Draft Agreement for COP21 Global Climate Change Announced
According to a report from CNN, 195 country representatives at the United Nations conference on Climate Change have announced a preliminary agreement as it pertains to climate change, and the effort that international actors will make to reduce emissions. Now, it will be up to the actors to turn this draft into a final, complete agreement that countries from throughout the world can sign and then ratify, thus putting into force a document on environment issues.
As the report notes, it is important to note that this in no way means that an agreement on fighting emissions and climate change is finalized; there is still work to be done. In fact, “Ministers will now work through next week at the COP21 conference in Paris to craft a complete, final agreement.”.
Nonetheless, this is good news, as it shows, at least that a possibility of a new, legally binding document on climate change may be on the horizon. However, again, this is no way means that states will actually follow through, even if a finalized document is agreed upon and signed. One of the biggest challenges of international law is related to enforcement mechanisms, and the difficulty in holding states accountable for following these different aspects of international (and in this case environmental) law.