Opinion and climate change General Environmental ethics Media coverage of climate change Public opinion on climate change Popular culture Scientific opinion on climate change Scientists who disagree with the mainstream assessment Climate change denial Global warming conspiracy theory. United Nations Office , pp. International shipping and import charges paid to Pitney Bowes Inc.
The Secretariat, augmented through the parallel efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC , aims to gain consensus through meetings and the discussion of various strategies.
On 12 June , nations signed the UNFCCC, which upon ratification committed signatories' governments to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases with the goal of "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate system". This commitment would require substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions see the later section, "Stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations".
Article 3 1 of the Convention  states that Parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of "common but differentiated responsibilities", and that developed country Parties should "take the lead" in addressing climate change. Under Article 4, all Parties make general commitments to address climate change through, for example, climate change mitigation and adapting to the eventual impacts of climate change.
The extent to which developing country Parties will effectively implement their commitments under the Convention will depend on the effective implementation by developed country Parties of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.
The Framework Convention specifies the aim of developed Annex I Parties stabilizing their greenhouse gas emissions carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic greenhouse gases not regulated under the Montreal Protocol at levels, by the year At the 1st Conference of the Parties COP-1 , Parties decided that the aim of Annex I Parties stabilizing their emissions at levels by the year was "not adequate",  and further discussions at later conferences led to the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol sets emissions targets for developed countries which are binding under international law. The Kyoto Protocol has had two commitment periods, the first of which lasted from The second one runs from and is based on the Doha Amendment to the Protocol, which has not entered into force. Other developed countries without second-round targets are Canada which withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in  and the United States.
In , parties adopted the "Durban Platform for Enhanced Action". In , all then parties to the convention came together for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 30 November - 12 December and adopted by consensus the Paris Agreement, aimed at limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, and pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1. As part of the Bali Action Plan, adopted in , all developed country Parties have agreed to "quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, while ensuring the comparability of efforts among them, taking into account differences in their national circumstances.
As part of the Copenhagen negotiations, a number of countries produced the Copenhagen Accord. As part of the Accord, 17 developed country Parties and the EU have submitted mitigation targets,  as have 45 developing country Parties. For example, the Durban Platform reaffirms that: The ultimate objective of the Framework Convention is to prevent "dangerous" anthropogenic i. Climate change mitigation scenarios: To stabilize atmospheric GHG concentrations, global anthropogenic GHG emissions would need to peak then decline see climate change mitigation.
The other two graphs show the associated changes in atmospheric GHG concentrations in CO 2 -equivalents and global mean temperature for these scenarios. Lower stabilization levels are associated with lower magnitudes of global warming compared to higher stabilization levels. There is uncertainty over how GHG concentrations and global temperatures will change in response to anthropogenic emissions see climate change feedback and climate sensitivity.
There are a range of views over what level of climate change is dangerous. The global warming that has already occurred poses a risk to some human and natural systems e. Climate change policies may lead to costs that are relevant to Article 2.
There is considerable uncertainty over future changes in anthropogenic GHG emissions, atmospheric GHG concentrations, and associated climate change.
In decision making, the precautionary principle is considered when possibly dangerous, irreversible, or catastrophic events are identified, but scientific evaluation of the potential damage is not sufficiently certain Toth et al.
Uncertainty is associated with each link of the causal chain of climate change. For example, future GHG emissions are uncertain, as are climate change damages. However, following the precautionary principle, uncertainty is not a reason for inaction, and this is acknowledged in Article 3. They serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties Conferences of the Parties COP to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mids, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Also parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers. The first conference COP1 was held in in Berlin. A subsidiary body is a committee that assists the Conference of the Parties. The secretariat is established under Article 8 of the Convention.
It is headed by the Executive Secretary. It refers to Article 6 of the Convention's original text , focusing on six priority areas: The implementation of all six areas has been identified as the pivotal factor for everyone to understand and participate in solving the complex challenges presented by climate change.
ACE calls on governments to develop and implement educational and public awareness programmes, train scientific, technical and managerial personnel, foster access to information, and promote public participation in addressing climate change and its effects. It also urges countries to cooperate in this process, by exchanging good practices and lessons learned, and strengthening national institutions.
This wide scope of activities is guided by specific objectives that, together, are seen as crucial for effectively implementing climate adaptation and mitigation actions, and for achieving the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC.
The overall umbrella and processes of the UNFCCC and the adopted Kyoto Protocol have been criticized by some as not having achieved its stated goals of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide the primary culprit blamed for rising global temperatures of the 21st century. It implicates virtually every aspect of a state's economy, so it makes countries nervous about growth and development. This is an economic issue every bit as it is an environmental one.
Because the framework system includes over countries and because negotiations are governed by consensus, small groups of countries can often block progress.
However, this fails to consider the historical responsibility for climate change since industrialisation, which is a contentious issue in the talks, and the responsibility of emissions from consumption and importation of goods. Canada formally withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in In , Japan stated that it will not sign up to a second Kyoto term, because it would impose restrictions on it not faced by its main economic competitors, China, India and Indonesia. In that interval we've added almost as much carbon to the atmosphere as we did in the previous century.
Benchmarking is the setting of a policy target based on some frame of reference. Although the target applies equally to all Annex I Parties, the economic costs of meeting the target would likely vary between Parties. For example, countries with initially high levels of energy efficiency might find it more costly to meet the target than countries with lower levels of energy efficiency. Benchmarking has also been discussed in relation to the first-round emissions targets specified in the Kyoto Protocol see views on the Kyoto Protocol and Kyoto Protocol and government action.
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