The Changing Architecture of International Climate Change Law

Forthcoming in Van Calster, G., Vandenberghe, W., and Reins, L. (eds.), Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014.

20 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014 Last revised: 2 Mar 2014

See all articles by Harro van Asselt

Harro van Asselt

Stockholm Environment Institute; University of Eastern Finland

Michael A. Mehling

MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR)

Clarisse Kehler Siebert

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Date Written: February 28, 2014

Abstract

This chapter offers a bird’s eye view of the overall architecture of international climate change law. Following a discussion of the defining features of climate change law, it discusses the origins and development of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and subsequent arrangements adopted under its auspices, notably the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Cancún Agreements. The chapter shows that while the UNFCCC process has grown more complex over time – in terms of its rules, institutions and the actors involved – so has international climate change law and governance more generally. It illustrates this argument by drawing attention to six observable trends: (i) the multiplication of international forums addressing climate change; (ii) the softening of commitments; (iii) the changing nature of differentiation; (iv) the utilization of innovative policy instruments; (v) the increasing focus on litigation; and (vi) the growing importance of nonstate actors and transnational governance.

Keywords: climate change; differentiation; fragmentation; international law; Kyoto Protocol; litigation; policy instruments; UNFCCC

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

van Asselt, Harro and Mehling, Michael A. and Kehler Siebert, Clarisse, The Changing Architecture of International Climate Change Law (February 28, 2014). Forthcoming in Van Calster, G., Vandenberghe, W., and Reins, L. (eds.), Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2402770

Harro Van Asselt (Contact Author)

Stockholm Environment Institute ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

Michael A. Mehling

MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Clarisse Kehler Siebert

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) ( email )

Linnégatan 87 D
Postbox 24218
Stockholm, 115 23
Sweden
+46 73 707 8601 (Phone)

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