The Climate Discussion Heats Up

People throughout the United States – and a good part of the world – thought about global climate change this September as the United Nations General Assembly convened a one-day summit on the environment in anticipation of meetings later this year in Copenhagen and the hope of a global agreement to reduce emissions.

DKC was in the unique position of thinking about the environment and conservation past and present,, as the agency for Climate Week NYC, a coordinated effort by global non-profit The Climate Group to focus attention on issues related to emissions and Ken Burns’s latest film, ”THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA.”

For the last two years, DKC has been building a national conversation about our parks and the environment to coincide with the broadcast of the film, which premiered on September 27th. The film traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years.

DKC developed and implemented a 60 some-odd market tour for the film, working with local PBS stations, national parks groups and friends associations and others to hold screenings, visit schools, and get people across the country to think about – and visit – national parks. In addition, thanks to support from the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and PBS, DKC’s client for the project, DKC helped to implement a diversity outreach initiative to reach minority communities that have not embraced the national parks as their shared property.

The campaign focused equally on public engagement initiatives and the media, including extensive outreach to writers focused on the parks, the environment and public policy. Editorials encouraging people to watch the film and addressing larger issues related to deferred maintenance in the parks ran in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and others. Ken Burns and his film were also featured on ”The Today Show,” ”NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” ”The Late Show with David Letterman,” ”Charlie Rose,” and many others.

A screening in Central Park the week before the broadcast, organized by DKC with the National Parks Conservation Association and PBS, took place as part of National Park Week NYC and, as it turned out, in the middle of Climate Week NYC.

Beginning with its announcement in June, DKC worked with The Climate Group and its partners for Climate Week NYC to build awareness among key media for the week’s 60 events and their significance vis-à-vis the upcoming global negotiations in Copenhagen.

DKC managed the Opening Ceremony held on Monday, September 21st to launch Climate Week NYC, featuring luminaries such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, actor Hugh Jackman, The Climate Group CEO Steve Howard and lead climate negotiators for the United States, China and India. With less than 80 days before the Copenhagen negotiations, this gathering of world leaders served as an opportunity to advance the conversation on climate change, emphasizing the ways that government, business, civil society, and consumers must work together to meet the challenge.

Using the momentum of this high-powered kickoff event, DKC secured high-profile media coverage for Climate Week NYC, ranging from multiple stories in top-tier outlets such as The New York Times and Newsweek to lifestyle outlets such as People and New York Magazine, as well as significant international coverage.

As climate change and the environment play increasingly large roles on the world stage, it is important to understand our past while looking toward solutions for the future. On both fronts, DKC is fortunate to have had the opportunity to build national and international conversations that stretched from the highest-levels of government and business to the grassroots.

If you are interested in learning more about DKC’s environmental practice, please contact Krista Pilot.