The International Climate Change Negotiations

International Efforts to Address Global Warming

As the scientific case for human-induced global climate change grew more and more compelling over the course of the 1980s, the issue assumed greater prominence on international community's list of priorities. In 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro over XXXX nations concluded negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). This treaty includes voluntary commitments on the part of developed nations to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The United States ratified the UNFCC in 1992 and it entered into force in 1994.

Efforts to strengthen the UNFCC culminated in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, where negotiations were concluded on the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCC. The Protocol sets forth strong greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries combined with elements of flexibility that will allow nations to meet their targets in a cost-effective manner. Succeeding UN climate change conferences have focused on fleshing out the operational details of the Protocol. The United States has been a leader in advocating that the Protocol's rules be both cost-effective and environmentally sound. In addition, the President has made clear that he will not submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification without meaningful participation from key developing countries in efforts to address global warming.

Links to important documents and information on international efforts to address the challenge of global climate change are located in the righthand navigational bar.

The International Climate Change Negotiations

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The Kyoto Protocol

The Bonn Climate Change Conference

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