Power and Oppression

This COY9/CEE Power Shift workshop examined the role of ‘Power’ and ‘Oppression’ in the negotiations and how that affects power dynamics. It was run by Ashok and Jessica from SSC. We looked at a micro level at the way power and oppression functioned in our regional climate movements, and within the dynamics of CEE Power Shift. Some interesting and though provoking ideas that I took away from that workshop were:


- We need to use caution in the language we use, especially when defining other people and how they represent themselves. We shouldn't seek to define others, only share their own representations of themselves.

- We need to be careful with prior assumptions about someone's situation due to where they come from.

- We need to be cautious with global 'south' and 'north' terms.

- We shouldn’t speak for other people. Instead we need to help provide them with the space to privilege their own views and experiences.


- We need to be aware of our privilege. We need to acknowledge how we are enabled to attend these conferences – time, money, education, experience, family support, gender equality, cultural accessibility, English language ability.

- We need to acknowledge the complexities around using English as the main language within COP/COY. This privileges those who are native English speakers. This disadvantages those with less of a grasp on the English language. This includes those negotiators that rely on translators.  


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Posted on November 8, 2013 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2013.