UN Climate Change Conference


What is UNFCCC?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The treaty provides a framework, but no binding limits or enforcement on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries.

What is Conferences of the Parties (COP)? 

The parties to the convention meet annually since 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to discuss, negotiate, and assess plans in dealing with climate change. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding obligation for developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2009, COP15 was held in Copenhagen to discuss about further climate change agreement beyond the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. Then, in 2015, the COP Conference in Paris, France produced the Paris Agreement– an international treaty advocating climate action.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is not just a single meeting. It involves meetings of Parties to the Convention, of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, as well as meetings of the permanent and ad-hoc subsidiary bodies to the Convention. All in all, an expansive two weeks, involving numerous sessions of many different groups.

For more information on the UNFCCC and the COPs, please check out the following websites!

UNFCCC Newsroom

UNFCCC Big Picture

Following the Negotiations: WUSTL at COP