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5 April 20232 minute read

International Climate Change Negotiations

Assisting the Government of Georgia to Navigate UN Treaty Negotiations

Katie Hausfeld (Chicago), Jesse Medlong (Seattle), Alec Van Vaerenbergh (Brussels) and Jorian Hamster (Amsterdam) traveled to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, where they supported the country of Georgia at the latest round of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 27) with New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in underserved regions around the world. A team of more than 15 additional lawyers provided remote research assistance to support the negotiating team.

The volunteer lawyer team provided daily updates on the iterations of the treaty and decision text that were emerging from the Conference of Parties’ back offices. The team also conducted on-the-spot research as questions arose during the course of the negotiations.

Since 2012, more than 40 lawyers from 15 global DLA Piper offices have assisted Georgia with international climate change negotiations through New Perimeter. Georgia's small economy and limited resources make fielding a large delegation of experts at UN negotiations a challenge. Our lawyers have been instrumental in helping Georgia gain admission into the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), which significantly increases the Georgian delegation's access to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process.

The team continues to help Georgia address structural power imbalances that hinder the ability of the country to advocate for its interests.

“Initially, DLA Piper’s role was pure capacity enhancement. However, as time passed, DLA Piper’s team became an integral part of the Georgian delegation. Together, we started to strategically plan our engagement process. We observed that the lack of group affiliation also prevented Georgia from coordinating on issues because the delegation size didn’t allow participation in all negotiations. DLA Piper played a key role in helping to change this setting.”

- Maia Tskhvaradze

Head of Climate Change Division at Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture