The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, will be held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
This agreement will follow on from the Kyoto Protocol which was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. The Kyoto Protocol was a milestone in the international negotiations on tackling climate change, setting for the first time, binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for industrialised countries. The protocol, which entered into force in 2005, was intended to cover the period 2008-2012.
A successor for the Kyoto Protocol has taken longer than planned to be agreed. In 2009 states met in Copenhagen, Denmark, and whilst it did not result in the adoption of a new agreement, this conference led to the recognition of the common objective of keeping the increase in global temperature below 2°C. This was due to the presentation of hard hitting evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming of more than 2°C would have serious consequences, such as an increase in the number of extreme climate events. Furthermore, in Copenhagen industrialised countries agreed to raise $100 billion per year by 2020 to assist developing countries in climate-change adaptation and mitigation: a target not yet reached. A conference in Cancún, Mexico, in 2010 made the 2°C target more tangible by the establishment of dedicated institutions towards this aim, such as the Green Climate Fund.
The first negotiations on the successor agreement took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 8 to 13 February 2015 and the text will still be negotiated up until and during the COP21 in Paris in December. Ahead of such an agreement, all the States were invited to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions ahead of COP21. States must seize the opportunity of COP21 to tackle the simultaneous challenges of climate change, increasing humanitarian crises, and threats to sustainable development, and make ambitious commitments and set up mechanisms for implementation.
For more information on the history and process of the climate change agreement see the COP21 official website.
Read some of our members’ blogs on some of the key issues being raised throughout the negotiations.
How is GNDR involved?
- GNDR members involved in climate change advocacy have formed 6 regional working groups in order to come together and have a bigger impact in their work. The groups will decide upon some key messages to push and an approach to get their voices heard ahead of the Paris Conference. Find here the TOR of these working groups. GNDR’s Latin America and Caribbean climate change working group have put together a regional position paper with their key issues for the COP21. You can download both the position paper and a 2 page summary here.
- Based on the messages raised by GNDR members in their regional working groups, the GNDR Secretariat has put the common messages into a GNDR Global Position Paper for the COP21. You can download this here. We will be sharing this with our networks and governments and ask members do the same.
- As part of the Climate Action Network (CAN), GNDR has contributed resilience messages to the CAN’s position papers throughout the negotiation process.
- GNDR and our members have various side events during the COP21 in Paris. You can see a list of some of these events here and follow also follow our live updates from the COP21.
Downloads & Links
- GNDR Global Position Paper for COP21: ENGLISH234.56 KB| SPANISH 232.88 KB| FRENCH244.7 KB
- GNDR’s Latin America & Caribbean climate change working group Position Paper: ENGLISH332.92 KB | SPANISH517.17 KB
- GNDR’s Latin America & Caribbean climate change working group 2-page summary position: ENGLISH331.03 KB | SPANISH507.55 KB
- GNDR Document: [EN] Climate_Change_Advocacy_Working_Groups_TOR.docx107.87 KB
- Link: COP21 Paris [official website]