What is COP21 ?

COP 21

What is COP21 ?

COP21 is aiming to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Download our Guide  – What is COP21 ?

Click here to view the timeline of events taking place over the next few months.


·         The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental agreement on climate change.

·         They are holding their 21st annual Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris from November 30th to December 11th 2015.

·         This Climate Conference is more commonly known as COP21.

The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, Non-Government Organisations and civil society.


The stakes are high: the aim is to reach, for the first time, a universal, legally binding agreement that will enable us all to combat climate change effectively and boost the transition towards resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.
To achieve this, the future agreement must focus equally on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to below 2°C, as well as societies’ ability to adapt to existing climate changes. These efforts must take into account the needs and capacities of each country. The agreement will enter into force in 2020 and will need to be sustainable to enable long-term change.


The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where a framework for action was established (UNFCCC). The aim of the framework was to stabilise greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid dangerous man-made interference with the climate system.
The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 in order to review the framework implemented in Rio. Since then several key COP meetings include:

·         COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted;

·         COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced;

·         COP15 in Copenhagen which produced the Copenhagen Accord, the basis of emission reduction pledges for 2020;

·         COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.
COP21 promises to be the most significant meeting on climate change to date.
The Climate Change Commission for Wales (CCCW), and each of the sectors represented on the Commission, will be highlighting key activities taking place in the lead up to COP21.

Relevant Links:

Welsh Government Climate Change Strategy
Statement on Policy Refresh
Climate Change Commission for Wales – 2014 Report
COP21 website

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