On Friday April 22nd, 2016, representatives from 175 parties (the European Commission signed on behalf of the EU) gathered in New-York to sign the Paris Agreement at UN headquarters – making this a very symbolic ‘Earth day’. The Treaty is one of the outcomes of the COP21 meeting held in Paris in December 2015 – probably the most visible one. Parties agreed on the text of a new and legally-binding Treaty regulating the fight against climate change with the objective to keep the increase of the world’s temperature well below 2°C. The signing ceremony was the first test of the political credibility of the deal. Good news: it passed!

Why signing Treaties?

Once a country/a regional organisation signs a Treaty, it commits not to take any action that would hinder the purpose of the agreement even though the Treaty is not yet legally binding in its internal legal framework. After the signature, parties have to submit their ‘ratification instrument’ to the depositary of the Treaty. The submission of this instruments is the act through which a country agrees to be bound by the content of the Treaty. States do not always ratify a Treaty – the procedure depends on the national constitutional order, that can be  a ratification, but  also an acceptance, an approval or an accession. Czytaj więcej



Nearly 150 world leaders, a concentration second only to the UN General Assembly, gathered in Paris today to open the COP21. Delegates have 12 days to deliver a new and enduring international climate regime that will put the world on track to a ‘2 degrees’ target. Stakes are high, expectations and media attention as well. But does it all matter?

Climate change – origins and consequences

The first industrial revolution has defined pretty much everything of our current lifestyle. The invention of assembly lines and steam power propelled the world into the capitalistic age. The economic production model moved away from agriculture to industry, from countryside to urban centres. Estimates indicate that between 1800 and 1850, the golden age of the industrial revolution, the part of the UK population living in cities rose from 10 percent to 50 percent, from 900.000 to nine millions. Czytaj więcej