International Climate Change
December 2015

The purpose of this international climate change blog is to provide the latest legal analysis of the international climate change negotiations ahead of, and beyond, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015.
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Posted on: 18 December 2015

The Paris Agreement: Symbolism rather than historical significance

The homepage of the UNFCCC website, like most of the post-COP21 publicity, proclaims the Paris Agreement to be “historic”. It adds, as a sub-heading, that 195 countries have “set a path to keep temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius”.

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Posted on: 8 December 2015

The truth about what will really enable us to tackle climate change effectively

At the heart of any discourse are assumptions that are taken to be beyond question. The dominant climate change discourse encircling the current COP21 negotiations is based on several such assumptions which therefore lie outside the scope of what is being discussed, not only by ministers and negotiators, but by also commentators.

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Posted on: 4 December 2015

13 pages down – update on the text at the midway point

Posted by: Frances Lawson Four days of fervent negotiations have delivered what the COP21 hosts had requested – another revised version of the Paris Agreement text for consideration ahead of the second and final week. In addition to the Paris Agreement itself, Parties are simultaneously negotiating two other documents – a Decision on the implementation

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Posted on: 4 December 2015

Why Obama’s fine words have fallen too late

Posted by: Frances Lawson Of the various COP21 headlines that have hit the media during the first few days of the conference, one of the most celebrated was President Obama’s concession that “some” parts of the text should “have legal force”.  With the US a longstanding opponent of any binding commitments under the UNFCCC given

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Posted on: 1 December 2015

It’s all in the brackets – the final COP21 negotiating text (Part 2)

Posted by: Frances Lawson The final text for the Paris Conference was published at 23:30 at the very end of the last negotiating session. Spread over 59 pages, the text is divided into three parts: the first 31 pages set out the options for the Draft Agreement, the second 20 pages are devoted to what

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