In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to address climate change. It was called a framework convention because it was seen as a starting point of addressing the problem of climate change.

The convention entered into force on March 21 1994.

The ultimate objective of the convention is 'to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system'.

With 194 nations, the UNFCCC has near universal membership. Under the convention, membership governments commit to:

  • Gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices
  • Launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries

  •  Cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change

Since the UNFCCC entered into force, the parties have been meeting in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COP is seen as the 'supreme body' of the Convention.


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