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October 21, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:42am

‘HoloSnow’ hits the road: How C4, Times, BBC, Sun, ITV and others are covering Cop26

By Michele Theil

A hologram of Jon Snow will present a series about the future of climate change ahead of Cop26, part of media coverage around the international summit in Glasgow set to be attended by world leaders.

HoloSnow (pictured) will present #OurClimateFutures, which will show viewers two possible futures: one where the world is on track to meet its climate targets, and another where we miss them with catastrophic results.

“Jon Snow will take you where you’ve never been before – to show a glimpse of the future for humanity that the vast majority of climate scientists have forecast,” said Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear.

Sky will launch a dedicated channel for its coverage of the summit, for which it is the official media partner.

The BBC will also debut a new five-part series narrated by Sir David Attenborough ahead of the climate conference, which will take place from 31 October to 11 November and is hosted by the UN.

[Read more: How UK press moved from denial to acceptance and now action on climate change]

Several organisations, including DMGT, the Evening Standard, The Independent, News UK, Reach, the Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian, and the News Media Association, have joined the Ad Net Zero 2030 initiative, headed by Newsworks, which aims to cut carbon emissions in advertising operations by 2030.

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At present, the UK advertising industry as a whole is estimated to have a carbon footprint of up to a million tonnes, according to Newsworks.

Below we take a look at how each UK news organisation is planning to cover the Cop26 climate summit:

Sky News

Sky News has announced it will be the principal partner and media partner for the Cop26 climate summit and will launch a dedicated channel, Sky News Climate LIVE, for coverage of the conference from 1-12 November led by Anna Jones and Sam Washington from a bespoke on-location studio.

The Daily Climate Show, dedicated to telling the story of climate change every day, will broadcast live daily from Glasgow. Presenters Kay Burley and Adam Boulton will report from the ground, with others stationed around the world. A rolling Climate Crisis agenda on Sky News and Sky News Climate LIVE will break news and offer insights from the conference.

The event will be live streamed on the Sky News app and website, and a dedicated live blog will bring immediate reaction and key video clips as the negotiations take place. The live blog will feature an interactive daily Q&A with experts and Sky’s specialist correspondents.

Sky News’ weekly podcast ClimateCast will be recorded daily from COP26.

A Sky News documentary CLIMATE CRISIS: Life on the Frontline will air on Sky News and Sky News Climate LIVE on 5 November at 9pm. The documentary explores the immense struggles climate change is creating every day in Bangladesh and the south of India.

Sky has also made a series of green pledges, including going net carbon zero by 2030. It will also apply the “planet test” to champion sustainability within its own productions.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s executive chairman, said: “At Sky, we believe that our voice and reach can play a vital role in empowering our customers, partners and industry peers to build a better world, because it’s the actions of business, the government and individuals, that will define our generation.”


The BBC has planned extensive coverage for Cop26, using the banner of Our Planet Now for all of its content. On the opening day of the conference, the BBC will be hosting a Global Climate Debate, broadcasting from BBC Scotland headquarters and featuring global political figures and a young audience from around the world.

The One Show will present from Glasgow during the first week of the conference, as well as BBC Two’s Newsnight, the Today Programme, Newshour, and The Andrew Marr Show.

Just before Cop26 begins, the BBC will host the global premiere for The Green Planet, a five-part series narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

Additionally, the BBC’s 45 local and national radio stations will work together with the BBC World Service and BBC Media Action for the Climate Voices Festival ahead of the summit, in order to voice hopes and concerns of young people about climate change.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “This summit will be a hugely significant moment in the global response to climate change. The BBC’s ambitious plans will engage all audiences through the key moments, issues, and debates.”

The BBC has set a goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Channel 4

As well as HoloSnow, Channel 4 has confirmed a number of special reports, investigations, video ‘letters’ from indigenous people, and programmes ahead of Cop26 this November.

A special report called Emergency on Planet Earth will cover climate denial and misinformation and will follow up on its previous investigations into lobbying by Exxon and the wider issues of destroying the environment. One week before Cop26, it will also be reporting from every continent to show the wide-ranging environmental emergencies across the world.

The broadcaster will also be partnering with the New York Times, presenting Channel 4 News from the NYT’s Climate Hub in Glasgow, and will be co-moderating key debates about climate change. It will also be reporting from Cop26 itself.

Editor of Channel 4 News, Ben de Pear, said: “We’ve been covering ‘The Emergency on Planet Earth’ for decades, but with each successive year the volume of reporting we have to do increases. As we reflect on the climate catastrophes to date, in the run up to Cop26, we will be continuing our exclusive in-depth reports and investigations across the world.”

ITV News

ITV will be broadcasting a range of programming during Climate Action Week, which is when Cop26 takes place.

Political programme Peston will be broadcasting live from Glasgow during the summit to keep viewers up-to-date on climate action from political leaders, while several popular ITV shows will introduce climate action themes to their programming.

The Martin Lewis Money Show will broadcast a live Cop26 special, while Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning, and Loose Women will report on and discuss climate change on their shows. 

5 News

Channel 5’s Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije will be presenting on day one from the SECC, where Cop26 takes place, and will have a full reporting team on location throughout the length of the summit.

Vanderpuije will also be spending time with a ‘green’ family to look at how we can all live more sustainably, and will examine issues such as green jobs, clean energy, sustainable investment, and debating the issue of climate change with viewer involvement.

In the lead-up to Cop26, the broadcaster has also travelled across the country to talk to ordinary people about climate change, and looked at the companies, charities, and activists that are trying to combat the issue.

Five News will also be broadcasting The Road Trip the week before the summit begins, which sees a team travelling from London to Glasgow for Cop26, stopping off to recharge and highlighting coastal erosion, sea levels rising, food waste, and wind power.

The Mirror

The Mirror’s overall approach to covering Cop26 and the climate crisis more generally is action-oriented, as it aims to explain to people how it will impact them and what they can do about it. The publication said: “It’s time to stop talking and start doing something about the climate crisis.”

Highlights of its coverage will include a children’s guide to Cop26 which will be available as a pull-out in The Mirror’s print edition, as well as daily diaries from students in various countries around the world about the impact of climate change. 

It will be sending political editor Pippa Crerar, environment editor Nada Farhoud, and specialist reporter Rhian Lubin to report on the summit, with a series of Facebook lives featuring notable guest speakers at Cop26 scheduled to appear and discuss climate action in more depth.

The Independent

In light of the ongoing push for climate action, The Independent has made a commitment to provide agenda-setting climate journalism while also aiming to become net zero by 2030 in their work.

The Financial Times

A team of specialist climate and industry reporters from the FT will be on the ground in Glasgow for Cop26, with columnists Pilita Clark and Gillian Tett, Moral Money editor Simon Mundy and climate editor Emiliya Mychasuk all in attendance as well.

The FT is also making 3 November a Free to Read day, so that non-subscribers can also read through the FT’s climate journalism coinciding with coverage of Cop26. In advance of the summit, they will also be publishing a 24-page special report with reporting and opinion pieces all about managing climate change. 

Climate change is a “major focus” of the FT’s journalism, and around 45% of their subscribers said in early 2021 that they “valued climate coverage above all other subjects”. The FT also launched a go-to hub called Climate Capital in January for the latest reporting on climate change, combining business, economic, and political perspectives.

News UK (Times and Sun)

The Sun has stated its “commitment to green issues and climate change has increased” in recent years and will continue to cover such issues in the lead-up of Cop26, while The Scottish Sun has published a pull-out about climate change every Thursday for the past few weeks and will continue to do so in the run-up to and during Cop26.

The Times will be planning a series of articles that will answer readers’ questions about Cop26 and what the world is doing to combat climate change, including both constructive solutions and digital interactive features, before Cop26 begins.

During the summit, The Times will be sending science, health, and politics reporters to Cop26, and its coverage will be published on Times Earth, the digital hub for all climate change news. 

Times Earth will also be hosting a hub at Cop26, a space for journalists to work from, and Mariella Frostrup will be broadcasting live on Times Radio.

The Guardian 

The Guardian will provide extensive and in-depth coverage of the wider environmental crisis, including covering Cop26, where it will continually update a live blog to keep readers informed of the significant developments.

It has already published a widget on the UK homepage of The Guardian, to show the crucial climate indicators that will also be updated daily. A special 20-page supplement will be published for Cop26, as well as a relaunch of its longstanding environment newsletter just in time for the summit. 

The Guardian’s flagship news podcast Today In Focus will host two dedicated specials on Cop26, while the Science Weekly podcast will go daily for the two weeks of Cop26. 

 The Guardian was one of the first news organisations not to accept advertising from fossil fuel extractors, as well as ditching plastic for biodegradable wrapping on its Saturday edition.

Sunday Mail 

The Sunday Mail is the Sunday paper for the Daily Record in Glasgow. To mark the start of the conference, it will be releasing a special edition on 31 October, featuring a range of voices both young and old discussing climate change and climate action.

In particular, those voices will focus on Scotland but will touch on the climate issues faced in the rest of the world, with the paper dedicating a number of exclusive stories to Cop26 itself. 

The Scotsman

The Scottish will be partnering with Internews, a non-profit that supports independent media in more than 100 countries for their Cop26 coverage. Leading up to and during the summit, The Scotsman will be publishing journalists’ reports on the impact of climate change on communities worldwide.

Reporters from Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Philippines, India, Nepal, Ghana, and Kenya will be writing in print and online for The Scotsman during Cop26 this November. 

Neil McIntosh, editor at The Scotsman, said: “The Scotsman is delighted to partner with Internews’ Earth Journalism Network to help amplify the work of journalists from around the world covering the Cop26 conference.

“I’m confident coverage supported by the project will be of huge value to Scotsman readers, who will benefit from a global perspective on the conference”

Internews runs the Earth Journalism Network, which enables journalists from low and middle-income countries to expand climate coverage.

The initiative is responsible for sending journalists from developing countries to Cop26 to cover the summit, in partnership with the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, and The Scotsman.

Top picture: Channel 4 News

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