Assisting Georgia with Climate Change Negotiations2021–2022 Justice Seymour Simon Award winner
New Perimeter provides assistance to the Government of Georgia's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection to support the country's participation in international climate change negotiations, including the Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). New Perimeter also provides Georgia with international legal counsel as well as on the ground support to advise on the complex legal and treaty texts at issue at the negotiations. Since 2012, over 40 attorneys from 15 global DLA Piper offices have participated in these efforts, advising Georgia on international action against climate change. This long-term collaboration has allowed New Perimeter to develop a thorough understanding of Georgia’s context and needs, and thus develop a more effective advocacy strategy. DLA Piper is the only law firm in the world representing a sovereign nation within the UNFCCC process and spent over 900 hours on this project in 2021.
Georgia has an impressive low-carbon track record. Around 85 percent of its power generation is from renewable hydroelectric sources. Yet Georgia's small economy and limited resources make fielding a large delegation of experts at UN climate change negotiations prohibitively expensive.
The team’s primary goals at the COP26 in Glasgow in December 2021 were to support Georgia's with advocacy, legal advice and research, and on-the-ground negotiations assistance, and in advance Georgia’s goal of remedying structural discrimination against certain developing countries within the UNFCCC process.
Georgia is the first member of the EIG from the Eastern European group, and the first member not classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy.
“The four of us on the ground doubled the size of the Georgian delegation, helping to ensure coverage in all negotiating sessions. Perhaps more important was the team of volunteer lawyers supporting our delegation from DLA Piper's offices across the US and Europe. Those volunteers provided daily updates on the iterations of 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 in the course of negotiations,” said Jesse Medlong (San Francisco), who has played a leading role on the project.
Other participants from DLA Piper US included George Gigounas, Elizabeth Callahan, Bing Sun, Katherine Thoreson, Amanda McCaffrey (all San Francisco), Katie Hausfeld, Emily Becker (both Chicago), Craig Tighe (Palo Alto), Emma Jiang (Houston), Matt Beckwith (Washington, DC), Ryan Lantry, Adam Bowling (both Dallas), Danielle Taber, and Matt Lawnicki (both San Francisco). International DLA Piper participants included Alec Vaerenbergh, Félix Leyman (both Brussels), Noy Trounson, Jaya Bagri (both Sheffield) and Emma Peveril (Edinburgh).
Teimuraz Murgulia, the First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, shared thanks for DLA Piper’s assistance. “This collaboration has been a great experience that provided Georgia the ability to be present at a number of parallel sessions which otherwise would have been impossible. The Ministry would like to thank DLA Piper for your support throughout the Paris conference as well as for the assistance your firm has provided to our team in previous years. Working with your team has been a great asset all through the negotiation process.”