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.
Study group aims to bridge North-South divide
The bottom-up approach behind the Paris Agreement highlighted the necessary convergence between emerging powers such as the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, China, and India) and incumbent powers in generating a multilateral agreement. To achieve the goals established in the Paris agreement these countries must adopt a transformative set of policies and generate an incentive structure to engage and mobilize social agents towards stronger mitigation of and targeted adaptation to climate change. To this end, the IASS together with the BRICS Policy Center (BPC) supported by the Institute for Climate and Society, both based in Rio de Janeiro, launched a new interinstitutional study group on 6 March 2018. The BPC-IASS Study Group intends to discuss the principal obstacles and incentives for the Paris agreement implementation, identifying and considering the perspectives of Brazilian and German agents. The initiative aims to bridge the North-South divide to create a mutual learning environment in which experiences from both sides may be shared. The study group will examine in particular the following aspects: climate governance and global governance; the role of the OECD in the implementation of the Paris Agreement; and Brazil, Germany and China's role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
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.