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Abstract: The Paris Agreement On An International Plane – Melding Hard And Soft International Law To Foster Co-Operation

The Paris Agreement meets the requirements of a treaty under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This paper examines the status and legal structure of the agreement in international law, sets out the objectives of the Paris Agreement and provides background material leading to the Paris Agreement. It is shown that the agreement supports the objectives of the UFCCC which seeks international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and to deal with climate change impacts.

The Agreement is a treaty that melds general principles of traditional and modern international law, employing concepts of hard and soft international law. Binding and non-binding norms are replaced with the objective of cooperation between States whose sovereignty is respected by recognition that States will set their own goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The UNFCCC and Paris Agreement work together to promote the objective of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The law of treaties in these instruments is augmented by general principles of international law, unilateral declarations and the gradual development of customary law. It is shown that concepts of rights and obligations relating to climate change create norms that reflect the changing scientific, economic and political realities of States in the twenty-first century. By ratifying the Paris Agreement, States provide definition to the objectives of the UNFCCC and UN protocols dealing with climate change. The Paris Agreement sets out procedures for States to report their emissions and share information about handling impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement witnesses the goal of bringing UN member States together to set a benchmark for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases by using cooperation to achieve this objective. The goal is furthered by employing a method for dispute resolution focusing on negotiation and peaceful methods. The international legal status of the Paris Agreement is that of a binding treaty addressing reduction of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Working in conjunction with the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement provides a model of cooperative international law.

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Photo Credit

Eiffel Tower Melting by Iranian Artist Marsa Arbab

Guest Author Bio
Charalee Graydon


Charalee Graydon was born in Alberta, Canada. She is a writer, journalist, academic and past lawyer. She works in the areas mediation and collaboration and is currently a faculty member at EUCLID University.

Charalee holds degrees in Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science, and a Juris Doctorate in Law. Following receipt of a Rhodes scholarship in 1982, she pursued legal studies in Oxford, England where she obtained a B.C. L degree. She held academic positions in England, New Zealand, and Canada and is presently a faculty member at Euclid University. She practiced law in Canada.

She has published three books of literary fiction  and one of which has been translated and published in Spanish.

She developed programs for students, judges, and the corporations on legal issues and published academic works in environmental law, sentencing and commercial law.

Blog / Website:

This post first appeared on LIFE AS A HUMAN – The Online Magazine For Evolvi, please read the originial post: here

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Abstract: The Paris Agreement On An International Plane – Melding Hard And Soft International Law To Foster Co-Operation


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