Powerful OOH campaign brings the alarming reality of climate change to the corridors of COP

Powerful OOH campaign brings the alarming reality of climate change to the corridors of COP

New campaign reveals the alarming reality of the climate crisis.

THE WORLD IS LOOKING TO YOU COP26’ targets delegates and business leaders attending the vitally important event in Glasgow.

COP26 is widely acknowledged as the most important COP since the Paris Agreement in 2015. The event will bring delegates from around the globe together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With the event already delayed by a year, time is running out to change the course of history. 

The climate emergency must be addressed with urgency and seriousness and it requires a collaborative global effort towards wholesale and systemic change.

The campaign aims to shine a light on how widespread and devastating the impact of the climate crisis is on people across the world.

It serves to remind world leaders and delegates at COP that it is their responsibility to seize the immense opportunity presented by the event and take decisive action to avoid climate disaster.

Going live in major transport hubs across the UK, delegates travelling to the conference will be faced with real life portraits of people from the front line of recent climate disasters, bringing the harsh reality of the crisis straight to the corridors of COP.

Global citizens staring straight down the barrel of the camera lens are accompanied by messages aimed directly at COP delegates.

Created by Iris, the campaign features arresting photography showing people literally on the frontline of the climate crisis and its induced disasters. These were captured by world-renowned war photographers that were local at the time of the events across the globe, from Europe, to Thailand to Tennessee. The portraits show global citizens staring straight down the barrel of the camera lens and are accompanied by messages aimed directly at COP delegates, such as ‘The world is looking to you COP26’ and ‘Steady the ship, or watch it sink’.

Photographers from Magnum and Getty were commissioned to capture scenes from recent climate catastrophes around the globe. Iris intentionally chose not to fly any photographers to these emergency scenes, instead leaning on talent to capture these historic moments on the ground. Infamous war photographer Steve McCurry shot imagery from a waterfall in the Calabria region of Italy after horrific fires destroyed the surrounding forest this summer. Gideon Mendel captured heart-wrenching shots of a civilian in front of his flooded community in South Carolina, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in 2018. Luis Tato captured a Chief of a Kenyan village, Henry Lenayasa, as he tries to scare away a swarm of locusts ravaging the local grazing area in 2020.

Iris sourced archive photography from serious climate crisis events that have occurred over the past few years. As many of these images were the photographer’s personal studies, Iris worked to find local fixers, sometimes extremely remote locations, to track down the subjects to secure their involvement in the campaign.

In some instances, the photography is accompanied by QR codes that takes the public to a microsite, disclosing the ‘alarming reality’ of the climate story through 360 panoramas and videos telling the story behind images featured in the core campaign. Each image is a gateway to the shocking stories of victims of existing weather extremes, made worse and more frequent by climate change.

In high profile spots such as Glasgow and London City airports, a manifesto speaks directly to delegates, sending out an urgent message to take action at the conference to make it a success for the future of humanity.

Welcome COP26. We’ve been waiting for you.

We know you’re here to action positive change.

Let’s work together to ensure the future of our planet.

What happens over these next two weeks will be extremely important.

There’s no time [to waste].

The vulnerable. The voters. The activists.

The young. The old and everyone in between.

We’re all relying on you to make the best decisions

This is your chance to stand up, lead and help create a [better] future.

The world is looking to you COP26.

Grant Hunter, global ECD at Iris, explained: “The world is looking to COP for a reality check. There’s an alarming reality out there on the climate crisis frontline that urgently needs to be recognised. That front line is all around us, from Surry to Bangkok to Florida, but those human stories can seem distant from the negotiations at COP26. The powerful photography including the 360s, video and written accounts that we’ve commissioned for our campaign shine a light on those individual experiences to remind delegates that the world is expecting decisive action and leadership from them.”

A cohort of over 40 organisations, each with a different mission and area of focus is supporting the campaign, united in the belief that COP26 is a hugely important moment in the fight for climate justice. The media space was secured by Quadrature Climate Foundation – a charitable foundation established in 2019 as a dispassionate entrepreneurial attempt to urgently reduce greenhouse gases. The foundation supports targeted interventions that aim to shift the current trajectory of climate and help address the climate emergency.


Creative agency: Iris
Chief Strategy Officer: Ben Essen
Executive Creative Director: Grant Hunter
Associate Creative Directors: Gregory Foy & Heather Keywood-Mistry
Chief Marketing Officer: Amy Bryson
Account Director: Ellen Ray
Senior Account Manager: Rhea Manuel
Agency Producers: Hannah Wood & Melody Temple
Design Lead: Oskah Manchip
Designer: Gavin Colwill
Artwork Lead: Kyle Nagle
Retouch: Kevin Relf
Motion Lead: Alex Burton
Print Production Head: Guy Cain
Art Buying: Jody Brown, Lu Howlett, Lisa Dickinson
Tech Lead: Tang Wong
Tech development team: Michaela Brown, Louie Haynes, Arnas Sebeckis, Joshua Winterbottom, Selema Begum

Media agency: Media Bounty
Managing Director: Jake Dubbins

Commissioned Photographers:
Moises Saman
Emin Ozmen
Cristina de Middel
Lua Ribeira
Larry Towell
Enri Canai

Jon Morgan
Rija Solo

LGA Management
Steve McCurry

Contributing Photographers:
Gideon Mendel
Luis Tato
Alessandra Sangunetti (Magnum)
Newsha Tavakolian (Magnum
Cristina de Middel (Magnum)

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