NPR REPORT: How are UN climate talks like a middle school? Cliques rule

Published 20:57 on August 31, 2015  /  Last updated at 16:28 on November 2, 2015  /  Climate Talks, Conversations, International, Views  /  No Comments

It seems to be part of human nature to want to belong to a group. People constantly form groups, in all kinds of situations, and high-stakes negotiations on climate change are no exception. Ever heard of the Umbrella Group? Or the Like-Minded Developing Countries? How about the Group of 77? (Here's a hint — it doesn't actually have 77 countries.)

(Originally aired on NPR’s Morning Edition on Aug. 31, 2015)

It seems to be part of human nature to want to belong to a group. People constantly form groups, in all kinds of situations, and high-stakes negotiations on climate change are no exception.  Ever heard of the Umbrella Group?  Or the Like-Minded Developing Countries?  How about the Group of 77?  (Here’s a hint — it doesn’t actually have 77 countries.)

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week to resume negotiations on a new global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions — it’s part of the run-up to a major summit in Paris later this year.  And the countries negotiate in groups, some of which are a little puzzling.

Listen to the full audio report below.

By Nell Greenfieldboyce

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