Great Negotiator 2022: Christiana Figueres


Edited by Lara SanPietro

Video featuring former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres discussing her role in building support for and passing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement


The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School periodically presents the Great Negotiator Award to an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. In 2022, PON selected Christiana Figueres as the recipient of its Great Negotiator Award.

As UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres was tasked with a seemingly insurmountable challenge of putting together an impactful, global climate agreement to save the planet. Coming out the dramatic failure of the Copenhagen summit, many believed that such an agreement was not possible. However, with persistent optimism and careful, targeted interventions aimed at building momentum, in 2015 the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted by the 196 participating nations and set forth a new framework for international climate agreements.

PON honored Christiana Figueres as its Great Negotiator in April 2022. This included a public session interview attended by students, faculty, and guests at Harvard Law School, as well as an in-depth private session interview, where Figueres answered questions and offered insights on the negotiation process. Both the public and private video interviews are included in the Great Negotiator 2022: Christiana Figueres video package. Below, check out a preview of the private session interview with Figueres and Professors James Sebenius and Hannah Riley Bowles:

These videos can be paired with the Christiana Figueres and the Collective Approach to Negotiating Climate Action case study, available for purchase separately from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).

Great Negotiator 2022: Christiana Figueres Attributes

Time required: 2-3 hours
Teaching notes available: No
Edited by: Lara SanPietro
Run time: 2 hours, 45 minutes