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On Behalf of My Delegation (Second Edition)

A survival guide for new and lonely climate change negotiators

Climate negotiations continue at the same unrelenting pace as the climate impacts they hope to avert. There is clear need to support negotiators who are overwhelmed by the complexity of both the subject and the negotiation process.

By Joyeeta Gupta, Jennifer Allan on December 4, 2023
  • Outsiders may believe that diplomats use tricks and lies or half-truths to induce others to an agreement. Nothing is more distant from reality. “Lies have short legs,” and any delegate induced by deception will realize the situation sooner or later and react.

  • The scientific consensus on human-caused climate change in peer-reviewed papers is greater than 99%. The indisputable scientific evidence leads the IPCC to call for transformational action.

  • Individuals can make a difference even if they are from very small countries. An in-depth understanding of the negotiation process and the rules of procedure can even out power differences and magnify personal impact.

This “Survival Guide” exists to empower those individuals—whether they are primarily meteorologists, environmentalists, policy-makers and scientists, who have to don the garb of a “negotiator” at the talks or professional negotiators with little understanding of the variety of issues that arise in a climate change negotiation. This practical manual explains the substance and procedures of climate talks, mixing theory with practical tips, ideas with material for further research, and words with figures.

Written with special consideration for negotiators from the Global South—who arrive at climate COPs with fewer resources and colleagues than the delegations of the Global North—but with accessible definitions and advice for all, this second edition of On Behalf of My Delegation ensures negotiators are equipped to make an impact in negotiations for our very survival.

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