WASHINGTON, DC--The United Nations Foundation has drafted in three PR firms and a new senior executive to drive a major new global assignment focusing on climate change. 

The public charity that supports the UN's causes is set to begin a two-year project to boost awareness and understanding of climate change problems.

The UN Foundation has named former Al Gore spokesperson Kalee Kreider to head the effort. Kreider arrives after rejoining Fenton Communications last year.

In addition, the organization has selected Havas PR to lead global PR for the effort. Havas will be supported by Grayling in Asia, while Glover Park Group has been tapped to provide specialist research.

The climate change initiative will be the latest in a series of high-profile campaigns from the UN Foundation. Previous efforts have focused on such areas as child health; energy; and female development.

UN Foundation communications and PR VP Aaron Sherinian told the Holmes Report that one of the challenges the programme will tackle is ongoing climate science scepticism.

"That’s one of the issues the project will be looking at," he said. "The more people know, the more we talk about reality."

Broadly, said Sherinian, the effort will seek to boost communications around environmental and climate change issues.

"We live in an era where environment and climate are parts of people's everyday lives," added Sherinian. "The science proves it. The business community knows it matters. How we talk about those issues on a global stage is an important part of the project."

Climate change and sustainable energy form one of the Foundation's key campaign areas. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has made cooperation on climate change one of his top priorities since taking office.

Last year, Weber Shandwick was hired to lead the Sustainable Energy for All project, which seeks to improve energy efficiency and achieve universal energy access.

Sherinian explained that the climate change project will also attempt to enable "the community to work to improve messaging and communications around those issues, particularly in a digital media era."

Defining that community will form part of the challenge. Sherinian pointed to a diverse stakeholder group, including "organizations large and small; the science community; the business community; and government leaders at a local and global level."

The UN Foundation selected the three firms following what Sherinian characterised as a "limited RFP."

The organization works with numerous PR agencies. APCO leads the Shot@Life campaign, while Fenton Communications oversees the #GivingTuesday push. In addition, Fleishman-Hillard handles the Foundation's corporate PR requirements.

The UN Foundation launched in 1998 with a $1bn grant from Ted Turner, and aims to encourage donations that support the United Nations in executing its programs worldwide.