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International Agreements

International Agreements

The first international acknowledgement of the problem of climate change and the need for action was in 1992, during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was approved as a key element in international efforts to combat global warming.

 

The Framework Convention came into force on 21 March 1994 and has so far been ratified by 194 states.The objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Since it came into force, the parties at the Summit—the countries that ratified, accepted or approved, or have acceded to the Convention— meet annually at the Convention of the Parties (known as COP). 

 

In December 1997, following two and a half years of talks, the third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 3) was held in Kyoto, Japan. The aim of COP 3 was to establish a binding protocol on emissions reduction. As a result, 38 industrialised countries undertook to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% in the period 2008-2012, compared to 1990 levels. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 and, has so far been ratified by 184 countries.

 

At COP 21 in Paris, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a historic agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.