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Delia Lloyd's blog

UN Climate Talks: changing the conversation about climate change

To: The Environment/Natural Resource Management Network within The Communication Initiative

When I was invited to speak on a panel at a UN conference on climate change in Bonn, Germany, I wasn't sure what to expect. I envisioned a large, dimly lit amphitheatre filled with diplomats in dark suits, whispering to their colleagues between reading their official, pre-prepared statements out loud.

I was pleasantly surprised. I was there to speak at the 2nd Dialogue of Article 6 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). While that may sound terribly formal and bureaucratic, it was anything but.

Article 6 is all about how best to promote public awareness, public participation and public access to information around climate change - in other words, how to communicate climate change effectively.

The Dialogue provides a regular forum for stakeholders - government and global civil society representatives alike - to exchange ideas and experiences regarding the implementation of Article 6.

And a dialogue it was. An informal, personal tone was immediately set by the Chair of our panel, Paul Watkinson who is co-facilitator of the 2nd Dialogue. He began by encouraging us to have a real conversation - rather than a series of positions - and to avoid jargon. He also asked country representatives to use their first names, not their countries, when speaking.

Above all, he reminded us that Article 6 is really about understanding the effect of communication on people’s lives.

Environment/Natural Resource Management