From UN-ity to diversity? The UNFCCC, the Asia-Pacific partnership, and the future of international law on climate change
The creation of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6) is part of a broader trend that has emerged in recent years, of States negotiating plurilateral, non-legally binding agreements outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. If this trend persists, there could be important ramifications for the future of international law on climate change. Are we steering towards a more fragmented legal architecture, with the focus shifting away from binding international law, and with the greatest possible role of the United Nations framework being the coordination of various approaches? Or will other approaches rather fulfil a supportive function in addressing climate change under the nearly universal U.N. umbrella? And how could a diversity of approaches work together towards a common objective? This article provides a preliminary examination of these questions through an assessment of the relationship between the AP6 and the climate regime.