This speech, delivered by Quintin Combrink, was one of three that I co-authored while at the UN climate talks in Durban last December. We were particularly proud of this one. Quintin asks negotiators in the room to raise their hands to answer a series of questions, starting with whether they’re wearing shoes, moving on to whether they’re there to help solve the climate change, and finishing with the key question in Durban at that point - whether they think they can agree a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period by the end of that two weeks.
This approach, although it may seem fairly run-of-the-mill, is completely out of the ordinary for a UN summit. International diplomacy works in a veiled way, with statements vague and hard to read. Negotiators often use speeches to obstruct (see this great blog by Seb) negotiations and obscure their true positions. Getting them to reveal their cards and take on a more co-operative spirit is a key part of finding a solution to climate change at the UN level. Watch the video, see how we had a go at doing that!