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Paris Climate Agreement, UNFCCC, COP 21, Climate Negotiations, Key Elements


This article offers an overview of the two key outcomes of the 2015 Paris climate negotiations, the Paris COP decision, and the Paris Agreement. They chart a new course for the UN climate regime that started in earnest in Copenhagen in 2009. The Paris Agreement represents a course away from the top down approach and rigid differentiation among parties reflected in the Kyoto Protocol, toward a bottom up and flexible approach focused on collective long term goals and principles. It represents an approach to reaching these long term goals that is focused on self differentiation, support, transparency and review. The article highlights the key elements of the agreement reached in Paris, including its approach to mitigation, adaptation, loss & damage, finance, transparency and compliance.


This is an author's manuscript of an article published in Climate Law: A Journal on Climate Change and the Law (Brill). The published version of the article can be found at