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POLICY BRIEF: Engaging effectively in climate diplomacy: policy pointers from the Gambia

Over the past two decades, governments have struggled to craft a comprehensive regulatory system for managing climate change. Their efforts have produced a complex of tangentially connected regimes, including institutions such as the World Bank; legal regimes and agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); expert assessments such as those developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and various bilateral and unilateral initiatives.

In 2013, the Gambia appointed the first special climate envoy from a least developed country (LDC). While such appointments have become commonplace in developed countries, LDC diplomats have previously lacked the influence and capacity to engage in climate diplomacy successfully. Gambian officials have identified several best practices for successful engagement, including establishing climate change as a core national interest, mainstreaming climate change into development planning and engaging with the media. With a view to help build the political conditions for the next global climate agreement in 2015, and to facilitate international coordination and cooperation beyond the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this brief, Engaging effectively in climate diplomacy: policy pointers from the Gambia, outlines four policy pointers to help other LDC governments improve their officials’ abilities to have an impact on this diplomatic arena.