Climate Change

We’re in the midst of a climate emergency.

We can see the effects in the fires, floods and droughts that are becoming increasingly common in all parts of the world; and in the hotter summers, harsher storms, and increasingly unpredictable patterns of our weather.

We humans have brought this about, and we will need to change as both individuals and communities if we are to avoid the mass extinction of much of the rich diversity of plants, animals and landscape that we are privileged to live amongst.

The scale of the challenge can appear daunting; but the need for action is now.

As teachers of conscious movement we have skills and resources we can bring to the task:
  • We can include what’s happening in our consciousness, and support our students to hold it in their awareness too.
  • We know and can teach how to move and change in response to what’s happening around us.
  • We have an awareness we can share that we exist as part of a wider, connected whole.
  • And in the way we honour our own bodies we model how we might all honour the body of the Earth itself.

The ICMTA is ready to play its part in responding to the climate emergency. We have adopted a Climate Policy which we hope will bring more awareness of our impact in this area to the decisions we make as an Association; and also support and inspire you our members to do more of whatever feels appropriate to you to address the situation.

Below are some articles and resources that you may find interesting and helpful.
  • 29 Dec 2021 09:31 | Lina Kriskova (Administrator)

    Climate Change - We are the Problem & the Solution: short, clear - a lot of information in a simple format.

    The disarming case to act right now on climate change  - short, moving, powerful - Greta Thunberg at her best

    Climate Change - The Facts  - an hour of compelling science, and clear solutions, presented by David Attenborough

  • 29 Dec 2021 09:22 | Lina Kriskova (Administrator)

    Not so long ago, in those heady days when dancing in person was still permitted!, we ran an article about the carbon footprint of our Teacher Gatherings.

    We had recently had to cancel our planned Gathering in Prague, due to the pandemic, and we calculated we had saved more than 30 tonnes of CO2 equivalent by not meeting in person.

    (That’s roughly the amount produced in a whole year by 10 homes using non-renewable energy for heat and power.)

    Of course, like so many of us have been doing with our classes and workshops, we didn’t just cancel the Gathering altogether. We moved it online.

    So we thought we’d better check our assumption that this was kinder to the environment.

    Using the internet still generates carbon emissions. Are they so much less than meeting in person?

    A simple google search doesn’t provide easy answers. It’s complicated to measure the environmental impact. So we rolled up our sleeves and did some more detailed research. 

    We came up with some answers, but we would like to bring in a disclaimer. This is a complex and technical area, and what follows is just a personal summary of what we found. 

    One scientific study we read traced all the direct and indirect carbon emissions involved in two scenarios: one where people were holding a meeting face to face, and the other via video conferencing. The authors included not only the carbon emissions from the energy use at home, but also the indirect emissions generated by the data storage and transfer, and even a small proportion of the greenhouse gases involved in the making of our laptops and computers. Using their figures, we conclude that offering our Gathering via zoom used as much as 800 times less carbon than if we had met in person! 

    Of course, our Gatherings are international events, with teachers travelling from far away to attend.

    (We are looking at ways to do things differently in future, so we can continue to offer us all the chance to meet in person, but also reduce our impact on the climate.) For any in person workshop the largest impact is likely to be in participants’ travel. We calculate that the total impact of heating and power supplied from non-renewable sources for a weekend workshop in a community hall is perhaps typically 0.14 tonnes of CO2e. If you have 30 participants, each travelling an average total of 100km to attend, the travel emissions will be approximately 0.35 tonnes (assuming some come by car, and some by train). And on those figures, teaching the same event online would have 16 times less impact than meeting in person. Not nearly as much, but still substantial.

    A second source we looked at compared the carbon emissions of connecting online with audio only and with three different qualities of video definition. Meeting using the very highest video definition generates a staggering 35 times more carbon than audio only, and almost 5 times more than standard video definition. So even within our work online there are choices to be made.

    Of course, we’re not suggesting we should all stop teaching in real rooms with sweaty bodies.. But equally, during this peculiar time perhaps we’ve found some interesting ways to connect with dancers from further afield online. Knowledge is power. And as and when the pandemic recedes, maybe we’ll all think about how to shape our future offerings with at least some awareness of our impact on the planet.

    Hilde Kloeck & Andrew Holmes

    (The sources we consulted can be found here:

    Complete life-cycle assessment of the energy CO2 costs of videoconferencing vs face-to-face meetings

    The hidden pollution cost of online meetings 

    Building a greener internet)

  • 29 Dec 2021 09:15 | Lina Kriskova (Administrator)

    (This article was originally published in ICMTA Members' Newsletter in July 2020.)

    Sadly, our ICMTA Teacher Gathering in Prague this year didn’t happen because of Covid-19. However, we had a wonderful online gathering instead with lots of dancing, an awesome General Assembly and break-out rooms with different conversations. I joined the room talking about the Climate Crisis. We started exploring this huge topic tenderly, realizing that we are just starting on an intriguing journey. One comment from Sarah Davies stayed with me. She said: “What if we calculate the amount of carbon we didn’t emit by not coming together in Prague?” So I did!

    With a little help from my friends, I made a hypothetical calculation of 40 people coming together in Prague from all over Europe and the USA. You can see the calculations in the spreadsheet on GoogleDocs here. We saved over 30 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted! 

    Does that figure mean anything to you? 

    To give you some context: If everybody had come by train (not actually possible, but just for comparison), we would have emitted 3,81 tonnes. If everybody had come by car (also not possible), we would have emitted 28,6 tonnes. If everybody came by plane, we would have emitted 32 tonnes. You can also compare it to the CO2 emissions in one year for the average European: 8,7 tonnes!

    So, what did I learn from calculating this? I used three different calculators and got three very different results. The reason is that burning oil at high altitude actually causes a lot more global warming than burning it on the ground, due to an effect called 'radiative forcing'. So although flying uses about the same amount of fuel as driving alone in an average family car, it causes a lot more Climate Change. This effect is unfortunately a bit hard to calculate so different calculators multiply the CO2 figure by anything from 1.2 to 4.7 times - or even just ignore it altogether, which makes flying look misleadingly 'green'! I chose a calculator recommended by an independent researcher - Greentripper - which multiplies by a factor of 2. What would be interesting is to examine how this 30 tonnes relates to the 1.5° of warming that scientists agree we need to restrict average temperature rise to. I will try to look that up and report my findings in a future newsletter. 

    The ICMTA is interested in developing some resources that would help us all as teachers address the Climate Emergency in our work.

    Do you think about your environmental impact as a teacher?

    And is there anything practical that you do to try and reduce the carbon footprint of your work?

    We would love to hear from you with any practical things that you’re doing, however small!

    We’d like to put together a collection of examples of the different ways we could each make a difference.

    Please do share what you’re doing in this area by emailing us at

    We would also love to hear your comments, questions and wishes around this theme. 

    Thank you!

While we make every effort to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, we cannot guarantee that everything is up-to-date when you read it. Please check with us, or the ICMTA member concerned, if it is important.

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