Media kit: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO REPORTING AT THE UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE IN DOHA
A full glossary of key terms is available on the UNFCCC website, but the below are the most essential.
AWG-KP - One of two major negotiating groups. The AWG-KP focuses on negotiating further legally-binding commitments for Annex I Parties beyond 2012. Attended by the 37 industrialised Annex I countries, plus other Parties to the Protocol and Parties to the Convention who did not ratify Kyoto but may attend as observers.
AWG-LCA - established in Bali in 2007 to conduct negotiations on a strengthened international deal on climate change, which was to be concluded at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009. The work of the AWG-LCA has been extended three times by a year since COP 15. Governments agreed in 2011 in Durban that the group would conclude its work in Doha.
AWG-ADP - The objective of the AWG-ADP is to negotiate a global climate change agreement to be adopted by 2015 and to enter into force from 2020, and how to raise current inadequate global ambition to deal with climate change, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions fast enough so that the world has chance of staying below the agreed maximum 2 degree Celsius temperature rise.
SBSTA - Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. Serves as a link between information and assessments provided by expert sources (such as the IPCC, responsible for compiling the world's government-approved science) and the COP, which focuses on setting policy.
SBI - Subsidiary Body for Implementation. The SBI makes recommendations on policy and implementation issues to the COP and, if requested, to other bodies.
PLENARY - A formal meeting of the entire COP, CMP or one of its subsidiary bodies.
REDD - Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
LULUCF - Land use, land-use change, and forestry. A greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change and forestry activities.
PARTY - A Party in the international negotiating context is either a country or a regional economic integration organisation. There is only one Party which is not a country in the UNFCCC context, and that is the European Union. The 27 members of the European Union meet to agree on common negotiating positions. The country that holds the EU Presidency – a position that rotates every six months – then speaks for the European Union and its 27 member states. As a regional economic integration organization, the European Union itself can be, and is, a Party to the Convention. However, it does not have a separate vote from its members. The host government expects around 17 thousand people to attend COP18. Around half of these are delegates of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, so from 194 States plus the European Union.
MEETINGS - Major bodies such as the COP and CMP (see glossary), chaired by senior government figures, meet in the large conference halls. Alongside these major meetings, there are a plethora of other negotiating sessions organised in such a way that wherever possible delegations from individual countries can organise their teams to attend without clashing timetables in what is a demanding schedule. These range from groups (often called informal or contact groups) focusing on issues from the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) to the Adaptation Fund and REDD. These negotiating/contact groups then feed back to plenaries. The Chairs and their teams consolidate all views expressed from the floor into negotiating texts which are then fed back to the delegations.
NGOs - NGOs are non-governmental organisations. They can for example represent business (BINGOs), or environmental organisations (ENGOs). Special rules have been developed over time under the Convention defining what role NGOs can play, what sessions they can attend, whether they can make submissions and so on. Details of these are available on the UNFCCC website. Other NGOs seek to track the delegations and to report on the process.
SIDE EVENTS AND EXHIBITS - Alongside the formal negotiations and informal talks are numerous side events and exhibits. The list of side events is published daily, shown on the CCTV monitors and available on the UNFCCC website. [top]
A COP is a hybrid. It is principally a negotiating forum. But it is also a technical conference where expert bodies under the Convention debate methodological issues relating to climate science and the climate process, which in turn form the basis for political decision-making. At the same time it is part climate change expert meeting with a range of side events and exhibits, attracting key members from governments and civil society who professionally deal with climate change on a regular basis. The COP is, however, first and foremost the place where the Parties to the UNFCCC make decisions, often pre-prepared in the months and weeks of preceding talks and negotiations.
Note: It will be the COP and CMP that actually adopt decisions.
In addition, there are numerous daily press conferences. CCTV Monitors and the Daily Programme indicate whether sessions are open or closed.
6) WHAT IS WORTH COVERING?
Countries with similar interests and viewpoints tend to negotiate in groups. This enables a single country to speak on behalf of a wider coalition of countries. This helps save negotiating time. The positions of the respective groups are jointly developed in meetings before and during the COP. Further information on Party Groupings is on the UNFCCC website.
Main developing countries ("non-Annex I") negotiating groups:
Main industrialized country ("Annex I") negotiating groups
A case of its own:
Environmental Integrity Group: Switzerland + Mexico and South Korea (both OECD)
The secretariat, together with the Integrated Sustainable PaperSmart Services (ISPS) secretariat, is adopting the United Nations PaperSmart services for COP 18/CMP 8. Pre-session and in-session official documentation for the Conference will be issued digitally through the ISPS portal PaperSmart.un.org, flash drives, etc. in the six official United Nations languages. Delegates/participants are encouraged to use their laptops/mobile devices, including tablets, to view and/or download Conference documentation.
UNFCCC official documents, statements and the Daily Programme will be available through PaperSmart.
Accreditation is done through the online media accreditation and registration system. This system allows each individual seeking media accreditation to create a personal account, enter personal data and upload required documentation. Applicants can check the status of their requests online by utilizing the login information received when the profile is created. Online accreditation is now the official and only channel to obtain registration for the media for a conference or event. The deadline for application is 21 November 2012.
Media accreditation for UNFCCC conferences is strictly reserved for members of the press (print, photo, radio, TV, film, news agencies and online media) who represent a bona fide media organization (formally registered as a media organization in a country recognized by the United Nations General Assembly). Accreditation will only be given on proof of a track record of reporting for media organizations on international affairs, specifically climate change.
 The UN Committee for Development Policy sets the criteria for a country to be classified as "least developed". The current list of LDCs includes 48 countries.