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Accountability or Accounting? Elaboration of the Paris Agreement’s Implementation and Compliance Committee at COP 23
This article provides an analysis of progress regarding the modalities and procedures for the Paris Agreement’s Implementation and Compliance Committee up to cop 23. I use the perspective of legal accountability to address three points of long-lasting divergence between parties: whether the Committee will be tasked to require parties to justify their performance by making specific reference to applicable legal standards; the contentious question of mandating the Committee to assess the progress of parties on the achievement of their ndc targets; and the involved party’s degree of control over the measures adopted. I conclude that a richer approach to accountability calls for granting a substantive role to practices of legal justification, assessment, and consequences within the modalities for the Committee in all three cases. Subject to political acceptance, such a mandate has the potential to foster parties’ sense of trust, reciprocity, and legal obligation toward one another.