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Fifth session (first part)

New York, 18-28 February 1992
Agenda item 3

28 February 1992


Note by the secretariat

The revised consolidated text has been prepared by the secretariat under the guidance of the Chairman of the Committee and the Co-Chairmen of the Working Groups. It assembles texts that are, in their view, indicative of the state of negotiation in the two Working Groups. It is based, inter alia, upon the Consolidated Working Document contained in Annex II to document A/AC.237/15 and reflects the work on that document during the first part of the fifth session. It is intended to facilitate completion of work on the framework convention.

An edited version of the document will be published subsequently in all official languages as an annex to the report of the Committee on the work of the first part of its fifth session (to be issued as A/AC.237/18).



The Parties to this Convention,

1. Acknowledging that (adverse] change in the Earth's climate is a common concern of humankind since a sustainable climate is an essential condition that helps to sustain life,


Concerned that [net] emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and that these increases will enhance the greenhouse effect, resulting on average in an additional warming of the Earth's surface and atmosphere and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind, whilst noting that there are many uncertainties in predictions particularly with regard to the timing, magnitude and regional patterns of climate change,

3. Aware that the adverse effects of such (potential] climate change [and measures to mitigate it] could have (serious] social, economic and environmental consequences,


Acknowledging that the global nature of such climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response in accordance with (their respective responsibilities and capabilities]/[the means at their disposal and their capabilities] and their social and economic conditions,

5. Recalling the pertinent provisions of the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972) and in particular principle 21 [which provides that "States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction" (and accordingly that environmental considerations should not be used as a pretext for interference in the internal affairs of developing countries]],


Recalling also the provisions of General Assembly resolution 44/228 of 22 December 1989 on the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and resolutions 43/53 of 6 December 1988, 44/207 of

22 December 1989 and 45/212 of 21 December 1990 on Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind,

7. Recalling further the provisions of General Assembly resolution 44/206 of 22 December 1989 on the possible adverse effects of sea level rise on islands and coastal areas, particularly low lying coastal areas and the pertinent provisions of General Assembly resolution 44/172 of 19 December 1989 on the Implementation of the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification,


Noting the Ministerial Declaration of the Second World Climate Conference adopted on 7 November 1990,

Same text as in A/AC.237/15, Annex II


[9. Noting the significant contribution made towards combating activities that result in adverse effects on the Earth's climate by the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, adopted on 22nd March 1985, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, adopted on 16th September 1987 and adjusted and amended on 29th June 1990,]

10. Recognizing the need to strengthen international cooperation in addressing adverse effects of climate change (through the development within a global framework of appropriate policies (including the provision to developing countries of adequate, new and additional financial resources [based on assessed contributions by developed countries] and technology transfer on [preferential, concessional and non-commercial]/[fair and most favourable] terms], [the preparation of protocols on specific problems]/[the consideration of additional related instruments as may be agreed] and by means of increased research into atmospheric, terrestrial and marine ecology sciences as well as into the social and economic impacts of climate change and related response strategies, systematic observations, cooperation on scientific, technical, economic and legal matters and exchange of information],

11. Conscious of the valuable work being conducted by many States on global climate change and of the important contributions of the World Meteorological Organization, organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations system as well as other international and intergovernmental bodies for the exchange of results of scientific research and coordination of research,

12. Recognizing the need for [all] countries (with excessively high per capita rates of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions] to take immediate action in a flexible manner on the basis of (short, medium and long term]/[clear priorities, as a first step towards] comprehensive response strategies at the global, national and [, where agreed, regional] levels which take into account all greenhouse gases, with due consideration of their relative contributions to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect and recognizing also that strategies required to understand and address climate change will be environmentally, socially and economically most effective if they are based on relevant scientific, technical and economic considerations and continually re-evaluated in the light of new findings in these areas, 13. Aware of the role and importance of sinks and reservoirs in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, inter alia, in the absorption of greenhouse gases, 14.

Recognizing that action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases can also help in solving other environmental problems,

15. Affirming that response to climate change should be coordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner with a view to avoiding adverse impacts on the latter, taking into full account the legitimate needs of developing countries which have at this time as their main priority the shievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty, and at therefore the promotion of economic growth in developing countries is ssential to address the problems related to climate change,

16. Recognising that the improvement of the international economic environment, thus promoting the economic growth and sustainable social and economic development, of developing countries, is (essential]/[a prerequisite: for enabling developing countries to participate effectively in the international efforts to address climate change,

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17. Recognizing that all countries, especially developing countries, need access to [all the resources required to achieve sustainable social and economic development and that in order to progress towards that goal, (the energy consumption of developing countries must grow, taking into account the need for greater energy efficiency]/[net emissions of developing countries must grow],

18. Conscious that countries with low lying coastal, arid and semi-arid areas or areas liable to drought and desertification, small island countries and countries with fragile mountainous ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the potential adverse impacts of climate change and will therefore require special consideration under this Convention and its (subsequent protocols]/[related legal instruments],

[19. Acknowledging the specific transitional difficulties of those countries, particularly developing countries, whose economies are particularly dependent on fossil fuel production, use and exportation, as a consequence of action taken on limiting greenhouse gas emissions and that these difficulties will need to be recognized in the development of protocols under this Convention,]


Bearing in mind the importance of integrating environmental concerns and considerations into policies and programmes in all countries [without introducing any form of conditionality in aid or development financing or constituting a pretext for devising new barriers to trade],

[21. Recognizing that climate policies should be as cost-effective as possible in order to ensure maximum benefits from measures undertaken, ]

22. Determined to protect the atmosphere for present and future generations (on the basis of inter-generational as well as intra-generational equity), Have agreed as follows:

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