In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable.
By 1995, countries launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed country Parties to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.
There are now 197 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, including by, before 2025, setting a new goal on the provision of finance from the USD 100 billion floor, and an enhanced capacity building framework, including an Initiative for Capacity Building, will be put in place: thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement will also enhance transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework.
The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the international climate change negotiations, particularly the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP), the subsidiary bodies (which advise the COP/CMP), and the COP/CMP Bureau (which deals mainly with procedural and organizational issues arising from the COP/CMP and also has technical functions). For a brief depiction of how these various bodies are related to one another, please see Bodies.
|Climate change in context|
|This time line detailing the international response to climate change provides a contextual entry point to the Essential Background. You can also use the links on the left-hand column under Essential Background to navigate this section.
2015 - Intensive negotiations took place under the Ad Hoc Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) throughout 2012-2015 and culminated in the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the COP on 12 December 2015. More on the Paris Agreement.
2014 - At COP 20 in Lima in 2014, Parties adopted the ‘Lima Call for Action’, which elaborated key elements of the forthcoming agreement in Paris. More on the Lima Call for Action.
2013 - Key decisions adopted at COP 19/CMP 9 include decisions on further advancing the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. Under the Durban Platform, Parties agreed to submit “intended nationally determined contributions”, known as INDCs, well before the Paris conference. More on the Warsaw Outcomes.
2012 - The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol is adopted by the CMP at CMP 8. More on the Doha Amendment. Several decisions taken opening a gateway to greater ambition and action on all levels. More on the Doha Climate Gateway.
2011 — The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action drafted and accepted by the COP, at COP17. More on the Durban outcomes.
2010 — Cancun Agreements drafted and largely accepted by the COP, at COP 16. More on the Cancun Agreements.
2007 — IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report released. Climate science entered into popular consciousness. At COP 13, Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map, which charted the way towards a post-2012 outcome in two work streams: the AWG-KP, and another under the Convention, known as theAd-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention. More about the Bali Road Map.
2001 — Release of IPCC's Third Assessment Report. Bonn Agreements adopted, based on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action of 1998. Marrakesh Accords adopted at COP 7, detailing rules for implementation of Kyoto Protocol, setting up new funding and planning instruments for adaptation, and establishing a technology transfer framework.
1997 — Kyoto Protocol formally adopted in December at COP 3. More about the Kyoto Protocol.
1994 — UNFCCC enters into force. An introduction to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
1992 — The INC adopts UNFCCC text. At the Earth Summit in Rio, the UNFCCC is opened for signature along with its sister Rio Conventions, UNCBD and UNCCD. More about the two other Rio Conventions: UNCBD and UNCCD.
1991 — First meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) takes place.
1990 — IPCC's first assessment report released. IPCC and second World Climate Conference call for a global treaty on climate change. United Nations General Assembly negotiations on a framework convention begin.
1988 — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is set up. More about the science of climate change.
1979 — The first World Climate Conference (WCC) takes place.