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Who’s who: Groupings and actors
Based on the tradition of the United Nations, Parties are organized into five regional groups:
  • African States,
  • Asian States,
  • Eastern European States,
  • Latin American and the Caribbean States, and
  • Western European and Other States.
But substantive interests of Parties and several other groupings are more important for climate negotiations. The major groupings, for substantive and political purposes, are:

Group of 77 and China (G-77 and China) Developing countries generally work through the Group of 77 to establish common negotiating positions. The G-77 was founded in 1964 in the context of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and now functions throughout the UN system. It has over 130 members. The country holding the Chair of the G-77 in New York (which rotates every year) often speaks for the G-77 and China as a whole. However, because the G-77 and China is a diverse group with differing interests on climate change issues, individual developing countries and groups within the G-77 also intervene in debates.
Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) A coalition of some 43 low-lying and small island countries, most of which are members of the G-77, that are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. AOSIS countries are united by the threat that climate change poses to their survival and frequently adopt a common stance in negotiations. 
Least Developed Countries (LDC) The 50 countries defined as Least Developed Countries by the UN regularly work together in the wider UN system. They have become increasingly active in the climate change process, often working together to defend their particular interests, for example with regard to vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

European Union (EU) The 27 members of the European Union meet in private to agree on common negotiating positions. The country that holds the EU Presidency - a position that rotates every six months - then speaks for the European Union and its 27 member states. As a regional economic integration organization, the European Union itself can be, and is, a Party to the Convention, but it does not have a separate vote from its members.

The Umbrella Group A loose coalition of non-EU developed countries which formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. There is no formal list, but the Group is usually made up of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the US. The Umbrella Group evolved from the JUSSCANNZ (an acronym for Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway and New Zealand) group, which was active during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations.

Environmental Integrity Group (EIG) Formed in 2000, the EIG comprises Mexico, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

Other groups in the climate change process include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Central Asia, Caucasus, Albania and Moldova (CACAM), the League of Arab States and the Agence intergouvernementale de la francophonie.