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

Began 2011

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.

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.


Resetting climate negotiations: LDC priorities for an ambitious COP26, Anna Schulz, Illari Aragon, Camilla H More, Sonam P Wangdi (2021), IIED Briefing

The impacts of COVID-19 on climate diplomacy, Brianna Craft, Alida Toé, Ziaul Haque, Cecilia da Silva Bernardo (2021), Report

Ensuring COP25 delivers increased ambition in 2020, Gabriel Kpaka, Caroline Dihl Prolo, Anna Schulz, Binyam Yakob Gebreyes (2019), IIED Briefing

The critical role of science in guiding UN climate negotiations, Brianna Craft, Camilla More, Jigme Tenzin (2019), Backgrounder

Time to redress the globally unjust cost of climate change, Camilla More, Gabrielle SA Swaby, Sonam P Wangdi (2019), IIED Briefing | en français | em português | en español

Higher ambition for lower temperatures: what LDCs could achieve at COP24, Gebru Jember Endalew, Binyam Yakob Gebreyes, Gabrielle SA Swaby (2018), IIED Briefing Paper

Action, ambition, investment: what success at COP23 looks like for LDCs, Achala Abeysinghe, Brook Dambacher, Rebecca Byrnes, Gebru Jember Endalew, Subhi Barakat (2017), IIED Briefing Paper

The Paris Agreement: options for an effective compliance and implementation mechanism, Achala Abeysinghe, Subhi Barakat (2016), IIED Issue Paper

Entry into force of the Paris Agreement: the legal process, Achala Abeysinghe, Caroline Prolo (2016), IIED Issue Paper

A vision for the Least Developed Countries Fund in a post-Paris climate regime, Janna Tenzing, Stephanie Andrei, Giza Gaspar-​Martins, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Evans Njewa (2016), IIED Briefing Paper

Compliance in the 2015 climate agreement, Achala Abeysinghe, Caroline Prolo, M. Hafijul Islam Khan (2015), LDC Paper Series

LDC perspectives on the future of the Least Developed Countries Fund, Janna Tenzing, Giza Gaspar-​Martins, Bubu Pateh Jallow (2015), LDC Paper Series

Technology development and transfer, the least developed countries and the future climate regime, Brianna Craft, Karma Tshering, Fred Machulu Onduri, Stella Funsani Gama (2015), LDC Paper Series

Advancing gender equality in the post-2020 climate regime, Janna Tenzing, Stephanie Andrei, Stella Gama (2015), IIED Briefing

Lima: paving the way to success in Paris, Janna Tenzing (2014), IIED Briefing

Seven elements and seven steps for an effective climate agreement, Achala Abeysinghe, Prakash Mathema (2014), IIED Briefing

Technology transfer for least developed countries, Brianna Craft (2014), IIED Backgrounder

Understanding key positions of the least developed countries in climate change negotiations, Prakash Mathema, Achala Abeysinghe, Janna Tenzing (2014), IIED Briefing

A burden to share? Addressing unequal climate impacts in the least developed countries, David Ciplet, Timmons Roberts, Pa Ousman Jarju, Achala C. Abeysinghe, Alexis Durand, Daniel Kopin, Olivia Santiago, Keith Madden, Sophie Purdom (2013), IIED Briefing

Helping UN negotiators protect the poorest, Achala C Abeysinghe (2011), IIED Reflect & Act

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


Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy/PWC (2018)

Irish Aid (since 2014)

Sida (2018)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/European Commission (2018)

Swedish Ministry of the Environment and Energy (since 2017)


CDKN (2011-2017)

Was this page useful to you?