The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: a framework approach to climate change

in Climate Change Law
Edited by Daniel A Farber, Marjan Peeters, and Michael Faure
Edward Elgar Publishing
2016

This chapter draws on core legal literature to outline the key features of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), as well as to identify areas that have generated discord and would benefit from further research, analysis and commentary. This chapter first discusses the basic features of the FCCC, in particular its character as a ‘framework’ convention, the nature of commitments it contains, the categories of Parties it creates and the fundamental principles that it enshrines. The chapter next outlines the governance architecture that the FCCC establishes, in particular the Conference of Parties (COP) and its powers, the process of decision-making in the COP, and the legal status of COP decisions. Finally, this chapter considers avenues for the evolution of the climate change regime, in particular through the adoption of amendments and protocols.