In 1992, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed upon at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. The purpose of this UN climate treaty is to combat climate change related to the greenhouse effect that is strengthened by human activity. The ultimate aim of the Convention is to stabilise the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at such a level that no dangerous interference with the climate system will occur. Belgium ratified the Convention on 16 January 1996. In 1997, the Framework Convention was supplemented by the Kyoto Protocol, which contains quantitative reduction targets for developed countries.

More information on climate change and the UN climate convention is available here: FOD Leefmilieu.

The adoption of the Paris Agreement has been a major milestone for this convention.

All Parties to the Convention have made commitments, such as developing national programmes to combat climate change, carrying out research on new technologies, cooperating in the preparation of adaptations to the impacts of climate change, reporting, etc.

Moreover, developed countries such as Belgium have the obligation to support developing countries in complying with their commitments under the climate convention.

Belgian development cooperation, among others, is deploying efforts in this regard, for which it can count on scientific support. The KLIMOS research group has been providing this support for many years by means of training courses and the development of a toolkit for the integration of environmental aspects within Belgian development cooperation. Recently, a new research group was launched that will support the DGD for the theme of climate and safety.

Climate is closely associated with other environmental themes such as biodiversity and desertification. This interplay of environmental aspects is clearly illustrated where forests are concerned.