26 images capture the devastation of climate change – and hope for the future


POWERFUL images can shock and terrify. They can attract you or distract you. Regardless of which front line the goal is on – be it war, poverty, disease or any number of extreme situations – the resulting images bear witness to some of the most appalling events in the world. modern history. Photography is a currency that can condemn, or validate. Inspire and motivate. Remind us of hard truths long after living memory has faded.

In short, images can change the world. And as the people of our world embrace the reality of climate change, it has never been more necessary.

(Related: What is COP26 and why is it so important?)

Some images offer an instant visual punch to the guts: the effect of a decade of acidification and temperature rise on a coral outcrop on the Great Barrier Reef, for example, with an older photograph juxtaposed on stage by photographer David Doubilet. Even on a print, the vibrancy of the photo compared to real coral is astounding.

Then there are the mountains of garment waste at a processing plant in Italy, scaled by the two humans – a designer and a model – in the lower corner. This image, by Luca Locatelli, was used by National Geographic to underline a better use of the colossal waste generated by the fashion industry, and the unnecessarily short lifespan of its product, which is often costly for the environment.

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