Tailored publications

Article, 31 July 2020

A series of guidebooks produced by the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) and bespoke dissemination practices support the training of UN climate negotiators from developing countries.

Woman with glasses sitting at a table and reading a book

A range of publications have been produced under the ebci training programme to assist junior negotiators (Photo: copyright Prakriti Resources Centre)

An understanding of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a required foundation for negotiators. But there’s a lot to learn. Over the past five years, we’ve written a guidebook series tailored for those new to the process, and have disseminated it in a variety of formats accessible to our participants.

Pocket guides

Since there is limited time in the training workshops to go into detail on each negotiation topic, we developed a series of pocket guides. These easily accessible reference documents aim to inform primarily new negotiators from developing countries, and participants of the ecbi training workshops in particular but have also been used by delegations from developed countries.

They are written in simple, clear language, and follow a question-and-answer format designed to quickly address the reader’s needs. A number of these guides have also been translated into French and some are regularly updated to reflect the most recent developments.

The series was developed from 2017 to cover most of the topics negotiated in the UNFCCC, as well as its major agreements. They include the:

The full list of pocket guides and other ecbi publications is available on the ecbi project page.

A range of publications are piled in stacks on a table

Some of the publications produced by ecbi (Photo: Matt Wright, IIED) 


All publications under the training and support programme are available and free for download on ecbi and IIED’s websites, as well as other partners’ websites, such as the Climate Ambition Support Alliance (CASA).

Each publication is promoted by being posted out to contacts and on social media. In order to maximise our reach we have also translated a number of them, including the Pocket Guide to the Paris Agreement, into French – the working language of our regional training workshop in Francophone Africa.

Beyond publications, we have recorded popular presentations from our workshops, sending them out with French subtitles in advance of workshops, so they can be shared widely and to allow participants to watch them in their own location and learn at their own pace.

A man stands speaking in front of a presentation

In one of the most valued presentations at the workshops, Ian Fry, Tuvalu's Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment, explained some of the systems and terminology used in the UNFCCC negotiations, and passed on a series of tips from his extensive experience (Photo: Matt Wright, IIED)

However, we’ve also learnt that a lot of our workshop participants struggle with internet connections, due to no fault of their own. This has hindered their ability to access information and learn.

In response, we have prioritised printing publications and distributing USB sticks at workshops that contain all the presentations and publications, and these measures have increased dissemination to our target audience of developing country negotiators and helped build their capacity.

The ecbi paper [on Article 6] was useful in the preparation of the COP25 for the African Group as it served as a basis for some presentations such as the implication of the corresponding adjustment to avoid double counting. It also helped some delegates to better understand the general status of Article 6. – Mbaye Diagne, Lead Article 6 negotiator from Senegal

Upon the publication of the 'Pocket guide to the Paris Agreement', the first in the series, the prime minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who presided over COP23 at the time, expressed his appreciation saying the guide "offers a very practical means to appreciate the key provisions and objectives of the Paris Agreement. It is certainly an excellent guide which was very handy for leaders, politicians and experts alike".

The ecbi publications continue to be appreciated by negotiators both new and seasoned. The current chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, Sonam P. Wangdi of Bhutan, said: “I find your publications extremely useful, especially the simplification of substantive elements of the UNFCCC negotiations.”


Brianna Craft (brianna.craft@iied.org), senior researcher in IIED's Climate Change research group

Anju Sharma (anju.sharma@oxfordclimatepolicy.org), deputy managing director and company secretary at Oxford Climate Policy

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