Climate change negotiations in the framework of the UNFCCC are expected to lead to the adoption of an international agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties in Paris at the end of 2015. The cornerstone principle of the climate change regime is that States should act according to their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
To operationalize this principle, the future agreement will most likely combine a top-down approach, setting internationally agreed ground-rules, with bottom-up elements, such as ‘nationally determined contributions’ to reduce emissions by States Parties on the basis of their respective national circumstances.
Beside the mitigation commitments, key elements of the climate change regime are – and will continue to be – the responses to adaptation, the mechanisms to facilitate financial and technology transfer, and the implementation of market-based mechanisms to mobilize the widest range of public and private investments for adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore, to ensure the sound functioning of this regulatory system, adequate monitoring, reporting, and verification procedures will need to be established.
Considering the global and pervasive nature of climate change challenges, if the international community wants to achieve ambitious and real climate objectives, it should build a solid and inclusive global agreement that is capable of further developing appropriate rules.
The creation of a transparency framework that enhances clarity, coherence, comparability between countries, accountability and mutual trust is crucial to ensure the effectiveness, the environmental integrity and the legitimacy of the whole system.