On the whole, and for me, this means that, despite the contrary headlines, the Paris Agreement will almost certainly enshrine a legally binding treaty in its essence. However, the exact legal form of the treaty remains unclear. George Washington signed the first such agreement in 1789, and since then thousands of people have been signed, including several international environmental agreements. It is easy to get lost in the details of the legal form of the Paris agreement. However, it is important to keep in mind the final objective of the negotiations, which is to avoid dangerous climate change. For the time being, it is only worth reiterating the broad support for a legally binding international agreement, which will technically be a treaty – even if that name is not given to it. The Durban platform appears to present three different options as the basis for an agreement in Paris. Much ink has been made to tickle the legal basis and impact of these options. Developed countries, while not legally required to contribute to the mitigation and adaptation efforts of developing countries, are encouraged to provide financial assistance and are held accountable for the funding they provide or are mobilized.
In the run-up to the Copenhagen conference in 2009, heads of state and government expected them to sign a legally binding treaty to “save the world from global warming.” Copenhagen`s failure in this agreement is one of the reasons why it is often seen as a failure. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. Brown DA, Breakey H, Burdon P, Mackey B, Taylor P (2018) A four-step process to formulate and evaluate legal obligations under the Paris Agreement.