What is United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted on May 9, 1992 and opened for...
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted on May 9, 1992 and opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. It then entered into force on 21 March 1994, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified it.
The UNFCCC objective is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". The framework sets no binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. Instead, the framework outlines how specific international treaties (called "protocols" or "Agreements") may be negotiated to specify further action towards the objective of the UNFCCC.
The convention enjoys broad legitimacy, largely due to its nearly universal membership. The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change. In 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted, governing emission reductions from 2020 on through commitments of countries in ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions. The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016.