United Nations-Sponsored World Conferences: Focus on Impact and Follow-Up

By Michael G. Schechter | Go to book overview

6
The United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change:
Implementation and compliance
Jo Elizabeth Butler and Aniket Ghai

Introduction

This chapter examines implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1 one of three environment and sustainable development conventions that were negotiated together with “Agenda 21” during the early 1990s, as part of what is sometimes referred to as “the Rio process.” The chapter reviews the essential commitments of different groups of countries under the UNFCCC, and national efforts to meet these obligations, but without entering into a technical discussion of the many related methodological issues. Throughout, the focus is primarily on implementation of the convention, although reference is occasionally also made to the Kyoto Protocol. A special discussion is provided of the role of non-governmental organizations in the climate change process. A separate section focuses on the related topic of compliance, an issue that is receiving growing importance in the light of the recently agreed Kyoto Protocol, a legal instrument which contains much stronger commitments for developed countries, including “legally binding targets” that are not contained in the UNFCCC itself. 2


The Rio process: Climate change negotiations and
other environmental agreements

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 3 was held in June 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, and resulted in

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