General Issues in Elaborating the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement establishes a new multilateral architecture guiding countries’ climate change efforts under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Parties are currently negotiating more detailed rules and procedures for implementing the agreement, including provisions addressing transparency, accounting, compliance, use of market-based mechanisms, and periodic assessment of collective progress. These more detailed rules and procedures—known colloquially as the Paris “rulebook”—are to be adopted in late 2018 at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. This brief identifies and discusses a set of cross-cutting issues that apply across the full range of decisions to be adopted. These cross-cutting issues are structure, precision, bindingness, differentiation, timing, and inter-linkages among different elements of the Paris rulebook.