United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is one of the three multilateral environmental treaties, which was signed at the Earth Summit that was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. This has earned it the name of “Rio Convention”. Although its implementation had only begun on the 21st of March 1994.
The main aim of the UNFCCC is to ensure “stabilisation greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”1 Such levels should be achieved whereby the given period of time determined should account and be sufficient for the natural recovery and adaptation of ecosystems in response to climate change, the threats available to the production of food and the sustainability of economic development.
Also, the UNFCCC functions as a framework for the global collaborative efforts of countries in their pursuit of combating climate change. Furthermore, developed countries have to bear the responsibility of leading the movement. The UNFCCC also took precedence in setting measures to ensure rates of economic sustainability are balanced out by climate change mitigation. Thus, it has sparked the beginning of formal consideration for climate change adaptation in the world.
During the time of the Convention’s implementation in 1994, 194 countries have agreed to sign the UNFCCC signalling their acknowledgement of climate change as an international issue that is in need of cooperative efforts to overcome. At present, the UNFCCC enjoys near full international membership with 197 Parties who have ratified the Convention, whom are known as Parties to the Convention. Furthermore, the Convention is improved upon via the complementation of Kyoto Protocol that was ratified by 192 parties in 2002.
The treaty is the parent body of Kyoto Protocol. However, unlike the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, it is neither legally binding, nor does it possess mechanisms for enforcement. Decidedly, the mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for Parties to the Convention are also absent in the Convention.
The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) is a youth climate movement representing the youths of Malaysia under YOUNGO, a constituent within the UNFCCC. As such, members of MYD will be equipped with knowledge of the UNFCCC and have the opportunity to attend the COP (Conference of Parties) annually, address the plenary, High Level Segment of a COP/CMP, make submissions (individual youth organizations also), attend workshops, meet with officials of the Convention such as Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the COP Presidency.
Written by: Yong Khye Lynn
Edited by: Nicole Lim Pei Pey
1. UNFCCC 1992, NY