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Climate diplomacy: Seeing the bigger picture

Divya Mohan


This policy brief urges the leaders of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – which are most vulnerable to climate change – to integrate climate messaging into foreign and diplomatic affairs. By so doing, the authors argue, ‘climate diplomats’ are more likely to catalyse ambitious, collective action both within and outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The authors, Kiran Sura and Nadia Schweimler, put forward a three-point plan for making the most of climate diplomacy’s potential:

1. Raise wide awareness on the home front of how climate action serves the national interest – how cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and efforts to build resilience, are critical for citizens’ well being and survival – and that these national interests need to be projected internationally

2. Understand how foreign governments might see action on climate change as being in their national interest, and develop ways to deploy these arguments in diplomatic relations; and

3. Provide support to Least Developed Country’s diplomatic corps on key climate issues and reinforce key climate messages. The authors document some of the types of climate information and intelligence about other countries’ policy drivers that could underlie an effective climate diplomacy strategy. They draw on recent experiences from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Least Developed Country negotiating group in the UNFCCC, where diplomatic resources have been well organised to promote poor countries’ climate-related concerns.

Suggested Citation:

Sura, K., Schweimier, N. 2013. Climate diplomacy: seeing the bigger picture. Policy Brief. Climate and Development Knowledge Network. UK

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