Evaluation of the Paris Climate Agreement According to a Global Standard of Transparency

The legal analysis of the COP 21, its results and prospects they open proposed in this paper is done according to a standard of transparency, in the context of a complex governance, that the theory of global administrative law aims to better understand. This assessment shows that the balance between transparency and opacity, intelligibility, effectiveness or Efficiency is both delicate to establish and unstable. If the way the cursor was positioned under the Paris Agreement may seem unsatisfactory, it must not be forgotten that it is intended to evolve.

Throughout the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Chair of the negotiations, Laurent Fabius, made frequent reference to transparency. The word “transparency” appears 30 times in the text of the decision adopted by the COP 21; 13 of these occurrences are contained within the Paris Agreement annexed to it. In addition, expressions relating to transparency, such as “clarity”, “understanding” or the fact of “publishing” certain information, are commonplace in the texts. Such mantra-like reiteration demonstrates how important transparencyhas become in global governance – a type of governance that is particularly well embodied in the field of climate change.

Indeed, the management of this planetary crisis involves, primarily, global administrative bodies, while giving rise to international administrative phenomena that international administrative law, as well as administrative international law, are struggling to encompass. Therefore, the theory of global administrative law is a particularly interesting analytical framework for assessment of the transparency of the COP 21 and its outcomes.

Transparency can be defined as a system in which relevant information is available. The opposite of transparency is not just opacity, secrecy or confidentiality. It is also complexity and disorder.

Transparency is now widely seen as an important element of institutional legitimacy, both for global institutions and national authorities. The general trend for more transparency has resulted from several factors, two of which are: the objection to the opacity of institutions in democratic States, particularly in view of the increasing role of expertise in governance; and a second factor is a result of the transfer of decision-making power to institutions beyond States, along with an increase in the interweaving of transnational, regional and internal legal and administrative processes.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 01/2016 (März 2016)
Seiten: 11
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 41,65
Autor: Anne-Sophie Tabau

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