United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty that was adopted on May 9, 1992, and entered into force on March 21, 1994. The convention was created in response to growing concerns about the potential impacts of human-induced climate change and the need for international cooperation to address this global issue.

The main objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The convention recognizes that developed countries have historically been the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and should take the lead in combating climate change. However, it also emphasizes the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of all countries in addressing climate change.

Key provisions of the UNFCCC include:

  1. Mitigation: The convention calls for all parties to formulate and implement national policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, with the ultimate aim of achieving a stabilization of these emissions.
  2. Adaptation: The convention acknowledges that the impacts of climate change will require adaptation measures. It calls for parties to formulate and implement adaptation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change and to facilitate the adjustment to its impacts.
  3. Technology transfer: The UNFCCC recognizes that developing countries may require financial and technological support to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It encourages the transfer of environmentally sound technologies from developed to developing countries.
  4. Financial assistance: The convention establishes a financial mechanism to provide support to developing countries for their climate change efforts. It also calls on developed countries to provide new and additional financial resources to meet the agreed full costs incurred by developing countries.
  5. Reporting and transparency: Parties are required to submit regular reports on their greenhouse gas inventories, mitigation measures, and financial and technical support provided. This promotes transparency and accountability in climate change actions.

The UNFCCC serves as the foundation for international efforts to address climate change. It has been instrumental in the development of subsequent agreements, including the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement in 2015, which build upon the principles and objectives outlined in the convention. The annual Conference of the Parties (COP) serves as the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC, where parties meet to negotiate and review progress in addressing climate change.

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