Delivering on the Paris Promises? Review of the Paris Agreement’s Implementing Guidelines from a Human Rights Perspective

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Abstract

The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 constituted an unprecedented step in the recognition by states of the importance of ensuring that their action on the climate is informed by human rights: for the first time a global environmental legal instrument referred explicitly to human rights. However, whether this provision will contribute to the shaping of climate policies depends significantly on the extent to which it is integrated into further guidance regarding the implementation of the Agreement. The adoption by states of guidance on most aspects of the Paris Agreement, at cop 24/cma1.3, in December 2018, is a litmus test on whether the implementation of the Agreement is likely to reflect a higher level of integration of human rights concerns into climate governance. Having noted the absence of explicit reference to human rights in the guidelines, this article reviews key aspects of the guidelines from the perspective of principles related to human rights, such as public participation, gender equality, and respect for the rights and knowledge of indigenous peoples. This review includes an analysis of the final provisions in key chapters of the guidelines. It is informed by the positions put forward by countries throughout the drafting process as well as by the evolution of negotiating texts prior to the finalization of the guidelines. The review finds that cop 24/cma1.3 failed, for the most part, to uphold the principles laid out in the preamble to the Paris Agreement, particularly in relation to human rights; the guidelines make only a few references to human-rights-related principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-223
Number of pages22
JournalCLIMATE LAW
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed