E-learning course on the Paris Agreement

What are the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, low emission development strategies and market-based approaches? Can you describe the adaptation goal and potential support for developing countries?

In collaboration with UN Environment (UNEP), LRI has produced a new e-learning course on the Paris Agreement. It is free of charge and will help participants to understand the building blocks and main provisions of the Paris Agreement and the accompanying COP decisions.

If done in one go, it takes about 2 hours to complete the course, excluding additional materials.  After completing all the units and passing the final quiz, you will receive a certificate of completion. The course is available at http://e-learning.informea.org/course/view.php?id=38 You can register at http://e-learning.informea.org/course/view.php?id=38&section=2


Former UNFCCC senior legal adviser joins LRI Board

Mr Seth Osafo, a Ghanaian lawyer, has been appointed as a new Trustee of the LRI Board. Mr Osafo brings to the Board a deep knowledge of climate change law and policy and a wealth of experience of the international process, having worked at a number of UN agencies since the early 1990s including as senior legal adviser to the UNFCCC secretariat as well as UNEP. Mr Osafo was also the Head of the Legal Division of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the Future Status of Kosovo, HE. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. Since 2009 he has been a consultant to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UNITAR and the African Development Bank providing legal advice to African negotiators at the UN climate Negotiations.

On his appointment Seth stated that “ I look forward to joining an organization whose work on the legal issues arising from the climate change negotiations has greatly benefitted African negotiators”.

Kate Cook, LRI Chair, commented that Seth will “bring invaluable insight into the perspectives of developing country negotiators at the climate change negotiations, and in particular those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as we develop our capacity to provide assistance with national implementation of the Paris Agreement.”


LRI at COP22 in Marrakesh


A team of LRI lawyers is attending the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh. To get in touch please email: liaisonofficers@legalresponseinitiative.org

In collaboration with UN Environment (UNEP), LRI also organised a round-table discussion on legal preparedness for the Paris Agreement as part of the Law and Governance Day. The event built on a climate legislation workshop previously held in London exploring the different approaches and ideas for supporting developing countries in their legislative efforts to respond to climate change and implement their commitments under the new Paris climate agreement (the report is available online).

The COP22 Law and Governance Day is aimed at sharing, strengthening, and generating new legal and institutional innovations in the law and policy reform elements of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Paris Agreement.

Alina Averchenkova of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (at LSE) presented some findings of a study on climate legislation worldwide. The research indicates that at present only four jurisdictions are fully prepared to implement the commitments contained in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). A summary of the key trends is already available at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/publication/2015-global-climate-legislation-study/ – the final report will be released on November 17.

Stephen Minas of the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College highlighted that legislation may not always be necessary but can send important signals to investors of climate solutions (that require legal certainty). Likewise, regulatory interventions need to consider domestic particularities and are also an opportunity for joint approaches in developing legislation and domestic capacity building.

Robert Ondhowe of the UNEP’s Law Division provided insights on how the Programme is supporting developing countries with respect to legal preparedness. During the following discussion participants brought up other areas of relevant research (e.g. on NDCs in the Maghreb region) and debated on how climate relevant laws may be defined and aligned with (future) requirements under the Paris Agreement.