Global Issues

Climate Change

I. Background

Climate change is a global challenge that requires a responsible approach and concrete actions at international, regional, national and local level.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted at the Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 ("The Earth Summit") is the fundamental tool for managing this challenge. Adopted on 11 December 1997, the Kyoto Protocol significantly strengthens the Convention by committing Annex I Parties to individual legally binding targets for reducing or limiting their greenhouse gas emissions during 2008-2012.

Romania ratified the UNFCCC by Law 24/1994 and the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC by Law 3/2001.


II . Recent developments

On 12 December 2015, the 195 countries participating in the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement.

The main elements of the agreement adopted in Paris are:

  • a long-term goal of limiting average global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius; States Parties shall strive to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius;
  • a long-term vision on the necessary transition to low carbon economies and resilient to climate change, during this century, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
  • a five-year review cycle of commitments, ensuring the sustainability and ambition of the agreement; subsequent commitments must not be lower than the existing levels of ambition;
  • a qualitative global objective regarding adaptation to climate change, aimed at increasing adaptability and resilience and at reducing vulnerability to climate change; states should develop adaptation plans and communicate these plans and the implementation measures periodically;
  • loss and damage associated with climate change: states recognize the need to cooperate and enhance understanding, action and support in various areas such as early warning systems, preparedness for emergencies and risk insurance;
  • a process to assess global progress in achieving the goals undertaken (emissions reduction, adaptation and financing), based on a monitoring and reporting system to ensure transparency and accountability to these developments;
  • commitments of developed countries to mobilize sources of financing for developing states and to ensure technology transfer and capacity building for the latter to adapt to climate change and to implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the coming period it is essential to maintain the political momentum and adopt all elements that are necessary for entry into force and implementation of the Paris Agreement.

On October 5, 2016, the double threshold for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement: ratification of over 55 Parties (74), accounting for over 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions (58.82%), was exceeded.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu submitted the instrument of ratification, by Romania, of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, at the UN headquarters in New York.

III . Romania's position

Romania's position is reflected in the overall position of the European Union. The Community Forum took global leadership in combating climate change, committing unilaterally to reduce, by 2020, at Community level, the emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 % from the level recorded in 1990. The EU is also committed to move to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if other developed countries commit to reduce their gas emissions to comparable levels and if the more economically advanced developing countries commit as well to contribute significantly to the global effort to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Romania believes that the Agreement signed in Paris sends a clear signal to investors, businesses and policy makers on the global transition towards low carbon economy and guides actions globally on the path of limiting the global average temperature increase below 2° C. At the same time, the Agreement is the first legally binding multilateral instrument on climate change with universal participation.

Romania's contribution to the Paris agreement is included in the EU and its Member States’ contribution, which was submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat for publication on March 6, 2015.

DONUISF, August 2017