a just transition to clean and affordable energy. It is the aim that the project will include both impacts and solutions to the above issues.

The Sunrise Project’s mission is to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible. Climate Visuals are creating a new visual language for climate change. Our approach, based on evidence and experience, is that imagery needs to embody people-centred narratives and positive solutions and resonate with the identity and values of the viewer – not just environmentalists.

Putin's ongoing invasion in Ukraine highlights the urgency to transition the energy system to address both the climate and cost of living crises. We're collaborating on this project to support more people-centred storytelling showing the impacts of the energy and cost of living crises alongside the organising and solutions that are being promoted by communities and civil society to drive the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Roman Gorczyca and his partner Ilona Nowak are one of the few remaining people still living in the buildings at Zwirowa street. Despite legal restrictions, Gorczyca installed a small oven in their room to be able to prepare some food and heat the space that gets quickly cold in winter due to very bad thermal conditions of the building. Rybnik, Silesia, Poland. Photo credit: Kasia Strek/Climate Visuals

Through this storytelling work we hope to create content and resources for organisers and campaigners to use to bring people together, build community power and pressure those with financial and political responsibility to support a just transition to renewable energy.

The objectives of this project are:

  • To uplift the voices of the unheard communities most affected by rising energy prices, from families to small business owners, then call for a bold energy vision and a swift transition towards climate solutions and renewables
  • To build awareness, relationships, insights and trust with communities and people at the intersection of the energy cost and climate crisis

The resulting image collection will be shared through press and social media placement, as well as designed into campaign material. It will also be hosted on the Climate Visuals library, making the images available to registered users in the non-profit, educational and media sectors.

Climate Visuals featured by World Press Photo on Instagram

Climate Visuals is featured on World Press Photo’s Instagram feed today and tomorrow (19 and 20 December).

We will be sharing photographs from Ocean Visuals and Visualizing Climate Change, as well as elements of our guidelines on ethics and values, photography briefs and evidence base with World Press Photo’s 1.6m Instagram followers.

View the posts here and share to amplify the resources.

1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Ocean Visuals collection featured in The Times

The Times featured the Ocean Visuals collection in a gallery - "What oceans tell us about a changing world — in pictures"

Register now at Climate Visuals for immediate access, and browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals story.


1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Climate Visuals at COP27

The Ocean Visuals collection was exhibited at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The collection could be found within the COP27 Blue Zone in the digital exhibition programmes of the Nature Zone pavilion.

Noora Firaq, Interim Executive Director & Operations Director of Climate Outreach, spoke on the panel and sharing insights on the Ocean Visuals project at the Communicating Ocean Science for Climate Action event in the UNESCO pavilion at 15:45-16:45 Egypt time (13:45-14:45 GMT) on Wednesday 9 of November and also at Communicating Science for Policy: the challenge and opportunity in the Nature Positive News Room, Blue Zone. 11.15-11.30 Egypt time (9:15-9:30 GMT), Friday 11 November.

Noora was also available to discuss the Ocean Visuals project, Climate Visuals and Climate Outreach, on a drop-in basis between 11:45 and 13:45 Egypt time (9:45-11:45 GMT) on Friday 11 November in the Nature Zone pavilion.

Please get in touch with any queries.

More information here on Climate Outreach at COP27.

Ocean Visuals images on display as part of the digital exhibition programme in the Nature Zone Pavilion, COP27, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. November 2022.

Photo credit: Sophie Hulme / Communications Inc

1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Amplify the Ocean Visuals story

Amplify the Ocean Visuals story and share the collection with your network.

    • 93 evidence based photographs selected by an independent jury
    • Freely available to the media, non-profits, campaigners and educators
    • Increasing the diversity and impact of climate and visual communications 

The Ocean Visuals collection is a unique, freely available, evidence-based collection of impactful and diverse imagery of ocean, coastal and climate stories.

Amplify the project, and support ocean-climate communication at a global scale during COP27 and beyond.

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Retweet our existing and future tweets

View and share our Instagram stories

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Ocean Visuals collection featured in The Guardian

The Guardian published a selection of photographs from the Ocean Visuals collection in a gallery entitled “The profound link between the climate crisis and the ocean - in pictures”.

Register now at Climate Visuals for immediate access, and browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals story.


1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Climate Visuals releases the Ocean Visuals collection

A new evidence-based collection of impactful and diverse imagery of ocean, coastal and climate stories has been released by Climate Visuals ahead of COP27. The Ocean Visuals collection is accessible and free to use by the media, journalists, non-profit sector, campaigners and educators in articles and communications. 

“This collection will support communications impact whilst diversifying climate and ocean imagery on a global scale”, explains Climate Visuals Programme Lead, Toby Smith.

“Thousands of photographers spanning 102 countries participated in an open call in September. Our independent jury have made their combined decisions and with the advisory board prioritised values and ethics to only select images that reflect best practice”.

Ocean Visuals is a response to the urgent need for more impactful, diverse and equitably accessible ocean-climate imagery while ensuring ethical and fair payment to photographers. The project is a partnership between Climate Visuals and Communications Inc, funded by Erol, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Macdoch Foundation / NPT Transatlantic.

"It was a pleasure to watch this collection come together from every corner of the globe, and explore the vast range of narratives, geographies and storytellers represented. We all hope for these images to be used to represent the mounting threats to our planet with depth and nuance", says Ocean Visuals advisory board member, Daniella Zalcman.

Ocean Visuals is built on strict guidelines for ethics, values and image manipulation. Combined with eight ocean-climate photographic principles, derived from a review of evidence and research into ocean imagery, it will raise the bar on visual communication at COP27 in the ’Ocean Super Year’ and into the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

Use of the collection will increase the breadth and impact of media and campaign coverage at COP27 - particularly given the predicted focus on oceans, finance, loss and damage - while also ensuring that all communicators can access quality, verified imagery equitably.

The eight principles of effective ocean-climate photography are:

  1. Show people in ocean and coastal regions with authenticity
  2. Visualise the diversity of people-and-ocean connections
  3. Tell new stories
  4. Find ocean and climate causes, impacts and solutions at scale
  5. Pair emotionally powerful impacts with positive actions
  6. Develop ideas to invite curiosity and foster engagement
  7. Prioritise ethics, safety, wellbeing and prevention of harm
  8. Be aware of problem narratives


1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection


About the research

The ocean plays a vital role in regulating the climate and in doing so protects us from the worst impacts of climate change. Despite this, the link between the climate and the ocean is not commonly understood, talked about or integrated into the way we tackle the climate crisis.

Ocean Visuals hopes to better incorporate the ocean and be inclusive of the diverse experiences of coastal communities, including estuaries, rivers, inland waterways, urban, rural and remote environments, into global communications about climate. Climate Visuals and Communications Inc have developed the guidance and briefing note for the Ocean Visuals Open Call based on industry best practice, published research and evidence on people’s responses to imagery. The aim of the research report is to guide civil society, campaigners, media, educators and scientists on the use of visuals to communicate ocean-climate issues more effectively.


About the Ocean Visuals open call 

A global, equitable and open call for photography took place from 1-14 September, 2022. The call highlighted and heard new narratives and voices direct from communities around the world. The objective was to source and licence 100 powerful images taken by both professional and amateur photographers. This open call distributed a total licensing fund of US $100,000 - with all final images selected by a diverse and independent jury, before professional verification and advisory board review including the removal of images that contradict beyond best-practice regarding representation.

Ocean Visuals  builds on a previous initiative delivered by Climate Visuals and TED Countdown, whose participation phase reached 5.2M users on social media and generated 5,500 gender-balanced submissions from over 140 countries worldwide in 2021. The collection released during the impact phase is regularly accessed by a growing user group of over 5,600 communicators and editors resulting in thousands of editorial, campaign and social media usages of the imagery.


About Climate Visuals 

Climate Visuals is the world’s only evidence-based programme for climate change photography. It is run by Climate Outreach, a team of social scientists and communication specialists working to widen and deepen public engagement with climate change. Through research, practical guides and consultancy services, Climate Outreach helps organisations communicate about climate change in ways that resonate with the values of their audiences and leads to action.

The visual narratives in circulation must move from illustrating climate causes and impacts to climate justice, solutions and positive change. Ocean Visuals’ online submission and licensing process will consider a broad range of diversity, equity and inclusion factors to ensure that the opportunity is global, accessible, fair, representative, illustrative and impactful. The goal is to provide a platform, amplify voices and serve visual tools to people and communities not yet represented.


About Communications Inc

Communications Inc is a small communications agency with big ideas, which works with non-profits around the globe. We put our specialist experience and wide-ranging network of contacts to work for our clients, addressing social and environmental issues across the globe, yet we remain approachable, adaptable and passionate.

To grab attention, set agendas and change behaviour you need a creative and thoughtful communications strategy, one that is based on a thorough and realistic analysis of your situation and environment. You also need an agency that understands the particular challenges and opportunities of non-for-profits and international communications.


1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Germany Talks Climate Visuals

Germany Talks Climate Visuals

For the German language version of this summary click here


Climate change is not just something we know, it is also something we feel and see. This latest iteration of climate visuals research investigates how climate change and climate action are seen in Germany and which images resonate with people with different views in society.

The research formed part of the larger Übers Klima reden (in English: Germany Talks Climate) study conducted in February and March 2022 examining attitudes towards climate change and climate action in Germany. Übers Klima reden is a joint project by Climate Outreach, More in Common Germany and, funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

These results on imagery form the first image research update in Germany since the original Climate Visuals study in 2016. The underlying research was developed in collaboration with More in Common and uses their values-based segmentation approach for the first time in visual research with German society.

Based on the Seven Climate Visuals principles, 17 images were selected and tested with six focus groups in Germany as well as through a representative survey with a sample of the German population. Due to the research design, these findings are mostly based on limited qualitative data. While these insights have been analysed to the best of our knowledge, the study also makes it clear that further quantitative image research is necessary to substantiate the following findings:


    • Images of flooding in Germany are powerful and connect across society.
    • Imagery can be used to tell new stories about heatwaves.
    • Images of families and children can help people relate to climate change impacts.
    • Climate solutions imagery can effectively depict success stories but needs to be contextualised.
    • Images of activists generate mixed and often negative reactions.
    • Images depicting a range of renewables to represent Germany’s energy future are more likely to appeal across society.
    • Images portraying visions of the future have potential, but by definition appear distant.
    • Polar bears are iconic, but not sufficiently compelling.


Top three images

Aftermath of the 2021 floods in Rech, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Photo credit: Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images





A mother and baby sitting on a bed above floodwater in their flooded home.

Mother and baby in their flooded home in Kolkata

What makes these images stand out?

  • a direct connection to climate change
  • emotional impact
  • relatable aspects (local environment; family with children)
  • illustration of an undesirable future (e.g. in the form of air pollution)

Overall, we found many of the seven Climate Visuals principles reflected in people’s responses to the images tested: the importance of localising the issue, showing climate impacts at scale and real people with real emotions responding to the way climate change is affecting their lives, as well as somewhat ambivalent responses to protest imagery. Other areas with significant potential for engaging wider audiences also emerged, such as images depicting visions of the future, both positive and negative. Clearly, more research is needed into how images might affect people’s awareness of climate risks and impacts as well as solutions, and how visual modes of communication influence people’s sense of self-efficacy (or personal agency) in the face of the climate crisis.


The full range of insights, as well as an overview of all the images that were tested, are available in German here.




Mit Bildern „Übers Klima reden”

Mit Bildern „Übers Klima reden”

For the English language version of this summary click here


Animierende Klimakommunikation benötigt nicht nur eine wertebasierte Sprache, sondern fordert ebenso die effektive Nutzung von Bildern. Da die visuelle Auseinandersetzung mit dem Klimawandel und Klimaschutz in Deutschland bisher nur wenig erforscht ist, haben wir im Rahmen unserer größeren „Übers Klima reden”-Studie versucht, diese Lücke in der evidenzbasierten visuellen Kommunikation zu schließen.

Die hier vorgestellten Ergebnisse zur Bildsprache bilden die erste Aktualisierung der Bildforschung in Deutschland seit der ursprünglichen Climate Visuals-Studie von 2016. Unsere neue Forschung wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit More in Common entwickelt und verwendet ihren wertebasierten Segmentierungsansatz, um die Ergebnisse nach verschiedenen Bevölkerungssegmenten aufschlüsseln zu können. Eine nützliche Ressource zur Bildsprache bietet auch das Handbuch von unserem Projektpartner „Übers Klima sprechen" (s. Kapitel 12: Nutze Bilder - aber wähle sie mit Bedacht aus).

Auf der Grundlage der sieben Climate Visuals-Prinzipien wurden 17 Bilder ausgewählt und in sechs Fokusgruppen in Deutschland sowie durch eine repräsentative Umfrage bei einer Stichprobe der deutschen Bevölkerung getestet. Aufgrund des Forschungsdesigns beruhen diese Ergebnisse hauptsächlich auf begrenzten qualitativen Daten. Während diese Erkenntnisse nach bestem Wissen ausgewertet wurden, macht die Studie gleichzeitig deutlich, dass weitere quantitative Bildforschung notwendig ist, um die folgenden Ergebnisse zu untermauern:


    • Bilder von Überschwemmungen in Deutschland sind eindrucksvoll für alle Typen
    • Bilder können neue, anregende Narrative zu Hitzewellen erzählen
    • Bilder von Familien und Kindern können helfen, eine Verbindung zum Klimawandel herzustellen
    • Bilder von Klimalösungen können Erfolgsgeschichten effektiv vermitteln, doch benötigen Kontext
    • Bilder von Aktivist:innen erzeugen gemischte und oft eher negative Reaktionen
    • Bilder, die Deutschlands Energiezukunft als eine Vielfalt erneuerbarer Energien darstellen, sprechen die Breite der Gesellschaft besser an 
    • Bilder von Zukunftsvisionen haben Potenzial, erscheinen aber definitionsgemäß weit entfernt
    • Eisbären haben Symbolcharakter, reichen aber nicht aus


Top 3 Bilder für alle Typen

Folgende drei Bilder wurden im Schnitt aller Fokusgruppen als Top 3 identifiziert:


Militär auf der Ahr vor einem Haus, das bei der Flutkatastrophe im Juli 2021 zerstört wurde

Photo credit: Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images



Luftverschmutzung durch Kohlekraftwerke im Zentrum von Delhi, Indien



A mother and baby sitting on a bed above floodwater in their flooded home.

Eine Mutter mit Baby in ihrem überfluteten Haus in Kolkata, Indien

Wodurch zeichnen sich diese Bilder aus?

    • zeigen unverkennbar Ursachen oder Folgen des Klimawandels
    • emotionale Wirkung (erzeugen Gefühle wie Schock, Abscheu oder Mitleid)
    • ermöglichen einen Bezug zum eigenen Lebenskontext (lokale Umgebung, Familie mit Kindern)
    • Veranschaulichung einer unerwünschten Zukunft, z. B. in Form von massiver Luftverschmutzung


Insgesamt lässt sich feststellen, dass sich viele der sieben Climate Visuals-Prinzipien in den Reaktionen der Menschen auf die getesteten Bilder widerspiegeln: die Notwendigkeit der Lokalisierung des Klimathemas, die Darstellung der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels, die Abbildung echter Menschen mit echten Gefühlen, sowie etwas ambivalente Reaktionen auf Protestbilder. Außerdem ergaben sich neue Erkenntnisse zu Bildmaterial, das Potenzial hat, ein breiteres Publikum anzusprechen. Vor allem Bilder, die Zukunftsvisionen darstellen, sowohl positive als auch negative, können für verschiedene Menschen durchaus motivierend wirken. Gleichzeitig macht diese Studie deutlich, dass mehr repräsentative Forschung notwendig ist, um herauszufinden, wie Bilder das Bewusstsein der Menschen für Klimarisiken und -auswirkungen sowie für Lösungen beeinflussen können und wie visuelle Kommunikation das Gefühl der Selbstwirksamkeit (oder der persönlichen Handlungsfähigkeit) der Menschen angesichts der Klimakrise beeinflussen.


Die Erkenntnisse in gesamter Länge sowie eine Übersicht aller getesteten Bilder sind hier einsehbar.



Ocean Visuals is seeking audience partners.

Ocean Visuals is seeking audience partners.

Ocean Visuals offers organisations and individuals a unique, free and mutual opportunity to collaborate with Climate Visuals and Comms Inc to engage with supporters and followers. This is an equitable and rewarding moment of participation to improve the quality and impact of Ocean and Climate photography.

Photographers can upload their own authentic narratives, and communicate tangible local stories to international audiences through new imagery.  100 images and photographers will be selected by an independent jury to share the US $100,000 licensing fee. These images will join our evidence-based collection of impactful imagery - all freely available to campaigners, the media and educators.

Your supporters can be rewarded and directly contribute to global communications, helping better integrate the ocean and climate stories.  We encourage and invite new design collaboration with our initiative and ‘Call to Actions’  tailored to the needs and interests of your audience networks.

Read more about what Ocean Visuals can offer you and your audiences.

1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Ocean Visuals advisory board announced.

Ocean Visuals advisory board announced.

Climate Visuals is committed to achieving and promoting best practice in the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, feminist and anti-colonial approaches to image research and photography. Our new Ocean Visuals project, both in structure and public facing content, will be informed, tested and influenced by the comments and lived experience of a paid, advisory board. The members of the board are:

Tahnee Burgess

As Media and Communications Officer with the National Environment Science Program's Climate Systems Hub, Tahnee connects decision makers and Traditional Owners with Australia's best available climate science. With more than 4 years of experience in climate communication with the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub and other organisations, Tahnee brings her experience in climate science and environmental security to the board. Tahnee holds a Masters of Environment and Sustainability, specialising in Environmental Security, and a double degree in Arts and Science.

Wacera F.

Wacera F. is a photo editor currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. They produce diverse visual stories & curatorial studio projects at Everyday Africa. Alongside The Everyday Projects Community Team, they have supported collaborative digital reportage and editorial projects exploring layout design with teams at The ICRC, World Press Photo Foundation, Photoville, Pulitzer Center, Code For Africa and others. Their work blends hands-on design for photo, art direction and media project management, utilising varied communication mediums, design disciplines and research techniques. Wacera is also a comic book artist.

Marielle Ramires 

Co-founder of Fora do Eixo and Mídia NINJA, Marielle is currently the coordinator of Environmental Ninja, a journalist and activist of communication, culture and human rights. Mídia Ninja is known for covering acts and protests of social movements throughout Brazil through photos, videos and live broadcasts. It works on the strengthening of groups and collectives that touch on different agendas, especially from deep Brazil.

Neeta Satam

Neeta is a freelance photojournalist, educator, and National Geographic Explorer based in Saint Louis and Mumbai. Her work explores the themes of environmental, racial, and social justice issues. In 2021, she joined the International League of Conservation Photographers as an Associate Fellow. Her personal history and cultural identity have always influenced both the issues that draw her as a visual journalist and her work.

Daniella Zalcman

Daniella is a Vietnamese-American documentary photographer based in New Orleans, LA. Her work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of Indigenous children in North America. She is a 2021 Catchlight Fellow, a multiple grantee of the National Geographic Society and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, and the founder of Women Photograph, a nonprofit working to elevate the voices of women and nonbinary visual journalists.


The board will input feedback individually, into collaborative documents and have the ability to discuss at virtual board meetings..This is to ensure that our own internal biases are further identified then challenged and that the project is equitably accessible and promoted to communities, geographies and cultures normally excluded from photography competitions, licensing opportunities and/or media exposure.   

During the participation phase we hope to identify and address some of the geographic, financial, language and systemic barriers facing professional, semi-professional and amateur photographers producing images related to climate change. 

During the dissemination phase, we hope the resulting Ocean Visuals collection becomes a valuable asset to communicators globally who cannot readily access or yet afford impactful ocean and climate imagery. 


1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Climate Visuals on The Photo Ethics podcast.

Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead, in conversation on the Photo Ethics Podcast.

Listen to the episode for a discussion on ethics & equity in photography, including thoughts on what makes for successful climate change imagery, how to invite and give presence to more diverse voices, and the ethical considerations that went into the Visualising Climate Change open call.

Listen to the podcast.

Climate Visuals launches Ocean Visuals at UN Oceans Conference

Climate Visuals launches Ocean Visuals at the UN Oceans Conference in Lisbon, 27 June - 1st July 2022.

The Ocean Visuals project will catalyse a new evidence-based collection of impactful ocean and coastal climate imagery - all equitably accessible to the media, non-profit and education sector in the’ Ocean Super Year’, the run up to COP27 and beyond into the UN Decade of Ocean Science.  

Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Lead, is attending the conference building momentum and seeking new engagement partners to ensure the imminent global open call reaches a wide and truly diverse audience.   Climate Visuals are also contributing expertise to round-tables and events on how climate and ocean action can be accelerated through cross-sector influencing and media engagement.

Register for updates on the Climate Visuals project, including the details of the open call, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

View and download the Ocean Visuals promotional images.

Turpin Samuel / Climate Visuals

1. Register to the Climate Visuals library for instant access

2. Review Ocean Visuals background and photography brief

3. Browse, download and amplify the Ocean Visuals collection

Shifting the sustainability dial through the lessons of D&I

The media industry has shifted the dial in the diversity and inclusion space – but what role does the media and advertising industry have to play in connecting the dots on sustainability?

Climate Visuals lead, Toby Smith, spoke on this panel discussion.

Watch the event recording on the Channel 4 website.

Nature visuals: Diversity in images of England’s natural spaces

Photos of the natural environment do not reflect the social, ethnic or geographic diversity of the country, which may create barriers to some people enjoying and feeling a sense of belonging in  nature. How can we build a better, more inclusive visual language?

Images matter. As people, we need to see ourselves in images relating to the natural environment so we connect with them and see the relevance of them to our lives. The photos we see of natural spaces need to be inclusive, authentic and show people from diverse backgrounds in diverse outdoor spaces. This is also important for connecting people with messages around our big challenges including climate change and biodiversity loss. Experiencing natural spaces in all kinds of ways helps to provide that connection and we know that for some, this is not currently part of their lives.

This matters for climate change too. Spending time in nature is a proven way to engage people with the climate crisis and a lack of inclusive imagery makes it harder to build a diverse climate movement.

Natural England commissioned Climate Outreach to speak with conservation organisations, community groups, online influencers and nature enthusiasts to explore how we can diversify the images of people and nature, resulting in a practical, evidence-based report. Below we highlight its set of six principles, developed to help guide the production of images that showcase the variety of ways that people can connect with and benefit from nature.

Photo credit: Mike Phill /

1 – Use images to tell positive, identifiable stories

Visuals can capture attention, promote interest and motivate engagement. Showing diverse individuals doing fulfilling activities in natural spaces will enhance feelings of inclusion and belonging. These positive representations are critical for reaching out to people who are left out of traditional outdoor narratives

Photo credit: Cheryl Duerden

2 – Create authentic representation, not tokenism

Authenticity is critical to telling an empowering, inclusive story that audiences will connect with. Stock imagery and staged portraits provide a veneer of representation but are not empowering and may backfire if they are perceived as fake or tokenistic. Display real images of diverse individuals enjoying a variety of natural spaces in ways that can connect with them on a personal level.

Photo credit: Joel Redman /

3 – Depict diverse activities in diverse landscapes

The cultural narrative of what it means to enjoy the outdoors is dominated by a narrow subset of landscapes, activities and people. Expand representation to break through harmful stereotypes and embrace new and different visual narratives of spaces, people and activities.

Photo credit: Tasha Thompson /

4 – Connect people to the wonderful diversity of natural places, from urban parks to national landscapes

Most people live in towns and cities and most outdoor experiences occur in urban areas. Yet imagery of natural spaces focuses on the countryside.  We need to show more urban green areas and tell visual stories about people enjoying nature in their everyday, as well as on holidays. This could be walking a tree-lined urban avenue or walking a national trail, a day trip to a city park or to a national park.

Photo credit: Joanne Coates /

5 – Include more real people in images

Images of idyllic countryside tend to dominate the visual story, but they do not fully represent the many reasons people enjoy the outdoors. Broaden the visual narrative and connect natural spaces to peoples’ everyday lives by capturing the many ways people use the outdoors to connect with friends and family, as well as with nature.

Oliver Hellowell is an outdoor photographer who also happens to have Down Syndrome.
Photo credit: Mike O’Carroll

6 – Diversify who is behind the camera and the message

Fixing the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘where’ of outdoor imagery is only part of the solution. We also need to diversify who is behind the camera and designing the wider communications, in order to provide greater authenticity and empowerment to those being photographed.

A diverse group of individuals are already harnessing the power of social media to shift the outdoor narrative by documenting their own experiences. Learn from these people and work with them to create new visuals.

Principles at a glance

Watch the webinar

Here we present our report and findings and show visual examples while hearing about the practical changes we need to see around nature visuals from photographer Joanne Coates and  Judy Ling Wong CBE, an environmental activist. Watch the Nature Visuals webinar


BBC Climate Question: Does climate change have an image problem?

Climate Visuals on display at COP26

Climate Visuals images hung on the walls at  the COP26 Climate Talks in Glasgow last year – overlooking world leaders and delegates.

The photography exhibits featured prominently in some of the most influential negotiating spaces at the conference in the so-called ‘Blue Zone’ (the Leaders Lounge; the main thoroughfare connecting delegate meeting rooms; and the Catering and Coffee area) as well as the ‘Green Zone.’

The exhibits showcased impactful, diverse photography showing what climate change really looks like around the world. The collection was curated from several sources, including:

  • our open call for photography in collaboration with TED Countdown which attracted submissions from photographers in over 150 countries and has resulted in 100 images freely available to global editorial media, educators and campaigners
  • our collaborative web resource on Indigenous media presence, which provides 8 recommendations for the media to achieve a lasting, positive, and impactful media presence for Indigenous peoples
  • images from an upcoming project with Natural England aiming to increase engagement with nature and climate through diversifying representation in English nature imagery

Scottish Power supports Climate Visuals’ COP26 exhibition

As a Principle Partner for  the UN climate conference (COP26) in their home city of Glasgow, Scottish Power is thrilled to be supporting Climate Outreach on their exciting Climate Visuals project.  

“We are absolutely committed to playing our full part in ensuring COP leaves a lasting positive legacy for the world and the people of Glasgow.” said Samuel Gardner,  Head of Climate Change and Sustainability for Scottish Power. “A key part of that must be engaging the public in not only the reality of climate change but the solutions we have to tackle this emergency.” 

Ahead of COP26, Climate Visuals, a project of Climate Outreach,  will be announcing the selected photographers and images from Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography.  This initiative challenged global photographers to utilise Climate Visuals’ evidence-based approach to show solutions and narratives and consider the people, places, communities, sectors, and areas of society that are not normally featured in the media or climate change conversations. Submissions were requested to feature the TED Countdown and COP26 thematic areas which both highlight energy as a topic. 

Photo credit: Kunal Gupta / Climate Visuals Countdown

“We’re so incredibly grateful, proud, and excited about the submissions received and embodied in our judge’s final selections.  The exhibition will portray diverse climate solutions, new narratives and voices, and impactful photography—all direct from communities around the world. The impact starts here as the entire collection will be accessible to climate communicators in media, education, and advocacy—all without charge—via our image library system.” Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead.

The Climate Visuals exhibition will celebrate the very best in climate change visual storytelling, providing a dynamic window into the response to climate change from communities and businesses from around the world.  Hoping to inspire delegates at COP26 to raise their ambitions and turn them into action that locks us into a decade of delivery and a green recovery from the pandemic. 

All non-profits, campaigners, educators, and editorial publications can access, download and use the collection for free, via a unique QR code embedded in each image at the exhibition. The goal being to help everyone  communicate solutions to the changing landscape of Earth more effectively – providing equitable, free creative content to all COP26 delegates both in person and online.

“At ScottishPower, transforming to a cleaner electric future has been central to our strategy for the last 15 years.  We were the first energy company in the UK to ditch coal and gas and go 100% green.  All the power we generate, enough to power more than 2 million homes, now comes from our 40 onshore and offshore wind farms.  Nor are we standing still, we are investing £10 billion in the next five years to drive forward the infrastructure solutions to the climate crisis, like floating windfarms, solar power plants, battery storage, smart grids, EV charge-points and hydrogen electrolysers.”  Samuel Gardner,  Head of Climate Change and Sustainability for Scottish Power. 

Indigenous Media Presence

Climate Visuals was commissioned by the Climate and Land Use Alliance to create recommendations of best visual practice for content producers, editors, distributors, agencies and publishers who wish to work with, for, or who are from, the Indigenous and forest communities of Central and South America. It is an openly accessible report to catalyse positive change and connections towards imagery that is transformative, sustainable and impactful around the issues of land use, conservation and climate solutions.

Hosted on Climate Outreach’s website features a detailed research report and literature review which draws richly on new conversations held with Indigenous leaders and photographers, media stakeholders and NGOs in 10 different countries. The online resource, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, details and illustrate eight new principles prepared by a team of researchers, with inputs from Climate Visuals, If Not Us Then Who, Nicolas Salazar Sutil, Jaye Renold and Leah Rangi.

Find the indigenous media presence project here. 

Indigenous media presence  concerns the communication of cultural, linguistic, political, spiritual and environmental priorities and sensibilities of Indigenous Peoples, particularly regarding the fast-changing conditions of life within Indigenous Territories. There is a rapidly growing appetite for narratives and images of the climate crisis related to endangered forests and Indigenous communities. However, inconsiderate media publication risks simplifying and sensationalising a complex story narrative while also isolating and burdening these communities with a responsibility to protect primary forests. Well-meaning but uncritical production and consumption of imagery in this context presents enormous risks and is also a lost opportunity for self-determination and lasting climate solutions.

The research team set the frame of this project in response to the need for a best-practice guide. We set its geographic scope, of Central and South America, to focus our finite research resources on producing a set of broad yet pragmatic recommendations. These address the common issues identified by members of the diverse communities interviewed and consulted as part of this research process.

The authors recommend that new primary or participatory research be urgently completed into parallel issues faced by Indigenous communities of Southeast Asia or in a global context – recognising that some of our existing recommendations may be applicable once verified.  Further, the authors considered incorporating advice on depictions of charismatic animal life; however, for reasons of scope, the present research focuses on forest protection within the context of land and climate justice from an Indigenous perspective.

We conclude that the challenge and opportunity ahead is not how to simply improve representation but how to achieve a lasting, positive, and impactful media presence for Indigenous Peoples. Existing media representation, although well-meaning, poses significant risks, particularly through stereotyping and sensationalism; as does the continued exclusion of Indigenous Peoples from territorial, political, legal, academic, and other forms of self-determination.

Find the indigenous media presence project here. 


Indigenous Media Presence – Commissioning Guide

Find the full Indigenous Media Presence project HERE

A best practice guide and check-list to commissioning and being commissioned for photography of Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, in relation to our research recommendations, that considers:

  • Fair pay and limited licensing terms
  • Value-based, ethical and risk considerations from our research study
  • Cultural sensitivities

Overall guidance:

Lines of communication should include different languages to support and promote the resilience of native languages.

Publications should look to publish in the language of the people who appear in images or articles and/or share the publication with the communities in their dialect. 

The global media should diversify their pool of translators to allow and promote the resilience of different languages, and prevent dominant languages such as English and Spanish from making the existence of native languages invisible.

When commissioning new photography:

Exploratory research should deeply consider: 

  • What is the story?
  • Who will tell the story and why?
  • How to form connections? 
  • Being open to collaboration

Favour positive stories, which are more empowering for communities. If reporting on negative stories, positive elements of resilience and resistance should be highlighted as far as possible.

Create work with a flexible, transparent and informed approach.

Employ a considered editing approach which continues to be open to collaboration.

Consider the usefulness of sharing, and being open with, content.  

Be transparent and fair with industry-standard fees that reflect the length of licensing. Paying the same rate to photographers regardless of their country of origin and publishing pay rates openly are steps to achieving this. 

Honesty is essential in all interactions with photographers and communities.

Create considered and fair licensing agreements – exclusivity for no more than 3 months is a good industry example when licensing stories.

Even when licensing with exclusivity, communities should receive copies of the images and have the right to use them after publication e.g. for their own social media.

Non-exclusivity can be a more equitable approach to licensing work in the non-profit sphere.

When going on assignment:

Speak with the people appearing in images about any potential risks. Many will be aware of these risks already. Consider together the risks of identifying names, locations and faces of people in images.

Respect communities or individuals who do not want to be photographed. 

Consider the impact of photography on the mental health of the person photographed.

Be collaborative with the editing process, such as selecting photos with the people photographed, and be open to deleting photographs that raise concerns. This creates a more horizontal relationship between the photographer and the person photographed and helps to mitigate problems arising from publication.

All parties involved should be given the opportunity to see the publication before publishing to evaluate potential risks and concerns.

When purchasing or licensing existing work:

Exploratory research should consider:

  • What is the story?
  • Why are these images required to illustrate this story?

Be aware of the cultural context of images and do not de-contextualise images; be sensitive and aware of cultural appropriation. 

Further dialogue is required if and when the story deviates from the original agreement. 

Agree fair, equitable licensing parameters (with whom and how will the work be shared;  in what context) 

Be transparent and fair with industry-standard fees that reflect the length of licensing.

When selling existing work:

Transparency with the community about the destination of work is vital.

Provide cultural context with images.

Make photographs available with a press release/story which provides context for editorial use – licensees must not deviate from that story.

Sensitive documentary photography is rarely suitable for commercial use licensing.

Consider the destination of income from images, such as contribution back to the community.


Creating impact: New visual perspectives on the climate crisis

Zoom Webinar, 30 June 2021, 15:30-17:00 BST – Registration Link

This symposium will explore three urgent questions on how to create impactful communications on the climate crisis, in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland starting 1 November:

  • How can visual images and stories impact the climate crisis agenda?
  • Are there new global voices and perspectives emerging?
  • How can images improve public engagement ahead of COP26?

Hosted by VII Insider, the symposium is a collaboration between Climate Visuals, University of the Arts London’s Photography and Arts Research Centre, Slideluck Editorial, and the VII Foundation.

This hour-long event will also introduce the Climate Visuals programme, its evidence base, and preview submissions to ‘Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography’, which is a partnership with TED Countdown.

The Open Call is accepting submissions until 30th June and will distribute a total licensing fund of US $100,000 directly to photographers – professional and amateur – to build a diverse collection of powerful images of climate solutions from around the world that cover five key themes: energy, transport, materials, food, and nature. In the lead-up to COP26, this collection will be open access to climate communicators and editorial media via the new Climate Visuals library.


Paul Lowe

Participants and Agenda:

Toby Smith, Climate Visuals (15 minutes)

Introduction to Climate Visuals, its evidence base on impact, and the concept behind the ‘Visualizing Climate Change’ initiative

Maria Teresa Salvati, Slideluck Editorial (15 minutes)

A personal selection from the Open Call highlighting new voices and perspectives on climate change 

Nichole Sobecki (15 minutes)

Recent photographic work on the climate crisis 

Moderated Q&A (20 minutes)

Registration Link:

Climate photography: a cool future for India’s dairy farmers?

Join Ashden, Climate Visuals, and LCAW as we use striking photography from rural India to explore the challenges faced by farmers living without access to refrigeration.

Thursday 1 July, 3.30-4.30pm BST

Register now

Around the world, more than 2.3 billion people go without clean and efficient cooling – often damaging their health and ability to earn a living. Proven, practical, and affordable solutions to the problem exist and must be scaled up as global temperatures rise.

Photographer Prashanth Vishwanathan (New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, Time) will discuss his images of the people at the heart of this story – while Jiten Ghelani, CEO of Promethean Power Systems, will share the inclusive solutions that can help even the most marginalised farmers.

They will be joined by experts in cooling and climate storytelling to talk about the growing danger of heat stress around the world, solutions to this problem, and how inclusive communications focused on the lives of those most at risk can accelerate progress.

This event is presented by the Ashden Fair Cooling Fund (supported by K-CEP) – an initiative bringing affordable, sustainable cooling to those most at risk around the world. Please join us for a fascinating session, particularly relevant to anyone interested in cooling, climate, or development, in India and beyond.

The panel:

Host: Ellen Dobbs, Programme Manager, Ashden
Climate and development photographer Prashanth Vishwanathan
Jiten Ghelani, CEO of Promethean Power Systems
Toby Smith, Senior Programme Lead at climate photography consultancy Climate Visuals

Climate Visuals Newsletter

Dear Climate Visuals users and photographers,

This is your chance to help us find more photographers and enter your own images into our ‘Visualising Climate Open Call’! Once closed, our judges will convene to select 100 images, each to receive a $1,000 fee, creating an incredible, accessible collection of climate images and global stories.

Shaban Mwinji, a community scout ranger, in Ukunda, Kenya. Standing in a restored Mangrove Forest by Mikoko Pamoja. Mikoko Pamoja is a community-led mangrove conservation and restoration project based in southern Kenya and the world’s first blue carbon project. It aims to provide long-term incentives for mangrove protection and restoration through community involvement and benefit. Photo Credit: Anthony Ochieng / TonyWild / Climate Visual Countdown


We’ve received thousands of incredible images from every corner of the world – with some in this mail – but know there are more incredible images and stories of climate solutions and we’d love to see them!  Our final collection will be featured in an exhibition at TED Countdown Summit and COP26 and made accessible to the global editorial media, climate campaigners, and communicators.


Heihe, China (23rd December 2017): Taking the future for a test spin in one of the coldest regions on earth. This is the site of winter testing for a number of electric-car manufacturers, as this prototype of Chinese Slovenian joint venture APG Elaphe. Photo credit: Matjaz Krivic / Climate Visuals Countdown


This is your opportunity to contribute or share an opportunity to help address climate change using photography.  Share our submissions link, call on Twitter, Instagram or  LinkedIn

My wife and son visiting a melon garden in a glasshouse in Bogor, Indonesia. Sustainable farming such as these have become even more common during this pandemic. We took our son to this place for educating him on fruits and vegetables and how to grow them as online education put a stop to many school-organised field trips.
Photo credit: Pramod Kanakath / Climate Visuals Countdown


Finally, if you have already uploaded images – make sure you click ‘Complete Entry’ and have received the on-screen confirmation. Your images must be both uploaded and fully submitted into the system. 


Thank you and good luck!


Toby Smith


Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography

Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography

We're thrilled to launch ‘Visualizing Climate Change: An Open Call for Photography’ with TED Countdown to source, license and promote 100 powerful and diverse images of climate solutions from around the world.

In the lead-up to COP26, we will be supporting climate change photographers,  communicators, organisations and campaigners who have long struggled to create, access or afford quality visual content. 

This initiative will distribute a total licensing fund of US $100,000 directly to the photographers - professional and amateur - whose images are chosen by our independent jury.

In time for this and other new projects and partnerships, we've also launched a brand new Climate Visuals image library. The new site provides a more advanced search functionality including keywords, country, theme, date, license type and source. Users can also now register in order to see and access content that is ‘rights ready’ for their profile and needs, as well as save, download and collaborate on their image selections across multiple lightboxes. 

Submissions open:    1  June

Submissions close:     30 June

To receive the latest updates register now at Climate Visuals and ‘opt-in’ to our newsletter.

New Climate Visuals library

Welcome to the new Climate Visuals website and image library

Welcome to the new, expanded and improved Climate Visuals website and image library - a unique and trusted source of evidence and images for over 350 climate change and environmental groups, journalists, educators and businesses.   

Since our launch in 2016, our collection has grown to host over 1,000 Creative Commons and rights managed images - all content that embodies our evidence-based 7 Climate Visuals principles.   These guidelines and exemplary images help ensure photographers, commissioners and editors can find and select photography that goes beyond illustration towards positive impact. 

In April we relaunched our image library to maximise user and search functionality, creating new digital architecture to underpin four new major projects and partnerships for 2021 and COP26. The system is a customised word-press interface and digital asset management (DAM) platform provided by Capture  and gratefully funded by the KR Foundation

After registration, library users can now see and access content that is ‘rights ready’ for their profile and needs -  searching in combination by keywords,  country, theme, causes, impacts, solutions, date, license type and source.  Users can also save, download and collaborate on their image selections across multiple light boxes and share selected images directly to social media. 

Over the next six months, we plan to grow the library substantially with new partnerships and contributors, whilst rolling out customised climate-change keywords and vocabulary. This strategy and search tool will make our content even more accessible but also enable us to target and support both emerging and urgent climate narratives with the best visual content.   Our Climate Visuals research and full reports can now be found on the main Climate Outreach website, freeing up the Climate Visuals news pages for accessible summaries and news from across visual media. 

New York Climate Week Event: Climate Visuals Documenting Solutions

The power of imagery to communicate the urgency of acting now

In one of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication‘s most popular webinars, Toby Smith, our Senior Programme Lead for Visuals and Media, discusses how visual people-centred narratives and positive solutions drive strong climate communications.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: a call for action

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: A call for entries and action

As the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition retires its Earth’s Environments, Creative Visions and Black and White categories, Competition Manager Gemma Ward shares what’s new for this year.

Three new categories will be introduced for Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Natural Artistry, Wetlands – The Bigger Picture and Oceans – The Bigger Picture. It is hoped that they will create a call for action for the competition and shine a light on some of the world’s most vital ecosystems.

Inspired by new strategies from both the Natural History Museum and the competition, Gemma believes that these new categories will help to ‘engage the public with climate issues and also attract the images that are telling these important stories and which have a strong message’.

‘We have also simplified the titles of the Wildlife Photojournalism and Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award categories to Photojournalism, to make it clear that the coverage is environmental in the broadest sense and not restricted to wildlife conservation and welfare issues’ Gemma explained.

‘There are so many crucial stories to be told and there’s more and more of these images being awarded.’

Ecosystems in focus

Following the museum’s declaration of a planetary emergency in January 2020, Gemma wanted to expand on how the competition engages the public in climate issues.

‘My initial thought was to have a climate change category,’ she says, ‘but then when I did some research, I found that actually it’s a very hard topic to photograph. There are very few photographers actually shooting climate change and we could potentially just have a category of flooding, droughts and fires.

‘They’re important pictures and we have our photojournalism category for them, but really I felt like what we needed to do was to delve deeper and this is where the focus on Oceans and Wetlands, as new categories for the competition, has come from.

 Sewage surfer was a finalist in the 2017 Wildlife Photojournalism category.
Photo credit: Justin Hofman

‘These ecosystems are in need of a critical call for action for their protection’ Gemma says, ‘because both are seriously under threat, and Wetlands are disappearing pretty quickly, and so hopefully this will shine a spotlight on them and bring more awareness to their vital role in tackling climate change.

‘I think a lot of people don’t know much about them and the importance of them, this is where the competition and the photographers work together.

A new perspective

As Wildlife Photographer of the Year looks towards its fifty-seventh year, Gemma considers the growing popularity of conservation images among the public. She says, ‘What’s interesting is that the exhibition visitors are loving the wildlife photojournalism categories, so hopefully these new categories will fall into their hands as well because they obviously appreciate these important stories and this will provide more of that in the exhibition.’

 Palm-oil survivors won the 2017 Wildlife Photojournalism category.
Photo credit: Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski

Outside of the exhibition, conservation and photojournalism have also shone through in the People’s Choice Awards. Gemma explains, ‘For the last few years it’s the conservation images, voted for by the public, that have made the top five, and 10 years ago it would have always been the cute and cuddly or the pretty portraits, and so there is a real shift in the public’s perception and interest in conservation photography.’

This shift has been felt within the photography community as well. ‘A lot of wildlife photographers have felt that they wanted to do more storytelling pictures and that’s how a lot of conservation photographers have come about,’ Gemma adds.

With the natural world in crisis and ecosystems across the world facing destruction, it has never been more important to create advocates for the planet. Wildlife photographers are an important piece of that puzzle.

Is photography sufficient to communicate the climate emergency?

The third episode of the symposium ‘Visualizing Climate Change’,  jointly hosted by The Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the London College of CommunicationUniversity of the Arts LondonClimate VisualsSlideluck Editorial and the VII Photo Agency.

In our analysis and process discovery of how to effectively visualise climate change, we want to start from contemporary and documentary photography as our core medium to disseminate content around the current climate emergency. Furthermore, we want to draw new perimeters of knowledge around visualization and engagement, either by questioning the medium itself, or by using new disciplines and visual arts that go beyond photography.

Aware of the power of visual communication, there’s also a need to move the arts and humanities beyond the usual spaces and channels, as well as giving contemporary photography a social role. Considering the current global crisis, we want to reflect on ways to discover and produce new paradigms for communicating effectively, causes, consequences and solutions for climate change for the present and the future, leading to a long term cultural transition by unifying arts, ecological sustainability and social justice.


Start Time: 15:00 GMT / 16:00 CET / 10:00 EST 26th November 2020

End Time: 17:00 GMT / 18:00 CET / 12:00 EST 26th November 2020

Moderation by Paul Lowe

  • Introduction Maria Teresa Salvati (10 mins)
  • Presentation of the Everything is Connected projects (50 mins)
  • Kublaiklan (10 mins)
  • Shado Magazine (10 mins)
  • Monica Alcazar-Duarte (10 mins)
  • Roundtable (30 mins)

Register here

Maria Teresa Salvati, Slideluck Editorial

Maria Teresa Salvati, founder and director of Slideluck Editorial will present the results and the current ramification of disciplines involved in the ‘Everything is Connected’ call launched back in February. The call focused on climate change, and specifically had the intention to force a reflection on the inextricable connection between human action and the climate crisis and so, on the impact each of us has in carrying out with the way we live; and, not less important, on how the climate emergency is also tethered with the unjust world we live in.

The ten selected projects make us travel everywhere in the world, and through personal gazes, documentation, creativity and inspiration, they try to define new meanings of “connection”.

‘Everything is Connected’ is also an experimentation around participatory narrative, which puts together unusual targets, different media and disciplines, with the aim to reach new and wider publics, hoping to create empathy and inspiring positive actions by touching heart and eyes, and seeing the connection between planetary health and human health.

 Isadora’s project project explores the human presence on the white continent, bringing out the absurdities & contradictions of the human species.
Photo credit: Isadora Romero

Rica Cerbarano, Kublaiklan

Kublaiklan collective explores widely accessible ways of interacting with photography and investigates contemporary visual culture through site specific installations, curatorial, educational and editorial activities.

“Through the eyes of children” is a project by Kublaiklan. In the occasion of the ’Everything is connected’ call, the curatorial collective has developed a version of it on the topic of climate change and environmental issues.

Kublaiklan’s goal is to encourage reflection on the use and perception of images today. How do we look at the images we are surrounded by everyday? To what extent is our gaze filtered by our social beliefs? And above all: is photography enough to express and illustrate the issue of climate change? Starting from these questions, “Through the eyes of children” is a project conducted with children aged 6 to 12, working with the idea of their unfiltered gaze; and, above all, this project wants to underline the ambiguous nature of images and the importance of involving children and young people as active participants in the discourse on visual education.

Hannah Robathan / Isabella Pearce, Shado Magazine

Shado Magazine is a multimedia platform driving change at the intersection of arts, activism and academia. We aim to create a culture-led system change through uniting the work of those working at the frontlines of social, political and cultural change, platforming those with lived experience.

Our response to the theme ‘Everything is Connected’ has been to focus on reframing conversations around climate change as climate justice: that is, recognising that the climate crisis is a social justice issue.

For this to happen, people who have historically been left out of the climate conversation need to be at the forefront of any discussion. This focuses on those who are disproportionately impacted by the physical impacts of climate change – but who, in a twisted irony, are the people who have contributed the least to the crisis yet are impacted the most.

Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Monica Alcazar-Duarte is a British-Mexican multi-disciplinary visual artist. In her projects she seamlessly mixes images and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality, to create multi-layered work. In recent years Monica has mainly focused on the human relationship with Nature and our current use of technology and science as an attempt to gain control over it. Through the use of interactive images Monica’s work engages audiences in the process of producing meaning through seemingly disconnected narratives.

Alcazar-Duarte’s work confronts our obsession with speed, growth and a better future, and highlights our collective failure in accepting Nature’s evolutionary systems and its slow but incremental change.

The Lit x Climate Visuals: flash fiction and poetry competition

In August 2020, The Literary Platform asked aspiring fiction writers and poets to submit their response to one of four photographs.

Our Climate Visuals team work with a range of photographers to document the changes, impacts and responses to climate change. Our aim is to inspire visual communicators across the world, to move away from clichéd images of polar bears, melting ice caps and factories, to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change. Together, with The Lit, we selected four images from four different photographers, exploring a variety of regions and communities around the world, and their relationship with the changing climate.

The aim of the competition was to showcase some of the ways in which different disciplines and media cross-pollinate. We are therefore delighted to share the winning and shortlisted entries below.

The work of six winning writers – responding to each of the photographs through storytelling or poetry – was originally published in Issue 3 of The Lit.

Solmaz Daryani, from The Eyes of Earth (The Death of Lake Urmia), Iran

The Eyes of Earth (The Death of Lake Urmia), Iran
Photo credit: Solmaz Daryani
  • Lake Urmia – located in the northwest of Iran – was once the biggest salt lake in the Middle East.
  • Lake Urmia was once home to many birds, ducks, pelicans and flamingoes, as well as a popular destination for visitors.
  • During the past 20 years, climatic changes, intensive agriculture and dam construction have combined to transform the lake; approximately 80% of the lake has disappeared.
  • The Noah’s Ark was once the biggest pleasure boat on the lake.

Solmaz Daryani; Instagram: @solmazdaryani, Twitter: @SolmazDaryani


Greg Kahn, from 3 Millimeters, Maryland, USA

Vanishing forests, growing marsh, and ‘For Sale’ signs in front of homes. 3 Millimeters, Maryland, USA.
Photo credit: Greg Kahn / Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
  • The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a short drive from Washington D.C. Its position means it was one of the first landed shores for colonial settlers.
  • Sea levels here are rising twice as fast as the global average.
  • Gradient sea walls, vegetation re-nourishment and education are among the efforts seeking to preserve natural habitat and homes in some locations along the coast; in other places along Chesapeake Bay the rising sea levels are irreversible.
  • Property values have fallen sharply in the most vulnerable areas, some have retreated from homes as the marsh land expands.

Greg Kahn, Instagram: @gregkahn, Twitter: @GregKahn


Aji Styawan, from Drowning Land, Demak Regency, Indonesia

  • The majority of the small islands among the 17,000 which make up the archipelago nation of Indonesia are only one meter above sea level.
  • In Demak Regency, Indonesia, local residents will spend around 5 to 10 million rupiahs a year to elevate their homes.
  • The ocean now engulfs thousands of hectares of land in some villages; farmers have become fishermen, as villagers have adapted to survive in different ways.
  • In a flooded public cemetery, the residents buried here are submerged by the rising sea that now surrounds their former homes.

Aji Styawan Instagram: @ajistyawan, Twitter: @adjiestyawan


Sophie Gerrard, The Flows, Caithness and Sutherland, Scotland

The Flows, Caithness and Sutherland, Scotland.
Photo credit: Sophie Gerrard
  • Flow Country is a peatland in the far north of mainland Scotland. Peatlands, a rare and unique habitat across the globe, hold almost 30 per cent of all terrestrial carbon.
  • Scotland’s peatland is widely considered to be the largest expanse of blanket peat bog in the world and the principal terrestrial carbon store in the UK.
  • In the Flow Country, incentives to make productive use of the peatland led to extensive forestry which dried and degraded the ecosystem.
  • Canes are used to create dams that maintain water levels in the Flow Country, helping restore the natural habitat.

Sophie Gerrard Instagram: @sophiegerrard, Twitter: @sophiegerrard_

Winning poet

Michaela Moclair for Abrasion

Winning fiction writer

George Harrison for Holding Out

Shortlisted poets

Clare Dwyer for Flow Country

Keiran Potter for Stolen Sugar

Shortlisted fiction writers

Clare Elwell for Salt Lakes

Sinead Price for Captain of the Sea

Climate Visuals Countdown: Open call for photography by TED Countdown & Climate Visuals

We’re delighted to announce that the Climate Visuals programme has partnered with TED Countdown – a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action – to launch an open call for photography.

Climate Visuals Countdown is a photography initiative created by TED Countdown and our Climate Visuals programme.

The open call in 2021 will source, license and promote 100 powerful images of climate change taken by both professional and amateur photographers from around the world. The final 100 images will be selected by an independent jury, and this initiative will distribute a total licensing fund of US $100,000 directly to the chosen photographers.


 Family in Demak Regency, Indonesia, in their flooded home
Photo credit: Aji Styawan / Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Further details on the initiative will be announced in early 2021. Submissions will support the overall TED Countdown objective – to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. As with TED Countdown, the photography initiative will have five sub-themes that will be phased in during 2021: energy, transport, materials, food and nature.

The call for entries will ask photographers to submit work that embodies the Climate Visuals’ evidence base on how photography can most effectively maximize storytelling, increase engagement and encourage positive behavior change.

To make sure you don’t miss details about this call for photography as they are announced, sign up to the Climate Outreach newsletter!

Getty Images partners with Climate Visuals to launch guidelines helping brands and businesses use visuals which incite change

We’re delighted to announce Getty Images has partnered with our Climate Visuals programme to launch guidelines helping brands and businesses use visuals which incite change. Read Getty Images’ full press release below about this partnership and new research showing climate and sustainability are still a top concern despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK – October 7, 2020: Getty Images has today unveiled new research which shows that climate, and sustainability more broadly, are still key issues for people even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings have been revealed in a second wave of research for Visual GPS, completed in conjunction with global market research firm YouGov.

The updated Visual GPS research reveals that 81% of people globally expect companies to be environmentally aware in all their advertising and communications. Even despite Covid-19, nearly all points on sustainability remained similar, if not higher than from previous data taken before Covid-19:

  • 91% of respondents today said they believe the way we treat our planet now will have a large impact on the future, compared to 92% from July 201
  • 69% of respondents today said they do everything they can do reduce their carbon footprint, an increase from 63% from July 2019
  • 85% of respondents today are worried about air pollution, compared to 84% from July 2019

”It is surprising and heartening that despite the huge change to people’s lifestyles and consumer behavior brought about by Covid-19, the environment and sustainability remain as important to people as they ever were. While interest in the environment waned in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the environment has become inextricably linked to wellness during the Covid-19 crisis.” – Dr Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Creative Insights at Getty Images

Visualising sustainability guidelines

In response to the Visual GPS research, Getty Images has partnered with Climate Visuals, the world’s only evidence-backed program for climate change photography, to present Visualizing Sustainability Guidelines. The guidelines below are linked to curated imagery of example content and give brands and businesses practical recommendations on how to find and use fresh and relevant visual content to communicate their commitment to sustainability and inspire their audiences to action.

Businesses have sustainability experts and/or Diversity & Inclusion experts but visual content relating to environmentalism and sustainability should not be separated from visual content that is inclusive and diverse. Representational strategies should extend to sustainability.

Climate change affects everyone across the globe, so intentionally include representation across ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, religion and culture. Empower and feature all underrepresented voices. Break stereotypes of every kind.

Familiar images of melting icebergs and industrial chimney stacks can be popular symbols for signifying climate change, but they lose currency with repeated exposure. In addition to the classic symbolism, try expanding your scope with visuals that illustrate new sustainable concepts such as “circular economy”, “reusable” or “energy efficiency”.

Brands, eager to overcome the sense of helplessness many consumers feel, should focus on visual content that helps visualize the concrete actions, positive steps, outcomes and real solutions that will pave the way to a better, more sustainable future.

Content should reflect authentic stories, including both the positive and negative aspects of outcomes and activities of individuals, communities and businesses who are innovating and collaborating to achieve sustainability. From those who are making small lifestyle changes, to industries who are driving innovative sustainable initiatives and new technologies.

Creative content should show authentic individuals having real impact on a local level. Visuals highlighting individuals and groups at their best, relative to sustainability issues, personalize the stories for your target audience. Think about every aspect of the visual – whether it be an image, video or illustration – plastic straws, disposable coffee cups and plastic bags are elemental but undermine the sustainable message.

”In partnering with Getty Images on these new guidelines, we aim to  help brands and businesses take an evidence-based, solutions-focused approach to the climate crisis, visualizing the actions, objects, and ideas that are paving the way to a greener future.” – Toby Smith, Senior Program Lead: Visuals & Media at Climate Visuals

For more information on Visual GPS please visit

We’re supporting the Global Climate Strike

As an organisation dedicated to widening engagement with climate change, we’re fully behind the FridaysForFuture movement. Young people have demonstrated the power they have to drive public and political sentiment to back transformative climate action.

In turn, Climate Outreach has supported the movement by providing a training for its national representatives in how to hold effective climate conversations.

We welcome the opportunity to show solidarity with the young activists during the Global Climate Strike on September 20th and are enabling all our staff to support the strikers in whichever way feels appropriate to them. Staff taking part in the strike may for example be offering to support anyone wishing to gain confidence in talking climate – a key action in driving change.

Climate Outreach believes that climate change needs to be turned from a scientific reality into a social reality if we are going to take the necessary steps to safeguard our communities and environment. Public engagement is the key element for building social, political and economic change and requires action across the political and tactical spectrum.

Change often requires disruption. We note that protest movements have often played a critical role in historic system change and the furtherance of human rights – albeit using a wide range of tactics. As an organisation, Climate Outreach recognises and follows the law in all aspects of its operations.

New York Climate Week Event: Climate Visuals Documenting Solutions