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 Conference of the Parties (COP)


Tens of thousands will descend on Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), next week to attend the world’s biggest climate negotiation — Conference of the Parties, better known as COP. The 28thedition of COP is scheduled to be held in Dubai.

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Conference of the Parties (COP)
  2. Paris Agreement (COP 21): A Comprehensive Overview

Conference of the Parties (COP)

  • COP is the annual United Nations (UN) climate meeting.
  • Originated from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit where 154 countries signed the UNFCCC.
  • Aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to prevent dangerous human-induced interference with the climate system.
Formation and Participants:
  • UNFCCC came into force in 1994, leading to annual COP meetings.
  • Currently, 198 countries are parties to the Convention.
  • Rooted in the success of environmental agreements like the 1987 Montreal Protocol and a 1991 US-Canada agreement on acid rain.
Inaugural COP (COP-1):
  • Held in Berlin, Germany, in 1995.
  • Focused on implementing the UNFCCC, marking the beginning of annual climate conferences.
  • Led to the Kyoto Protocol during COP-3 in Kyoto, Japan.
Kyoto Protocol:
  • Agreement during COP-3 placed obligations on rich and industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Kyoto Protocol became a significant outcome of COP meetings.
Objectives of COP Meetings:
  • Primary objective is to review progress toward the overarching goal of limiting climate change.
  • Addresses global agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing rising global temperatures.
  • Emphasizes negotiations, debates, and occasionally results in new agreements or treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):
  • Member countries, part of the Paris Agreement (2015), present NDCs at COP meetings.
  • NDCs are climate action plans detailing emission cuts and adaptation strategies.
  • Reviewed periodically, usually every five years, as a crucial part of COP discussions.

Paris Agreement (COP 21): A Comprehensive Overview

Legal Commitment:
  • The Paris Agreement, also referred to as COP21, stands as a legally binding international treaty focusing on climate change.
  • It was collectively adopted by 196 parties during the UN Climate Change Conference held in Paris, France, in December 2015.
Effective Commencement:
  • The agreement officially came into force on November 4, 2016, marking the initiation of concerted global efforts to combat climate change.
Key Objectives:
  • Limit Global Warming:
    • Primary objective is to restrict global warming:
      • Keep the temperature increase below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
      • Pursue additional efforts to limit the increase to an even more ambitious target of 1.5°C.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction:
    • Aiming for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2100, contributing to the mitigation of climate change impacts.
  • Support for Countries:
    • Strengthening the capacity of countries to effectively cope with the consequences of climate change.
  • Financial Support:
    • Providing financial assistance to developing countries to facilitate their efforts in mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts.
Global Collaboration:
  • The Paris Agreement stands as a testament to global collaboration and commitment to address climate change comprehensively.
Historic Accord:
  • Recognized as a historic accord due to the unprecedented consensus among nations and the shared determination to combat climate change collectively.

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024