The global stocktake: design lessons for a new review and ambition mechanism in the international climate regime
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The pledge-and-review architecture of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has been praised as a new model of global environmental governance. Instead of internationally agreed-upon emission reduction targets, the agreement relies on countries’ repeated, voluntary pledges and actions. A key mechanism for monitoring progress toward shared global goals, putting pressure on countries to live up to their promises, and increasing ambition over time is the global stocktake. The stocktake’s twin-purposes to act simultaneously as a review and ambition mechanism render it a global governance innovation. Absent a clear institutional precedent, the global stocktake presents a design challenge for the climate negotiation community. This paper develops a number of lessons for designing the stocktaking process based on a review of relevant scholarship and an analysis of the 2013–2015 Periodic Review as a limited precedent within the climate regime. While we cannot predict what will make the stocktake successful, these design principles could increase the chances for its effectiveness. These lessons offer potential guidance for decision-makers with implications for the future effectiveness of the Paris Agreement.
KeywordsParis Agreement Climate change Regime effectiveness Global stocktake Ambition Review mechanism
Research for this article was supported by the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University with an Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences Grant (#209646) in 2017.
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