United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force on 21 March 1994. It is an international environment treaty ratified by 197 countries also known as Parties to the Convention. There are 27 articles in the convention.

Objective of UNFCCC

The ultimate objective of this Convention is stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

Principles

To achieve the objectives set out the convention, the parties shall be guided by following principles:

  • The Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities. Therefore the developed country Parties should take the lead in combating climate change and its adverse effects.
  • The developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change or who would have to bear a disproportionate or abnormal burden under the Convention should be given full consideration.
  • The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. The policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective so as to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost
  • The Parties should promote sustainable development. Policies and measures to protect the climate system against human-induced change should be integrated with national development programmes, taking into account that economic development is essential for adopting measures to address climate change.
  • The Parties should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to sustainable economic growth and development in all Parties, particularly developing country Parties. Measures taken to combat climate change should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade.

Other important provisions

  • The developed countries may provide and developing countries avail themselves of, financial resources related to the implementation of the Convention through bilateral, regional and other multilateral channels

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