Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Alphabet soup

FCCC, COP15, G77, LDC, EU, AWC-LCA, AWC-KP, SBSTA, SBI, EGTT, REDD, REDD+, and that's not including all the NGO's and IGO's with a presence here in Copenhagen. If you have an allergy to acronyms, this is not the place to be. There are six different sessions convening at the main meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (I'll spell it out) and it can quickly become confusing as to what is happening and how it is all related. The only way that I can keep everything straight in my head is to keep a crib sheet with all the acronyms spelled out. Once you cut through these shorthand notations, the meeting becomes far more understandable.

Most of these various acronyms are either subsidiary groups that are used to gather information or wrestle with particularly challenging aspects of the negotiations that will need to take place prior to any international agreement being reached. Some of the acronyms represent action programs being funded by the UN to implement agreements or support party nations in their implementation. I normally have a problem with this many acronyms but with so many complex issues all floating around and everyone being so formal and precise, I can actually see their utility.

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