Climate Law and Governance as Indicators of ‘Ability’ to implement the Paris Agreement
Climate change laws and governance arrangements are important indicators of countries’ ability to implement the Paris Agreement and their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In assessing such ability, it is helpful to consider a set of key governance functions the presence of which can underpin successful domestic mitigation and adaptation efforts in the long term. These functions include: direction-setting, strategy-setting, coordination, integration, mainstreaming, knowledge-production, stakeholder-alignment, finance mobilisation and allocation/channelling, and oversight and accountability. Although these functions will be met through various legal and policy instruments depending on political context, climate change laws offer potential for the creation of institutions and processes that effectively embed such functions in ways resilient to changing political fortunes. Consequently, it is necessary to go beyond the numerical measurement of progress made as regards
emissions reductions, finance, and other such benchmarks, to more fully account for the collective ability to effectively address climate change in the critical decades to come. This can be achieved through a deeper understanding of current national legal frameworks and institutions, which can in turn serve as the basis for extrapolating best practices in domestic climate change governance.
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