Francesco Sindico and Julie Gibson in the chapter Soft, Complex, and Fragmented International Climate Change Practice: What Implications for International Trade Law noted that “the more specialized the international climate change legal regime, the more complex it becomes because of its requisite institutionalization.”

The fragmentation of climate change rules has resulted in several unexpected consequences that are having great impacts on the development of the international legal framework that aims at fighting global warming. One of the main consequence of such fragmentation is the increasing complexity of climate change rules. As such, we are witnessing the enactment of heavily complex laws aiming at climate change adaptation, mitigation and so on. In this context, what is needed in fact is less complex regulations, but we are seeing the opposite. This situation will further complicate the future discussions revolving around climate change as it is likely going to require further clarifications while there will always be a possibility of misinterpretation of any given rule as a result of the increased complexity due to the fragmentation of the climate change regime. Indeed, it is still unclear whether such complexity would facilitate the unification of the global efforts for fighting global warming or whether it will rather lead to a stagnation in the international climate change negotiations. Thus, the question that could be asked here is whether there is a possibility to avoid an increased complexity of climate change provisions as a result of fragmentation of international global warming regulations. In the chapter “Soft, Complex, and Fragmented International Climate Change Practice: What Implications for International Trade Law,” the authors Francesco Sindico and Julie Gibson attempted to provide an answer to this question. As such, the authors analyzed specific provisions which were introduced gradually in the climate change agreements in the last two decades. Such analysis aimed at providing clear examples of cases where such increased complexity has led to new legal conflicts as each country has adopted a different set of rules which were interpreted in accordance with the specific provision. As such instead of allowing the unification of the global efforts through the harmonization of the different domestic legislation, these highly complex rules have resulted in the adoption of domestic regulations that contradict each other in several aspects. Thus, one can immediately notice the reasons for which it is important to solve this issue as soon as possible in order to allow a fast evolution of climate change regulations. This reality becomes obvious when one examines the provision related to the emission trading scheme. This mechanism is a highly complex instrument where the European Union (EU) is considered as the main actor that succeeded in the implementation of such mechanism on the regional level under the name of EU ETS. Due to the great success that took place, many other regions and countries in the world decided to adopt a similar scheme. As a result, the existence of many schemes has led to the proposals of many bilateral and multilateral agreements aiming the unification of these instruments. However, in practice, it was revealed that such mission is very difficult due to the fact that we are “witnessing a worldwide proliferation of emission trading schemes that do not necessarily have identical rules.” Thus, it is still unclear how these mechanisms would fit together in the near future.