The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 1990 and 1999 Deselect

  1. The Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 5) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) met in Bonn, Germany, from 25 October - 5 November 1999. At COP 5 itself the Parties discussed a system of monitoring commitments and the design of the Kyoto mechanisms, especially the (Clean Development Mechnism, CDM). Guidelines were also drawn up for industrialised countries' national emissions reports.

  2. The third European Conference on Environment and Health is Europe's largest political event in this area. Ministers for Health, Transport and the Environment from 51 European countries take part. The conference produces: a protocol on water and public health; a charta on transport, the environment and health; a statement by ministers. NGOs, experts and companies take part in the "Healthy Planet" forum.

  3. The Fourth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 4) took place from 2 to 14 November 1998, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Parties reached agreement on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, which specified that the detailed structure of the Kyoto Protocol should be completed by the 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties at the latest. establishing deadlines for finalizing work on the Kyoto Mechanisms (Joint Implementation, Emissions Trading and the Clean Development Mechanism), compliance issues and policies and measures.

  4. The Third Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3) was held from 1-11 December 1997 at the Kyoto International Conference Hall (KICH) in Japan. On 11 December, after 10 days of tough negotiations ministers and other high-level officials from 160 countries reached agreement on a legally binding Protocol under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2%.

  5. The summit issues the "Rome Declaration on World Food Security" and the "World Food Summit Plan of Action".

  6. The second United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP 2) took place from 8 to 19 July 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland. In December 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its second Assessment Report. A key statement of the report was that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate". COP 2 accepted this report, which highlighted the urgent need for a binding protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gases. The Climate Change Conference in Geneva saw the United States take a major step in this direction by abandoning, for the first time, its opposition to a legally binding Protocol.

  7. The first United Nations Climate Change Conferences took place from 28 March to 7 April 1995 in Berlin, Germany. Delegates of the 116 UNFCC signatory states agree to the "Berlin Mandate", in which they commit themselves to develop a protocol by 1997, aimed at limiting and reducing greenhouse emissions beyond the year 2000. It is decided to locate the UN Secretariat for the FCC in Bonn from 1996.

  8. The WHO presents a comprehensive report "Concern for Europe's Tomorrow" at the Helsinki Conference. A European plan of action "Environment and Health for Europe" is adopted on the basis of the report. National action plans are to implement it, coordinated by the new "European Environment and Health Committee"

  9. The third conference expands its scope to include development as well as population. The dilemma here is the conflict between the benefits of industrialisation (which improves the lot of women, and thereby reduces birth rates) and the expected negative environmental impact.

  10. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference or Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. In Rio, Governments adopted three major agreements aimed at changing the traditional approach to development: Agenda 21, The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and The Statement of Forest Principles. In addition, two legally binding Conventions aimed at preventing global climate change and the eradication of the diversity of biological species were opened for signature at the Summit, giving high profile to these efforts: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and The Convention on Biological Diversity.

  11. The Second World Climate Conference (SWCC) co-sponsored by the WMO, UNEP, UNESCO, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), FAO and the International Council for Science (ICSU) was convened in Geneva on 29 October to 7 November 1990, with the objectives to review the work of the first decade of the World Climate Programme (WCP), the First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the development of an International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The outcome of the Conference, two years later, led to the establishment of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).