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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), 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 is making preparations for the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place at IFEMA - Feria de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019

As part of this work, we are considering the role of marine and coastal environments in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and have been working with UK Government colleagues to bring a UK Marine Protected Area (MPA) event to the conference. The event will explore the role effective management of MPAs can play in climate change mitigation.  

We are also involved with a number of other events, including:

  • Earth observation
  • Nature and environment
  • Nature based solutions
  • Restoration


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