Providing on-demand legal, technical and strategic advice to the Least Developed Countries Group

IIED works to strengthen the position of least developed countries (LDCs) in international climate negotiations and related global forums. We do this by providing real-time legal, technical and strategic advice and research support to the LDC Group in the UNFCCC process. We collaborate directly with the LDC chair and members of the LDC Group's core team of negotiators in delivering our work.

Began 2011
Anna Schulz

Head of global climate law policy and governance programme, Climate Change

Stepping up global ambition for climate action and justice
A programme of work showing how IIED is supporting the most vulnerable countries to increase global ambition to stay below 1.5°C
Group of people talking in a circle

Delegates huddle informally in the corridors of the Bonn climate change conference in June 2019 (Photo: IISD/ENB, Kiara Worth)

Climate change negotiations are characterised by frequently emerging issues, technical jargon, carefully crafted wording and continuous references to various legal principles and provisions.

This proliferation of scientific, technical and legal issues, institutions and processes has prolonged and increased the work burden for already strained negotiators in the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group. Even the most senior negotiators require technical advice and support to keep up with the pace of continuous and complex scientific, policy and legal information flows.

What is IIED doing?

As early as 2001, IIED supported senior LDC negotiators to create their own negotiating bloc in climate talks, the LDC Group. And ever since we have been working closely with the group by providing legal, technical and strategic advice in the negotiations, and building its expertise in key topics by providing research and analysis.

This work falls under a larger package of support to the LDCs, through which IIED organises capacity-building workshops, enhances the representation of LDC negotiators, provides logistical and administrative support, and helps establish an online and media presence for the group.

IIED's real-time advice to the LDC Group chair and members of its core team helps to reduce the heavy burden of work associated with climate change negotiations. In addition, it helps to ensure strong group leadership, develop a long-term strategic vision, preserve institutional memory and guarantee a smooth transition as the chairpersonship rotates every two years.

As a direct result of increased capacity within the group, this support now enables the construction of mature strategic positions.

The group also needs strong research inputs to strengthen its arguments in the negotiations, and IIED strives to provide these. We work with LDC negotiators to co-produce research papers, briefings and blogs that directly inform the ongoing negotiations and ensure negotiators are well-prepared with the facts, figures and analysis they need to drive effective decisions.

Additional resources

Meeting expectations on transparency and more: how strengthening capacity for climate reporting is benefitting Mauritania and Malawi, Illari Aragon, Fernanda Alcobé, Yamikani J.D. Idriss, Sidi Mohamed EL Wavi, Fall Oumar, Sidaty Dah (2022), Case study | français

Blog: Inclusive negotiations: are hybrid meetings the answer?, by Anna Schulz and Binyam Yakob Gebreyes (October 2021)

Blog: Can COP26 lay firm foundations for an ambitious new climate finance goal?, by Illari Aragon (October 2021)

The elusive US$100bn: will COP26 reboot trust and pave the way for a more ambitious finance goal?, Illari Aragon, Evans Davie Njewa (2021), IIED Briefing

Blog: Delivering an inclusive COP26 in the age of COVID-19 requires more than vaccines, by Brianna Craft (July 2021)

Blog: It’s got to be virtual and in person – key steps for a successful COP26, by Anna Schulz (June 2021)

Blog: Challenges for climate diplomacy during a pandemic, by Brianna Craft (March 2021)

Meeting the enhanced transparency framework: what next for the LDCs?, Illari Aragon, Tshewang Dorji (2019), IIED Briefing

COP24: LDCs’ moment to shape an inclusive climate transparency framework, Illari Aragon, Tshewang Dorji (2018), IIED Briefing Paper

Blog: Seeing clearly: transitioning to transparency at COP24, Illari Aragon (2018)

A guide to transparency under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, Achala Abeysinghe, Subhi Barakat, Yamide Dagnet, Gebru Jember Endalew, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Camilla H More, Tshewang Dorji, Cleo Verkuijl (2017), IIED Toolkit

Least developed countries' experiences with the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism, Brianna Craft, Stella Gama, Thinley Namgyel (2017), IIED Issue Paper

Provisions for support to least developed countries: facilitating the implementation of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, Rebecca Byrnes, Stella Gama, Mamadou Honadia, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Marek Soanes, Priyanka Teeluck, Janna Tenzing (2017), IIED Toolkit.

National adaptation plans: understanding mandates and sharing experiences, Achala Abeysinghe, Broom M Dambacher, Rebecca Byrnes (2017), IIED Issue Paper

The long road to Paris (2016), IIED Report

Strengthening the Lima Work Programme on Gender; perspectives from Malawi and the CBD, Stella Gama, Priyanka Teeluck, Janna Tenzing (2016), IIED Issue Paper

The Paris Agreement and the LDCs, Achala Abeysinghe, Brianna Craft, Janna Tenzing (2016), IIED Issue Paper | en français

The climate negotiator, Helen Burley (2016), IIED long read 

A fair climate deal in Paris means adequate finance to deliver INDCs in LDCs, Neha Rai, Marek Soanes, Andrew Norton, Simon Anderson, Paul Steele, Janna Tenzing, James MacGregor (2015), IIED Briefing

Options for the legal form of the Paris outcome, Achala Abeysinghe, Caroline Prolo (2015), IIED Event Paper

Lima outcomes and the status of ADP negotiators, Janna Tenzing (2015), IIED Event Paper