Summary of Conference of parties from COP 1 - COP 26 for UPSC Mains 2021


UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change):


It is an international environment treaty signed in 1992 at UN conference on Environment and Development at Rio de janeiro ( the Earth summit )

 The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994.

 It has near - universal membership. The 197 Countries that have ratified the convention are called Parties to the Convention.

 Ultimate Objective : To Stabilize green house gas concentrations.


COP : It is the supreme decision making body of the convention.All states that are parties to the convention are represented at the COP.


Relationship between UNFCCC and other RIO conventions :

 The UNFCCC is a Rio convention , one of two opened for signature at the Rio Earth summit in 1992. it’s sisters Rio conventions are the UN convention on biological diversity and the Convention to Combat desertification.these three are intrinsically linked. Joint Liaison Group was set up to boost cooperation among these three conventions.


Main Outcomes of UNFCCC :

Kyoto Protocol (1997)

Paris Agreement (2015)


COP 1 - COP 26:


1995 : COP 1 (Berlin , Germany) :

Parties agreed to Implement activities jointly. It is first joint measures in International climate action. 2 bodies - BSTA ( Body for scientific and technological advice ) , SBI ( subsidiary body for implementation ).


1996 :COP 2 (Geneva , Switzerland):

Accepted the scientific finding on climate change offered by the IPCC in its second assessment (1995)

Rejected uniform “harmonized policies” in favor of flexibility.developed countries should perform more than developing countries.

Called for “ legally binding mid term targets “


1997: COP 3  (Kyoto, Japan):

 Adopted kyoto protocol which outlined the GHG emissions reduction obligation for Annex I countries, along with kyoto mechanism (Emissions Trading , clean development mechanism and joint implementation).some countries agreed to legally binding reductions in GHG emissions pf an average of 6 to 8 % below 1990 levels between the years 2008-2012,defined as the first emissions budget period.

The Convention divides countries into 3 main groups:

Annex I

Annex II

Non-Annex I Parties

Industrialized countries that were members of OECD in 1992.

Countries with economies in transition (EIT parties), including the russian federation, the baltic states, and several central and eastern europe states.

OECD members but not EIT parties.

They provide finacial resources to developing countries.

They take all practicable steps to promote the development and transfer of environmental friendly technologies to EIT parties and developing countries. (not binding to provide funds)

Mostly developing countries.

Especially the developing countries which are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and recognized by the convention.


LDCs according to UNFCCC :

The 49 parties classified as least developed countries (LDCs) by the United nations are given special consideration under the convention on account of their limited capacity to respond to climate change and adapt to its adverse effects.


1998: COP 4 (Buenos Aires, Argentina):

Adopted 2 year plan of action to advance efforts and to devise mechanisms for implementing the kyoto protocol, to be completed by 2000.

Argentina and Kazakhstan expressed their commitment to reduction of GHG emission , the first two non - annex I countries to do so.


1999: COP 5 (Bonn, Germany):

It was primarily a technical meeting, and did not reach major conclusions.


2000: COP 6 (The Hague, Netherlands):

The talks in the hague collapsed.COP 6 was suspended without an agreement.


2001 : COP 6 (Bonn, Germany):

George bush become the president of the US and had rejected the kyoto protocol in march 2001. US declined to participate relates to protocol and chose an observer role.


2001: COP 7 (Marrakech, Morocco):

The negotiators wrapped up the work on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, finalizing most of the oprational details and setting the stage for nations to ratify the kyoto protocol.the completed package of decisions is known as the Marrakech Accords. US again maintained Observer role.


2002: COP 8 (New Delhi, India):

Adopted the Delhi Ministerial Declaration that amongst others, called for efforts by developed countries to transfer technology and minimize the impact of climate change on developing countries. It is also approved the new delhi work programme on Article 6 of the Convention.


2003: COP 9 (Milan, Italy): 

The parties agreed to use the Adaptation Fund established at COP7 in 2001 primarily in supporting developing countries better adapt to climate change. The fund would also be used for capacity-building through technology transfer.


2004 : COP 10 (Buenos Aires, Argentina):

COP 10 discussed the progress made since the first conference of the parties 10 years ago and its future challenges, with special emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

To promote developing countries better adapt to climate change, the Buenos Aires Plan of Action was adopted.


2005: COP 11/CMP 1 (Montreal, Canada): 

It was the first COP serving as the Meeting of the parties to the Kyoto protocol (CMP 1) since their initial meeting in kyoto in 1997.

The Montreal Action plan was an agreement to “extend the life of the kyoto protocol beyond its 2012” expiration date and negotiate deeper cuts in GHG emissions.


2006 : COP 12/CMP 2 (Nairobi, kenya):

Talked about Climate tourists , procedures and modalities adaptation fund.


2007 : COP 13/CMP 3 (Bali, Indonesia):

Agreement on a timeline structured negotiation on the post-2012 framework(the end of the first commitment period of the kyoto protocol) was achieved with the adoption of the Bali Action plan.


2008 : COP 14/CMP 4 (Poznan, poland):

Delegates agreed on principles for the financing of a fund to help the poorest nations .


2009 : COP 15/CMP 5 (Copenhagen,Denmark ):

The overall goal for the COP 15 was to establish an ambitious global climate agreement for the period from 2012 when the first commitment period under the kyoto protocol expires.

Limiting maximum global average temperature increase to not more than 2 degree celsius above pre-industrial level (1990).


2010 : COP 16/CMP 6 (Cancun, Mexico):

The outcome of the summit was an agreement adopted by the states parties that called for the US$100 billion per annum “ Green climate fund “ and a “ climate Technology centre “ and network.however the funding of GCF was not agreed upon.


2011 : COP 17/CMP 7 (Durban, South Africa):

The conference agreed to a start negotiations on a  legally bindidng deal comprising all countries, to be adopted in 2015,governing the period post 2020.


2012 : COP 18/ CMP 8 (Doha, Qatar):

The conference produced a package of documents collectively titled The Doha climate Gateway.

The Doha amendment to the kyoto protocol - from 2012 to 2020 limited in scope to 15% of the global carbon dioxide emissions.


2013 : COP 19/CMP 9 (Warsaw, Poland) and

2014 : COP 20/CMP 10 (Lima, Peru):

Warsaw mechanism : aid and expertise to developing countries to cope with loss and damage from natural extremities, like heat waves, drought, flood, rising sea level and desertification.

INDC coined : Intended Nationally determined Contribution

LIMA : INDC Pledge


2015 : COP 21/CMP 11 (Paris, France):

Negotiations resulted in the adoption of the Paris agreement on 12 decemeber , governing climate change reduction measures from 2020. The adoption of this agreement ended the workof the Durban platform, established during COP 17.

Paris Agreement : long term temparature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degree celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degree celsius. Come into force by 2020. climate neutrality 2050.


2016 : COP 22/CMP 12/ CMA 1 (Marrakech, Morocco):

Countries gave themselves two years to 2018 to agree rules and procedures for the paris agreement.

Technical work produced guidance and questions for work plans focusing on NDCs.


2017 : COP 23/ CMP 13/ CMA 1-2 (Bonn, Germany):

It was the first time a small Island developing state assumed the presidency of the negotiations.Prime Minister of Fiki, Frank was called fiji momentum for implementation.

Talanoa dialogue was launched.

It was the first conference of parties to take place after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement.


2018: COP 24/ CMP 14 / CMA 1-3 (Katowice, poland):

The conference agreed on rules to implement the paris agreement, which will come into force in 2020, that is to say the rule book on how governments will meause, and report on their emissions-cutting efforts.


2019 : COP 25/ CMP 15/ CMA 2 (Madrid, Spain):

Rule book yet to be finalised.

New carbon markets and individual country targets remain unresolved.

No substantial announcements regarding Emission target reduced only voluntary targets.

Creation of new carbon Markets.

Chile Madrid Time for Action : It calls for improving their pledges to reduce GHG emissions.


2021 : COP 26 (Glasgow, Scotland):

To be held from 31st Oct - 12th Nov 2021


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