Internews and The World Bank announce a new partnership to promote social equity and development dimensions of Climate Change

Barcelona, November 6th 2009

Internews, the global media assistance organisation, today announces a new partnership with the World Bank around one of the largest media initiatives of the international climate change negotiations - the Earth Journalism Awards.

The Earth Journalism Awards are designed to inspire, honour and support excellence in media coverage of climate change issues during this crucial year of international negotiations. Following the launch of the awards at the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting in Italy with the World Bank and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, over 900 professional and citizen journalists from 148 countries registered for the opportunity to win one of the 15 regional or thematic awards and to cover the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Under the new partnership, four parts of the World Bank - the Sustainable Development, the World Development Report Team, the Social Development Department and External Affairs - will all be working with Internews to ensure that the Earth Journalism Awards meet their potential in highlighting key human and economic aspects of climate change.  

"We can see the awards as relevant to our work in two key respects," said the World Bank's Robin Mearns at the publication launch of The Social Dimensions of Climate Change from the Barcelona Climate Talks.  "Firstly, a high number of the hundreds of reports submitted for the awards appear to validate and to amplify our key message that climate change is a matter of social justice in which issues of equity and vulnerability are central. Secondly, we identify the community of local journalists that the Earth Journalism Awards has engaged with in over 100 developing countries as being important in ensuring that climate policy is grounded in public participation, and is responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable. This is at the heart of what we want to convey through the work we are presenting here."

The World Development Report Team will be helping the 15 award winners in Copenhagen to highlight for their media outlets how developing countries can transition to a lower-carbon development path provided that financing and technical assistance from high-income countries is forthcoming.  

"In the World Development Report 2010 we present the scenario of a 'climate smart' world which is within our collective reach," says Marianne Fay, Co-Director of the Report. "We look forward to bringing together in Copenhagen some of the report's authors with 15 of the 'smartest' climate change journalists in the world as determined by an independent jury process - this is an exciting opportunity."

The 15 winners will be announced on Monday, November 9 to mark the global launch of an innovative online Public Vote via platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. People from around the world will be invited to vote for the story they think most deserves to get the attention of the negotiators from the 192 governments that will be represented in Copenhagen. The winning story will be presented at the Earth Journalism Awards Ceremony to an audience of negotiators, climate change experts, activists and media representatives in Copenhagen on December 14 less than 24 hours before the final three day endgame negotiations begin.

"Since the launch of the Awards with Internews in April, we have seen that they have grown into one of the largest media initiatives around the international climate negotiations," says Katherine Sierra, the World Bank's Vice President for Sustainable Development. "I look forward to presenting one of the coveted prizes at the Awards Ceremony in Copenhagen."

http://awards.earthjournalism.org

www.worldbank.org/sdcc

Press contacts in Barcelona:   

Mark Harvey, Internews:  + 44 7703 180 524 (mharvey@internews.fr)

Robert Bisset World Bank: + 1 (202) 415-9646 (rbisset@worldbank.org)