UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

One of the three Rio Conventions, the UNFCCC's ultimate objective is to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.

Razan Al Mubarak (Africa Climate Week 2023) Razan Al Mubarak, IUCN President and UN Climate Change High-Level  Champion, at the Africa Climate Week (4-6 September 2023). Source: www.razanalmubarak.com

The Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC was adopted in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016. This legally binding international treaty aims to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, scientific assessments, including the important work conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has brought into sharp focus the irreversible losses and damages that are presently accruing from climate change, as well as the cascading and compounding risks of overshooting the 1.5°C warming level – with the most vulnerable people and ecosystems being hit the hardest.

To achieve this goal, the science is clear: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to peak before 2025, and decline by 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels and reach global net zero emissions around the 2070s. Yet the latest UNFCCC synthesis report, taking into account the implementation of all the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted under the Paris Agreement as of September 2022, estimates that GHG emissions will reduce by only 0.3% below the 2019 level by 2030. This underscores the major ambition gap that needs to be urgently bridged.

IUCN is an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) Observer to the UNFCCC. For a number of years, IUCN has been actively engaging in various UNFCCC bodies and processes, including to secure greater policy recognition for the interlinkages between the climate change and biodiversity loss crises, the contribution that healthy ecosystems and nature-based solutions can make in delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement, and the importance of inclusive climate policy and action that takes into account the priorities and needs of the most vulnerable.


COP28 marks an important milestone in global efforts to combat climate change. Among other things, it will witness the culmination of the first global stocktake of the Paris Agreement, which offers the international community a key opportunity to course correct and raise ambition to limit warming to 1.5°C. 

Guided by its position paper, IUCN will be actively engaged in various processes and spaces across the conference. It will particularly reinforce the interlinkages between the climate change and biodiversity loss crises, highlight the critical role of healthy ecosystems and nature-based solutions in climate mitigation and adaptation, and underscore the vital importance of inclusive and just climate policy and action.

IUCN will also host the ‘Unite for Nature’ pavilion in the COP28 blue zone, which will provide a concrete platform to showcase the collective work of the Union.

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Large event | 02 November, 2023
IUCN at UN Climate Change Conference COP28
From 30 November to 12 December 2023, IUCN will participate in the 28th session of the Conference…


Convened under the Presidency of Egypt, the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 20 November 2022.

Building on the momentum from COP26 in Glasgow, where UNFCCC Parties explicitly recognized – for the first time – the “interlinked global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and the critical role of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems in delivering benefits for climate adaptation and mitigation”, IUCN continued to emphasise Nature-based Solutions as a key approach to address our urgent biodiversity and climate challenges.

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IUCN Statement | 19 November, 2022
IUCN expresses concern over slow progress at COP27 while welcoming recognition of Nature-based Solutions
As COP27 closed today, IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, expressed its…