Snow on mountains with grey rocks peeking through

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The global treaty to tackle climate change

The global treaty to tackle climate change


The UNFCCC is a forum for countries to take collective decisions to tackle climate change and adapt to its impacts. Almost every country is signed up and they meet annually, along with civil society, businesses and activists from around the globe. A key milestone was the launch of the Paris Agreement in 2015, which included a legally binding target to limit global warming to 2 degrees, or preferably 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels.

What next for the UNFCCC?

Hundreds of people in front of displays featuring the UNFCCC logo

COP26 was a pivotal moment for the UNFCCC. Six years on from the Paris Agreement, it needed to galvanise increased action for climate change. Substantial new pledges were made, and the emerging ‘Glasgow Climate Pact’ helps us to get closer to ‘keeping 1.5 alive’. But the world is now looking to see those pledges translate into action on the ground, with tangible benefits for people and nature across the globe.

How is RSPB involved?

RSPB and Birdlife staff at COP26

The RSPB is working to ensure the UNFCCC includes nature as a vital and significant part of its future strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We help to coordinate other NGOs to bring together a coherent and robust voice for nature in this space. We also work to link decisions taken on this international stage to the development of domestic climate policies and action across the UK.

Future work

Avocet puppet above the crowds at COP26 march

Without protecting and restoring nature, the Paris Goals cannot be met. COP26 made progress, but now the words of the Glasgow Climate Pact must be put into action and the pledges made by world leaders, including tackling and reversing deforestation, must be delivered on the ground. We will be continuing to advocate for changes to UNFCCC processes and definitions so that nature is supported and not harmed by action taken to tackle climate change.