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The Legal Impact of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

This seminar examined the legal impacts of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted in December 2015. Does it embody real agreement on meaningful obligations or is it diplomatic wallpaper to cover the cracks? How binding is it and is it enforceable? What is its potential for increasing the role of international arbitration and domestic litigation in climate-related disputes?

The panel of experts, who played key roles in the Paris negotiations, explained how the agreement finally came together, and analysed its legal effects, strengths and weaknesses. They spoke from a variety of perspectives - the EU, the UK and Small Island States, and discussed the work that remains to be done by governments to make this agreement fully effective, and what it means for the private sector and the public.


  • Kate Cook, Matrix Chambers
  • Caroline Ross, Department of Energy & Climate Change
  • Jacob Werksman, European Commission
  • Farhana Yamin, Adviser, Marshall Islands and Founder & CEO, Track 0


  • Lord Carnwath, Justice of the Supreme Court

Speaker Biographies

Event Flyer

Speaker slides

Kate Cook - The Paris Agreement: Onwards and Upwards?

Caroline Ross - The Paris Agreement

Jacob Werksman - International Legal Character of the Paris Agreement

Farhana Yamin - How did we get a high ambition outcome in Paris & what's next?

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