Would you play cricket 50 against 2!
I’m thinking probably not….how could that ever be a fair game?
But that’s just what’s going on here in Bonn, a big game of global cricket, only there’s much more to be won and lost than a little urn of ash!
After yesterday’s meeting with Jan I have spent part of today doing some research into the size of delegations. The first thing I did was grab an official participants list. It’s a bit of a beast of a document and the first thing you do is clearly find your own name! But after you’ve done that a bit of a flick through gives you some pretty interesting insights. As I already mentioned we in the UK have a pretty huge delegation I counted them up today and there are 39 of them. We’re not the only people that take this many people, the USA have 50, Japan have 61 and the Danes a massive 101, though this is also an anomaly of it being the year they host the major negotiations- Copenhagen in December. But as a guide the richer and more powerful the country the more people they send.
Down at the other end of the scale many countries only bring 1 or 2 negotiators. I think you can probably guess which countries this might include…Ethiopia, Haiti, Mauritius, Mongoli and Mozambique, to name just a few.
On average over the last few years G8 countries have been represented by almost 5 times as many delegates as the least developed countries in our world.
Though all countries are represented by one vote at the UN, and thus in principal are on an equal footing, these negations are more than just about voting! Negotiations are complex processes and they go on in may different rooms in many different settings. Throughout the day there are so many things to do, prepare, and arrange and people to meet that 1 or 2 delegates simply cannot hope to accomplish it all.
The countries that do not have the resources to send big delegations are also many of the countries who have the most to loose from climate change, therefore they need to be able to partake fully in these negotiations. With such small delegations compared to the big players this just isn’t possible.
Before we can even begin to play the game of these negotiations something needs to be done to ensure that we all start on an even playing field, with equal numbers of players on our teams. If any deal reached is to be fair for all we need fairness in the game too.
Put simply, as it stands….it’s just not cricket!