Delegation size and equity in climate negotiations: An exploration of key issues

Gerardo S. Martinez, Jacob Ipsen Hansen, Karen Holm Olsen, Emmanuel Kofi Ackom*, James Arthur Haselip, Olivier Bois von Kursk, Maria Bekker-Nielsen Dunbar

*Corresponding author for this work

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Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require fast and far-reaching changes, including transformative governance within the international climate negotiations. Processes and interactions within the negotiations have been historically perceived as inequitable, as low-income countries', interests were undermined by the small size of their delegations. Since COP21 in Paris, however, the delegation size of poorer countries has significantly increased Following the Paris Agreement, the average delegation size of low-income and lower middle-income countries, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, has risen considerably compared with other country income groupings and regions. While the drivers behind this increase are yet unclear, the trend could contribute to greater equity in the negotiations through better representation and visibility of issues shared by these countries, for instance those related to high climate vulnerability and low readiness. However, delegation size is only one factor in negotiation success, which is related to a variety of factors both internal and external to the negotiations themselves. Further analysis on the causes of the shifts observed in this paper is required, to understand their possible consequences, and better determine whether they can successfully contribute to greater climate equity in the context of the necessary transformative climate governance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbon Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)431-435
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Climate negotiations
  • Conference of the Parties
  • delegation size
  • equity


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