Paris, climate change, and sustainable development

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalClimate Law
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016


  • Paris agreement
  • sustainable development goals
  • mutual supportiveness
  • loss and damages
  • cooperative mechanism


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