The UNFCCC was adopted on 9 May 1992, and opened for signature on 4 June 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from 30 April to 9 May 1992. It entered into force on 21 March 1994. As of March 2014, UNFCCC has 196 parties.
The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.The 2010 Cancún agreements state that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level. The 21st COP took place in Paris in 2015.
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. There are currently 196 Parties (Canada withdrew effective December 2012) to the Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to “a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the framework of the UNFCCC dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. An agreement on the language of the draft treaty was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015, but has not entered into force.