The United Nations climate negotiations occurring through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the basic international legal instrument for international cooperation on stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent catastrophic anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, imposes emissions reduction and limitation obligations on industrialized country Parties.
The UNFCCC negotiation process is focused on developing a shared vision for long-term cooperative action to address climate change. In turn, the shared vision rests on enhanced action under each of the four basic pillars: mitigation, adaptation, financing, and technology transfer. Human rights are relevant to all four pillars, and a core decision in the 2010 Cancun Agreements explicitly recognized that the existing human rights obligations of Parties to the UNFCCC that should be fully respected in all climate change-related activities.
CIEL has helped coordinate a core group of organizations focused on these issues and contributed to interventions and submissions to the deliberations within the UNFCCC. Additionally, we have provided support to the civil society focal points in their ongoing dialogues with the UNFCCC Secretariat on these matters.