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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Andrea Bacher (International Business Law and French and European Law, QMUL-Sorbonne Double LLM, 2019)

Andrea talks about participating in the CCLS seminar in Paris on "Climate Change and the Paris Agreement" held at the end of 2019.


portrait of Andrea BacherAndrea works as a Climate and Sustainability Consultant, and serves as private sector observer to the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) and Steering Committee member of the Stakeholder Advisory Network on Climate Finance. At the end of 2019 she acted as a panellist at a seminar in Paris on “Climate Change and the Paris Agreement” organised by Norah Gallagher, CCLS Director of the Energy Law Institute.

Andrea talks about participating in the CCLS seminar in Paris on “Climate Change and the Paris Agreement”.

As a passionate advocate of integrating climate and sustainability topics across different disciplines, I was delighted when the QMUL Alumni office suggested I might participate as a panellist at a seminar on “Climate Change and the Paris Agreement”.

The seminar took place on 18 November 2019 at the University of London Institute in Paris, just a few days before the 25th United Nations Climate Conferences - the so-called “COPs”. It was jointly organised by the Energy Law Institute at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies in Paris and the University of London Institute in Paris.
It was exciting to discover the diverse audience ranging from CCLS alumni and students, legal and non-legal professionals, government representatives, university scholars from Paris-based universities, and alumni from other English universities based in Paris. I was impressed by the knowledge, interest, and lively exchange with the audience which continued with informal exchanges and networking at the reception. 

The seminar discussed a wide range of topics around the Paris Climate Agreement - the first universal treaty recognising stakeholders and linking climate change to environmental, economic, and social development with the ultimate aim to limit the temperature rise to below 2oC, and if possible to 1.5oC, to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

Key topics discussed included expectations at the next Climate Conferences to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals, the central role of non-governmental stakeholders towards and beyond the Agreement, and the impact on society and economy, for example through the energy sector’s transition towards a sustainable and secure energy system and related long-term investment needs. COP 26 was planned to take place in Glasgow in 2020, hosted by the UK in cooperation with Italy. Due to Covid-19, the COP has been postponed to 2021. Ahead of this milestone COP, countries are expected to submit their first revised nationally determined contributions and strategies to ensure the Paris’ Agreement objectives are achieved to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

Another high profile discussion was the rise of litigation and disputes on climate actions or in-actions of the public and private sector over the last five years to nearly 2000 cases according to Columbia University’s database - one of the most extensive collections of climate-related cases. However, more cases are existing and are not yet accounted for in databases, e.g. due to the meaning of “climate-related” cases, national procedures or accessibility.

COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of our global system and the interconnection between climate-environment-health as described by the IPCC for the stability of society and economy. Currently, the immediate priority remains to protect people by limiting the spread of COVID-19. However, it is precisely the interconnected nature of all life on this planet that a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement strives to achieve. Furthermore, a strong post-2020 biodiversity framework is critical to ensure resilient and healthy societies, societal prosperity, and economic development. The current situation with regard to COVID-19 has already shown the innovation and solidarity that is possible by society.

Andrea Bacher, graduated from the QMUL-Sorbonne Double LLM in 2019 in International Business Law and French and European Law. She says about her course:

“I greatly appreciated the openness, expertise and advice QMUL and Sorbonne have offered. Before joining the LLM, I worked for the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce responsible for the environment, energy, sustainability portfolio. This also included developing and implementing ICC’s climate strategy, coordinating the private sector worldwide for the UN Climate Convention, such as for COP21 and the Paris Climate Agreement. Over the years, it has become evident that legal aspects and litigation itself will be one key driver for the implementation of a variety of environmental treaties and regulations. My dissertation under the supervision of Professor Maxi Scherer, focused on the Paris Agreement and the role of climate litigation and arbitration. Thanks to the added-value of the double LLM, in addition to my degrees in economics and sustainability, I now have the opportunity to help the private and public sector on systemic sustainability solutions”.

If you would like to organise or participate in an event held in Paris, please contact Anna Gray on




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