Journal Articles

L’Accord de Paris sur les Changements Climatiques du 12 Decembre 2015

Lavanya Rajamani

Annuaire Français De Droit International LXI – 2015 – CNRS Éditions, Paris

July 15, 2016

The negotiations launched in Durban in 2011 were tasked with designing by the 2015 Paris conference an international climate agreement for the post-2020 period. The Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) launched a process “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. After two weeks of difficult negotiations between deeply entrenched positions, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (“COP 21”), held in Paris from November 30 to December 13, 2015, adopted a new treaty called the Paris Agreement. A historic achievement in multilateral diplomacy, the Paris Agreement is a much more ambitious outcome than the negotiations, that had made incremental progress for several years before that, might have lead one to expect. The Agreement sets ambitious global goals, thus providing an ambitious direction of travel to the international climate regime. It creates new obligations for Parties, including detailed obligations of conduct to mitigate climate change. It also establishes a rigorous and compulsory monitoring mechanism. This article provides insights into the context, preparation and organization of COP 21, before analyzing the legal form and content of the new “Paris Agreement”.