UNFCCC: Key International Figures Highlight Achievements of 20 Years of the UNFCCC

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, key international figures past and present are highlighting the achievements of 20 years of work under the Convention in a special section of the UNFCCC website.

These figures include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Dr. Barbara Hendricks, German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The web page also includes statements by three former UNFCCC Executive Secretaries: Joke Waller-Hunter, Michael Zammit Cutajar and Yvo de Boer.

In his statement on the UNFCCC website, available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says: „Two decades of work by the UNFCCC and its Parties have created the infrastructure to spur a resilient, low-carbon global economy. Our challenge now is to use this machinery – not only to tackle climate change, but to deliver sustainable energy for all, make the air in our cities fit to breathe, generate decent jobs and help eradicate extreme poverty. These are all mutually reinforcing components of the post-2015 development agenda.“

In a note to Parties sent ahead of the anniversary, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said: „This is a moment to celebrate the farsightedness of the Convention and all of the investment in its implementation that so many thousands of people have made over the last two decades. It is also a time when we can reflect on the distance we all have yet to travel to achieve the ultimate objective enshrined in the Convention, which is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced interference with the climate system. The need is greater than ever and I hope this anniversary inspires everyone to recommit to the Convention, to its implementation and to a meaningful 2015 agreement.“

The special feature on the UNFCCC website includes an interactive timeline showing milestones of the UNFCCC process along with other historic events that occurred on these dates, as well as infographics and video interviews.

On 21 March, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres hosts a Twitter chat to celebrate the anniversary. The chat (16:00 to 16:30 Central European Time) will use the #FCCCresulted hashtag to look back at the landmark achievements of the Convention and the many ways it has led the world towards the realization that acting on climate change is both a necessity and the greatest opportunity of our time. Twitter users are also encouraged to post pictures which capture moments over the past 20 years that personally touched them the most using the #FCCCpic hashtag. The best pictures will feature on the website and in a UNFCCC Facebook fan page album.

About the UNFCCC

With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Read the media alert on the UNFCCC website

Source: media alert from UNFCCC from 20.03.2014