LONDON — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has entered into a partnership with the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), the global membership body for PR agencies, to help tackle communications challenges around the climate crisis.

UNDP is the largest United Nations agency leading the fight against climate change, with 6,000 projects across 170 countries. ICCO is a federation of national and international PR membership bodies, with more than 3,000 agency members across 82 countries.

The UNDP’s partnership with ICCO includes the creation of a Climate Comms Taskforce, spearheaded by Chris Pratt, a member of the Climate Communication Group of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and MD of Hill & Knowlton's Better Impact sustainability practice, and by UNDP chief creative officer Boaz Paldi.

The taskforce – first unveiled by Paldi at ICCO’s global summit in Warsaw last month (pictured) – will seek to draw on some of the world’s best climate communicators and PR strategists to mount a series of campaigns and activations across key global markets.

Paldi said the partnership was a significant signal of intent from the UNDP to draw on the skills of PR professionals to deliver impactful messages on climate change into communities around the world.

“PR is an integral component in the fight against climate change, this is recognised by scientists and global institutions like UNDP. The partnership with ICCO will help drive earned global media attention and engagement in our campaigns and delivering UNDP messages in local markets in a way that will be locally understood. ICCO’s cross-agency, international strategic plan will be essential to the success of our work. This is a long-term relationship that can be nurtured for the betterment of the planet.”

ICCO will announce new members of the taskforce in the coming weeks. ICCO president Grzegorz Szczepanski, Hill & Knowlton Poland CEO, said: “Climate change is one of the most critical global issues of our time – and we believe it’s an issue for our industry to solve. ICCO has long supported the Sustainable Development Goals and recognises the significance of their work. Their important messages need to influence people across a vast array of geographies and demographics.

“This partnership is a significant recognition from UNDP of the central role PR and comms expertise will play in achieving their goals. In turn it is a recognition from ICCO members, of the power we have to cause real change. We are proud to support this cause.”