OVIEDO, Spain – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, and the Paris Accord were awarded the 2016 Princess of Asturias International Cooperation Prize on Wednesday.
The UN-sponsored agreement seeks to stabilize emissions of greenhouse gases, diminishing the negative impact of human activity on the planet’s climate.
The UNFCCC led to the signing in late 2015 of the binding Paris Accord, with the participation of China and the United States.
Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres, who has been UNFCCC executive secretary since May 2010, is scheduled to be succeeded in July by Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa.
Twenty-seven nominees from 14 countries were candidates for the Princess of Asturias International Cooperation Prize this year.
Last year, the prize was given to Wikipedia, and previous winners include the Fulbright Foundation; the Max Planck Society; the Red Cross and Red Crescent; former U.S. Vice President Al Gore; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Past laureates also include former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat; former South African Presidents F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela; French economist Jacques Delors; former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; and former Argentine President Raul Alfonsin.
The Princess of Asturias International Cooperation Prize is one of eight international prizes that the Princess of Asturias Foundation awards each year.
Each winner receives 50,000 euros (about $56,000), a diploma and a replica of a statuette designed by late Spanish artist Joan Miro.