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International Governance

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


The UNFCCC, is an international framework that brings together countries to combat climate change and to address its impacts on the environment and people.

The main objective of the UNFCCC is to:

“stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”

The UNFCCC provides a platform and a process (such as the Conference of the Parties– COP) for countries to regularly meet, discuss, negotiate and agree on specific actions to take for addressing the climate crisis. Most international climate agreements are negotiated under the UNFCCC, notably the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a landmark environmental agreement adopted on December 12, 2015 at COP21 in Paris, France to the UNFCCC. The deal marked a critical turning point toward a zero–carbon and resilient world. For the first time, all countries united under a single agreement to combat climate change and adapt to its impacts.  

The deal aims to:

  • Limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre–industrial levels, whilst ambitiously pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Mobilise and enhance support for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries by providing ‘climate finance’.
  • Provide a framework for transparency and accountability on countries progress of mitigation, adaptation, and support.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


The IPCC is a United Nations body, dedicated to providing all countries regular assessments on scientific evidence for climate change, its impacts, future risks and options for adaptation and mitigation. The objective of the IPCC is to provide governments with scientific climate change information, to inform and develop climate policies.  

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


The SDGs are a set of 17 global priorities created by the United Nations achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. The SDGs call for urgent worldwide action from countries, governments, businesses, civil society and people to tackle a wide range of issues including poverty, inequality, access to health and education, and climate change.

All countries are expected, at least once, to review their national progress on all 17 Goals and report to the UN. The UK government and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have produced their
first Voluntary National Review 2019

SDG Goal 13: Climate Action


SDG Goal 13 urges all countries to take action to combat climate change and its impacts. This goal aims to mobilise efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen adaptive capacity and resilience to climate–induced impacts.

There are many actions that individuals can take to help achieve this goal. To find out what you can do, got to: