The Heart of the Paris Rulebook: Communicating NDCs and Accounting for Their Implementation

Meinhard Doelle, Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law

This article was published in Climate Law. The final version can be accessed here:


Nationally Determined Contributions play a critical role in the architecture of the Paris Agreement. Parties are required to prepare and communicate their NDCs and to undertake domestic efforts to meet their mitigation commitments, facilitated in some cases by support and finance from other parties. The focus of this article is on key elements of the five-year cycle that deal with the content and process of NDCs, specifically the portion of the Paris Rulebook on the communication of NDCs and the accounting for their implementation. The article concludes that while the basics appear to be in place, there are a number of gaps and uncertainties that may result in implementation challenges.