Paris has begun. This blog will be full of great insights. And there’s the incomparable work of IISD. You could follow the twittersphere, or the good coverage on sites like the Guardian. But don’t you want to actually hear or read what leaders and officials are saying for yourself? I like supplementing my analysis with some live-and-direct. First, there’s a sense of atmosphere and context that the live (and on-demand) webcasts convey. Second, any reporter, even IISD, will be adding their own slant to the proceedings. Following it myself, I reduce the biases colouring my perception to my own! Third, I can find press briefings, special events, speeches and documents that speak directly to my interests.
So how do you get to the primary material? Your google fu may lead you the UNFCCC landing page which is often more fluffy than helpful. But you can get closer to heart of the negotiations by clicking on a tiny link in the top right corner that says “Click here for information on UNFCCC process and meetings”
Incidentally, this more process-based site is where any new draft texts will appear, if some get released during the COP, and is your portal to finding official submissions by parties. And, the topic of today – videos!
Once on the UNFCCC process page, you can scroll down or click on Webcasts . If something is being webcast live, you can check it out, or select “on-demand” where There’s a whole bunch of stuff you can watch. They’ve indexed the “Leaders Event” statements so you can select a 3minute-speeches from any of the countries at the COP. If it’s not in english, you might need to toggle the button to EN. PDFs of leaders statements will gradually populate this page
As the negotiations themselves become less open, and hence drop off the webcasts, special events and press briefings will probably be our best access to the mood and developments at the COP. And they are super interesting! Pro tip: skip through the first half of a briefing – which is usually just important folks reading easily available reports or press releases – and instead watch said important folks try to deal with curly questions from reporters.
Enjoy bingeing on COP-21!