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PROJECT: Facilitation of legal advice to UNFCCC developing country negotiators


Project Reference: ADGL-0052

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations are considered amongst the most complex multilateral law and policy-making processes ever.  Meetings are characterised by their technical jargon, reference to legal principles and procedural norms.

Through a network of experts from leading law firms, universities and barrister chambers, LRI provides free climate-related legal assistance to poor and climate vulnerable developing countries and civil society organisations.  In the absence of LRI, its beneficiaries would struggle to access high-quality and strategically important legal advice.  LRI runs an open source knowledge management database and publishes briefing papers on topics of regular inquiry in line with the CDKN model.

At COP21, governments adopted a new international agreement on the global community’s efforts to address climate change.  However, the new agreement only provides a broad framework and the details of its implementation are currently in the process of being negotiated.  At the international level, developing countries need legal support to enable them to help to shape the details of the Agreement. At the domestic level, they need legal support to develop new policies, legislation, mechanisms and institutions in order to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) they agreed to in Paris.

In response to this, LRI currently seeks to:

  1. Support developing countries to ensure they have the capacity to contribute to post-Paris negotiations
  2. Support developing countries in unpacking what the Paris agreements means for their country on a domestic level
  3. Support developing countries in the drafting of legislation for implementation of climate plans

 Project updates

September 2016: In collaboration with CDKN, LRI hosted a two-day event in London to develop approaches and ideas for supporting developing countries in their legislative efforts to respond to climate change and implement their commitments under the new Paris climate agreement. A public panel discussion took place at PWC UK on 27 September to assess the post-Paris needs and challenges for effective climate change action in developing countries. This led to a vibrant discussion among development organisations, donor agencies, legal professionals and representatives of foreign missions based in London. Key issues raised were considered further at an expert workshop on the following day at Simmons & Simmons. Around 40 participants from private practice, academia and intergovernmental organisations presented their work on legal drafting, existing legislation, stakeholder engagement and other areas that should inform the development of climate or climate relevant legislation in the future. A summary of the report can be found here.

November 2016: A team of LRI lawyers attended the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh, to provide their rapid legal response service. In collaboration with UN Environment Programme (UNEP), LRI also organised a round-table discussion on legal preparedness for the Paris Agreement as part of the Law and Governance Day. The event built on the climate legislation workshop held in London in September and explored different approaches and ideas for supporting developing countries in their legislative efforts to respond to climate change and implement their commitments under the new Paris climate agreement.

This project has also existed under the following project codes: ADGL-0004 and BEIS-0001.

Contract value for the period February – December 2016: £90,047.

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