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IDLO-CISDL compendium of legal best practices on climate change policy

This paper highlights the challenges that governments face in implementing their international climate change policy commitments and the means to addressing these challenges. The authors note that international action on climate change is a relatively new phenomenon and legal systems were designed prior to the establishment of the multilateral climate change regime. Therefore, countries face systemic legal and institutional gaps and challenges in responding to climate change at the domestic level.

The paper presents 12 recent examples of best practices in legal and institutional reform. It demonstrates that while countries such as Brazil and South Africa have committed to increase clean development mechanism (CDM) projects by creating tax incentives that make their countries more attractive to investors, others like Vietnam have attempted to ensure that the benefits of REDD+ are distributed equally among those responsible for managing forests, including indigenous peoples and forest communities. Bangladesh, on the other hand, requires international financial support to manage the adverse effects of coastal erosion, inundation and flooding from sea level rise. By adopting of a comprehensive national strategy and action plan on adaptation, Bangladesh has begun to receive support, although it is still largely underfunded.

The report concludes that while the legal best practices presented are all a work in progress, they are exemplary types of reforms that can be replicated, adapted and improved according to the circumstances. The practices demonstrate that domestic governments can be proactive in creating an enabling framework to access the opportunities created by the international regime for climate change policy, as well as take on voluntary commitments that are cost effective and successful.