Paris Agreement Should Ensure Compliance

By Vositha Wijenayake

Success of the Paris outcome of the climate negotiations will not be only through the strict commitments that countries will be making, but also their participation to the Agreement, as well as complying with the commitments made. Given this,  the current discussions on compliance, and how they proceed is crucial to ensure the effective implementation of the Paris outcome.

In order for compliance in the Paris outcome to be effective, there would be the need to have the inclusion of facilitation for compliance. It would further be needed to apply to both procedural as well as substantive commitments. Another key element for successful compliance of the Paris outcome would be that it needs to apply to all parties, with the taking into consideration of the special circumstances of developing countries. Developing country Parties will need financial and technical support to build capacity in achieving their commitments.  This in turn would emphasise the need for a facilitative branch on compliance which would help the developing countries in being able to achieve their commitments, while ensuring that implementation of the commitments take place.

Effective institutions and mechanisms will also be needed to help assess and facilitate compliance. A strong measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system will be a must to achieve this.

The provisions on compliance should also promote and facilitate the engagement of multi-stakeholders, including that of civil society in ensuring that compliance by Parties is achieved. This would be a means of guaranteeing that there will be no conflict of interest through the representation of only countries in maintaining compliance in the Paris outcome, and independent experts will be able to play a key role in contributing to the compliance being assured of the Paris outcome.

Article 11 of the draft Text of the ADP is important, and needs  to be treated with its due importance. This is because for many countries compliance of commitments is a key element in ensuring that they would be part to the Paris outcome,  and compliance would be one of the key aspects of ensuring that the Paris outcome would be one to which countries commit to with a strong certainty of upholding the commitments they will be making this December in Paris.

About the Author

Vositha Wijenayake is the Policy and Advocacy Co-ordinator of CANSA and, Regional Facilitator for Asia for the Southern Voices Programme. She is a lawyer by profession and has an LLM from University College London. She specialises in International Environmental Law and Human Rights Law. She has been tracking the UNFCCC negotiations since 2009 with a legal and gender focus.