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Broadcasters collaborate at COP26 to show the power of television to inspire climate action

Oct 26, 2021

  • An inspiring programme of events is planned by BBC, C4, ITV, SKY and STV with BAFTA’s albert, alongside sustainability partner Natural Capital Partners.
  • Events will showcase the UK broadcasters’ radical collaboration in sustainability through albert both on and off screen, for the past decade.
  • Events will be live streamed for a wider audience.

The UK’s key broadcasters are hosting a series of events from COP26 in Glasgow this November. The events will showcase the collaborative work of the broadcasters over the past decade through BAFTA’s albert – the screen industry organisation for environmental sustainability which aims to reduce the environmental impacts of production and empower creatives to produce content that supports a vision for a sustainable future. The events are also being supported by Natural Capital Partners, experts in carbon neutrality and climate finance, and partners of albert’s creative offset scheme.

Carys Taylor, director of albert said: “The screen industries are absolutely critical to enabling the transition to a sustainable future. Over the past decade, the TV industry has been collaborating to better understand the role it can play. Now, at the most critical summit on climate, we are supporting some of the biggest players in UK broadcasting to showcase their learnings and, importantly, how they intend to continue to rise to the challenge that lies ahead.”

The week-long series of events will cover topics from sport production to continuing drama, comedy to news reporting. Five of the events are taking place across BBC Scotland and STV, whilst two are part of the official COP26 programme in the Green Zone.  Each event will feature industry voices from the broadcasters as well as clips and case studies to highlight best practice. Alongside an invited audience, the events will be live streamed for free, via the BAFTA Guru YouTube page. Official COP events will be streamed via their YouTube channel.

Notable highlights from the event programme include, Telling Climate Stories Together: In conversation with the broadcaster CEOs which will bring together Stephen van Rooyen (SKY) Tim Davie, (BBC) Carolyn McCall, (ITV) Simon Pitts (STV) and Alex Mahon (C4) to discuss the crucial responsibility and unique opportunity broadcasters and streamers have to help audiences understand and navigate the climate challenges that will affect us all.

The ambition is that discussing the work happening in the UK will ignite the conversation with broadcasters globally and allow for further collaboration across the world, both on screen and behind the scenes to share best practice and inspire the industry to do even more. 

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV said, “The TV Industry needs to continue to leverage our unique ability to make climate action relevant and accessible for everyone. Like every sector, we need to make sure our own operations are in order, which is why ITV is committed and well on track to achieving our Net Zero targets. But more than that, we can bring this huge topic to life through the nation’s best loved shows. From Soaps to Daytime, News to Entertainment and more, we can help viewers feel empowered to make a difference.”

Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon said: “Young people have become the driving force demanding that we all change the way we live and do business so that we can save the planet for theirs and future generations. Broadcasters have a unique ability to reflect all sides of the debate, present the facts and engage with our audiences. At Channel 4, we are committed to doing our part – not only giving young people a platform but also behaving responsibly to reduce our own impact on the world we live in.”

Simon Pitts, chief executive of STV said: “With the world coming to STV’s home city of Glasgow next week, it’s never been more important for broadcasters to demonstrate the power of television to raise awareness and effect change. Through STV Zero we’re committed to becoming a net zero carbon business by 2030, and through the unique reach of our programming – from the soaps, to news and current affairs, to our local programming about Scotland – we want to inform and inspire our audiences to change how they live.”

Vaughan Lindsay, CEO of Natural Capital Partners, says: “We have a long history of working with broadcasters to deliver on their commitments to carbon neutrality and net zero. And we’re delighted to work with them at COP as they go one step further and use their unique strength as an industry to showcase the power of television to inform, entertain and engage on the need for climate action in this critical decade.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC director of nations said: “As the world comes together for the COP26 conference – right alongside our BBC Scotland HQ – we’re delighted to be offering a broad and bold range of programming to inform and inspire audiences in the UK and across the world. From our base at Pacific Quay, we’ll be hosting events discussing the role of comedy, weather and sport – all part of our commitment to engage audiences on climate issues through the content that matters most to them. Crucially, the BBC is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2030 and our approach is rigorous and underpinned by the science.”

The announcement follows on from the news that from 1 Nov for one week, Casualty, Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Holby City and Hollyoaks have joined together to broadcast a ‘soap first’ by creating a series of storylines that will cover different aspects of the climate conversation and which will see some of the audience’s best loved characters pop up in another soap in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.


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