Unlike many negotiators who hail from either diplomacy or law, Laurence Tubiana has an academic background, her field of expertise being sustainable development. Her influence derives from her role as advisor and special representative of the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius. Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University in New York and former Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris, one of her challenges will be to ensure that France, as a host, is inclusive and does not show bias towards any group of countries.
The role of the host country has been crucial in previous meetings. Denmark’s role in 2009 is often cited as a main reason for failure, as they tried to draft a deal secretly with just a handful of major powers. The fact that many countries were kept in the dark led to chaos in the final hours.
The draft text that emerged from Lima in December 2014 has to be trimmed down, but still represent every interest of every country. Tubiana has said that the French government is ready to draft the text if countries fail to find compromises by themselves.