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UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change & CoP 25

Studies on the impacts of climate change on the natural environment have been undertaken for a number of years. Almost ten years ago, JNCC published a report on the impacts of climate change on the UK’s biodiversity, and the annual update of the UK Biodiversity indicators (last published in September 2019, and revised in December 2019), includes an indicator on the Spring index, which demonstrates that the timing of reproductive and other seasonal events has been changing over the last few decades, with spring arriving earlier. JNCC is also a member of the UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), which produces annual reports on various aspects of climate change in the marine environment. 

In addition, the role that the natural environment has to play in helping to reduce the overall impacts of climate change is increasingly being recognised.  The oceans, and habitats such as peatlands, wetlands and forests can absorb and lock-up atmospheric carbon, helping to minimise the intensity of climate change; and coastal environments, such as coral reefs and mangrove swamps, can protect land against the impacts of storm surges, forecast to increase in severity and frequency as a result of climate change.  The impacts of climate change therefore affect not only the natural environment itself, but the benefits and services it provides, including those services which mitigate against the impacts of climate change.


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force on 21 March 1994. In total, 197 countries have ratified the Convention.

The ultimate aim of the Convention is to prevent 'dangerous' human interference with the climate system.

The UNFCCC is a 'Rio Convention' – it is one of three Conventions adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The other two Conventions adopted were the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Convention to Combat Desertification. 


CoP 25 (December 2019)

A team of JNCC's experts attended the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place at IFEMA - Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019.

Details of our involvement at the CoP is provided in the table below:

Date & time Event & Description Location
Tuesday 3 December

How can the world’s most detailed climate projection help us to prepare for the future?

The event looked at the policy framework and the aims of the UK climate projections. It also included case studies looking at how the projections have been used in the last year, followed by a panel session of experts.

UK Pavilion
Tuesday 3 December

A Pole-to-Pole narrative on Earth Observation and how it underpins our response to climate change

Earth Observation (EO) has revolutionised our ability to monitor both climatic and environmental systems. The entire surface of the Earth can be consistently observed and interrogated at high frequencies by specialised satellites working in tandem with an extensive global multivariate in-situ network, providing science with unprecedented tools in understanding and tackling climate change. The UK is a world leader in developing and exploiting these capabilities both domestically and internationally.

UK Pavilion
Friday 6 December

Nature and Environment – Nature-Based Solutions (NBS)

The event builds on the momentum generated by the launch of the Nature-based Solutions for Climate Manifesto announced at the UN Climate Action Summit by focussing on three areas:

  • Raising the profile of international action on NBS, and exploring the extent to which NBS is tackling the effects of climate change, addressing biodiversity loss and contributing to poverty alleviation, and what more could be done.
  • Highlighting the latest scientific research and practitioner knowledge on NBS, focussing on a few successful examples, demonstrating what is already being achieved.
  • Exploring some of the barriers that prevent NBS from getting to scale, what tools are being developed that would unlock nature’s full potential, and how we can work together to deliver global action. 
UK Pavilion
Friday 6 December

Marine protected areas as tools for adaptive marine resource management in the face of climate change

This session showcased the evidence-base for the role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in adaptive marine resource management in tackling climate change. MPAs can be used as a tool which can build and support ecosystem resilience, acting as nature-based solutions for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

UK Pavilion
Saturday 7 December

Marine Protected Areas and climate action: Science and decision making

Invited science and policy experts from Chile, the UK, France and Costa Rica gave perspectives from within their countries on the role of MPAs in supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation, outlining scientific advances on the subject and providing an overview of their perspectives of the evidence and policy needs.

Chile Pavilion


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Any enquiries relating to UNFCCC COP 25 should be directed to Sarah Harrison, International Collaboration Lead:
phone: +44 (0) 7741 844203

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