U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that the 2015 Paris climate change accords will, in all likelihood, go into effect this year. These accords commit the U.S. and dozens of other nations to try to lower greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
But devising multilateral agreements is painstaking work. Typically, negotiators from hundreds of states deliberate for many years. Any agreement they reach often involves major compromises, which means provisions that experts consider important tend to be watered down
Nowhere is this more apparent than the case of the Paris Climate Change Accords. To break decades of multilateral gridlock on climate change, negotiators followed the mantra don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
But is there a cost to being flexible?
Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly?
Katerina Linos and Tom Pegram
Washington Post-The Monkey Cage, 29 September 2016.
For all NHRI research hounds, the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) – which serves as a coalition of NHRIs in the region and is the longest-standing regional network of national institutions in the world – has recently launched an impressively exhaustive NHRI bibliography. The bibliography will continue to be updated, providing an invaluable entry point into the world of NHRI policy and research. Many thanks to Chris Sidoti, the APF and the various NHRI practitioners and researchers who have contributed to this fantastic resource.
On 9 May I participated in a workshop organised by my colleagues Kristin Bakke, Neil Mitchell and Hannah Smidt on State Restrictions of Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information. It was an excellent discussion, bringing activists, journalists practitioners, policy-makers and academics together to share their insights. Hosted by the UCL Global Governance Institute, the event formed part of a series of thematic activities on Global Security, led by our Thematic Director, Kristin Bakke. The event concluded with a keynote with Natalia Taubina, of Public Verdict, a Russian campaigning NGO. I was invited to reflect briefly on the relevance of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to the thematic. Continue reading State Restrictions on Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information →
One of the more unusual invitations to land in my inbox, on 3 November 2016 I gave evidence on global governance and a rules-based international order to the Liberal Democrat policy working group on international affairs. The working group has been established by the parliamentary party to examine and update party policy on Britain’s role in the world. Continue reading Supporting a rules-based international order →
I have co-written an article with Katerina Linos about the Paris climate accord, drawing on our research to assess whether the accord can still be effective if compromises are made for flexible wording. Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly? Read the full article at the Washington Post here.