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Analysis: Which Countries Have Sent the Most Delegates to COP23?
By Robert McSweeney and Rosamund Pearce
For the next two weeks, thousands of negotiators, policymakers, researchers, journalists and campaigners are gathering in Bonn for the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23).
The talks—hosted by Fiji, but held in Germany—are the next installment of UNFCCC international climate negotiations, following on from the landmark Paris agreement at COP21 in 2015 and the steps taken towards implementation at COP22 in Marrakech last year.
Carbon Brief dives into the data to find out how many people each country has sent to Bonn—and the gender balance of each delegation.
In addition, there are a further 6,176 attendees representing UN bodies, specialized agencies, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), plus 1,633 journalists covering the talks. This puts the total number of delegates at just more than 19,000—approximately half the number that went to COP21.
Carbon Brief's analysis of the provisional list shows that the largest party delegations come from Africa—in fact, the whole top five of our list are African countries.
In first place is Côte d'Ivoire with 492 participants; a delegation that is 137 people larger than the second-placed country, Guinea (355 people). It's second place again for Guinea, whose 398-strong delegation was only smaller than Morocco's (439) at COP21 in Paris.
Making up the rest of the Top 5 is the Democratic Republic of Congo (340), Congo (308) and Morocco (253).
The highest-placed European country is Germany in sixth with 230 participants—perhaps unsurprising considering the talks are being held in Bonn.
Other European parties with sizeable delegations include France (177), Poland (77) and the European Union (76). The UK comes someway down the list with 45, which is the average delegation size across the 196 parties attending Bonn.
Despite President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement, the U.S. has still sent 48 delegates to Bonn. Though this is less than half the number present at COP21 in Paris in 2015. In contrast, neighbors Canada has a team of 161.
Other prominent CO2 emitters also have large delegations, including Indonesia (158), Brazil (128), Japan (109), China (82) and Russia (71). It's also worth noting that some countries allocate some of their party badges to NGOs, which can artificially inflate the size of their official delegation.
You can explore the delegation sizes across all the countries represented at COP23 in the map below. The darker the shading, the more delegates that country has brought along. Mouse over the countries to see the number of delegates and the population size.
The full list of participants and party delegation sizes can be found here.
Note: This data is based on the number of people who had registered for the talks by the end of October this year. The UNFCCC will publish a final list at the end of the COP. Our analysis is based on named participants only, which account for 8,795 people out of a total of 11,306. As Carbon Brief discovered in our analysis of delegates to COP21, the UNFCCC does not provide details of some "party overflow" delegates.
As the UNFCCC's list provides the full name of each participant, it's possible to work out the balance of men to women that each country is sending to Bonn. On average, party delegations at this year's COP are 62 percent male to 38 percent female
Some large delegations with an even male-female split include Turkey (86 delegates, 50 percent female), Poland (77 delegates, 53 percent female) and hosts Fiji (74 delegates, 50 percent female). The UK team is 67 percent female to 33 percent male, while the U.S. delegation is 38 percent female.
Three countries have sent all-female delegations to COP23: Latvia (five delegates in total), Albania (four) and Guyana (four).
In contrast, five countries have sent entirely male delegations: Libya (11 delegates in total), Mauritius (four), the Republic of Moldova (three), North Korea (three) and Somalia (three).
Eritrea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan also have all-male delegations, but these three countries have only sent one person to the talks. The Vatican (six delegates) has also sent only male representatives, but the Vatican is only present at the negotiations as an "Observer State" rather than a party.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Carbon Brief.
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"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›