International Climate Change Initiatives

U.S. Department of State - Office of Global Climate Change

The Office of Global Change is responsible for implementing and managing U.S. international policy on climate change.  It represents the U.S. in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and several other international climate change forums.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC commits signatories' governments to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) with the goal of preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate system. There are over 190 parties to this treaty, including the U.S.

The Paris Agreement (Accord de Paris)

Adopted by consensus in December 2015, the Paris Agreement is an agreement within the UNFCCC that deals with GHG emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance beginning in 2020. It aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

UNFCCC Background and Timeline of Significant Events

This resource provides helpful information on international climate change negotiations to date.

International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP)

Founded in 2007, ICAP functions as a multilateral forum of governments and public authorities focusing exclusively on cap and trade systems for GHG mitigation, to share best practices and discuss emission trading scheme design elements. It aims to contribute to the global effort to create a global carbon market. ICAP includes members from the European Union Emission Trading Scheme, Western Climate Initiative, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC)

Established in 1988, the IPCC is the premier international scientific body for climate change reporting. Working under the United Nations, the IPCC is made up of thousands of scientists that publish assessment reports on a regular basis.

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI originally stood for International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. In 2003, the organization dropped the full phrase to become "ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability." Established in 1990, this global network promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities in becoming "sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure." Its membership includes more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions in more than 86 countries.

New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP)

The 11 member jurisdictions of NEG-ECP are the six New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and the five eastern Canadian provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The member jurisdictions meet annually in a collaborative effort to tackle climate change and to present a long-term vision on the issue.

2017 Update of the Regional Climate Change Action Plan: Building on Solid Foundations

The 2017 Update presents achievements since the NEG-ECP's adoption of regional Climate Change Action Plan in 2001, outlines a framework of possible joint actions to reduce regional GHG emissions, and highlights the need for regional collaboration on adaptation to climate change.


Content last updated February 2018