Climate change

What role for dispute resolution in supporting the Paris climate agreement?

  • 17 November 2017
climate disputes

The ICC International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a panel of experts to discuss how the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement can be supported through methods of international dispute settlement.

The event took place in Bonn, Germany, during the second week of international climate talks under the UNFCCC as an official COP23 side event. It was jointly hosted by the ICC Court, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

There has been increasing focus in the COP23 discussions on the mechanisms that can enable implementation of, and promote compliance with, the Paris Agreement. In line with this focus, the event considered how adjudication, arbitration and conciliation can promote and support the work of the parties to the Paris Agreement. Panelists discussed the various options contained within the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, as well as the agreements, decisions and contracts used to implement them, that enable state parties and other actors to make use of dispute resolution mechanisms.

Panelists also considered the opportunities for dispute resolution procedures, including advisory and contentious processes, to be used by states and other actors to incentivize compliance with the Paris Agreement, to promote stable legal frameworks, to develop norms that complement the international negotiations, and to spur development and implementation of domestic law on climate change in furtherance of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.


Wendy J. Miles, QC
Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton, Vice President, ICC Court of Arbitration and Chair, IBA Arbitration Committee Working Group on Climate Change


Dan Bodansky
Professor of Law at Arizona State University; former climate change coordinator and attorney-advisor at the US State Department

Judith Levine
Senior Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration

Kate Cook
Barrister, Matrix Chambers, and Board Member, Legal Response International (LRI)

Anne Marieke Vermeer-Künzli
Legal Counsel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Annette Magnusson
Secretary General, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce

Related publication

Dispute Resolution Climate change

Dispute Resolution and Climate Change

This publication brings together articles from 18 international dispute resolution lawyers who explore ways in which climate changes issues may be factored into existing processes and systems of international dispute resolution, in particular international arbitration.
Purchase “Dispute Resolution and Climate Change” via ICC Knowledge 2 GO.