COP stands for Conference of the Parties. COP conferences are the main decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP brings together representatives from countries that have ratified the convention to discuss and negotiate the implementation of the convention’s goals and objectives.
COP 27 Conference Sharm El-Sheikh
Sharm El-Sheikh hosted a COP 27 conference on climate change in November 2022. The following outcomes from the conference:
- The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference took place in Egypt from 6-20 November 2022.
- The Conference included several meetings, including the 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27), the 4th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 4), the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 17), the 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 57), and the 57th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 57).
- The Conference adopted 60 decisions, including several key outcomes such as progress towards operationalizing the Santiago Network on loss and damage, providing operational guidance for scaling up cooperative approaches under Paris Agreement Article 6.2, enabling the full operationalization of the Article 6.4 market mechanism, specifying modalities for the work programme under the Article 6.8 framework for non-market approaches, and continuing the technical dialogue under the Global Stocktake.
- Other important decisions included retaining the call to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, urging parties to communicate new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) or long-term low greenhouse gas (GHG) development strategies, establishing a work programme on just transition, launching the Sharm El-Sheikh dialogue to enhance understanding of Article 2.1(c) and Article 9 of the Paris Agreement, urging developed countries to provide enhanced support to assist developing countries to both mitigate and adapt, and calling for multilateral development bank reform.
- The Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Summit was also held during the Conference, with over 100 Heads of State and Government in attendance.
COP 26 Conference Glasgow
The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an annual event aimed at addressing climate change and its impacts. The 26th Conference of the Parties, or COP26, was scheduled to be held in November 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland, but was postponed to November 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COP26 brought together representatives from countries that are signatories to the UNFCCC to discuss and negotiate strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The conference focused on key issues such as global warming, climate finance, and international cooperation. One of the major goals of COP26 was to encourage countries to increase their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Ultimately, COP26 resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact, a set of agreements and commitments aimed at accelerating action on climate change, increasing climate finance, and promoting international cooperation.
The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12, 2021. The conference brought together world leaders, climate experts, and other stakeholders to discuss and take action on global climate change.
The outcomes of COP26 include:
- Glasgow Climate Pact: The conference resulted in the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which includes a set of decisions that aim to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and increase global climate action. The pact calls for stronger national emissions reduction targets, increased climate finance for developing countries, and more action to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): More than 100 countries submitted new or updated NDCs at COP26, which represent their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These enhanced NDCs include more ambitious targets than those previously submitted, and are expected to help limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- Methane Pledge: More than 100 countries and companies signed the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, and reducing emissions from sources such as agriculture, oil and gas, and landfills can help to slow the pace of climate change.
- Forests and Land Use: The conference resulted in new initiatives to address deforestation and promote sustainable land use. The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests aims to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, while the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM-C) seeks to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable farming practices.
- Climate Finance: The conference saw commitments from developed countries to increase their financial support for climate action in developing countries. This includes a pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance, which was originally made at COP15 in 2009 but has yet to be fully realized.
- Phasing out coal: Over 190 countries pledged to accelerate the phase-out of coal power, with many countries committing to end new coal power projects and phase out existing coal power plants.
- Support for developing countries: Developed countries committed to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance to support developing countries in their efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and transition to low-carbon economies.
- Protection of forests: Countries committed to halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation by 2030, and to support forest restoration and conservation efforts.
- Promoting clean energy and electric vehicles: Many countries pledged to increase their use of renewable energy and to promote the use of electric vehicles.
Overall, while COP26 has been seen as a step forward in global efforts to address climate change, some critics have argued that the outcomes fall short of what is needed to limit global warming to the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. However, the conference has set the stage for further action and collaboration in the years to come.
Paris Agreement (COP21)
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is an international treaty negotiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was adopted in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, France, and entered into force in November 2016. The goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Under the Paris Agreement, each country is required to submit a nationally determined contribution (NDC) outlining their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These NDCs are reviewed every five years, with the expectation that they will become increasingly ambitious over time.
The Paris Agreement also established a system for measuring, reporting, and verifying progress on climate action, and created a financial mechanism to support developing countries in their efforts to address climate change.
As of 2021, 196 countries have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement, making it a truly global effort to address the urgent challenge of climate change. While the agreement has been seen as a significant step forward in the fight against climate change, some critics argue that the commitments made under the agreement are not sufficient to limit global warming to the agreed-upon targets, and that more ambitious action is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.