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UN Seeks Global PR Firm To Support Climate Change Efforts
Arun Sudhaman
Holmes Report
President/Editor-in-Chief

UN Seeks Global PR Firm To Support Climate Change Efforts

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is seeking a PR firm to help it improve awareness of its efforts to reduce global emissions.

Arun Sudhaman

BONN, GERMANY—The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is seeking a PR firm to help improve awareness of its efforts to reduce global emissions. 

The Holmes Report understands that the UN body has contacted PR firms regarding the global brief, after releasing a public 'expression of interest' tender earlier this year.

The tender calls for a broad range of services — creative strategy, media outreach, content placement and publicity events — within the framework contract, although it is understood that each of these will be governed by individual agency agreements.

Launched 22 years ago in Rio de Janeiro, the UNFCCC is the parent treaty behind the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 

To date, 196 UN member states have ratified the UNFCCC, with the next set of meetings due to take place in Peru later this year.

According to sources familiar with the process, the UNFCCC secretariat is aiming to continue raising the climate change agenda, alongside its own efforts in the area — which include numerous strategy meetings and negotiating sessions.

Last year, the UNFCCC tapped Ogilvy PR to support its 'Momentum for Change' campaign, in run-up to the 2013 Warsaw conference. 

A UNFCCC spokesperson confirmed that a tender had been issued but declined to provide comment, "in order not to compromise the ongoing selection process".

News of the UNFCCC brief comes amid scrutiny of PR agency climate change policies, after a survey of a selection of PR firms by the Guardian and the Climate Investigations Center. 

The consequent Guardian report cited WPP, Waggener Edstrom, Weber Shandwick, Text100, and Finn Partners as firms that have pledged “not [to] represent clients who deny man-made climate change, or take campaigns seeking to block regulations limiting carbon pollution” — ambiguous phrasing that has triggered skepticism in some quarters.

Edelman has since stated that it does not "accept clients that seek to deny climate change", after questions were raised about the firm's work with the American Petroleum Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec).

 

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