U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations [December 23, 2008]   [open pdf - 525KB]

"Under the 'Bali Action Plan,' countries around the globe are endeavoring to reach agreement by the end of 2009 on effective, feasible, and fair actions beyond 2012 to address risks of climate change driven by human-related emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). This document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy negotiations to address climate change. It begins before agreement on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, and proceeds through the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the Marrakesh Accords of 2001, and the Bali Action Plan of 2007 that mandates the current negotiations toward a new agreement by the end of 2009 on commitments for the period beyond 2012. This chronology identifies selected external events and major multilateral meetings that have influenced the current legal and institutional arrangements, as well as contentious issues for further cooperation. Today's negotiations under the Bali Action Plan focus on four elements: mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions; adaptation to impacts of climate change; financial assistance to low income countries; and technology development and transfer. They also are intended to define a 'shared vision' for reducing global GHG emissions by around 2050. For U.S. legislators, important issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements for potential Senate ratification and federal implementing legislation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40001
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