The Climate Convention

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) signed by over 160 countries at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 came into force on 21 March 1994. It has set the agenda for action to slow and stabilise climate change. The signatories to the Convention (some of the detailed wording is presented in the box below) recognised the reality of global warming, recognised also the uncertainties associated with current predictions of climate change, agreed that action to mitigate the effects of climate change needs to be taken and pointed out that developed countries should take the lead in this action.

The Convention mentions one particular aim concerned with the relatively short-term and one far-reaching objective. The particular aim is that developed countries (Annex I countries in Climate Convention parlance) should take action to return greenhouse gas emissions, in particular those of carbon dioxide, to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. The long-term objective of the

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