Historical background of climate change issues
Climate change first appeared as an issue on the international and national political agendas in the late 1980s in response to an accumulation of scientific evidence indicating that the observed increase in the earth’s atmospheric temperature was due to human activity. In late 1990, citing research concluding that a high degree of international joint effort was essential in order to address this issue (IPCC 1990b: xxviii), the United Nations General Assembly formally approved the launch of negotiations for a treaty on climate change. Since then, numerous international conferences have been held within the UN to negotiate agreements to tackle the issue globally, including the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Outside of the UN, too, steps have been taken to exchange and share experiences in the implementation of these treaties at the national or regional level, and to address issues not fully dealt with by the UN treaties.