- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. The objective of the treaty is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
The treaty itself set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. Instead, the treaty provides for updates (called "protocols") that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol, which has become much better known than the UNFCCC itself.
The UNFCCC was opened for signature on May 9, 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from April 30 to May 9, 1992. It entered into force on March 21, 1994. As of May 2011, UNFCCC has 194 parties.
One of its first tasks was to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, which were used to create the 1990 benchmark levels for accession of Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol and for the commitment of those countries to GHG reductions. Updated inventories must be regularly submitted by Annex I countries.
The UNFCCC is also the name of the United Nations Secretariat charged with supporting the operation of the Convention, with offices in Haus Carstanjen, Bonn, Germany. From 2006 to 2010 the head of the secretariat was Yvo de Boer; on May 17, 2010 his successor, Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica has been named. 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.
The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Annex I, Annex II countries and developing countries
Parties to UNFCCC are classified as:
- Annex I countries – industrialized countries and economies in transition
- Annex II countries – developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries
- Non Annex I countries - Developing countries.
Annex I countries which have ratified the Protocol have committed to reduce their emission levels of greenhouse gasses to targets that are mainly set below their 1990 levels. They may do this by allocating reduced annual allowances to the major operators within their borders. These operators can only exceed their allocations if they buy emission allowances, or offset their excesses through a mechanism that is agreed by all the parties to UNFCCC.
Annex II countries are a sub-group of the Annex I countries. They comprise the OECD members, excluding those that were economies in transition in 1992.
Developing countries are not required to reduce emission levels unless developed countries supply enough funding and technology. Setting no immediate restrictions under UNFCCC serves three purposes:
- it avoids restrictions on their development, because emissions are strongly linked to industrial capacity
- they can sell emissions credits to nations whose operators have difficulty meeting their emissions targets
- they get money and technologies for low-carbon investments from Annex II countries.
Developing countries may volunteer to become Annex I countries when they are sufficiently developed.
Some[specify] opponents of the Convention argue that the split between Annex I and developing countries is unfair, and that both developing countries and developed countries need to reduce their emissions unilaterally. Some[specify] countries claim that their costs of following the Convention requirements will stress their economy. Other countries[specify] point to research, such as the Stern Report, that calculates the cost of compliance to be less than the cost of the consequences of doing nothing.
Annex I countries
There are 41 Annex I countries and the European Union is also a member. These countries are classified as industrialized countries and countries in transition:
Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America
Annex II countries
There are 23 Annex II countries and the European Union. Turkey was removed from the Annex II list in 2001 at its request to recognize its economy as a transition economy. These countries are classified as developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America
U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was opened for signature at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro (known by its popular title, the Earth Summit). On June 12, 1992, 154 nations signed the UNFCCC, that upon ratification committed signatories' governments to a voluntary "non-binding aim" to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases with the goal of "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate system." These actions were aimed primarily at industrialized countries, with the intention of stabilizing their emissions of greenhouse gases at 1990 levels by the year 2000; and other responsibilities would be incumbent upon all UNFCCC parties. The parties agreed in general that they would recognize "common but differentiated responsibilities," with greater responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the near term on the part of developed/industrialized countries, which were listed and identified in Annex I of the UNFCCC and thereafter referred to as "Annex I" countries.
In the context of the UNFCCC, benchmarking is the setting of emission reduction commitments measured against a particular base year. The only quantified target set in the original FCCC (Article 4) was for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 (Goldemberg et al., 1996, pp. 32–33). There are issues with benchmarking that can make it potentially inequitable (Goldemberg et al., 1996, pp. 32–33). For example, take two countries that have identical emission reduction commitments as measured against the 1990 base year. This might be interpreted as being equitable, but this is not necessarily the case. One country might have previously made efforts to improve energy efficiency in the years preceding the benchmark year, while the other country had not. In economic terms, the marginal cost curve for emissions reductions rises steeply beyond a certain point. Thus, to meet its emission reduction commitment, the country with initially high energy efficiency might face high costs. But for the country that had previously encouraged over-consumption of energy, e.g., through subsidies, the costs of meeting its commitment would potentially be lower.
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., 2001, pp. 655–656). The precautionary principle implies an emphasis on the need to prevent such adverse effects.
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 3.3 of the UNFCCC (Toth et al., 2001, p. 656).
Interpreting Article 2
The ultimate objective of the Framework Convention is to prevent "dangerous" anthropogenic (i.e., human) interference of the climate system. As is stated in Article 2 of the Convention, this requires that GHG concentrations are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change, food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion.
Human activities have had a number of effects on the climate system.:4 Global GHG emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times. Warming of the climate system has been observed, as indicated by increases in average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice cover, and rising global average sea level. As assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "[most] of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations." "Very likely" here is defined by the IPCC as having a likelihood of greater than 90%, based on expert judgement.
The future levels of GHG emissions are highly uncertain. In 2010, the United Nations Enivronment Programme (UNEP) published a report on the voluntary emissions reduction pledges made as part of the Copenhagen Accord. As part of their assessment, UNEP looked at possible emissions out until the end of the 21st century, and estimated associated changes in global mean temperature.:18 A range of emissions projections suggested a temperature increase of between 2.5 to 5 ºC before the end of the 21st century, relative to pre-industrial temperature levels. The lower end temperature estimate is associated with fairly stringent controls on emissions after 2020, while the higher end is associated with weaker controls on emissions.
Future climate change will have a range of beneficial and adverse effects on human society and the environment. The larger the changes in climate, the more adverse effects will predominate (see effects of global warming for more details). The IPCC has informed the UNFCCC process in determining what constitutes "dangerous" human interference of the climate system. Their conclusion is that such a determination involves value judgements, and will vary among different regions of the world. The IPCC has broken down current and future impacts of climate change into a range of "key vulnerabilities," e.g., impacts affecting food supply, as well as five "reasons for concern," shown opposite.
Stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations
In order to stabilize the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere, emissions would need to peak and decline thereafter. The lower the stabilization level, the more quickly this peak and decline would need to occur. The emissions associated with atmospheric stabilization varies among different GHGs. This is because of differences in the processes that remove each gas from the atmosphere. Concentrations of some GHGs decrease almost immediately in response to emission reduction, e.g., methane, while others continue to increase for centuries even with reduced emissions, e.g., carbon dioxide.
All relevant GHGs need to be considered if atmospheric GHG concentrations are to be stabilized.:9 Human activities result in the emission of four principal GHGs: carbon dioxide (chemical formula: CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the halocarbons (a group of gases containing fluorine, chlorine and bromine). Carbon dioxide is the most important of the GHGs that human activities release into the atmosphere. At present, human activities are adding emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere far faster than they are being removed. This is analogous to a flow of water into a bathtub. So long as the tap runs water (analogous to the emission of carbon dioxide) into the tub faster than water escapes through the plughole (the natural removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere), then the level of water in the tub (analogous to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) will continue to rise. To stabilize the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide at a constant level, emissions would essentially need to be completely eliminated. It is estimated that reducing carbon dioxide emissions 100% below their present level (i.e., complete elimination) would lead to a slow decrease in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by 40 parts-per-million (ppm) over the 21st century.
The emissions reductions required to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2 can be contrasted with the reductions required for methane. Unlike CO2, methane has a well-defined lifetime in the atmosphere of about 12 years. Lifetime is defined as the time required to reduce a given perturbation of methane in the atmosphere to 37% of its initial amount. Stabilizing emissions of methane would lead, within decades, to a stabilization in its atmospheric concentration.
The climate system would take time to respond to a stabilization in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Temperature stabilization would be expected within a few centuries. Sea level rise due thermal expansion would be expected to continue for centuries to millennia. Additional sea level rise due to ice melting would be expected to continue for several millennia.
Conferences of the Parties
Since the UNFCCC entered into force, the parties have been meeting annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 the Conferences have met in conjunction with Meetings of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (MOP), and parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers.
1995 – COP 1, The Berlin Mandate
The first UNFCCC Conference of Parties took place in March 1995 in Berlin, Germany. It voiced concerns about the adequacy of countries' abilities to meet commitments under the Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).
1996 – COP 2, Geneva, Switzerland
COP 2 took place in July 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Ministerial Declaration was noted (but not adopted) July 18, 1996, and reflected a U.S. position statement presented by Timothy Wirth, former Under Secretary for Global Affairs for the U.S. State Department at that meeting, which
- Accepted the scientific findings on climate change proffered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its second assessment (1995);
- Rejected uniform "harmonized policies" in favor of flexibility;
- Called for "legally binding mid-term targets."
1997 – COP 3, The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
COP 3 took place in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. After intensive negotiations, it adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which outlined the greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligation for Annex I countries, along with what came to be known as Kyoto mechanisms such as emissions trading, clean development mechanism and joint implementation. Most industrialized countries and some central European economies in transition (all defined as Annex B countries) agreed to legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of an average of 6 to 8% below 1990 levels between the years 2008–2012, defined as the first emissions budget period. The United States would be required to reduce its total emissions an average of 7% below 1990 levels; however Congress did not ratify the treaty after Clinton signed it. The Bush administration explicitly rejected the protocol in 2001.
1998 – COP 4, Buenos Aires, Argentina
COP 4 took place in November 1998 in Buenos Aires. It had been expected that the remaining issues unresolved in Kyoto would be finalized at this meeting. However, the complexity and difficulty of finding agreement on these issues proved insurmountable, and instead the parties adopted a 2-year "Plan of Action" to advance efforts and to devise mechanisms for implementing the Kyoto Protocol, to be completed by 2000. During COP4, Argentina and Kazakhstan expressed their commitment to take on the greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligation, the first two non-Annex countries to do so.
1999 – COP 5, Bonn, Germany
2000 – COP 6, The Hague, Netherlands
COP 6 took place between November 13, – November 25, 2000, in The Hague, Netherlands. The discussions evolved rapidly into a high-level negotiation over the major political issues. These included major controversy over the United States' proposal to allow credit for carbon "sinks" in forests and agricultural lands, satisfying a major proportion of the U.S. emissions reductions in this way; disagreements over consequences for non-compliance by countries that did not meet their emission reduction targets; and difficulties in resolving how developing countries could obtain financial assistance to deal with adverse effects of climate change and meet their obligations to plan for measuring and possibly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the final hours of COP 6, despite some compromises agreed between the United States and some EU countries, notably the United Kingdom, the EU countries as a whole, led by Denmark and Germany, rejected the compromise positions, and the talks in The Hague collapsed. Jan Pronk, the President of COP 6, suspended COP-6 without agreement, with the expectation that negotiations would later resume. It was later announced that the COP 6 meetings (termed "COP 6 bis") would be resumed in Bonn, Germany, in the second half of July. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the parties to the UNFCCC – COP 7 – had been set for Marrakech, Morocco, in October–November 2001.
2001 – COP 6 bis, Bonn, Germany
COP 6 negotiations resumed July 17–27, 2001, in Bonn, Germany, with little progress having been made in resolving the differences that had produced an impasse in The Hague. However, this meeting took place after George W. Bush had become the President of the United States and had rejected the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001; as a result the United States delegation to this meeting declined to participate in the negotiations related to the Protocol and chose to take the role of observer at the meeting. As the other parties negotiated the key issues, agreement was reached on most of the major political issues, to the surprise of most observers, given the low expectations that preceded the meeting. The agreements included:
- Flexible Mechanisms: The "flexibility" mechanisms which the United States had strongly favored when the Protocol was initially put together, including emissions trading; Joint Implementation (JI); and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which allow industrialized countries to fund emissions reduction activities in developing countries as an alternative to domestic emission reductions. One of the key elements of this agreement was that there would be no quantitative limit on the credit a country could claim from use of these mechanisms provided domestic action constituted a significant element of the efforts of each Annex B country to meet their targets.
- Carbon sinks: It was agreed that credit would be granted for broad activities that absorb carbon from the atmosphere or store it, including forest and cropland management, and re-vegetation, with no over-all cap on the amount of credit that a country could claim for sinks activities. In the case of forest management, an Appendix Z establishes country-specific caps for each Annex I country. Thus, a cap of 13 million tons could be credited to Japan (which represents about 4% of its base-year emissions). For cropland management, countries could receive credit only for carbon sequestration increases above 1990 levels.
- Compliance: Final action on compliance procedures and mechanisms that would address non-compliance with Protocol provisions was deferred to COP 7, but included broad outlines of consequences for failing to meet emissions targets that would include a requirement to "make up" shortfalls at 1.3 tons to 1, suspension of the right to sell credits for surplus emissions reductions, and a required compliance action plan for those not meeting their targets.
- Financing: There was agreement on the establishment of three new funds to provide assistance for needs associated with climate change: (1) a fund for climate change that supports a series of climate measures; (2) a least-developed-country fund to support National Adaptation Programs of Action; and (3) a Kyoto Protocol adaptation fund supported by a CDM levy and voluntary contributions.
A number of operational details attendant upon these decisions remained to be negotiated and agreed upon, and these were the major issues considered by the COP 7 meeting that followed.
2001 – COP 7, Marrakech, Morocco
At the COP 7 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco from October 29 to November 10, 2001, negotiators wrapped up the work on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, finalizing most of the operational details and setting the stage for nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.deadlink[dead link] deadlink[dead link] The completed package of decisions is known as the Marrakech Accords. The United States delegation maintained its observer role, declining to participate actively in the negotiations. Other parties continued to express hope that the United States would re-engage in the process at some point and worked to achieve ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the requisite number of countries to bring it into force (55 countries needed to ratify it, including those accounting for 55% of developed-country emissions of carbon dioxide in 1990). The date of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (August–September 2002) was put forward as a target to bring the Kyoto Protocol into force. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The main decisions at COP 7 included:
- Operational rules for international emissions trading among parties to the Protocol and for the CDM and joint implementation;
- A compliance regime that outlined consequences for failure to meet emissions targets but deferred to the parties to the Protocol, once it came into force, the decision on whether those consequences would be legally binding;
- Accounting procedures for the flexibility mechanisms;
- A decision to consider at COP 8 how to achieve a review of the adequacy of commitments that might lead to discussions on future commitments by developing countries.
2002 – COP 8, New Delhi, India
Taking place from October 23, – November 1, 2002, COP8 adopted the Delhi Ministerial Declaration that, amongst others, called for efforts by developed countries to transfer technology and minimize the impact of climate change on developing countries. It is also approved the New Delhi work programme on Article 6 of the Convention. The COP8 was marked by Russia's hesitation, stating that the government needs more time to think it over. The Kyoto Protocol's fine print says it can come into force only once it is ratified by 55 countries, including wealthy nations responsible for 55 per cent of the developed world's 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. With the United States – and its 36.1 per cent slice of developed-world carbon dioxide – out of the picture and Australia also refusing ratification, Russia was required to make up the difference, hence it could delay the process.
2003 – COP 9, Milan, Italy
December 1 – 12, 2003 The parties agreed to use the Adaptation Fund established at COP7 in 2001 primarily in supporting developing countries better adapt to climate change. The fund would also be used for capacity-building through technology transfer. At COP9, the parties also agreed to review the first national reports submitted by 110 non-Annex I countries.
2004 – COP 10, Buenos Aires, Argentina
December 6 – 17, 2004. See also Climate ethics: The Program on the Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change COP10 discussed the progress made since the first Conference of the Parties 10 years ago and its future challenges, with special emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation. To promote developing countries better adapt to climate change, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was adopted. The parties also began discussing the post-Kyoto mechanism, on how to allocate emission reduction obligation following 2012, when the first commitment period ends.
2005 – COP 11/MOP 1, Montreal, Canada
COP 11 (or COP 11/MOP 1) took place between November 28 and December 9, 2005, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the first Meeting of the Parties (MOP-1) to the Kyoto Protocol since their initial meeting in Kyoto in 1997. It was therefore one of the largest intergovernmental conferences on climate change ever. The event marked the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. Hosting more than 10,000 delegates, it was one of Canada's largest international events ever and the largest gathering in Montreal since Expo 67. The Montreal Action Plan is an agreement hammered out at the end of the conference to "extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol beyond its 2012 expiration date and negotiate deeper cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions." Canada's environment minister, at the time, Stéphane Dion, said the agreement provides a "map for the future."
See also COP 11 pages at the UNFCCC.
2006 – COP 12/MOP 2, Nairobi, Kenya
COP 12/MOP 2 took place between November 6 and 17, 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. At the meeting, BBC reporter Richard Black coined the phrase “climate tourists” to describe some delegates who attended “to see Africa, take snaps of the wildlife, the poor, dying African children and women”. Black also noted that due to delegates concerns over economic costs and possible losses of competitiveness, the majority of the discussions avoided any mention of reducing emissions. Black concluded that was a disconnect between the political process and the scientific imperative. Despite such criticism, certain strides were made at COP12, including in the areas of support for developing countries and clean development mechanism. The parties adopted a five-year plan of work to support climate change adaptation by developing countries, and agreed on the procedures and modalities for the Adaptation Fund. They also agreed to improve the projects for clean development mechanism.
2007 – COP 13/MOP 3, Bali, Indonesia
COP 13/MOP 3 took place between December 3 and December 15, 2007, at Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia. Agreement on a timeline and structured negotiation on the post-2012 framework (the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol) was achieved with the adoption of the Bali Action Plan (Decision 1/CP.13). The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) was established as a new subsidiary body to conduct the negotiations aimed at urgently enhancing the implementation of the Convention up to and beyond 2012. Decision 9/CP.13 is an Amended to the New Delhi work programme. These negotiations took place during 2008 (leading to COP 14/MOP 4 in Poznan, Poland) and 2009 (leading to COP 15/MOP 5 in Copenhagen).
2008 – COP 14/MOP 4, Poznań, Poland
COP 14/MOP 4 took place from December 1 to12, 2008 in Poznań, Poland. Delegates agreed on principles for the financing of a fund to help the poorest nations cope with the effects of climate change and they approved a mechanism to incorporate forest protection into the efforts of the international community to combat climate change.
2009 – COP 15/MOP 5, Copenhagen, Denmark
The overall goal for the COP 15/MOP 5 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Denmark was to establish an ambitious global climate agreement for the period from 2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires. However, on November 14, 2009, the New York Times announced that "President Obama and other world leaders have decided to put off the difficult task of reaching a climate change agreement... agreeing instead to make it the mission of the Copenhagen conference to reach a less specific “politically binding” agreement that would punt the most difficult issues into the future." Ministers and officials from 192 countries took part in the Copenhagen meeting and in addition there were participants from a large number of civil society organizations. As many Annex 1 industrialized countries are now reluctant to fulfill commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, a large part of the diplomatic work that lays the foundation for a post-Kyoto agreement was undertaken up to the COP15.
The conference did not achieve a binding agreement for long-term action. A 13-paragraph 'political accord' was negotiated by approximately 25 parties including US and China, but it was only 'noted' by the COP as it is considered an external document, not negotiated within the UNFCCC process. The accord was notable in that it referred to a collective commitment by developed countries for new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, that will approach USD 30 billion for the period 2010–2012. Longer-term options on climate financing mentioned in the accord are being discussed within the UN Secretary General's High Level Advisory Group on Climate Financing, which is due to report in November 2010. The negotiations on extending the Kyoto Protocol had unresolved issues as did the negotiations on a framework for long-term cooperative action. The working groups on these tracks to the negotiations are now due to report to COP 16 and MOP 6 in Mexico.
2010 – COP 16/MOP 6, Cancún, Mexico
2011 – COP 17/MOP 7, Durban, South Africa
2012 – COP 18/MOP 8
A subsidiary body is a committee that assists the Conference of the Parties. Subsidiary bodies includes:
- The Subsidiary Board of Implementation (SBI) makes recommendations on policy and implementation issues to the COP and, if requested, to other bodies.
- The Subsidiary Board of Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) serves as a link between information and assessments provided by expert sources (such as the IPCC) and the COP, which focuses on setting policy.
- Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)
- Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
- Climate Change Information Network (CC:iNet)
- Climate ethics
- Coalition for Rainforest Nations
- Greenhouse Mafia Australia's carbon lobby
- Individual and political action on climate change Climate change response
- Least Developed Country (LDC)
- List of international environmental agreements
- Montreal Protocol
- Post–Kyoto Protocol negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- United Nations Regional Groups including African Group
- World People's Conference on Climate Change
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- Party Groupings
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- Live interactive video and chat coverage of COP17 by OneClimate]
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