What is the difference between the Green and Blue Zones?
Each Conference of the Parties (COP) is divided into two zones: Green and Blue. The Green Zone is delivered by the COP’s host country (called the Presidency) and is open to the general public and non-accredited delegates. Further information on the Green Zone at COP28 can be found here: www.cop28.com/en/green-zone.
The Blue Zone is restricted access and is managed by the UNFCCC. This is where the negotiations take place and where countries often have their National Pavilions and associated events. Further information on the Blue Zone at COP28 can be found here: www.cop28.com/en/blue-zone. To enter the Blue Zone, attendees require a special pass, called a badge. Badges are worn by participants for the duration of the COP period and are different colours depending on the entity they were registered under. State party badges are pink and observer badges are yellow.
What is an ‘Australian Party Overflow’ badge and what does it provide?
Australia has an official delegation to the COP, consisting of Australian Government officials who are authorised to speak on behalf of Australia. Beyond this official delegation, the Australian Government is able to register additional participants under a sub-category called ‘Party Overflow’. Participants registered as Party Overflow receive a pink badge with ‘Australia’ written on it, however they are not part of the official delegation.
The Australian Government has criteria that must be met in order to gain an Australian Party Overflow badge. This includes, but is not limited to, a substantive connection to UNFCCC process or subject matter and/or a demonstrable link to Australia’s COP objectives. People who wish to obtain a Party Overflow badge will need to apply and demonstrate how they meet these criteria.
What does an Australian Party Overflow Badge allow me to do?
A Party Overflow badge enables people who are not part of the official Australian delegation to access the Blue Zone. While holders of a party overflow badge maintain access to most negotiations as an observer, they are NOT authorised to speak on behalf of Australia. Party Overflow badges are valid for the entire two-week COP program.
If approved, your badge will be listed as registered in the UNFCCC participants system under ‘Australia’ but you will not be part of the Australian official delegation. You will not be able to access closed sessions and will not be authorised to speak on behalf of the Australian Government.
Who can apply?
Anyone can apply. You are more likely to be approved if you are:
- a parliamentarian or a state government or local government official
- working together with the Australian Government to substantively advance Australia’s practical actions on climate change
- you or your organisation is qualified in matters covered by the UNFCCC and have a substantial interest/presence in Australia
- you or your organisation is representing a particular constituency of the UNFCCC and have direct ties to Australia
- you have been asked to contribute to the Australian Pavilion or an Australian side event. (Please note that this applies only to confirmed events. Event proposals do not automatically qualify you for an overflow badge.)
I am a media representative. Do I get media accreditation and an attendance badge through this process?
No, media accreditation is done through the UNFCCC. Applications opened in August. For the latest information, please visit the UNFCCC website here: unfccc.int/cop28
Must I be an Australian citizen to apply?
Preference is given to Australian citizens and permanent residents working in the Australian climate space, but consideration may also be given to people whose work or organisation has a substantial interest/presence in Australia, or whose work or organisation represents a particular constituency of the UNFCCC and has direct ties to Australia.
If my own country does not provide Party Overflow badges, can I instead apply for an Australian one?
Generally, no. You need to significantly meet one of the points listed under ‘Who can apply?’
Will an Australian Party Overflow Badge provide access to other official travel support?
No, you will not receive assistance for travel or accommodation – you remain entirely responsible for arranging and funding your trip. The Government is not able to provide any assistance to COP28 Party Overflow Badge holders over and above assistance provided to all Australians as part of normal consular arrangements. It is important to conduct your own risk assessment before deciding whether to attend COP28.
The UAE is issuing special visas for COP attendees. This visa will be linked to your accreditation to COP28. Please note: The UAE has the right to refuse anyone for any reason. We recommend you make yourself familiar with UAE visa requirements before applying. It is your responsibility to meet all visa requirements of the host country and to stay up to date with the latest travel advice and requirements, including at Smartraveller.gov.au.
Australian Party Overflow badge holders also must act consistently with UNFCCC Code of Conduct and the laws of the host country.
How are Australian Party Overflow badges allocated?
Applications for Australian Party Overflow Badges will open 28 August and close 24 September 2023. Applications will be approved at the discretion of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water. You will be notified of your application result regardless of outcome. Please note: Australia is seeking to have a broad representation of participants, so preference may be given to historically under-represented groups and limits may be placed on how many badges are granted to one organisation.
My organisation is also attending COP28 and will be applying to the UNFCCC for organisational badges. Can I also/instead apply for an Australian Party Overflow badge?
We strongly discourage multiple applications. A person can only carry one badge. Should you apply for two, it can delay approval of one or both and compromise your opportunity to enter the Blue Zone. We strongly encourage you to apply hrough your organisation, if you can do so. If you have applied for an organisational badge but intend to now apply for an Australian Party Overflow badge, you will need to cancel the organisational application or any allocated badges that came from it before applying for an Australian Party Overflow badge.
The application requires sensitive information, such as my passport number. How is my information securely managed?
What if my plans change, or I no longer need an Australian Party Overflow badge?
Simply let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Overflow Badge no longer needed’ and DCCEEW will remove your application from the list.