The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: A Subtle Combination of Tools and Actors for Better Enforcement?


  • Hautereau-Boutonnet Mathilde
  • Maljean-Dubois Sandrine


  • IPCC
  • Paris agreement
  • GHG emissions
  • Ambition
  • Hard enforcement
  • Soft enforcement
  • Control &monitoring
  • Compliance
  • Litigation Risk

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The Paris Climate Agreement can be seen as illustrating the evolution of how legal norms are enforced in international law. While the Agreement benefits from a carefully thought-out enforcement mechanism in the international legal order, with techniques that encourage compliance rather than sanction non-compliance, its enforcement is also supported by domestic legal orders. Indeed, the Paris Agreement benefits from both hard and soft enforcement mechanisms. Here, all techniques and all actors have a role to play. This contribution shows that in order to discern the enforcement mechanisms attached to a legal instrument, it is sometimes necessary to take a global and complex look at all legal orders, techniques and actors, since they can act in a complementary manner.

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