COP 21

The Kyoto Protocol legally binded developed countries to emission reduction targets. For the first time, binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets were set for industrialised countries. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.

There are now 195 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the international climate change negotiations, particularly the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP), the subsidiary bodies (which advise the COP/CMP), and the COP/CMP Bureau (which deals mainly with procedural and organizational issues arising from the COP/CMP and also has technical functions). Since 1995, the COP has been held each year in a different country and attended by the 196 parties (195 states + the European Union) that have ratified the Convention to review implementation of the Convention and negotiate new commitments.

The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) took place in Le Bourget, in Paris, France from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference was crucial because the expected outcome was a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C.


World agreed to a historic global climate deal

A historic new global climate agreement has been struck at the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris. The deal has taken a significant step forward in reducing emissions. For the first time ever 195 countries, including the world’s largest emitters, have committed to act together to combat climate change and be held equally accountable.

It marks a clear turning point towards a sustainable and low carbon future. Countries will now have to come together regularly to review their climate plans and collectively ensure that the necessary action is being taken to tackle climate change.


Highlights

  • The deal sets out a clear long-term goal of net zero emissions by the end of the century, showing that the world is committed to decarbonising. Progress against this goal will be independently assessed in 2018 and every five years thereafter.
  • This long-term goal sends a strong signal to investors, businesses, and policy-makers about the shift to a low carbon economy and provides confidence that will help drive the scale of investment needed.
  • As the costs of low carbon technologies come down, countries will be able to step up their targets on reducing emissions. To reflect this, in 2020, countries will be expected to update their plans to cut emissions by 2030.
  • Countries will also be legally obliged to make new post-2030 commitments to reduce emissions every 5 years, from 2025. For the first time, all countries will be held accountable by independent review for acting according to their pledges.
  • As the costs of low carbon technologies come down, countries will be able to step up their targets on reducing emissions. To reflect this, in 2020, countries will be expected to update their plans to cut emissions by 2030. Countries will also be legally obliged to make new post-2030 commitments to reduce emissions every 5 years, from 2025.
  • As previously agreed, all developed countries will collectively mobilise $100 billion per year from both the public and private sector, to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries to protect themselves from the effects of climate change and support low carbon development. This agreement now recognises the role of emerging economies in mobilising resources and contributing finance over time as well.
  • This agreement drives us forward on our path to limiting global temperature rises to below 2 degrees, or even 1.5 degrees if action happens quickly enough. But governments cannot act alone, all parts of society, including businesses and investors have a role to play. Paris has already resulted in transformational action that will have a real impact on the ground in countries, cities and communities around the world.