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Ethiopia’s effective climate diplomacy: lessons for other nations

Despite its Least Developed Country status, Ethiopia has played a leading role in climate diplomacy. This briefing explores the factors behind Ethiopia’s success in order to draw lessons for other nations. Meles Zenawi, the late former prime minister, has left a legacy of strong political will and leadership that has enabled Ethiopia to integrate climate into its development strategy, set ambitious national targets and successfully coordinate climate action across ministries. Ethiopian climate diplomats have also engaged effectively with their neighbours and the broader international community to mobilise support for stronger goals, supported by a growing evidence base gathered by the state. As nations — LDCs and others — work together to ratify and fully implement the Paris Agreement, the diplomatic efforts of proactive countries like Ethiopia will remain fundamental to the effort.

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Reaching equitable outcomes for the most vulnerable countries and communities through global policymaking processes involves more than attending formal negotiating sessions. IIED’s work on climate diplomacy supports climate diplomats from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to better advocate for the most vulnerable.

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Helping vulnerable nations engage in climate diplomacy