WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the United Arab Emirates announced an offer to host the 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the UNFCCC in Abu Dhabi in 2023.
COP 26 was postponed in 2020 and will take place in Glasgow, UK in November 2021.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), signed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development also known as the Earth Summit, the Rio Summit or the Rio Conference.
India is among the select few countries to have hosted the COP of all three Rio conventions on climate change (UNFCCC), biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity) and land (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification).
The UNFCCC entered into force on 21st March 1994, and has been ratified by 197 countries.
It is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. It is located in Bonn, Germany.
To achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous repercussions within a time frame so as to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally and enable sustainable development.
THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES (COP):
COP is the apex decision-making authority of UNFCCC.
The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March, 1995.
The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat, unless a Party offers to host the session.
The office of the COP President normally rotates among the five United Nations regional groups which are – Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others.
The President is usually the environment minister of his or her home country. S/he is elected by acclamation immediately after the opening of a COP session.
COP’S WITH SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES
1995: COP1 (Berlin, Germany)
1997: COP 3 (Kyoto Protocol): It legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets.
2002: COP 8 (New Delhi, India) Delhi Declaration: Focuses on the development needs of the poorest countries and the need for technology transfer for mitigating climate change.
2007: COP13 (Bali, Indonesia): Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map and Bali action plan, which charted the way towards a post-2012 outcome. The Plan has five main categories: shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing.
2010: COP 16 (Cancun): Resulted in the Cancun Agreements, a comprehensive package by governments to assist developing nations in dealing with climate change; The Green Climate Fund, the Technology Mechanism and the Cancun Adaptation Framework were established.
2011: COP 17 (Durban): Governments commit to a new universal climate change agreement by 2015 for the period beyond 2020 (Resulted in the Paris Agreement of 2015).
2015: COP21 (Paris): To keep global temperature well below 2.0C above pre-industrial times and endeavor them to limit them even more to 1.5C; It requires rich nations to maintain USD 100bn a year funding pledge beyond the year 2020.
2016: COP22 (Marrakech): To move forward on writing the rule book of the Paris Agreement; Launched the Marrakech Partnership for Climate Action.
2017: COP23, Bonn (Germany): Countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement will work from 2020 onwards; First set of negotiations since the US, under the presidency of Donald Trump, announced its intention earlier this year to withdraw from the Paris deal; It was the first COP to be hosted by a small-island developing state with Fiji taking up the presidency, even though it was being held in Bonn.
2018: COP 24, Katowice (Poland): It finalized a “rulebook” to operationalise the 2015 Paris Agreement; The rulebook covers climate financing facilities and the actions to be taken as per Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
2019: COP25, Madrid (Spain): It was held in Madrid (Spain); There were no concrete plans regarding the growing climatic urgency.