The Negotiations

The Objective — The ultimate objective of the climate negotiations is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will limit dangerous human interference with the climate system. 195 Parties participate in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Progress — The most recent UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa concluded on 11 December, resulting in a breakthrough in international community’s response to climate change.

More information about commitments under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol . More information about the need for a new agreement, the negotiation complexities and the central points for negotiation.

Milestones —  In 1992 countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with the inevitable impacts.

By 1995, negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change were launched resulting in the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds signatory developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ends in 2012.

In December 2007 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, 187 countries agreed continued negotiations with the goal of strengthening international efforts to address the problem of global warming. The resulting Bali Action Plan addresses the four key building blocks for strengthening the global response to climate change: mitigation , adaptation , technology and financing.

In December 2009, 114 countries agreed to the Copenhagen Accord which established the importance of reducing emissions in both developing and developed countries and the need to establish financing mechanisms to support mitigation efforts in developing countries.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico, ended on 11 December 2010 with the adoption of a balanced package of decisions that set governments more firmly on the path towards a low-emissions future including support for enhanced action on climate change in the developing world.

The package, dubbed the ” Cancún Agreements ” was welcomed to repeated loud and prolonged applause and acclaim by Parties in the final plenary. More information about the Cancún Agreement.

In 2011 the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa produced the Durban Platform .