The Paris Agreement provides the inter-governmental framework for international climate policy. This project seeks to assess the conditions under which it is more or less likely that the governance mechanisms of the Paris Agreement will in fact induce states to ambitious climate action, most importantly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It does so by zooming in on the so-called "pledge and review" mechanism at the heart of the Agreement, whereby states are obliged to commit to a certain level of emissions cuts through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) and subsequently be subject to review by their peers (other states) about whether they have succeeded in doing so.
However, the Paris Agreement has no provisions to force or compel states to reduce emissions and relies exclusively on what states themselves commit to. The Paris Agreement is thus a case of "soft" governance that we also find in other issue-areas, such as human rights and development assistance. There is some indication that such "voluntary" governance mechanisms can be effective in changing state behavior, but there is little systematic research on it.
The project will combine quantitative data analysis on changing pledges and ambition levels with process tracing, document analysis and participant observation to identify how pledge and review affects state behavior, the variation in how states treats pledge and review, and the role of non-state actors in exerting pressure on state behavior.
From 6 to 18 November hundreds of policymakers, diplomats and experts met in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the largest annual gathering on climate action (COP27). We invite you to a seminar which will present the main outcomes of the summit and discuss the directions in which international climate cooperation is heading.
With the decline of open climate denialism – is delay the new denial?