In this article Stéphanie Heckman examines the process and outcomes of her graphic recording work and other forms of visual practice in the context of UN climate negotiations, reflecting on three years of collaboration with the UN Climate Change Secretariat, particularly during the eighteen-month Global Stocktake process. After a review of the history and science behind visual storytelling, she analyses one of the graphic recordings made for the third meeting of the Technical Dialogue of the Global Stocktake through the lens of Kelvy Bird’s ‘Levels of Scribing’ model. Drawing on comments from delegates at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and SB58 in Bonn, Germany, she reflects on the value and impact of her visual practice work at UN climate conferences. Taking the reader for a look inside the ‘black box’ of the visual practitioner, this article explores why visuals are an effective and intuitive tool for engaging a wide audience with the technical complexities as well as the emotional undertones of our international effort to address climate change. A visual summary of the article is included at the end.



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