Things not too sunny for corporate sponsors of global climate event

By our News Team | 2021

Big-money sponsors of upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow said to be unhappy that promised benefits may not materialise.

With climate change being one of the hottest topics of our time, big corporates and their marketing teams are keen to be seen aligning themselves with credible efforts to combat the problem. But it seems the road to corporate responsibility – or at least to be viewed as such – can be a rocky one.

With the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, scheduled to be held in the Scottish city of Glasgow at the end of October, major European and global companies have paid significant amounts – in some cases apparently millions of dollars – to be corporate sponsors.

Among the biggest names are Microsoft, Hitachi, Jaguar Land Rover, Unilever and broadcaster Sky.

But, according to a report by the London-based Guardian newspaper, paying sponsors are said to be unhappy and have complained that planning is “mismanaged” and “very last minute”.

Corporate sponsorships

Hybrid: Pixabay

Several companies are believed to have co-signed a letter raising concerns about inexperienced civil servants delayed decisions, poor communication and a breakdown in relations between the organisers and the sponsoring firms.

Reported the Guardian: “One source, employed by a COP26 sponsor, said that ‘the biggest frustration’ was the lack of information about how the event will run, and the role for its key backers, because important questions have gone unanswered and planning decisions have been delayed’.

The newspaper added: “They had an extra year to prepare for Cop due to Covid, but it doesn’t feel like this time was used to make better progress. Everything feels very last minute, the source said.”

Organisers of COP26 apparently promised sponsors an ‘outstanding opportunity’ and ‘unique benefits’ in exchange for their support, including a chance to promote their brands at the conference Green Zone exhibition space and the participation of government ministers at their events.

But in multiple emails and official letters the companies have complained to organisers about unmet expectations, and deepening concerns over delays to the Green Zone plans. They have also raised complaints that ministers have not always been available for their events in the run-up to COP26, as agreed as part of the sponsor deals.

However, not everyone is sympathetic to the sponsors’ complaints, it seems. According to the Guardian, an unnamed UK Government veteran of COP summits commented: “It feels like some of these sponsors have forgotten the actual reason we’re in Glasgow. COP isn’t about branding, it’s about tackling climate change. Keeping 1.5C in reach is the best thing you can do for your bottom line: they would do well to remember this.”

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.