Climate change has proved to be one of the greatest challenges in this century with temperature becoming warmer and frequency of extreme weather increasing. Climate change diplomacy involves prioritizing SDG 13 (climate action) into public diplomacy, diplomatic dialogues and external policies.

Negotiations between states and independent groups are crucial in integrating climate change into foreign policy and implementing actions both domestically and internationally. This type of diplomacy pushes the climate action agenda beyond the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and assessing and resolution of peace, security implications of climate change.

The short coming influencing the non-achievement of this is lack of expertise or negotiation, diplomatic skills, resources and existing political positions of nations. The complexities of the policies involved in these negotiations are another challenge, the Kyoto protocol is an example it creates multiple programs and institutions which are overwhelming especially for least developed countries.

The COVID 19 pandemic has changed climate diplomacy, travel restrictions have made meetings to be held virtually. Climate dialogues transformed into conversations, rather than negotiations, however the pandemic has got the least developed countries and small islands showing leadership in climate action. Holding in-person meetings bringing world diplomats together would have been impossible for them but the virtual space has given them the privilege. Since using the virtual space has become the norm, governments should ensure well planed all inclusive platforms. Collaborations and good diplomatic relations are inevitable for climate action; states should integrate international policies to theirs because none lives in isolation.

“We must now agree on a binding review mechanism under international law, so that this century can credibly be called a century of decarbonisation” Angela Merkel

“When we have what some may view academic debates in the halls, it is people; it is people’s lives that are under direct threat” Simon Stiell

 

By Wairimu Ngandu

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