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ELI Model Law for Implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions Submitted Under the Paris Agreement Through Domestic Legislation

UPDATE: In 2015, following the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, ELI published a Model Law Implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions Submitted Under the Paris Agreement to give countries that were operating without an existing legal framework guidance on how to construct a law-based system for delivering on their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement (see below). Since then, 171 countries have submitted NDCs under the Paris Agreement, available on the UNFCCC website. This strikes us a good moment to take fresh look at the Model Law to ensure that it continues to represent our best thinking about a framework law in this area. We welcome your comments on possible improvements or adjustments to the Model Law. Comments on the model law are invited through June 25, 2018, and should be addressed to goins@eli.org.

The Paris Climate Agreement contemplates a global climate outcome based on the aggregated contributions of individual countries. As such, the Agreement's success will depend entirely on what happens around the world at the national level. Achieving an important national policy most often begins with lawmaking. This is no less true here. Indeed, without legislation that enshrines a country's Paris contributions as national policy and law, and that propels those contributions forward through a law-based implementation mechanism, meaningful forward movement will prove elusive.

To support the progress of those countries who are serious about meeting their Paris goals, the Environmental Law Institute offers this straightforward model framework for a national-level, climate change law, taking the Paris Agreement as its starting point. The model law has been translated into the six UN languages (plus Portuguese) to facilitate its use around the world. We are hopeful that this can at least provide a starting point in the important legislative work that lies ahead for most countries. 


We welcome any suggestions on how to improve this tool, and will update it as appropriate based on the comments we receive. 

Scott Fulton
Environmental Law Institute