Assessment and Review under a 2015 Climate Change Agreement

image of Assessment and Review under a 2015 Climate Change Agreement

In 2013, Parties to the UNFCCC were invited to prepare and communicate their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under a 2015 agreement. Assessment and review of INDCs can help to ensure that these contributions are in line with internationally agreed objectives and principles, help establish and enhance transparency, trust and accountability between Parties, and raise ambition over time. This report analyses the existing review processes both under and outside the UNFCCC. It suggests that some form of ex ante assessment and review process of INDCs could help ensure that they are ambitious and fair. Such process can be complemented by assessments by observer organizations and informal discussions among Parties. In addition, a periodic review of collective ambition is desirable from the perspective of environmental effectiveness, and can build on existing review processes.



Analysis of other review processes

The 1994 Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) included the creation of a Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM).43 The goals of the TPRM are to enhance transparency and understanding of trade policies and practices of WTO Members and their impacts on trade. Although the mechanism is also intended indirectly to improve adherence of Members to WTO law, the mechanism is expressly not intended to add to Members’ commitments or form the basis of enforcement (WTO, 1994: Annex 3, para. A(i)). While the reviews do not assess the consistency of Members’ policies with WTO law in detail, the process examines policies and practices in light of existing commitments (Laird and Valdés, 2012). However, enforcement of obligations remains the sole prerogative of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism.


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