|The Global Greenhouse Regime: Who Pays? (UNU, 1993, 382 pages)|
|Appendix: The Climate change convention|
The groundwork for the Framework Convention began in 1988 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 43153 recognizing climate change as a common concern of humanity. That year, UNEP and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to investigate the potential severity and impact of global climate change and to suggest possible policy responses. The IPCC's First Assessment Report was published in August 1990 and discussed at the second World Climate Conference later that year.
The report noted, among other things, that the 1989 session of the UN General Assembly had agreed that existing legal instruments and institutions dealing with climate change were insufficient and that a framework convention on climate change was needed. As a "framework", the Convention would outline a set of general principles and obligations in various areas. Subsequent negotiations would produce specific targets and quantitative reductions that would be added as protocols to the framework convention.
In December 1990, the General Assembly set up the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC), to be supported by UNEP and WMO. Negotiations began in February 1991 and ran parallel to the work of the Committee preparing for the Earth Summit in the hope that a convention would be ready for signing by Governments in Brazil.