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Paris, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development

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image of Climate Law

The Paris Agreement marks a significant moment in international climate law and policy. It represents a confirmation that the international community will continue to approach climate change multilaterally. However, climate change is not the only topic on countries’ agendas. The year 2015 will also be remembered for the adoption of the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This paper critically assesses the extent to which the Paris Outcome incorporates the SDGs or sustainable development concerns. It concludes that a close scrutiny of the Paris COP Decision and Agreement reveals both direct and indirect references to the SDGs and sustainable development (with the former being fewer in number than the latter). The close relationship between international climate law and the SDGs highlights the need to integrate the SDGs into the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Affiliations: 1: Reader in International Environmental Law, University of Strathclyde Law School; Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance


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