Abstract

The adoption of the Cancun Agreements constitutes a remarkable shift in the promotion of state compliance within the climate change regime. Whereas the Kyoto Protocol involved robust enforcement mechanisms, the new Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) framework relies on transparency of mitigation actions. This justificatory approach has demonstrated its effectiveness in promoting implementation of environmental agreements when modalities have been developed to increase the reputational costs associated with non-compliance. The MRV process developed under the Cancun Agreements however fails to acknowledge the crucial role that civil society can play in the context of this transparency mechanism. 

Having reviewed the nature of compliance theories and experiences of civil society contributions to compliance processes in other multilateral processes, this article argues that a justificatory approach could effectively underpin the promotion of compliance with the 2015 climate agreement provided that procedures strengthen opportunities for a more active engagement of non-state actors in the MRV process.