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Toward an Intergovernmental Transparency Arrangement for Fossil Fuel Production journal article open-access

Harro van Asselt, Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 16 (2022), Issue 3, Page 161 - 178

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.

Loss and Damage after Paris: Moving Beyond Rhetoric journal article

Veera Pekkarinen, Patrick Toussaint, Harro van Asselt

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 13 (2019), Issue 1, Page 31 - 49

The successful adoption and rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement has been hailed as a milestone for global climate governance. However, mitigation and adaptation efforts pursued under the treaty are unlikely to prevent harm resulting from residual climate impacts. Even after Paris, loss and damage from adverse climate impacts continues to be a hotly debated issue in the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The article assesses the progress made on loss and damage under the UNFCCC, including developments in the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and the Paris rulebook. It further considers approaches to address loss and damage outside the UNFCCC, including climate litigation and insurance, and assesses their potential to strengthen the work of the WIM. The article then charts possible future directions for the UNFCCC response to loss and damage and provides timely recommendations for the review of the WIM at COP 25.

Editorial ∙ Negotiating the Paris Rulebook: Introduction to the Special Issue journal article free

Harro van Asselt, Kati Kulovesi, Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 12 (2018), Issue 3, Page 173 - 183

At COP24 in Katowice in December 2018, Parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change are due to adopt the ‘Paris Rulebook’, with a view to providing detailed guidance to Parties in the implementation of the Agreement. Negotiations on the Paris Rulebook cover a variety of issues that were left unresolved in Paris, including further guidance for the contents and features of Parties’ five-yearly nationally determined contributions (NDCs), accounting rules, modalities for the Agreement’s review mechanisms (transparency framework, global stocktake and implementation and compliance mechanism), and rules for the operation of the new cooperative mechanisms established by the Agreement. With COP24 fast approaching, this special issue offers an overview of the negotiations on the Rulebook. In this introductory overview, we summarise the various contributions, place them in the broader context of international climate cooperation, and highlight interlinkages between the various issues under negotiation. We conclude with a brief discussion of the possible outcomes of the negotiations process, and the likely implications of the Paris Rulebook going forward.

The Paris Agreement: Rebooting Climate Cooperation ∙ The Shape of Things to Come: Global Climate Governance after Paris journal article

Harro van Asselt, Stefan Bößner

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 10 (2016), Issue 1, Page 46 - 61

This article examines the broader global climate governance architecture after Paris. The article begins with an overview of different types of climate action outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), offering some indications of how such action may evolve after Paris. It then discusses the ways in which the multilateral climate regime is linked to action taken in other venues, with a focus on the Paris Agreement. It argues that Parties to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement need to make concerted efforts to leverage the wider institutional complex for climate change. To this end, they can pursue various strategies, including: (1) further enhancing the visibility of climate action outside the UNFCCC (2) developing operational linkages through existing and future mechanisms of the climate treaties; and (3) monitoring and reviewing the actions outside the UNFCCC through the Paris Agreement’s review processes.

Special Issue: The Legal Aspects of REDD+ Implementation: Translating the International Rules into Effective National Frameworks ∙ Putting REDD+ Environmental Safeguards into Practice: Recommendations for Effective and Country-specific Implementation journal article

Blaise Bodin, Elina Väänänen, Harro van Asselt

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 9 (2015), Issue 2, Page 168 - 182

Acknowledging that the implementation of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) entails both potential risks and benefits, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have sought to ensure that countries, in carrying out REDD+ activities, address and respect a range of social and environmental safeguards. The importance of these safeguards was underlined by the 2013 Warsaw Framework for REDD+, which made the provision of information on how REDD+ countries take into account the safeguards a condition for accessing results-based payments. Yet while the safeguards offer broad guidance, they leave significant discretion to REDD+ countries on how to implement them, calling into question their effectiveness. This article examines how countries can put REDD+ safeguards into practice at the national level, focusing on the environmental safeguard on protecting natural forests and biodiversity. We analyse the contents of this safeguard as formulated at the international level, and examine how a systematic gap analysis of policies, laws and regulations can help to identify how countries can best address and respect environmental safeguards in practice. We conclude on the prospects for the effectiveness of this safeguard as well as the potential for REDD+ to deliver environmental benefits.

Book Reviews & New Publications journal article

Harro van Asselt

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 8 (2014), Issue 2, Page 144 - 154

Climate Change and International Trade, by Rafael Leal-Arcas Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2013. 544pp., £110.00, hardback.

The Politics and Institutions of Global Energy Governance, by Thijs Van de Graaf London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 190pp., $95.00, hardback.

Global Corruption Report: Climate Change, edited by Transparency International London: Earthscan, 2011. 400pp., £20.99, paperback.

Book Reviews & New Publications journal article

Harro van Asselt

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 8 (2014), Issue 1, Page 72 - 79

The New Climate Policies of the European Union:

Internal Legislation and Climate Diplomacy, edited by Sebastian Oberthür and Marc Pallemaerts, with Claire Roche Kelly. Brussels: VUB Press, 2010. 340 pp., € 40.00, paperback.

Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation, by Michael I. Brown. London: Earthscan/Routledge, 2013. 344 pp., £95.00, hardback.

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