Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human interference of the climate system. As is stated in the Convention, this requires that GHGs are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change, food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion.
The UNFCCC recognizes differences among countries in their responsibility to act on climate change. In the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, most developed countries (listed in Annex I of the treaty) took on legally binding commitments to reduce their emissions. Policy measures taken in response to these commitments have reduced emissions. For many developing (non-Annex I) countries, reducing poverty is their overriding aim.