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UNFCCC Celebrates 20th Anniversary

UNFCCC21 March 2014: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its entry into force, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched a dedicated section on its website that features key figures from the past and present highlighting the Convention's achievements. The section also includes an interactive timeline showing milestones of the UNFCCC process along with other historic events, infographics and video interviews.

Noting that two decades of work by the UNFCCC have created “the infrastructure to spur a resilient, low-carbon global economy,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that the current challenge is to “use this machinery, not only to tackle climate change, but to deliver sustainable energy for all, make the air in our cities fit to breathe, generate decent jobs and help eradicate extreme poverty,” all of which are mutually reinforcing elements of the post-2015 development agenda.

Ban emphasized that the Kyoto Protocol set the stage for the establishment of the world's carbon markets, and that the UNFCCC has been a major catalyst in the shift to clean technology, renewable energy, improved efficiency and adaptation. However, he stressed that greater ambition is required to match the scale of the climate change challenge, and that the aim of the UN Climate Summit in September is to mobilize political will and showcase action that can help raise ambition levels worldwide, in the lead up to a 2015 climate deal.

Also in a statement delivered to celebrate the Convention's anniversary, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres stressed that while this is a moment to celebrate the “farsightedness” of the Convention and how much has been accomplished, it is also necessary to reflect on “the distance we all have yet to travel to achieve the ultimate objective enshrined in the Convention.” She expressed the hope that the anniversary would inspire everyone “to recommit to the Convention, to its implementation and to a meaningful 2015 agreement.” [UNFCCC 20th Anniversary Website] [UN Press Release] [Statement of the UN Secretary-General] [UN Blog Story]