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Toward an Intergovernmental Transparency Arrangement for Fossil Fuel Production

open-access


Harro van Asselt, Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/cclr/2022/3/4



To achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, a managed decline of fossil fuel production is necessary. Heeding this message, there are growing calls for an international governance framework to facilitate cooperation on winding down fossil fuel production. Promoting transparency is of major importance for international cooperation on winding down fossil fuel production effectively and equitably. Specifically, to align fossil fuel production with climate change goals, a better understanding of global trends in current and planned production is required. However, at present such information is incomplete, inconsistent, and scattered across a range of transparency initiatives, and much of this information is reported or collected largely on a voluntary basis. This article therefore explores how an intergovernmental transparency arrangement could be designed, drawing on examples of intergovernmental transparency arrangements in various areas of international law and governance. The article concludes that an intergovernmental transparency arrangement for fossil fuel production should: (1) allow for differentiation, but subject to minimum requirements; (2) provide capacity-building support for developing countries; (3) combine technical and peer review; (4) ensure that follow-up activities are linked to the outcome of the review process; and (5) provide for non-state actor participation.

Harro van Asselt, Professor of Climate Law and Policy, University of Eastern Finland Law School; Visiting Researcher, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University; and Affiliated Researcher, Stockholm Environment Institute. Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Eastern Finland Law School; Visiting Researcher, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University; Affiliated Researcher, Melbourne Climate Futures, University of Melbourne. The authors are grateful to Rebecca Byrnes, Fergus Green, Romain Weikmans, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier draft. For correspondence: <harro.vanasselt@uef.fi>. The authors acknowledge financial support from the Third World Network and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, as well as funding by the Academy of Finland (TRANSCLIM, decision 333126).

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