Why do some countries get a better deal at the UN climate negotiations?

Some countries can afford to send hundreds of negotiators and support staff. They’re well rested in their pleasant hotels. They spread the endless meetings and tough work load between their dedicated, well rested and well informed teams. They have no shortage of lawyers, professional negotiators, economists and expert advisers. Other countries don’t. They can’t afford it. They can’t afford to send hundreds of people. They can’t afford to get them half way across the world. They can’t afford the salaries, the transport and the accommodation.

So the poorest countries, who contribute the least to climate change, and have the most to lose are the countries with the smallest voice. Sound fair? Not really.

UNfair play is a group of young people who set out to do something about this.

The story so far….

A group of 10 young people went to COP15 (Copenhagen) to support under represented Government Delegations, which turned out to be mainly the Island Nation of Kiribati, and an attempted supporting of Nuie (sore point!). 5 of the group were made party delegates for the last week of negotiations when civil society were not being let in, they were of general use to the delegation by taking minutes of meetings and side events, and attending some events as Kiribati representatives: see the blog posts on COP15 for all the drama!

From their experience at COP15 Charlie and Tina (part of the original group of 10) have set up a United World Colleges Delegation of 15 young people to attend COP16 (Cancun) to do the same as before, but hopefully on a much larger scale.

A new project has been spawned from UNfairplay, since COP15, known affectionately as FIG-Filling Information Gaps. It sounds boring, and in all honesty it is pretty boring, except it happens to be essential to any useful progress to the negotiations in future. FIG aims to investigate and highlight issues of participation within the UNFCCC. In 2010 we started collecting lots of opinions on information gaps experienced by negotiators, NGO’s and youth in a questionnaire format, culminating in the report ‘Levelling the Playing Field‘. It has been endorsed by other NGO’s, and the International Youth caucus at the UNFCCC, as well as the Kiribati delegation. We have been using the report to lobby the UN secretariat ever since. We will be stepping this up in the wake of Durban so watch this space! For more information have a look at the FIG tab on this website.

How can you get involved?

UNfairplay is not an official delegation or set membership of people, it is an idea that we have been publicising in the hope that more people will want to do the same, and using our experiences, they can be effective as possible.

We have created a small guide of our experiences and tips for doing the same, which is available on this website below the comments you will find a downloadable file, or you can send a request to unfairplay.fig@googlemail.com

We are an informal group that are open to others using this website as a platform for blogging on their efforts supporting delegations in the negotiations, so please get in touch if you would like to blog on this site, everyone is welcome: email unfairplay.fig@googlemail.com

And lastly, join us on Facebook for updates by like’ing us here !

Isabel, Alex, Charlie, Jess, Tina, Sam, Kirsti, Jamie, Lena, Connie, Helena, Laurence, Lindsay, Benas…..and maybe you in future?


24 thoughts on “About

  1. Ive been thinking about Copenhagen since it ended and like many other respondents am interested in getting involved in this kind of thing. The trick is figuring out how to make a living wage while doing so – jobs in general are sparse at the moment, but green jobs? Even harder to find. Any tips anyone?!

  2. I heard about what you have done on The Stupid Show and it really resonated with my own thoughts about how the negotiations at Copenhagen lack justice. I was wondering what your plans are for 2010 in Mexico City and how others can get involved. I am greatly inspired by your actions.

  3. When I read your blog and saw what you do on The Stupid Show, I feel such companionship, inspiration, hope and part of a force larger than myself on the path to making the world a more just and beautiful place for all.
    Touched by your actions and warmed by how much I see your hearts struggling for a brighter tomorrow.
    Wishing you all might and force to protect life on Earth.
    Thank you for doing what you do.

  4. UNfair- your work is truly inspiring! Keep up all the amazing energy over the next 6 six days! The whole world is watching Copenhagen, and I’m in awe of what people like you guys are doing!
    Love, Cecilia

  5. Very admiral but in the larger picture surely we must also take into consideration the tidal wave of population growth.
    It is unsustainable and adding to the carbon issue day by day. Sadly it is the poorest countries that have the greatest growth percentage in population.
    Perhaps you could assist brokerage on trying to achieve an educational and medical programme on a massive scale in the poorer countries to attempt a slowing down on birthrate. It is achievable. Without achieving it we will have trouble and strife as resources and space run out.

  6. My Dearest Tina, Charlie, Izzy, and all you other amazing people….
    We are all sending positive emotionally supportive thoughts to you! I can’t imagine how draining it must be to be where you guys are now! But we know you’ll keep fighting! Be brilliant guys!! You’re all incredible!

  7. Charlie, Tina, everyone else: what you guys are doing is amazing. I believe you guys can make the difference. Stay positive! We’re proud.

  8. Whoooo! Go jess!!
    I’m not even embarrased to say that i’m proud of you, not that that means much haha!
    Lets hope all the hard work pays off!

  9. Best wishes to the UNfair play team and Kiribati and Niue. I’ll be protesting here in Australia to try and even things up.

  10. We are watching you Charlie!!!
    Really proud you are there and ‘walking’ not ‘talking’ which is waht it is all about. Keep me posted with your experiences and in the New Year AC will be all guns blazing with 10:10, your experiences, my new sustainability course and all of our energy!!!!!

  11. Well Done guys!
    A brilliant inititive and im so proud! just wish i could be
    there with you!!

    hope it all goes well cant wait to hear all about it

    Kathryn x

  12. To know that you guys are trying at least, that you are willing, that you are caring enough; that is maybe what will bring about the change, the difference and the ability to see it through.

    Maybe all i can say is that I’m proud of you guys, somewhat in awe and full of gratitude.

    But it’s even more than that. A simple thank you might not be enough, but i mean it.

    Love in insane amounts.

  13. Pingback: Tweets that mention About UNFair Play « UN Fair Play -- Topsy.com

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