The climate change conference COP28 in Dubai, this year, asks brands to donate millions of pounds as sponsorship. They promise that sponsors will benefit from “access and unparalleled networking opportunities with global governments and businesspeople”.
Sky News has seen documents that show the most expensive package costs PS6.5m. It includes “a speaking opportunity at the UAE Presidency events” as well as “partner recognition on trophies wall”.
Documents show that the Climate Conference is seeking sponsorship packages worth more than 25 million pounds sterling from companies.
Sky News quoted a senior corporate executive as saying: “A COP event is not an opportunity to make money. We’re here to protect the planet and reduce climate change, not to milk sponsors.
It is a discrediting of the whole event, and it makes people lose faith in the entire process.
According to the executive who is familiar with the rates, sponsorship prices have nearly tripled since the COP27 in Cairo last year. This reflects the increased commercialisation of United Nations summits.
The United Arab Emirates is hosting this year’s event, which is already embroiled with controversy. They have hired a former Boris Johnson adviser who was against an oil and gasoline tax, selected senior oil industry executive Sultan al Jaber to be its president, as well as invited Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who is accused by many of crimes against humanity.
Nearly 200 countries gather every year to discuss ways to address the climate crisis. There are also thousands of media, civil society and observers.
COP is the acronym for Conference of the Parties. It refers to the governments who have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Last year, sponsors included Microsoft and Coca-Cola. The company was named as the world’s biggest plastics polluter by 2022 Break Free From Plastics’ global brand audit.
Sky is sponsoring the COP26 conference in Glasgow, 2021.
Government officials give executives a chance to mingle
Nearly a quarter million people signed a petition asking the summit’s organizers to stop soliciting corporate sponsorship.
Brands that spend more than PS3m in sponsorship will receive accreditation to allow their executives to attend and mix with government officials.
Five passes are included in the so-called Industry Partner Package, which costs PS3.2m and offers companies an “unparalleled opportunity to become a crucial part of this event for leading names” within their respective industries.
The Principal Partner Package, which costs over PS6m, includes 25 passes that are not accredited for executives of companies to attend the discussions.
Subscribe to ClimateCast via Apple Podcasts or Spreaker
The organisers have promised that the principal sponsor of COP28 will be granted “privileged access” into the Blue Zone. This is the area reserved only for world leaders, negotiators from countries, and NGOs.
The opportunity to host an event and a reception is also available, something that lower-tier sponsors are not entitled to.
The event is a great opportunity for brands to showcase their accomplishments in all areas of the business. Participants will also be motivated to take action on the environmental issues which are increasingly affecting us today.
According to the documents, they will also receive “a variety of benefits that demonstrate their market presence.”
Sky News contacted the UN and they said that sponsorship of COP28 is handled by the host nation. They directed all press inquiries to the UAE.
Sky News has contacted the UAE to get their comments.
The Climate Show with Tom Heap airs on Sky News on Saturday and Sunday between 3pm and 7:30pm, as well as on Sky News’ website and app. You can also watch it on Twitter and YouTube.
This show explores the effects of global warming on our landscape, and offers solutions.