COP27: Supporting the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions on-ground and remotely

Hannah West

By Hannah West

In Case Studies

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Full-service support to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, resulting in impressions 114% above target – over 269 million in total.

“Empower absolutely smashed it at COP27. The in-person team really stepped-up in Egypt, while the remote team was always present, providing 360-degree support. Thank you for your steadfast professionalism and for being so marvellous to work with.” 

Matthew Phillips, Communications Director, Climate Champions

About COP27

‘COP’ is the formal meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Parties.

COP stands for the ‘Conference of the Parties’ – the governing body of an international convention. COP refers to all of the parties involved – including world leaders and heads of state – as well as to the decision-making process of reviewing and putting the rules of the convention into effect.

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the UNFCCC, or COP, to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

Despite their low contribution to the causes of climate change, African countries are some of the most affected by its impacts. Often colloquially referred to as the ‘African COP’, COP27 was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and placed the financing of reparations for loss and damage high on the agenda (alongside mitigation, adaptation and resilience).


Campaign Planning

While our campaign reached its climax during the two weeks of COP, it was the culmination of many months of hard work from the Climate Champions and Empower teams. Planning for COP really begins at the start of the year when the core narratives are formulated and high-level objectives are set. Inevitably, the months leading up to the Convention itself see a step-change in preparation, when detailed plans start being cemented.

Our planning activity included:

  • Preparing and agreeing a detailed list of deliverables, accompanying responsibilities and strategy for execution (codified in a Campaign Scoping Document for ease of reference),
  • Workshopping methods to best operationalise our digital strategy in ‘Ways of Working’ sessions with HLC,
  • Agreeing client expectations and logistics up-front, and leveraging our learnings from COP27, to ensure our on-ground and remote teams could collaborate seamlessly during the Conference,
  • Running internal workshops to ensure we have robust tools and infrastructure in place to process an increased volume of deliverables, making full use of our stack – from Asana for tasks, projects and production, to capacity planning with Forecast
  • Leading a Working Group call with partners of the High-Level Champions to connect on ways we could best support and amplify each other’s content
  • Upping the time of our freelancers and consultants who support across the team and clients directly during these peak moments, and
  • Establishing a Newsletter using native LinkedIn features and Revue for our Twitter audiences

Our thorough approach to planning allowed us to focus our resources on implementation when the Conference kicked off and mitigated the risk of misunderstandings and inefficiencies. Find out more about how Empower plans for COP.

Campaign Delivery

While it would be tricky to encapsulate every aspect of delivery here, hopefully the below gives you a flavour of our activity during this big play:

Live Posting

The High-Level Champions’ COP27 event calendar was a busy one, with no less than 40 events taking place over a two week period. We live-tweeted during many of the focal events, using digital assets (pre-made and live from the event), quotes, livestream links and more to provide a rich experience for online audiences.

Content Creation

Empower’s design team crafted compelling visual assets to accompany copy on social media, introduce live events, and more. Take a look at some of our team’s work:

Global Climate Action High-Level Closing Event Video:
Thematic Days:
COP27 Thematic Days
Energiser Videos:

Paid Media Support

We strategically targeted audiences through our COP27 paid media strategy, ensuring that the High-Level Champions’ communications were seen by the most relevant people. Leveraging our in-house paid expertise (including across previous COPs), we more than halved the average cost-per-click compared to ad performance in 2021.

Campaign Performance Report

Empower analysed the social activity over two weeks of COP27 to prepare a Campaign Report. Utilising our social listening and data measurement tools, we reported on the performance of the core social media platforms, paid media, audience sentiment, and more.

Having the data is one thing, but knowing what we can learn from it is quite another (and where we really add value). Our analysis was accompanied with a thorough narrative, insights and learnings to help inform the client’s social strategy looking ahead to COP28.

The Empower team then presented the high-level consolidated learnings to the wider Climate Champions’ Team, sharing our outcomes and successes, as well as opportunities for further growth.


The HLC accounts performed strongly across the two weeks of COP27:

  • Total impressions of 269 million driven by activity across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (114% above the target number of 125 million impressions).
  • Paid media support on LinkedIn generated 9 million impressions.
  • Engagement Rate more than doubled from 0.75% at COP26 to 2.20% at COP27.
  • ‘Top of the COP’ Daily Newsletter received more than 99,700 views in total (a growth of over 7,000 compared to COP26).
  • Strong relationships were nurtured with influential youth climate activists through social media, resulting in heightened engagement from them and their audiences. See some of our friends of COP, Sophia Kianni and Francisco Javier Vera Manzanares.