Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 550072
Title Global climate governance between hard and soft law : Can the Paris agreement's 'Crème Brûleé' approach enhance ecological reflexivity?
Author(s) Pickering, Jonathan; McGee, Jeffrey S.; Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I.; Wenta, Joseph
Source Journal of Environmental Law 31 (2019)1. - ISSN 0952-8873 - p. 1 - 28.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqy018
Department(s) Public Administration and Policy
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Climate change - ecological reflexivity - legalisation - Paris Agreement - soft law - UNFCCC
Abstract

In the face of global environmental concerns, legal institutions must cultivate a reflexive capacity to monitor global ecological shifts and to reconfigure their practices accordingly. But, it remains unclear whether harder or softer legal norms are more capable of enhancing such ecological reflexivity. This article traces variations in harder and softer norms in two aspects of the evolution of the global climate change regime-national contributions to mitigation and review mechanisms- A nd their implications for ecological reflexivity. We find the regime's reflexivity has increased moderately and slowly over time but without a consistent shift towards harder or softer norms. The Paris Agreement's innovative approach, combining harder procedural commitments with softer substantive provisions (a 'crème brûleé'), has potential to encourage flexible responses to changing conditions within a stable, long-term architecture. However, the Agreement's softer, transparency-based compliance framework provides limited assurance that countries will make and fulfill ambitious commitments.

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