The XXI Conference of the parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will meet in Paris from 30th November to 11th December 2015.
The COP is the highest decision-making body of the UNFCCC and all the countries that have subscribed to the Convention are represented in it. The first COP was held in Berlin in 1995 and has since met annually unless otherwise defined by the Parties. Important occasions leading up to Paris in 2015 were: COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted; COP 11 during which the Action Plan of Montreal was produced; COP15 in Copenhagen, where the signing of the agreement for the approval of the Kyoto Protocol was postponed to 2015; and lastly, COP17 in Durban, where the Green Climate Fund was created.
The main objective of the meeting in Paris will be to be able to reach, for the first time in twenty years, a universal and binding agreement on climate change that will limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The final agreement will have to get the go ahead from 196 Members (195 States + European Union) after which the member countries will have to submit plans for the achievement of the agreed objectives and the compliance with the parameters will be monitored, verified, reported and its accounts recorded every five years.
Another central theme on which negotiations will focus is the implementation of the commitment made by developed countries at the COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 that consists of mobilizing $100 billion annually, from now till 2020, to help poorer countries address the challenge of climate change.
As correlated initiative, the UN Global Compact, UNEP and UNFCCC Secretariat in cooperation with the French COP21/CMP11 incoming-Presidency, will host the Caring for Climate Business Forum in the dates of 7th and 8th December in Paris. The Forum will provide a venue for business and investors to meet with governments, civil society and the UN to advance the climate agenda. With plenary and thematic sessions and high-level meeting, the Forum will serve as a platform for companies to demonstrate progress and announce new commitments to action.
“The cooperation of over 190 countries in securing many positive outcomes owes much to the patience and persistence of the COP President — Manuel Pulgar-Vidal — and the spirit of Lima as we look forward to Paris — the city of lights and the city of love for our shared future and shared environment’’
Executive Secretary of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC)