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National actors with divergent interests often try to influence the negotiator. While the national public has only limited influence over the negotiations themselves, their cooperation is often necessary to ratify and implement a negotiated agreement. In the United States, for example, the Senate has the exclusive power to ratify an international agreement setting new legal obligations for the country. This request puts the Senate in a powerful position to block the president`s interests. If the negotiator is unable to reach an agreement that adequately addresses the concerns of a national player such as the U.S. Senate, which must be implemented, the agreement could be undermined by the failure of implementation. What Putnam called “involuntary migration” is what happened to the PC. That is what could happen with the Paris agreement. The role of the United States – the dominant player in the regime – is crucial in understanding why the deposit and verification system was rejected in 2009 and adopted by the UNFCCC in 2015. Domestic policy conditions required the U.S. negotiator to pursue this new specific treaty architecture, as it circumvented a strong barrier to ratification at Level II: The continued opposition of Congress to any international climate treaty.

The 2015 Paris Agreement introduced a new logic for international climate policy: the deposit and verification system. In 2009, the same idea was proposed in the Copenhagen agreement, but was then strongly rejected by the negotiating community. In explaining this turnaround, I analyze the role of the United States in international climate negotiations using Putnam`s two-stage game scaffolding and Snidal`s K-group theory. U.S. domestic policy imposed considerable restrictions under the Paris Agreement and contributed to the emergence of the new treaty architecture. Until 2015, U.S. negotiators were unable or unwilling to reconcile the demands of political actors at the national and international levels. President Obama achieved this alignment in 2015 by creating international support for a treaty without legally binding commitments that could circumvent a barrier to congressional ratification. The latter required a surprising approach: China`s proactive engagement despite the structural context of the hegemonic transition. In the end, the EU has not been able to replace the United States as a dominant player in the climate regime for structural reasons, i.e.

their share in global emissions and their economic weight. Although the common goal of reducing emissions by 2012, i.e., that the achievement of the target is effective and that the institutional landscape of climate policy has been changed, the KP has ultimately not had a significant impact on climate change itself (Rosen Reference Rosen2015); Shishlov, Morel and Bellassen Reference Shishlov, Morel and Bellassen2016). Obama speaks in Paris at both Level I and Ii. The Copenhagen experience did not prevent Obama from following an agreement with exactly the same characteristics as the Copenhagen agreement. The freeze on domestic climate policy did not leave him with much choice – he had to evade ratification by the Senate. Between 2010 and 2015, Obama`s delegation had made considerable efforts to ensure that the potential agreement could be treated as an executive agreement, that is, that there would be no new legally binding commitments and to gain the support of its Level I audience for this type of agreement. The latter required work, both inside and outside the negotiations, to consolidate (1) the new K group and its support for the deposit and verification system (2), in order to convince its negotiating partners that the system of commitments and verification could be sufficient and effective to deal with climate change and (3) to strengthen the credibility of the United States` promises as members of Group k despite Kyoto`s heritage. While process management can influence the dynamics of negotiations and success, it does not explain the content of the agreement reached.