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The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law edited by Carlarne, Cinnamon P; Gray, Kevin R; Tarasofsky, Richard (24th March 2016)

Part II Institutional, Ch.6 Compliance under the Evolving Climate Change Regime

Sebastian Oberthür

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law

Edited By: Cinnamon P. Carlarne, Kevin R. Gray, Richard Tarasofsky

Subject(s):
Natural resources — Climate change — Environmental disputes — Pollution — United Nations (UN) — Arbitral agreements

This chapter assesses the ways in which compliance has been addressed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. It highlights the different merits of assessing and promoting compliance with international commitments on climate change, as it goes beyond the measuring, reporting, and verification of relevant data. In particular, compliance mechanisms stabilize cooperation and enhance effective implementation by helping to build and maintain trust, address capacity problems, clarify rule ambiguities, and protect against free-riding. The politics of compliance mechanisms involves balancing two considerations. First, any compliance mechanism implies some level of multilateral supervision of national implementation and thus limits national choices. Second, compliance mechanisms can build trust and confidence and ensure effective implementation of commitments, while non-compliance completely undermines the agreement.

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