Method and Sample

The INS has surveyed participants at the UN Climate Change Conferences (COPs) every year since 2007 and also, once, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. The surveys are distributed in person to participants in the UN intergovernmental meetings. The INS contains two different samples:
  • one general strategic sample of the UN Climate Change conference participants, and
  • one representative sample of side event participants.
Below, we present the composition in terms of primary role of the INS sample at last year’s UN Climate Conference in Warsaw (COP19). Shortly, corresponding data of the overall samples will become available as well as figures showing the geographic composition of the two samples.

COP 19 General Sample

Since the UN Climate Change Conferences are an operating environment that hampers random sampling, quota sampling is instead used to select a strategic or quota sample. The INS sample – 450 – 550 responses every year – is chosen in order to reflect the two most important categories of COP participants in terms of primary role in climate change negotiations: (i) members of party delegations, such as negotiators and representatives of government agencies; and (ii) observers, i.e. environmental, development, business and industry, research and independent NGO representatives. The sample also contains representatives from intergovernmental organizations (IGO) as well as a few media representatives. Moreover, the INS sample is also strategic in terms of its geographical composition in order to enable comparisons between different geographical regions and party coalitions. Here, we compare to the overall frame population, i.e. the data on all COP participants, if we aspire to make claims to reflect the overall COP population. This means that INS surveyors devote a lot of time to search for participants that fulfil these criteria. During the COP, we keep close track of the degree of fulfilment of the quotas in terms of primary roles and geographical regions in order to obtain the best possible sample. Normally, we base a publication on two years’ data or more.

 

As the figure illustrates, half of the COP19 sample consists of members in government delegations, that is negotiators and representatives of government agencies. The majority of these participants come from Non-Annex 1 countries, reflecting a compromise between the number of countries and the size of national delegations in these two categories. The observer categories and the sample of intergovernmental organization representatives contain a larger share of participants from the Annex 1 countries, reflecting the pattern in overall COP participation (as can be compared to, for instance, the location of the main office for the participant’s affiliation). Environmental NGO representatives make up the largest part of the observer category, about two thirds of them from Annex 1 countries. The share of researchers is the second largest observer category, with more than two thirds from Annex 1 countries. Subsequently, in terms of size, follows representatives from development and other NGOs, business, indigenous and local government representatives. UN and other IGO representatives also mainly come from Annex 1 countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COP 19 Side-Event Sample

 

The side-event sample is constructed in a different way. At each UN Climate Change Conference about 14 side-events out of the about 200 are selected, based on criteria to ensure balance in the types of organisers (both in terms of type of organization – research, environmental NGO, local government, etc. – and the experience of these organisations) and the topics of the side-events. The self-administered surveys are distributed to participants as they enter the side-event room and are collected as they exit it. The INS surveyors calculate the number of participants as well as the gender composition. Overall, the response rate is about 50%, little higher for women than for men. Consequently, the INS side event sample follows a different logic than the overall COP sample in that it reflects the overall participation in a representative way. This, in turn, implies that the sample contains few responses from some categories of participants.

As the figure illustrates, about one quarter of the COP19 side event sample consists of members in government delegations, that is negotiators and representatives of government agencies. The majority of these participants come from Non-Annex 1 countries, a larger share than in the overall COP sample. The observer categories and the sample of intergovernmental organization representatives contain a larger share of participants from the Annex 1 countries, reflecting the pattern in overall COP participation (as can be compared to, for instance, the location of the main office for the participant’s affiliation). About 120 Environmental NGO representatives make up the largest part of the observer category, little more than half of them from Annex 1 countries. Subsequently, about 110 responses make up the “other” category, that is development and other NGOs as well as technical staff followed by 100 researchers (almost 80% from Annex 1 countries). The rest of the categories – business, UN and other IGOs, local government and media – are small.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COP 13-20 General Sample

 

This figure shows the general sample obtained at COPs 13-20, by primary role and annex.
 

INS COP13-20 sample