The Climate Change Conference (Convention of the Parties -COP) was founded with the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In November 1988, the World Meteorological Organization/ World Metrological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program/ United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/ International Panel on Climate Change.
To date, the IPCC assessment reports presented annually are the scientific basis for international negotiations at climate change summits (COPs). It is the IPCC assessment reports that provide the insights that lead to the course of action for all countries. November 1990 – The IPCC released the first assessment report, saying that ’emissions from human activities are significantly adding to atmospheric greenhouse gases’, due to which our Earth is warming.
Framework for tackling climate change
Consequently the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the ‘Earth Summit’, was held from 3–14 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Which brought the world together to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting the average global temperature rise and the climate change caused by it, and the inevitable impacts that would have occurred over that time. To prevent this, an international treaty was formed.
This resulted in a political document that contains clear and practical measures to implement sustainable development. The UNFCCC also has two partner conventions that were also agreed upon in Rio—the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the second—the Convention to Combat Desertification. It is from here that if we look at it in the true sense, then the journey of Climate Change Summit (COP) started.
Five groups together decide the venue of the COP event
By 1995, countries had begun talks about strengthening the global response to climate change. The COP meets every year, only when the parties or all the countries involved do not decide not to meet. The Secretariat of the Convention of the Parties is in Bonn. Just as the Presidency/Presidency of the COP rotates between the five recognized United Nations regions – i.e. Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe among others – the COP decides the venue of the event. Take five groups together.
The first meeting of the COP 1-Climate Change Summit or Convention of the Parties (COP 1) was held from 28 March to 7 April 1995 in Berlin, Germany.
The COP 2 Climate Change Summit or Convention of Parties COP 2 took place on 8–19 July 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Ministerial Declaration was noted on 18 July 1996 but not adopted.
The COP 3-Climate Change Summit or Convention of the Parties (COP 3) took place on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. In this the Kyoto Protocol was adopted which came into force on 16 February 2005. The Kyoto Protocol legally obliges countries (parties) to achieve emissions reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period began in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and ended in 2020. There are 192 parties/countries that are signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.
COP 4- 1998 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 1998. The conference included the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP4). It was expected that the remaining issues unresolved in Kyoto would be finalized in this meeting.
COP At the Climate Change Conference held in Bonn, Germany, October 5-25 – November 5, 1999, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to accelerate their efforts to translate the broad concepts of the Kyoto Protocol into working realities .
COP 6 – The sixth session of the Climate Change Conference (COP 6) was held in The Hague from 13 to 25 November 2000. The international community agreed to prevent the harmful effects of climate change, such as changes in agricultural fields, melting polar ice, and rising sea levels. Although the Kyoto Convention and its protocols gave hope and direction to the world, it is now time to decide how to implement the goals agreed upon by the parties. This was the challenge before the participants of the Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP 6) in The Hague.
COP 6(2) – The Sixth Climate Change Conference was held in two parts and its second session was held in Bonn in July 2001.
COP 7 – The 7th Climate Change Conference was held in Marrakesh, Morocco from 29 October to 9 November 2001.
COP 8 – Held in October 2002 in New Delhi.
COP 9- Held in December 2003 in Milan, Italy.
COP 10- The 10th Climate Change Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2004.
COP 11 – The Eleventh Climate Change Conference was held in Montreal, Canada in December 2005.
COP was held in Nairobi Kenya on 12- November 2006.
COP 13- It was held in December 2007 in Bali Indonesia.
COP 14- It was held in the city of Poznan, Poland in December 2008.
COP 15- It was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009.
COP7 – Climate change conferences held till COP 15 could not achieve anything and mutual consent of all the countries of the world to stop global warming did not become a legally binding agreement. However, at the Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, it became clear that if the world is to be saved, then some decisive steps will have to be taken to stop climate change. But in this conference the players engaged in the business of coal were engaged in belittling the reality of climate change by raising question marks.
COP16- It was held in the city of Cancun, Mexico in November 2010.
COP17- It was held in the city of Durban, South Africa in November 2011.
COP18- It was the eighteenth climate change conference held in Doha city of Qatar in November 2012.
COP19- It was held in Warsaw, Poland in November 2013.
COP20- It was held in Lima, Peru in November 2014.
COP21- It was held in Paris, France on December 2015. After a long journey in this, all countries unanimously agreed on a new framework in the global effort to combat climate change and on 12 December 2015 adopted a sustainable low carbon future Paris Agreement to voluntarily cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Its central objective is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change this century by limiting global warming to well above 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. efforts are to be carried forward. The agreement also aims to strengthen the capacity of countries to deal with the effects of climate change.
To achieve these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, including setting a new target on the provision of finance from a floor of USD 100 billion by 2025, and an enhanced capacity building framework, including an initiative for capacity building will be included. Thus action will be supported by the developing countries and the most vulnerable countries in line with their own national objectives. The agreement will also enhance transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework.
COP22- It was held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.
COP23- It was held in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.
COP24- It was held in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.
COP25- It was held in Madrid Spain in December 2019.
It was organized under the auspices of Britain in Glasgow, Ireland in COP26-November 2021. Due to the lack of climate talks due to Corona in 2020, this conference was very important in the sense that it became clear that the emission of greenhouse gases by all countries so far to allow the world to warm up to 1.5 ° C according to the Paris Agreement. Efforts to reduce it are unsuccessful and if this situation continues, the world will warm above 3 degrees Celsius. As such, the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise/global warming to a range above 2 °C above pre-industrial levels in this century is failing to be achieved.
Writer – Dr. Seema Javed Environmentalist, Senior Journalist and Strategic Communicator on Climate Change