Carolina Arlota


Climate governance is perennially complex, as climate change is the quintessential global collective action problem: it affects those who do not contribute to it while the benefits of climate change mitigation measures are not restricted to those who pursue such a climate- conscious path. Nowadays, climate governance has proven particularly tortuous due to conditionality and equitable concerns informing parties’ nationally determined contributions for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In this scenario, sound scientific evidence, which is defined in this Essay as the evidence that is based on the best scientific assessment available, is of paramount importance to effective climate governance. It provides a common denominator for developing and developed countries alike, with clear parameters for required policies within specific time frames, potentially reducing transaction costs for all involved parties. Accordingly, research on this topic is of academic and practical relevance. As such, this Essay discusses the current challenges that climate governance faces, focusing on the linkages between the scientific evidence unveiled in the 2021 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the urgent global need for curbing green-house gas (“GHG”) emissions from all parties of the UNFCC and its umbrella treaty, namely, the Paris Agreement. This Essay concludes that, in aggregate, the scientific findings provided in the 2021 IPCC Report were significant for overcoming the stalemate that have characterized climate governance. In particular, it was consequential for overcoming the climate divide specifically manifested in previous attempts to implement the market-based and non-marked mechanisms of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.