It all started with a cough In June 2013, over 500 climate activists from 130 countries met in Istanbul, to come up with strategies for a global climate movement. It was when people were protesting in Gezi Park and change was in the air. On a sunny day, a couple of activists sat together outside in the park, talking about how to help people all over the world relate to the complexity of climate change. There was a lot of ideas flying around and the brainstorming was basically a creative explosion, where anything is possible. There was talking, there was laughing, there was coughing. In the end, having the inflatables artist Artúr von Balen on the team, we came up with the idea of building a giant inflatable, breathing lung that would travel the world to illustrate the effects of coal combustion on human health. Why lungs? The human lung is a crucial and fragile organ and therefore a good metaphor for the health of our planet. Coal combustion has a direct impact on our health and the climate. Coal-fired power plants emit huge amounts of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and nitric oxides. Particulate matter can lead to cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems and diseases of the nervous system. A big plant emits several thousand tons of toxic pollutants every year. Further, CO2 emissions advance global warming. While the complexity of the effects of climate change on the people and the planet can be hard to decipher, the direct effect on our health is visible and verifiable. A point that’s hard to argue with is easy to fight for, right? Cough4coal is a campaign led by volunteers from all over the world. It depends on the commitment of individuals that are supporting the idea to keep the lungs alive, to pass them on, so that they can travel the world and be linked to creative actions that are happening in different places. If you want to support the campaign, please write an e-mail to