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Abstract

This paper provides an initial examination of the legal structure and content of the Paris Agreement adopted at COP-21 on 12 December 2015. After a brief overview of the negotiations leading to Paris, I analyse the architecture of the Paris Agreement focusing on three main components, namely (1) the goals, (2) the action areas (mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage), and (3) the implementation techniques (information-based: transparency mechanism and global stocktake; compliance facilitation: finance, technology transfer, capacity-building, REDD, linking, sustainable development mechanism; management of non-compliance: non-compliance procedure and dispute settlement). Each component is analysed in turn. The paper concludes with some general observations on the prospects for the Paris Agreement.

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