UNFCCC: the Basics



UNFCCC = the U.N. Framework Convention for Climate Change (since 1992)

COP = a yearly meeting of all the parties to the U.N. Framework to discuss and find solutions to climate change. In 2011, the UNFCCC was signed by 195 countries. All of them are expected to participate yearly in the COP.

Protocols = the only legally binding documents that can be set up within the Framework, these contain obligatory actions and solutions (Cfr. Kyoto protocol + the aim is to establish a ‘Paris protocol’ as of 2015).

Convention resolutions = non-binding documents, these do not contain obligations, though are great political statements and are very powerful.

Countries and their responsibilities = the countries that are party to the UNFCCC have been categorized in diverse groups depending on their economic capacities (Developed countries, developing countries, least developed countries). Every group has different responsibilities and tasks. Some argue that the categorization is outdated and needs review since diverse former developing countries can be categorized as developed countries anno 2013.

IPCC = the intergovernmental panel on climate change, which assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.

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