The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is one of the three "Rio Conventions" adopted at the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since it took effect in 1994, the Convention's overarching objective is to prevent dangerous human-made interference on the climate system by pushing for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. With 198 Parties, the Convention has near universal membership.
The UNFCCC established agreements between the Parties to act on climate change. As such, the UNFCCC has led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which sets binding emission reduction targets, and the Paris Agreement in 2015, which goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degree Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. The implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement is managed by a complex architecture of bodies, supported by the UNFCCC secretariat.
The supreme governing body of the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP), where all signatory States are represented. Each year, the COP meets to review the implementation of the Convention and to take decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. Since the COP20 in Peru, the EESC, as part of the EU delegation with observer status, has been actively taking part in the COPs, engaging in meaningful conversations, bilateral meetings and side events to represent the organised civil society in Europe in the fight against climate change.