Setting the Paris Agreement in Motion: Key Requirements for the Implementing Guidelines

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With the December 2018 deadline to operationalize the Paris Agreement looming, climate negotiators are faced with the herculean task of pulling together volumes of draft notes and the disparate views of negotiating blocs into comprehensive implementing guidelines to be adopted later this year. A new paper from the Project for Advancing Climate Transparency provides both an overarching vision and practical suggestions for what should be included in the main pillars of the implementing guidelines of the Paris Agreement. 


Key findings:

  • The world’s governments are working toward a December 2018 deadline to adopt the foundational elements of the implementing guidelines to operationalize the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • This paper seeks to support negotiators by addressing the significant challenges and gaps that remain to achieving clear, robust, and cohesive guidelines.
  • It provides both an overarching vision and practical suggestions for implementing the guidelines during every phase of the Paris Agreement’s implementation—planning, implementing, and reviewing.
  • For each element of the Agreement that requires guidance—ranging from common timeframes and cooperative processes to communicating and reviewing national or collective progress—the authors identify core requirements alongside suggestions for crafting effective guidelines.
  • Building on 20 years of experience in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the authors promote mutually reinforcing implementing guidelines that leverage the linkages between elements of the Paris Agreement.
  • The authors acknowledge that government and nongovernment actors play a role in holding countries accountable for implementing and increasing climate actions, while fostering sustainable development.
Figure 1: The Paris Agreement Cycle of Implementation and Ambition: Plan, Implement, and Review

About the Project for Advancing Climate Transparency:

This paper was prepared by the Project for Advancing Climate Transparency (PACT) consortium. The consortium is composed of nine universities, institutes, and nongovernmental organizations from around the globe. PACT advances the development of robust and effective transparency and accountability rules and processes for the Paris Agreement on climate change by developing options and approaches for the transparency framework, helping build consensus among Parties, and supplying relevant and timely inputs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

Our research and analysis are based on examination of the Paris Agreement and accompanying Conference of Parties (COP) decisions, an extensive literature review, and interviews with negotiating experts and other key stakeholders. The analysis also builds on our own diverse experience as negotiators and thought leaders on these issues from different constituencies around the world.

This publication builds on previous PACT publications on linkages, the reporting and review processes under the enhanced transparency framework, the global stocktake, the mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance, and the accounting of NDCs.

Contacts for further information: Niklas Höhne