In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. „We have the technology and the knowledge to make these emission reductions, but what is missing are policies and regulations strong enough to achieve this,“ Watson said in an interview. „Right now, the world is on a path between 3 and 4 degrees C (5.5 and 7F) by the end of the century. In addition to the mitigation column of the agreement, the other pillars, Adaptation and Loss – Damage, are also weaknesses, notably L-D. One of the main demands of small island and least developed countries was to recognize the need to find solutions to forced displacement, cross-border migration and relocations planned in response to climate change and sea level rise. There is no longer any reference to this in the agreement, with the exception of an indirect reference to external UN bodies dealing with specific aspects of the DA, in reference to the UN ad hoc working group on climate-related migration.
The United States also succeeded in concluding the accompanying decisions of the agreement with an exclusion clause on future liability related to L-D, while the G77 and China were already moving towards a compromise by removing any mention of compensation. According to U.S. administration negotiators, one of the key conditions for the Obama administration was to ensure that the deal was not rejected by a right-wing Congress. This situation was debatable, given that there is no precedent in international law for such an approach. Imagine being a pedestrian who gets hit by a car and is not able to seek compensation from the driver, however unfair that clause is. Unfortunately, the agreement does not correspond to the most difficult issue of these negotiations: the differentiation of efforts between all countries. When the Convention on Climate Change was adopted in Rio in 1992, countries were divided into two categories: historical emitters and the rest of the world. This distinction was based on the principle of „common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.“ Today, the Paris Agreement adds the concept „in the light of national realities“ to meet emerging countries and vaguely distinguishes „developed“ and „developing“ countries.