United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. The Convention entered into force on March 21, 1994.

It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be impacted by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The Convention enjoys near universal membership, with 192 countries having ratified.

Under the Convention, governments 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; and cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. [1]

Not long ago, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the third Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Kyoto, Japan, on Dec. 11, 1997.[2] It became a legally binding treaty - called the Kyoto Treaty - on Feb. 16, 2005.[3]

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