International Climate Negotiations

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 as the global collective response to the issue of climate change. The UNFCCC, which came into effect in 1994, emerged as one of the outcomes of the Rio Earth Summit (1992), the other two being the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity and United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification. The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, while also ensuring that it is achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. The central principles of the UNFCCC are Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) by which the Convention recognizes developed countries to take lead in addressing climate change. The sections below describe the Agreements under the UNFCCC and outcomes of crucial annual Conference of Parties (COP), serving as the highest decision-making body under UNFCCC.