Convention on Climate Change

  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

At the Rio Summit in 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted. It is the primary vehicle of Global Cooperation and Action for Climate Change with the objective of stabilising Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentration at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

The UNFCCC places the primary responsibility of mitigation on industrialised countries. It recognises that the economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing countries which are bound to rise CO2 levels. The Convention entered into force on March 21st, 1994 after receiving the requisite number of ratifications.

The first Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention (UNFCCC), which was held in April 1995, adopted the Berlin Mandate which led to the formulation of Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

UNFCCC- Groups

Annex I

Industrialized countries and economies in transition (EIT) - 41

Annex II

Annex II countries are a subgroup of Annex I countries, don’t include EIT countries - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -24

  • They are required to provide financial resources to enable developing countries to undertake emissions reduction activities under the Convention and to help them adapt to adverse effects of climate change
  • They have to "take all practicable steps" to promote the development and transfer of environmentally friendly technologies to EIT Parties and developing countries

Non-Annex  Countries / Developing Countries

  • Especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, including countries with low-lying coastal areas and those prone to desertification and drought
  • Countries that rely heavily on income from fossil fuel production

  Kyoto Protocol Acceptance

The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC or FCCC) aimed at fighting global warming.

It commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16 February 2005.


Presently there are 192 Countries have signed and ratified the protocol. The only remaining signatory (UN Members) not to have ratified the protocol is the United States, Andorra, South Sudan and Canada.

  • The first commitment period applies to emissions between 2008-2012,
  • and the second commitment period applies to emissions between 2013-2020.

Kyoto Amendment

The protocol was amended in Doha, Qatar, on 8 December 2012, the "Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol" was adopted 2012 to accommodate the second commitment period


  Kyoto Protocol Success

Those countries who took on targets under the treaty have reduced their emissions by over 20 per cent—well in excess of the 5 per cent target they aimed to meet. 

During its first commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, 37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to take a leading role in climate action by reducing their emissions to an average of just over five percent against 1990 levels.


The UNFCCC secretariat is expected to complete final accounting for the first phase later this year or early next year.

But according to information submitted by Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in 2014, their total greenhouse emissions at the end of that first commitment period were 22.6 per cent lower than the 1990 base year.

By placing value on emission reductions, the Kyoto Protocol also spurred the creation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that allowed developed and developing countries to cooperate by reducing emissions and boosting clean development at the same time.

There are now 7,800 CDM projects and programmes in 105 developing countries which receive a saleable credit for each tonne of gas they reduce or avoid. This represents some 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 saved to date, which would otherwise have been in the atmosphere.