Legal Form and Nature of the Paris Outcome

in Climate Law
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


This article analyses the legal form and nature of the Paris Agreement by exploring five core issues: (1) the status of the Paris Agreement as an instrument of international law; (2) the ‘housing’ of mitigation plans, actions, and targets within or outside the treaty; (3) the prescriptiveness and precision of the wording of specific commitments and provisions; (4) the nature of the commitments, in particular result versus conduct; and (5) the provisions to ensure accountability and promote effective implementation. We argue that the Paris Agreement constitutes an international treaty whose prescriptive and precise legal obligations are primarily procedural and focused on ‘nationally determined contributions’ (on mitigation) and the core transparency framework. Many other less precise and prescriptive obligations and provisions, including a number of rather programmatic statements, are best understood as establishing a political narrative that aims to guide the implementation and future evolution of the Agreement.

Legal Form and Nature of the Paris Outcome

in Climate Law




 See Anke Herold‘Experiences with Articles 5, 7, and 8 Defining the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System under the Kyoto Protocol’ in Promoting Compliance in an Evolving Climate Regimeedited by Jutta Brunnée Meinhard Doelle and Lavanya Rajamani (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2012) 122–146.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 223 221 46
Full Text Views 285 285 10
PDF Downloads 59 59 9
EPUB Downloads 2 2 0