|Title||Paris and Then? Holding States to Account|
|Event||Global Climate Policy Conference (GCPC) 2015: New Research for Effective Action at Paris and Beyond, New Delhi, 2015-04-30/2015-05-01|
Public Administration and Policy
|Publication type||Contribution in proceedings|
|Abstract||So much focus is now given to getting the Paris agreement on climate change “right,” particularly that the intended nationally determined commitments (INDCs) should be ambitious, effective, and fair. But what about the morning after? There is no automatism in international norms, whether legally binding or not, enticing compliance by states. Particularly in the field of multilateral environmental agreements with high ambitions in their objective and commitments that entail considerable political and financial investments, compliance is often patchy.1 A contributing factor for this could be that
compliance mechanisms tend to be an Achilles heel in international agreements in these domains.2 If such compliance mechanisms are seen as arenas where accountability can be asked of a state by other states with regard to its compliance, their weakness indicates a poor starting point for accountability of states in this realm. Accountability has become a popular concept and is difficult to be against. It can cover a number of other concepts such as transparency, equity, democracy, efficiency, responsiveness, responsibility, integrity, liability, and controllability. Nonetheless, governments by and large are rather reluctant to be held to account for how faithfully they comply with what they have promised to do in relation to climate change in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and beyond.