Paris at the sub-national scale? An exploration of the role and potential of framework climate change laws

Anita Foerster, Alice Bleby, Anne Kallies, Jonathan Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Framework climate laws are being introduced around the world at the national and sub-national scale to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and coordinate climate change mitigation activities to meet those targets. Drawing on a 2020 empirical study, this article analyses the legal design and early implementation of an Australian example: the Climate Change Act 2017 (Vic). The Victorian case study informs a discussion of the role that such laws can play in supporting the realisation of the climate change mitigation goals of the international Paris Agreement. The article explores the promise and the challenges of using framework legislation to align domestic emissions reduction activities to Paris Agreement temperature goals. It demonstrates the potential, but also the pitfalls, of the bottom-up, facilitatory regulatory approach employed in Victoria, which is similar to many other framework laws and the core emissions reduction mechanisms of the Paris Agreement itself. Cross-referencing recent experience in comparative jurisdictions, the article highlights lessons for the legal design and implementation of effective, impactful framework climate change laws.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1092
Number of pages48
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Climate law

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