The Paris Agreement Compliance Mechanism: Preparing for COP 26 in Glasgow and Beyond

Imad ibrahim, Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, Jessica Owley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Without an international tribunal or tools like trade sanctions, there is little to coerce or encourage adherence with environmental treaties. The Paris Agreement, the governing global agreement to address climate change, relies on voluntary global cooperation. Countries determine their own commitments by setting nationally determined contributions of greenhouse gases emissions. The main mandatory elements of the agreement are reporting requirements. The success of the agreement turns on whether countries comply with these requirements. Article 15 of the Paris Agreement establishes a Compliance Committee and sets forth the mechanisms to ensure and facilitate compliance with the agreement. Yet, as with the rest of the Paris Agreement, Article 15 does not have teeth and relies on the good behavior of the countries of the world. This brief contribution describes the mechanics of Article 15 while also highlighting concerns and issues at stake. This background should be helpful in responding to COP 26 in Glasgow and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)147-160
JournalWake Forest Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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