"RREC provided tangible input towards organization and technical support of the Dialogue on Environment between EU and Russia and successfully implemented coordination of negotiation process"

Ulrich Weins. Head of the Department on Science and Environment, European Comission Delegation to Russia

“To Highlight the Path to Copenhagen” Media-project for Russian Federal Journalists on Climate Change

“To Highlight the Path to Copenhagen”
Media-project for Russian Federal Journalists on Climate Change

Climate change and the search for effective global answer to this challenge have become the top-priority issues on the international agenda. The attention of the world community is focused now on the on-going international negotiations on a new climate abatement regime to regulate global greenhouse gas emissions after the expiry of the Kyoto protocol in 2012. The Bali Action plan adopted by more than 190 world countries in 2007 paved the way towards a new comprehensive agreement, which is expected to be shaped by the end of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen 2009.

Although, Russian general public still has low awareness on climate change, the urgent need for countermeasures, existing capacity for mitigation and adaptation options, development of sustainable energy solutions and relevant international activities. One of the reasons is lack of professional enlightenment of these issues in the Russian mass-media. Inaccurate reporting, lack of interest and poor analysis of policy debates on climate change entail poor coverage of the topic by Russian journalists.

The Danish-Russian media project, initiated jointly by the Russian Regional Environmental Centre and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), Danish Embassy in Moscow, Climate Consortium Denmark and the ROCKWOOL company is aimed at increasing awareness on climate change and the need for further ambitious actions to reduce human impact on the environment among Russian stakeholders, including policy-makers, business community, academia, and general public. This purpose will be reached through enhancement of the number and quality of media materials covering climate change issue and particularly its place in the international agenda in Russian mass-media.

The project will include the following activities:

1. Organization of a 2-day Media training in Moscow region (Golitsyno) for 15 journalists from Russian federal media, including:
a. Experts’ presentations on climate change, particular threat of this challenge to sustainable development and possible abatement measures including via sustainable energy solutions, international experience on mitigation measures and efforts of Russia;
b. Introductory presentations on the climate negotiations process and the climate issue in the international agenda;
c. Press-briefings and meetings with Russian policy-makers (including representatives of the Russian delegation), colloquiums with scientists, including IPCC authors, NGO experts, representatives of EU countries;
d. Training modules to provide journalists with skills and techniques that they can apply immediately in their efforts to improve the quality and impact of their climate change stories and news reports (The training will be performed by the expert-trainer and climate journalist).

Trainer and Experts
Training will be performed by an experienced trainer and professional journalist Steve Connor, science editor of ‘The Independent’ (UK).
Participation of the following experts is envisaged:
- Distinguished Danish climate change journalist and expert Morten Jastrup, editor of science and technical section, ‘The Politken (Denmark);
- Russian famous scientist, one of the authors of the IPCC AR4 and Russian national assessment report;
- Representative of the Russian government, one of the negotiators on post-2012 issues within the UN;
- Famous Russian experts in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
On completing the training, each participant should produce at least 1 media-material covering climate change.

2. Organization of a 4-day Study-tours for Russian journalists representing national media to Copenhagen, Denmark

The trip will include:
a. Field-trips and excursions to energy-efficient and renewable energy sites and objects;
b. Meetings and press-conferences with local stakeholders to get acquainted with the Danish experience in developing climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and measures, including promotion of sustainable energy and advancement of low-carbon approaches;
c. Press-briefings and meetings with representatives of the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy.
The RREC/REEEP have extensive experience in and profound expertise for organizing trainings on environmental topics (including climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy, etc.) for wide range of stakeholders in Russia. The media-trainings organized by the RREC/REEEP with the support of the British Embassy in 2007 and Heinrich Boell Foundation in Moscow in 2008 proved the effectiveness of the project approach selected and capacity of the project team. They have received highly positive feedback from the training participants and the experts involved, and stimulate high interest among the local and international organizations working in the field.