Implementing the Paris Agreement – Overcoming Barriers and Identifying Drivers for Effective Climate Governance

The Paris Climate Agreement entered into force in November 2016. Over 140 countries, accounting for over 80 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions, ratified the agreement in record time, establishing a new regime for efforts to protect the climate. The international community must now deliver on and ultimately expand the scope of their proposed commitments as the process unfolds. This research project will explore the various factors that contribute to or hamper the agreement’s successful implementation.

Identifying drivers and barriers

The research team will study the key barriers to and drivers of progress around the implementation of the Paris Agreement and will develop recommendations to support their removal or enhancement. As a part of this work, researchers will evaluate the roles of various actors and institutions at the international, regional and national levels, and determine the limits of their scope for action. These research activities will be guided by two overarching questions: Firstly, what is the impact of these factors on efforts to successfully implement the Paris Agreement? And, to what extent does the Paris Agreement contribute to the global goal of fostering an ecological and social transformation towards sustainable development?

Promoting broad participation

The project’s scope extends to various issues within the field of climate governance, including questions of justice, transparency, and participation around efforts to protect the climate. The findings of these analyses will feed in to policymaking processes at the national and international levels. The researchers will also seek to develop recommendations with a view to broadening and enhancing the involvement of civil society actors and other groups in efforts to implement the Paris Agreement. Interdisciplinary workshops will play an important role in the development of these recommendations. The research findings will be communicated in dossiers, workshop and conference reports, presentations, and in contributions to journals in the fields of political science and law.



01/2017 to 12/2018


Paris Agreement, climate change, governance, international law, institutions, regime


Scientific Project Leader: Dr M. Cecilia da S. Oliveira

Research Associate: Patrick Toussaint

Student Assistant: Konrad Gürtler

Supervising Directors: Prof. Patrizia Nanz, Prof. Mark Lawrence

Team Assistant: Cholatit Schomann