This perspective identifies how recent advances contribute to re-evaluating and re-constructing global environmental negotiations as a research object by calling into question who constitutes an actor and what constitutes a site of agreement formation. Building on this scholarship, we offer the term agreement-making to facilitate further methodological and ethical reflection. The term agreement-making broadens the conceptualisation of the actors, sites and processes constitutive of global environmental agreements and brings to the fore how these are shaped by, reflect and have the potential to re-make or transform the intertwined global order of social, political and economic relations. Agreement-making situates research within these processes, and we suggest that enhancing the methodological diversity and practical utility is a potential avenue for challenging the reproduction of academic dominance. We highlight how COVID-19 requires further adapting research practices and offers an opportunity to question whether we need to be physically present to provide critical insight, analysis and support.