The pulling power of Paris (PullP):
Unpacking the role of ‘pledge & review’ in climate governance

This project assesses the effects of the Paris Agreement’s pledge and review (P&R) system on states’ climate policy ambitions.

Year: 2022 Current Project

  • Overview

    Will the Paris Agreement (PA) succeed in getting states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? PullP will explore the conditions under which the PA is more or less likely to “pull” states to increase their ambitions in climate policy.

    While most international agreements are limited by their lack of robust enforcement mechanisms, the PA compensates for this by relying on states to submit pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are then subjected to a pledge and review procedure (P&R).

    Proponents argue that the P&R can shape the institutional and social environment of action to “pull” actors, changing their behaviour irrespective of their initial preferences. PullP will investigate whether the PA indeed has that “pulling” power.

    Our main research question is: What are the effects of the Paris Agreement’s P&R mechanism on the contents of NDCs? As part of this project, we will:

    1. Carry out a systematic assessment of changes in the level of ambition of NDCs over time. This data will enable new analyses of how the Paris P&R affects the climate policies of states.
    2. Identify the conditions under which the P&R can be expected to affect state behaviour, comparing it to other review systems in international politics and developing a typology of P&R governance arrangements.
    3. Identify causal mechanisms through which the Paris P&R shapes state behaviour, thereby contributing to policy discussions of how the design of the P&R can be engineered to increase states’ ambitions.

  • Partners

    • Climate Strategies
    • McGill University
    • Torcuato Di Tella University
    • Wageningen University & Research
    • University of Eastern Finland
    • The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs