How AP 360 operates broadcast services in the heart of U.N. climate talks

Posted 2 months ago ~10 min read
Broadcast servicesClimate changeConferencesContent distributionEnvironmentalInternational eventsLarge eventsLive event productionPolitical
People sitting at desks in front of podium with blue screen at un climate talks in Glasgow 2021

~10 min read

Staging a broadcast operation at the United Nations (U.N.) climate talks is an annual test for AP 360 on many levels. We successfully navigate difficulties that present logistical, technological and political hurdles.

Tens of thousands of delegates from nearly 200 nations converge each year upon the U.N. Climate Change Conference for two weeks of intense intergovernmental negotiations.

World leaders, government officials, international bodies and members of civil society meet to find consensus on efforts to thwart global climate change, an event which has evolved into the largest annual conference held under the auspices of the U.N.

With different cities across the planet acting as rotating hosts for the so-called ‘COP’ gatherings and thousands of media representatives in attendance, the logistical challenges for news organizations are great.

AP 360 commits to providing a range of live event and production services at every COP conference, no matter what the location.

Man dressed in suit and tie and woman dressed in orange jacket standing in front of conference attendees and facing a video camera being operated by a man wearing headphones as part of broadcast services at un climate talks in Glasgow 2021

Strategic planning for global broadcast success at significant events

AP 360 begins its planning for the next upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference as soon as its location is officially announced. In practice, this means many months of complex project management by our experienced team.

Our goal is to provide multi-camera studios and single-camera live reporting positions both inside the chosen conference venue and outside in the wider city, offering a skyline backdrop. These premiere broadcast solutions are demanded by international organizations who wish to conduct a range of media activities at the heart of the story.

“At AP 360, we pride ourselves on our ability to plan way in advance of major global events, and U.N. Climate Change Conferences are no exception. We first assign a project manager to oversee our logistical planning, depending on the region of a particular year’s climate summit. That individual then takes charge of the project from end-to-end, beginning with initial research and then seeing it right through to leading the operation on location. Flexibility is key, from start to finish. It’s our attention to detail at every stage that fosters trust in the media organizations that rely on us at COP events.”

Toby Goode,
Business Development Manager EMEA.

Leveraging global networks and contacts for unmatched broadcast coverage

To bring our goals to fruition, it’s essential to have the right contacts. AP 360 has a years-long relationship with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, the COP organizers, which we leverage in order to access prime locations.

Proximity to the plenary hall where conference delegates conduct their negotiations is key for our set-up, since high-profile conference attendees have little time in their busy schedules to travel further afield for media interviews.

Two women dressed in blue holding microphones sitting at a table in front of a crowd of people with two men operating video cameras for broadcast services at un climate talks in paris 2015

An additional advantage from which AP 360 benefits is a network of local contacts across the world, thanks to the wide global distribution of Associated Press (AP) staff. Our close relationship with AP colleagues gives us an edge when it comes to gathering the specifics we need in order to stage a successful deployment.

Well in advance of the event, we supply appropriate authorities with information about our operational needs, ensuring our requests for broadcast locations are accommodated when media plans are drawn up. And we are able to import all our broadcast equipment into most locations seamlessly.

Additionally, AP 360 arranges permits and accreditations for those media organizations who partner with us, facilitating access to the event under the AP umbrella.

Overcoming unique challenges at COP28 in Dubai

The U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Dubai in late 2023 – known as COP28 – was no exception in terms of our preparatory efforts, but there were additional challenges.

Navigating the complexity of inter-connecting relationships between authorities across the Middle East can be baffling to some. But AP 360’s extensive experience in staging broadcast operations in the region, coupled with the native Arabic language skills of many of our staff, helped us make the necessary arrangements with officials in the United Arab Emirates with comparative ease.

One unexpected factor at the time of COP28 was the impact of the Israel-Hamas war.

“Events taking place in the region in the closing weeks of 2023 made COP28 a particular challenge for us. Since the U.N. Climate Change Conference was taking place during the developing Israel-Hamas war, we needed to be reactive to whatever political ripples from the wider Middle East region might be felt at the conference. Happily, our operational team always stands ready and willing to accommodate the unexpected. At AP 360, being responsive to global events is in our DNA.”

Rania Khadr,
Head of Special Events for the Middle East and Africa.

As headlines emerged from both the COP28 negotiations and the conflict, AP 360 needed to remain operational in Dubai around the clock for the entirety of the two-week conference in order to accommodate the needs of international media organizations who were relying on us to deliver their live TV news reports whenever they needed. 

Considering the twists and turns of the two simultaneous events and that affiliates were unaware at the outset exactly when they would need live transmissions, we remained fully adaptable. This included planning for long operational working days by our team of technicians.

Providing bespoke content solutions and broadcast services for every need

Our blueprint for the infrastructure we employ at every U.N. Climate Change Conference encompasses provision of live production facilities, reliable transmission solutions, experienced camera crews and knowledgeable local fixers. 

This allows us to offer both a number of single-camera live reporting positions – suitable for news organizations who dispatch a sole correspondent to cover the talks – and a multi-camera studio that can accommodate more elaborate live programming demands.

The U.S.-based news organization Democracy Now! has been a regular consumer of our facilities at COP conferences over the years, turning to AP 360 for multi-camera studio production on location at U.N. climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Durban, Lima, Paris, Marrakech and Sharm el-Sheikh, amongst others.

AP 360 helps plan, build and produce their tailored daily live show from each COP event, a feat which requires months of consultation work and permission-chasing on their behalf. It’s the kind of bespoke content production which sets AP 360 apart.

“AP 360 has for years enabled Democracy Now!’s live, in-depth, on-site coverage of the annual United Nations climate summits from around the globe. AP’s expert, attentive staff go the distance, providing a dependable, affordable, turnkey suite of production services and infrastructure that allows us to go live on time and stress-free. No matter where we’re reporting from, AP 360 gets the job done.”

Denis Moynihan,
Democracy Now!

For those news outlets unable to send their own reporter to cover U.N. climate change negotiations, we offer an on-air correspondent who can deliver custom live shots from our camera positions. We can also arrange for AP’s own climate and environmental specialist reporters to appear as guests in broadcasters’ news bulletins.

In Dubai, AP 360 produced a circa 20-minute show, anchored by our International Affiliate Correspondent Philip Crowther and with guest contributions from leading AP climate and regional experts, which discussed the ongoing summit. The ready-to-air programme serves as an example of the fusion of our technical and editorial skills:

Looking ahead to COP29 in Azerbaijan

As we head towards November’s COP29 in Azerbaijan, AP 360 has already started making plans to deploy its facilities to the capital, Baku. One of our main challenges to date has been the lack of information from the U.N. and local authorities about the precise venue that will host the talks.

We work closely with AP’s team of dedicated climate reporters who alert us to developments on this front and there are indications that the event may be relocated to the UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

Wherever the conference does eventually take place, AP 360 will be there and ready to provide organizations with everything they need to make their coverage a success. 

Learn more about how we manage large, international events and take advantage of the unique expertise, insights and advisory services our team can offer.

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