Following the signing of the UNFCCC Treaty, the parties to the UNFCCC met at conferences (“Conferences of the Parties” – COPs) to discuss how to achieve the treaty`s objectives. At the first Conference of the Parties (COP-1), the parties decided that the objective of the Schedule I parties to stabilize their emissions at their 1990 level by the year 2000 was “not appropriate” and further discussions took place at subsequent conferences on the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol was concluded and legally binding commitments were made under international law to enable developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over the 2008-2012 period.  At the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference, an agreement was presented to limit global warming to less than 2oC above pre-industrial levels.  The general umbrella and the adopted UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol processes have been criticized by some for failing to meet their stated targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions (the main cause of the increase in global temperatures in the 21st century).  In a speech in Alma Mater, Todd Stern, the U.S. climate chief, said: “Climate change is not a conventional environmental issue… It covers virtually every aspect of a state`s economy, making countries nervous before growth and development. It is an economic problem, because it is an environmental problem. He added that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a multilateral body that deals with climate change and can be an ineffective system for implementing international policies.
Given that the framework covers more than 190 countries and negotiations are conducted by mutual agreement, small groups of countries can often block progress.  In addition to the Kyoto Protocol (and its amendment) and the Paris Agreement, the parties to the convention agreed to other commitments at the conferences of the parties to the UNFCCC. These include the Bali Action Plan (2007),  the Copenhagen Agreement (2009),  on the Cancun Agreements (2010),  and the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (2012).  The ultimate goal of the two treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents people from dangerously intervening in the climate system. In 2010, governments agreed on the need to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. The Kyoto Protocol runs until 2020 and the parties to the UNFCCC are preparing for stronger action after that date, including a new universal legal agreement to combat climate change beyond 2020, in which all will contribute their best and will all be able to enjoy together the benefits of success.