B2.10 Energy, Carbon & Climate Change


B2.10.1           Climate Change Policy


B2.10.1.1        Global Action

As our understanding of climate change and global warming has increased it has continually risen up the political agenda in a greening of the political process. Under the advice of key climate change scientists across the world there has been an increasing amount of international agreement that action is essential in order to mitigate against the worst impacts of dramatic changes to the Earth’s climate.


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provide a timeline of Climate Change Action:

1979    The first World Climate Conference (WCC) takes place.

1988    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is set up.

1990    IPCC’s first assessment report released. IPCC and second World Climate Conference call for a global treaty on climate change. United Nations General Assembly negotiations on a framework convention begin.

1991    First meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) takes place.

1992    The INC adopts UNFCCC text. At the Earth Summit in Rio, the UNFCCC is opened for signature along with its sister Rio Conventions, UNCBD and UNCCD.

1994    UNFCCC enters into force.

1995    The first Conference of the Parties (COP 1) takes place in Berlin.

1996    The UNFCCC Secretariat is set up to support action under the Convention.

1997    Kyoto Protocol formally adopted in December at COP3.


2001    Release of IPCC’s Third Assessment Report. Bonn Agreements adopted, based on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action of 1998. Marrakesh Accords adopted at COP7, detailing rules for implementation of Kyoto Protocol, setting up new funding and and planning instruments for adaptation, and establishing a technology transfer framework.


2005    Entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1) takes place in Montreal. In accordance with Kyoto Protocol requirements, Parties launched negotiations on the next phase of the KP under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). What was to become the Nairobi Work Programme on Adaptation (it would receive its name in 2006, one year later) is accepted and agreed on.


200      IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report released. Climate science entered into popular consciousness. At COP13, Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map, which charted the way towards a post-2012 outcome in two work streams: the AWG-KP, and another under the Convention, known as the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention.


The Bali Action Plan identified adaptation as one of the key building blocks required for a strengthened future response to climate change to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012.


2009    Copenhagen Accord drafted at COP15 in Copenhagen. This was taken note of by the COP. Countries later submitted emissions reductions pledges or mitigation action pledges, all non-binding.


2010    Cancun Agreements drafted and largely accepted by the COP, at COP16.

The Cancun Adaptation Framework resulted from negotiations on enhanced action on adaptation as part of the Bali Action Plan under the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention. Further information is available from: http://unfccc.int/adaptation/cancun_adaptation_framework/items/5852.php


2011    The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action drafted and accepted by the COP, at COP17.

At the Durban Climate Change Conference in November/ December 2011, Parties advanced the implementation of the CAF by agreeing on procedures and composition of the Adaptation Committee , activities to be undertaken under the work programme on loss and damage and guidelines for the national adaptation plans. Further information is available from: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-negotiations-timeline/