Media Accreditation frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The UNFCCC secretariat Communications and Outreach programme must be satisfied that the individuals applying for accreditation are professional journalists and represent bona fide media organizations, [formally registered as a media organization in a country recognized by the United Nations General Assembly]. The UNFCCC secretariat reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation of journalists from media organizations whose activities run counter to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, or who abuse the privileges so extended or put the accreditation to improper use or act in a way not consistent with the principles of the Organization.

Who is eligible for media accreditation?

Media accreditation is strictly reserved for members of the press who represent a bona fide media organization.  Applicants must show they are a professional member of the press with a proven track record of reporting for bona fide media. Media accreditation is not accorded to the information outlets or advocacy publications of non-governmental organizations.

What must I do to become accredited at UNFCCC meetings?

You must apply for accreditation through the online media accreditation system. Accreditation online is the only official channel to obtain registration for the media. The secretariat is not able to process nominations sent by any other method, such as e-mails, letters or faxes. Any accreditation materials not sent through the online system will not be processed.

To accredit online, what information do I need before I start?

In order to complete the process you will need the following information. All information must be entered as it appears in the passport or other official photo identification document which the participant intends to present at the registration desk.

  • Complete name (as it appears in the passport or other official photo identification) - if you do not have a last name, you may leave the field blank; otherwise, please enter your last name (family name) in the field provided
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Passport or other photo identification number (national ID card, driver’s license, etc.)
  • E-mail address

Please do not upload copies of your passport, national ID, visa or other personal identification.

What do you do with this information?

The names and information entered are for purposes of identification and verification only and will not be published for general access. This information will be retained in the system for reference, unless a written request to remove it is received.

How do I create an account?

Please go to the online registration system to request account creation. Once you request account creation, you will receive an e-mail with the confirmation link. Please follow the link and finish account creation procedure. You will receive another e-mail with your login name, password and further instructions. The online system only recognizes valid e-mail addresses.

What else do I need to do?

Once your account is created, you must upload a letter of assignment and a copy of your press card. Materials should be scanned into a graphics format (.pdf .gif..jpg) and uploaded into the online registration system. If you don’t have a scanner but do have a smart phone or digital camera, you can take a photo of the card and then upload the file to your profile. The secretariat will not accept materials sent separately by e-mail, fax or post.

PLEASE NOTE: there is a size limit per document of 4MB. Please make sure that attachments do not exceed this size; otherwise, you will receive an error message and the secretariat will be unable to receive your materials.

  • The letter of assignment must be on official letterhead of a media organization and signed by the Publisher or Editor-in-chief indicating the name and duration of assignment of the journalist.
  • The press card must be valid; we cannot accept press cards that have expired. Only scanned copies of official press cards will be accepted. Self-made press cards will not be accepted.

In the absence of a press card, you may submit additional materials, in line with the UN criteria. If you do not have a press card, please see below for more information.

I don't have a press card. Will you still accredit me?

If you don’t have a press card, you will be asked to submit additional materials that demonstrate a track record of reporting, in line with the UN criteria.

What do you mean by “additional materials”? What is required?

If you are asked to submit additional materials, the materials detailed below may be requested. Please note submitted work samples must demonstrate active engagement in covering the activities of the United Nations, specifically the climate change process. Samples must be unaltered clippings or media products of the bona fide organization with bylines of the individual requesting accreditation.

• Print media representatives may be required to submit two bylined articles published within the past month and a copy of the publication. These may be scanned PDF files or links to the article online.
• Radio and TV media representatives may be asked to submit two recordings of reports broadcast within the past month.
• Photographers may be required to submit original tear sheets or photos with credits of the issuing organization. It is also possible to provide links to photos online, as long as the photo attribution is clearly that of the applicant.

• Online media may include news outlets, blogs, vlogs and others.

  • The website must belong to a recognized media organization and have a specific, verifiable street address and a telephone number.
  • Outlets should have been in continuous operation for at least six months and reach at least 20,000 visitors per month.
  • The website must have at least 60% original news content or commentary or analysis, including coverage of climate change. Websites that only aggregate syndicated web content from other sources and do not feature original content will not be accredited.
  • • Media representatives are required to submit two by-lined articles within the past month that were posted on the website.
  • • The website must be updated at a minimum of three times a week.

Please note there is a Zero Tolerance Policy for plagiarism.  Applications submitted with plagiarized work will be immediately declined.

Do I need to send a photo of myself?

No. Your photo will be taken at the registration station; it is not necessary to upload a photo in advance.

How soon will I know whether I’m accredited?

Please be aware that we receive credentials for thousands of applicants and there may be a delay between the time we receive your credentials and when they are processed. Every effort will be made to issue the accreditation as soon as possible.

Delays in processing the application could occur:
• If the request does not have the required documents or the documentation is not in order (unsigned letter, expired press card, etc)
• If documents are not provided in the working languages of the U.N.
Please check the status of your application online, in the personal profile that you created. Do not call the press office for updates on your accreditation. If you need to communicate with us, please do so through the online system. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the decisions are final.

How can I check the status of my accreditation?

When you create a profile, you will receive a username and password. Using this, you can access the system to check your accreditation status. Your record will be updated when your materials have been received, and we will communicate with you through the system if there is need to do so. Please do not call to check on the status of your application. For the quickest information on your status, please only use the online registration system to check your status and communicate with the secretariat.

What does the accreditation cover?

Media accreditation may only be used for coverage of specific UNFCCC conferences, and does not constitute an endorsement for any other purpose.

Do I have to tell you what days I will attend or is the accreditation for the entire conference?

When granted, accreditation covers the duration of the conference.

I would like to register as a delegate or NGO and also have press accreditation. Is this possible?

No. Double registration is not allowed (e.g. as press and delegate, or as press and NGO). If you are already registered with a delegation or observer organization, your application for press accreditation will not be granted.

I'm a freelance journalist. Can I get accreditation?

Freelance journalists are subject to the same requirements for accreditation and must complete the full process. Freelance journalists, including photographers, must provide clear evidence they are on assignment from a specific news organization or publication. A valid assignment letter from that news organization, or publication, is required. Photographic agencies must provide clear evidence from a client news organization or publication. You must also submit the other required documents for accreditation.

I’m a student. Can I get accreditation?

Media accreditation is for professional members of the press who represent bona fide media organizations. We can't accord students the same accreditation as is granted to media professionals who have an established track record of reporting.

I’m under 18 years of age. Can I get accreditation?

No. Media representatives must be at least 18 years old to apply for accreditation and have an established track record of reporting.

What about press accreditation for blogs?

We are endeavoring to take on board the new forms of information dissemination and social networking that have evolved. Accreditation of bloggers for UNFCCC meetings will be done on a case-by-case basis and criteria currently applied to online media will be applied

And what about grass roots/community/citizen journalism from a non-profit independent online media group?

An organization that welcomes citizen journalists and has no apparent editorial board oversight would not be eligible for accreditation

I am with an independent film company that is producing a documentary on climate change. Can I access the conference?

Independent film production companies are required to provide a letter from a broadcast organization or film distributor which has committed to air or distribute the work, or from the UN partner organization that supports the production. The project should be climate change-related. You must also submit the other required documents for accreditation.

I am a press officer at an Embassy. Do I need press accreditation to attend?

No. Your name should be included on the official delegation list and you will be registered as a member of the delegation. The communications and media team will be happy to assist with outreach to the media.

What about press travelling with a head of state/government?

All journalists travelling with heads of state or government should be included on the official delegation list and registered as a member of the delegation.

Can I do a blanket accreditation from my organization?

Due to the requirements of the online registration system, it is not possible to give blanket press accreditation to a media organization. Instead, accreditation is granted to individuals representing bona fide media organizations who provide the required valid documentation for accreditation.

What happens if I have to replace someone already accredited from my organization?

We are aware that assignments can change at short notice. Please communicate changes in staff as soon as they are known. The applicant will have to complete the same process, but as long as they have the required valid materials, there is usually little delay in processing.

Do you fund journalists’ participation?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer financial support for journalists.

Do you book travel and make hotel reservations for press representatives?

No. Media representatives accredited to cover UNFCCC meetings are responsible for their own travel and hotel bookings.

Will you help me get a visa?

The UNFCCC secretariat is not in a position to issue invitation letters for visa purposes. You may use the confirmation of your accreditation when making your visa application, as well as the letter of assignment from your media organization.

My accreditation was approved, now what?

Once you have received confirmation of your accreditation, you will be registered for the conference. Print out the confirmation and bring it with you to the conference. Bringing the printout will speed up your registration process. You may collect your badge on-site at the registration desk at the conference venue. Registration usually opens the weekend before the meeting starts. You must present the same valid photo ID as used in your profile. Bringing the printout of your confirmation will speed up your registration process. Your photo will be taken at the registration station; it is not necessary to send a photo in advance.

What should I do if my badge is lost or stolen?

If your media pass is lost or stolen, you MUST immediately report it to the press registration desk in the conference venue.

Where am I allowed to go?

All accredited press have access to the media centre, press conference room(s), exhibit areas, side events, open plenary sessions and any public areas in the conference venue. Specific information on media arrangements at conferences is provided through Notes to Correspondents. These are issued at individual meetings, and reflect arrangements as they apply to a given venue and/or set of circumstances. All accredited press accessing the conference premises must pass through security screening, including those with equipment.


The UNFCCC secretariat reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation for activities that violate the principles of the Charter or the codes of behaviour and or/ethics of journalism and/or the United Nations. At any time, the UNFCCC secretariat may revoke accreditation if it is put to improper use; if it has been used to abuse the privileges so extended; or if personal or public conduct is not consistent with the best interest of the organization. The press pass must not be loaned to another person; UN Security will confiscate any pass in the possession of any individual to whom it was not issued.