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6.11.2. The Framework Convention on Climate Change

In response to the reports from the IPCC, the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC/FCCC) was established, and adopted by over 150 countries in 1992 as a blueprint for precautionary action. The main objective of the FCCC (Article 2) was to achieve a stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system (UNEP, 1992). In order to achieve this, the party nations were committed to drawing up national programmes to return emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2000.

The United Kingdom signed the Convention in 1992 and ratified it in December 1993. The then Government was obligated to: formulate and implement a national programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide; provide assistance to developing countries and countries with their economies in transition; support research into climate change, and; promote public education and awareness concerning climate change.