Major media brands sign up to climate content pledge during Cop26

The pledge was brought together by environmental sustainability body Albert.

Twelve of the UK’s major media brands have agreed to increase the amount and improve the quality of their climate change storytelling.

The signatories – including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky – represent more than 70% of the time UK audiences spend watching TV and film.

Britbox, Discovery and RTE are also among the companies to sign up to the Climate Content Pledge.

The pledge was brought together by Albert, the screen industry organisation for environmental sustainability, and is being launched to coincide with the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The companies have not set measurable targets but will announce their own commitments in the coming year.

During a panel on Wednesday as part of Cop26, the chief executives of the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky and STV will call on the media industry to create more content reflecting the realities of climate change.

They will also look at the role of broadcasters and streaming services in tackling the issues, and explore the measures needed to cut emissions to net zero.

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BBC director-general Tim Davie (Richard Kendal/RTS/PA)

BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “This pledge is a firm commitment from our industry to go further and faster to engage and inform audiences on the climate challenges we all face.”

Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said: “This is a pivotal time for broadcasters and for our audiences as we join together to tackle the climate crisis that affects us and future generations.

“Signing this pledge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for broadcasters and programme makers to work together and use the power of content on every platform.”

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Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon (Yui Mok/PA)

Dame Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV, said: “From plant-based recipes on daytime to putting electric vehicles on Emmerdale, ITV is committed to using our reach and world-class talent to make the transition to a sustainable future relevant and accessible for our audiences.

“This pledge is a demonstration of how an industry can work together to create real change.”

Dame Carolyn McCall
Dame Carolyn McCall (Parliament TV/PA)

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s executive vice president and chief executive of UK and Europe, said: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business, from being the first carbon neutral media company to launching the world’s first carbon neutral TV in Sky Glass.

“Now, using our content and reach in millions of homes, we have the opportunity to inspire our customers to make changes that will help us all get to net zero.

“This pledge is an example of the strength of the broadcast industry to come together and drive significant action.”

The panel will take place at the BBC Scotland HQ on November 3 at 11am and will be streamed at youtube.com/BAFTAGuru

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