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The Paris Rulebook’s Rules on Transparency: A Compliance Pull?

Myele Rouxel


This article evaluates the potential of the ex ante rules on transparency related to the implementation of the Paris Agreement agreed upon at COP 24 in Katowice in December 2018. The article first critically analyses compliance theorists’ understanding of the role of transparency and concludes that transparency may trigger compliance provided that strategic interactions are facilitated and that States feel accountable for their actions. On this basis, a set of criteria under which transparency strengthens state compliance is developed. The article next describes the Paris Rulebook’s ex ante transparency rules: the guidance on NDC communication, accounting and public availability referred to in Article 4 of the Paris Agreement and the modalities, procedures and guidelines for the transparency framework for action referred to in Article 13. Lastly, the article evaluates these rules according to the criteria previously developed. The article finds that the Paris Rulebook’s ex ante transparency rules may not sufficiently incentivise States to ratchet-up their ambition and to achieve their commitments.

Myele Rouxel, LL.M in Global Environment and Climate Change Law 2019, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. For correspondence: <>. I am indebted to Dr. David Rossati for his supervision and advice throughout this project.


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