Climate Change Essay, Framework Convention

Topics: Global warming, Kyoto Protocol, Greenhouse gas Pages: 18 (6675 words) Published: August 12, 2013
The Framework Convention on Climate Change seeks to commit the international community to a shared vision for long term co-operative action. In reality however, tackling climate change continues to pose unique challenges for the international community. Discuss Introduction

Climate change is perhaps the defining challenge of our time, it is the only global problem whose severe consequences occur on a planetary scale and affect the prosperity and security of all human communities. The Convention on climate change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the various challenges posed by climate change. It recognises that the climate is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The various difficulties that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has encountered over the years shall be examined. I will analyse why these difficulties have arisen and the best way for the UNFCCC to overcome these problems if indeed possible. Before doing so however, it is prudent to discuss the origins of the organisation and gain a proper understanding of why it is so essential for the international community to take action. Dangers posed by climate change

The International Panel on climate change (IPCC) was established in 1988 following the concerns of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Panel (UNEP) surrounding climate change. In its first report some of the potential problems resulting from climate change were discussed. This led to the adoption of the UNFCCC at the Rio conference in 1992. Since then there have been massive developments in technology and understanding of climate change issues. It is now known that average global temperature has increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius over the course of the twentieth century and is projected to increase by a further 1.8 – 4 degrees according to the best estimates and possibly up to 6.4 degrees by the end of this century. The consequences of any such global warming would be disastrous. Rising sea levels will lead to loss of territory and decline in agriculture affecting 25 per cent of the global human populations who live in low lying coastal areas. Island nations and countries such as Bangladesh will face threats to the physical survival of their human population. The risk of global warming is so real that many negative consequences are already happening today. In the summer of 2003 some 35,000 EU citizens were victim to heat related casualties; this will soon become a typical summer. The global food crisis of 2007-2008 was initiated when crops failed simultaneously on several continents. Similarly it is estimated crop yields will decline by up to 20 percent in East and Southeast Asia and 50 percent in some African countries by 2020. Freshwater will decline in semi-arid areas such as Southern Europe, western United States, southern Africa and north-eastern Brazil. The reverse effects will materialise in other parts of the world such as Canada, Russia and Asia where precipitation will dramatically increase causing flooding. There will also be devastating effects for the biological diversity on Earth as 20 to 30 percent of all species will be extinguished which will also have severe consequences on their respective food chains. In the past one of the main obstacles faced by the UNFCCC was justifying the need for an international regulation of environmental issues, people would question the legitimacy over concerns surrounding climate change. However today statistics such as those outlined are not in question. All governments recognise the need to respond to climate change has never been more pressing; it will now be determined why so little has been done given the magnitude of the problem at hand. The best way to do this is to chronologically analyse all the major meetings of the UN Framework Convention on...
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