Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


The Paris Agreement revolutionizes international cooperation in addressing the urgent threat of climate change. However, its status as an emerging system of global climate governance remains largely unexplored. Drawing on HLA Hart's legal theory, we apply a straightforward test to determine its significance, revealing the Paris Agreement as evidence of a new international legal order. This has far-reaching implications, particularly in the realm of political economy. Unlike previous analyses that merely consider whether a state is a signatory to the agreement or not, our innovative approach delves deeper into countries' commitment. Our analysis shows high compliance levels among populations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, with 94-95% covered by laws referencing the Paris Agreement. Africa, while slightly lower at 81%, sees most countries (38 out of 54) incorporating the agreement. However, major economic treaty organizations display varying degrees ofreference. ASEAN, EU (excluding Poland), and OECD trace national laws to the Paris Agreement, unlike only 5 out of 13 OPEC countries, covering 68% of the OPEC population. I find that increases in oil production, or the existence of large proven oil reserves, have a significant and large negative effect on the likelihood of a country mentioning the Paris Agreement. These findings challenge the notion of universal adoption, revealing a more nuanced landscape of adherence to the Paris Agreement and roadblocks to reaching the agreement's stated goals.

jellesed.jonah.SP2023.dataset1.xlsx (1780 kB)
Climate Laws Dataset

Available for download on Sunday, May 24, 2026

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