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Negotiating the Paris Agreement
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: September 2021
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online ISBN: 9781108886246
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Book description

The 2015 Paris Agreement represents the culmination of years of intense negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Designed to curb climate change, it was negotiated by almost 200 countries who came to the table with different backgrounds, perceptions and interests. As such, the Agreement represents a triumph for multilateralism in a period otherwise characterized by nationalist turns.How did countries reach the historical agreement, and what were the driving forces behind it? This book paints a full picture by providing and analysing multifaceted insider accounts from high-level delegates who represented developed and developing countries, civil society, businesses, the French Presidency, and the UNFCCC Secretariat.In doing so, the book documents not only the negotiation of the Paris Agreement but also the dynamics and factors that shaped it. A better understanding of these dynamics and factors can guide future negotiations and help us solve global challenges.


'Global negotiations on climate change are about politics and economics, national interest and strategy. But they are also about people and relationships, serendipity and inspiration, the “sense of the room” and collective emotion. By recording the personal perspectives of key players, this unique book brings to life the human drama that lies behind the Paris Agreement. It combines invaluable historic record with rigorous academic analysis, while also offering a thrilling read. No bookshelf should be without it!'

Joanna Depledge - Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

'This mammoth volume is indeed a hologram of the Paris negotiations, presented by participants with experience and frankness, ranging from the stolid Chinese account of its role to the personalized American picture of the diplomatic dance to the frank and lucid Like-Minded Developing Countries Group picture to the existential intensity of the High Ambition Coalition's and the Small Island Developing States' stories, and concluding with excellent analytical portrayals of a newly formulating approach, process management. The book is captivating and exciting, and has insight and personality.'

William Zartman - The Johns Hopkins University SAIS

'This volume is a path-breaking collection. Expertly edited, Negotiating the Paris Agreement brings together first-hand accounts by key negotiators and architects of the 2015 Paris climate accord. It sheds a fresh light on the importance of effective process management and identifies the perceptions and norms that guided individual actors in the negotiations. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in multilateral negotiations and the international climate regime.'

Robert Falkner - London School of Economics and Political Science

'Authentic, captivating, and thought provoking first-hand reflections from multiple angles on how - given the complexities of people, process and policy content - for once everything fell into place on climate in Paris in 2015. A must read for ‘wannabe’ movers and shakers in multilateral negotiations whether directly at the negotiation table or as part of civil society and the wider stakeholder community. This is a unique account. Congratulations to all the authors.'

Artur Runge-Metzger - Former Director, European Commission, EU lead negotiator and ADP Co-Chair

'This book offers a unique glimpse into the political dynamics that shaped the Paris Agreement. Unlike any other account, it brings together fascinating insider accounts of the negotiations and astute academic analyzes. The key message is that process and agency matter for the outcomes of multilateral negotiations. The book will be a tremendous resource for practitioners and scholars alike.'

Professor Jonas Tallberg - Stockholm University

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