COP Negotiations: Information Overload

Thursday, 01 December 2011
The COP negotiations are not quite as I expected. I guess I envisioned a group of like 20 people talking back and forth, kind of like a Presidential debate, but with more people and a narrower scope. What I’ve found is that a “President,” who is a UNFCCC official or South Africa “recognizing” a delegate, typically an “honorable” one, so that they can take the “floor.” They don’t actually get up and take the stage or floor, but speak from their seat, which is alphabetized by country. This whole set up is less dramatic than a debate, and you need to look at one of the many screens to see who actually is talking. I’ve tried many times to see who is talking from my seat in the back, and usually can’t find them by the time they are done speaking. In this way, those of you back home can get most of what I experience (without the 90 F with 90% humidity) via the miracle of the internet. The one type of thing you can’t experience is the smaller discussions of workgroups and committees that occur throughout the day and are not recorded or televised.
Published in International