Public Policy & Economics
Bridging Science to International Climate Policy under the UNFCCC
Woods Hole Research Center has been a forerunner of efforts to address the drivers and impacts of climate change throughout its existence. Center staff were responsible for organizing international meetings on climate change as early as 1987. Scientists from WHRC participated in the drafting of the first and subsequent IPCC assessment reports as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was adopted in New York in 1992 and opened for signature later that year at the Rio Earth Summit.
Under the UNFCCC, the Center played an active role in the development of the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted at the Convention’s third Conference of the Parties (COP). The Center’s work at the fourth through eighth COPs focused on effective implementation of the various rules and mechanisms associated with the Protocol. Even as the final details of the Kyoto Protocol were being negotiated, the Center began to turn its focus to another facet of the climate change mitigation discussion—how to help developing countries slow their rates of tropical deforestation and thus reduce the magnitude of carbon emissions resulting from forest loss and land use change. As work towards a global agreement to address all aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation continue, the Center is committed to working with collaborators, other non-profit institutions and research organizations, governments, and other stakeholders to forward international climate change negotiations through the United Nations process.
The index at right provides a summary of the Center’s past work related to specific UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COPs).