United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
9 May 1992
New York City, US
21 March 1994
ratification by 50 states
196 (all United Nations member states, as well as Niue, Cook Islands and the European Union)
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty (currently the only international climate policy venue with broad legitimacy, due in part to its virtually universal membership) negotiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. The objective of the treaty is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system".The treaty itself set no binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. Instead, the treaty provides a framework for negotiating specific international treaties (called "protocols") that may set binding limits on greenhouse gases.The UNFCCC was opened for signature on 9 May 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from 30 April to 9 May 1992. It entered into force on 21 March 1994. As of March 2014, UNFCCC has 196 parties.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 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The 2010 Cancún agreements state that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level. The 20th COP will take place in Peru in 2014.One of the first tasks set by the UNFCCC was for signatory nations to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, which were used to create the 1990 benchmark levels for accession of Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol and for the commitment of those countries to GHG reductions. Updated inventories must be regularly submitted by Annex I countries.The UNFCCC is also the name of the United Nations Secretariat charged with supporting the operation of the Convention, with offices in Haus Carstanjen, Bonn, Germany. From 2006 to 2010 the head of the secretariat was Yvo de Boer. On 17 May 2010, Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica succeeded de Boer. The Secretariat, augmented through the parallel efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), aims to gain consensus through meetings and the discussion of various strategies.
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^ "Article 2". The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved 15 November 2005.
^ "What is the UNFCCC & the COP". Climate Leaders. Lead India. 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
^ King, D., et al. (July 2011), "Copenhagen and Cancun", International climate change negotiations: Key lessons and next steps, Oxford, UK: Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, p. 12, doi:10.4210/ssee.pbs.2011.0003 PDF version is also available
^ FEATURE: Peru will look for global progress on climate change in 2014 Climate & Development Knowledge Network Downloaded 31 July 2013