The Paris Agreement: What Is the Standard of Conduct for Parties?

QIL, Zoom-in 26 (2016), 17-28

12 Pages Posted:

Date Written: March 21, 2016


With the Paris Agreement in place, the question now turns to the standard of conduct that Parties need to exercise with respect to mitigating climate change? The Agreement contains a mix of different types of provisions. Some of them contain legally-binding obligations, mainly of procedural nature. Such obligations are either collective or individual. Other provisions proclaim goals, values and expectations or give guidance, but are not legally binding per se. A third set of provisions establishes the institutional, methodological and procedural framework within which Parties will need to conduct their performance. This note argues that depending on the type of provision, the standard of care, i.e. the performance required by Parties, differs. It ranges from concrete obligations of result to broader due diligence obligations of conduct, for example, for each Party to deploy its best efforts in the fight against climate change or, simply, to do as well as it can.

Keywords: Paris Agreement, Highest Possible Ambition, Obligation of Conduct, Due Diligence, Standard of Care, Mitigation, Climate Change

Suggested Citation

Voigt, Christina, The Paris Agreement: What Is the Standard of Conduct for Parties? (March 21, 2016). QIL, Zoom-in 26 (2016), 17-28. Available at SSRN:

Christina Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130

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