- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), signed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (also known as the Rio Earth Summit), constitutes the foundational climate agreement that has provided the platform for most subsequent international climate agreements.
- The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries (including India) that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention.
- The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
- The UNFCCC endorses the concept of common but differentiated responsibility in the climate context. This means that while developing country parties are expected to contribute to climate mitigation, because of superior capacity to undertake mitigation and greater contribution to the problem of climate change as a result of historical emissions, developed countries are expected to take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.
- The Conference of Parties, known as COP, is the decision-making body responsible for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- It brings together the 197 Parties – that have signed on to the Framework Convention. The COP has met annually since 1995.
Why in News?
- COP27 of UNFCCC is set to begin in November in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.