While studying International Environmental Politics, I’ve always found myself very confused with all the treaties, bodies, agencies and documents. I couldn’t form a timeline in my head and I often found myself confusing one conference for another 10 years apart. So I decided to put together a timeline here to make understanding and referencing this information easier.
I intend to edit and update this as I move on in my studies, but for now I believe these to be the fundamental political milestones relating to international environmental politics.
- 1972-United Nations Conference on Human Environment/ Stockholm Conference
- From this conference, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) agency was created.
- 1987 – The Brundtland Report/ Our Common Future
- This document, the culmination of the Brundtland Comission’s (also called World Commission on Environment and Development, WCED) work, defined and popularized the concept of sustainable development.
- 1992 – Rio Earth Summit/ ECO92
- This was where the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was opened for signature.
- Also known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
- Outcome: Agenda 21
- 1995 – First Conference of the Parties (COP) – UNFCCC
- 2000 – Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- 8 goals and 18 targets
- 2012 – United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development/ Rio +20/ Earth Summit 2012
- 2015 – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)/ Agenda 2030
- 17 goals and 169 targets
- Read more about the SDGs here.
- 2016 – The Paris Agreement (agreed upon at COP 21 in 2015)
- Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)