Conference of Parties, as a stand for COP, is one of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decision-making bodies.

To date, a total of 25 COPs have been organized so far. COP 26 will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 11 November 2021.

Since climate change has become a massive concern among the nations, establishing the Conference of Parties seems of utmost necessity.

One hundred ninety-seven countries have become members of COP that have signed UNFCCC (United Nations Convention on the Climate Change).

No country is an exception to the effects induced by climate change. Several achievements have been gained from COP 1 to COP 25 so far.

Achievements from COP 1-COP 25

COP 1

During COP 1 in Berlin, Germany, in 1995, all the signatories’ countries agreed to meet annually and discuss the topic of global warming and greenhouse gases.

It sought the countries’ ability to fulfill the commitment of the scientific and technological advice and implementation to be worked jointly throughout the globe.

COP 2

COP 2, launched in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1996, received several achievements through discussion on the financial resources and mechanisms, technical assistance, and the practical evaluation regarding the Persistent Organic Pollution (POPs) and their implementation. It aimed to reduce the level of POPs in the environment.

COP 3 (Kyoto Protocol)

Kyoto protocol - COP acheivements
Kyoto Protocol (source)

The establishment of the Kyoto protocol in COP 3 in Kyoto, Japan, urged to minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases basically in the industrialized nations. COP 3 led the discussion on the climate market.

COP 4

During COP 4, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1998, the talk decided to establish the mechanism to implement the Kyoto protocol by 2000.

COP 5

COP 5 in Bonn, Germany, focused on adopting the guidelines regarding the preparation of the national communication by the developed countries and sharing the technologies between the countries so far.

COP 6

Likewise, COP 6, organized in Hague, Netherland, prioritized implementing the Kyoto protocol mechanism except for the United States, limiting the observatory phase.

COP 7

Talks were related to implementing the Kyoto protocol and Marrakesh Accords in COP 7, organized in Marrakech, Morocco.

COP 8 and COP 9

COP 8 in New Delhi, 2002, focused on transferring the technology to developed countries. The discussion led to adopting the emission reporting guidelines based on IPCC and the development of the Special Climate Change Fund and Least Developed Countries Fund during COP 9 in Milan, Italy. 

COP 10

COP 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, achieved fruitful discussion and implementation regarding land use and its change, forestry, transfer of technologies, capacity building, and the needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

COP 11

COP 11, organized in Montreal, Canada, addressed the issues related to capacity building and the severe impacts of climate change in the developing and the least developed countries.

COP 12

Climate fund - COP achievements
Climate fund update for East Asia (source)

COP 12 in Nairobi, Kenya, remained fruitful in reviewing the financial mechanism and the discussion regarding the Special Climate Change Fund.

COP 13

The COP 13, launched in Bali, Indonesia, targeted to establish the Bali roadmaps that set the timetable to negotiate on the topic related to climate change.

It did replace the Kyoto protocol and included all the nations, not only the developed countries, which emit more greenhouse gases.

COP 14

During COP 14, held in Poznan, Poland, the talk was regarding financing the mechanism to assist the developing countries in adapting to tackle the climate change impacts and what would succeed in implementing the Kyoto protocol.  

COP 15

The COP 15, which commenced in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009, remained fruitful. This COP is considered one of the milestones in the history of the international climate conference.

This conference aimed to reach the temperature of the Earth’s surface by 2o Celsius. The developed countries agreed to support the climatic funding to the developing countries for an extended period.

COP 16

The COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico, organized in 2010, focused on writing the commitments of the COP 15 agreements in the paper.

COP 16 targeted establishing the Green Climate Fund, especially for the developed countries, to launch climate change actions.

After establishing the Green Climate Fund, the developed countries created funding for the climate change-induced effects.

It assures a greener environment and may contribute to tackling the issues regarding climate change and the carbon trading mechanism.

COP 17

Talking about COP 17, organized in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, all the nations did agree to reduce the emissions of green gases, which has entirely affected the whole world.

The United States and the emerging countries, including India, China, South Africa, and Brazil, seemed optimistic about reducing greenhouse gas effects. COP 17 decided to negotiate the agreement that came into force in 2020.

COP 18

Numerous raised thoughts in the COP 18 organized in Doha, Qatar, 2018 targeted extending the Kyoto protocol until 2020.

Since the Kyoto protocol aims to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases, its extension might be very fruitful in tackling the climate change crisis so far.

Despite extending the Kyoto protocol, several countries did not support the extension. It entails countries like Canada, Russia, China, and the United States. But it tackled the issues of global warming and climate issues to some extent.

COP 19

COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland, remained productive because a non-binding agreement among the countries decided to tackle the loss and damage issues and adopt the preservation of the forest throughout the globe.

COP 20

All the countries agreed to fulfill their commitment to minimizing the emission of greenhouse gases during COP 20, 2014, in Lima, Peru.

COP 21 (Paris Agreement)

Paris agreement - COP achievements
German protesters reminded the temperature rise mark as per the Paris agreement (source)

As we all are familiar with the term “Paris agreement” during COP 21 in 2015, the agreement was made between all the countries in Paris of France, thus, named the Paris agreement.

After 20 years of long-awaited negotiations and commitments, the Paris agreement aimed to maintain global warming below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. The further commitment to limiting the Earth’s temperature to 1.5 Degree Celsius looked pretty fruitful.

The Paris Agreement’s significant achievements are the inclusion of political resilience, normalization of the temperature to 1.5o Celsius, shifting towards cleaner energy, normalization of the net-zero, i.e., net zero-emission, and many more.

The Paris agreement is a vital international climate agreement since it has announced a commitment to limit the Earth’sEarth’s temperature below 2o Celsius.

Once the responsibility is implemented according to the setup plans, the globe can successfully achieve the targets of its missions.

During the Paris agreement, the signatory countries have raised their voice supporting the carbon-neutral actions.

COP 22

After ratifying the Paris agreement by most countries, the deal was enforced in COP 22, Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2016. The negotiations include three documents.

These are Marrakech Action Proclamation in the middle of uncertainty resulted in the White House, the Marrakesh partnership, which provides for strengthening the climate negotiation till 2020, and the first meeting of the CMA (discussion of the parties to the Paris agreement), one of the Paris agreement decision body.

COP 23

During the COP 23 launched in Bonn, Germany, in 2017 Paris Rulebook was established, which focuses on progressing the rulebook regarding the climate summit.

The central Talanoa dialogue allowed sharing the experiences to gain the agreed objectives.

The significant achievement of this dialogue in the COP 23 is it promoted the massive participation of various countries’ local, marginalized, and indigenous communities.

This approach has, without a doubt, ensuring women’s empowerment in climate change-related issues.

During this COP, the other milestone being created was the establishment of the Gender Action Plan to ensure women’s role and participation in tackling climate change issues.

COP 24

Near COP 24, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published its report regarding the current situation of climate change throughout the world and the impacts of increment in the global temperature of 1.5oC.

The COP 24, initiated in Katowice, Poland, in 2018, focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It reviewed the national climate plans for 2020 and implemented them based on the strategies accordingly.

COP 25

The COP 25, initiated in Madrid, Spain, in 2019, was the most significant milestone in climate change actions.

It fulfilled the commitment of the Green Climate Fund that USD 100 billion will be mobilized for 2020 and ensured the establishment of the new target for 2025.

It has been revealed that some investors have already initiated the action to target the various companies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Several sectors prioritized adapting to the climate change-induced effects and decarbonizing finance in the COP 25.

The announcement made that the European Union countries will lead the nation to zero greenhouse gas emission before the COP 26 to be organized in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

During COP 25, the revision was made on how the Paris agreement will be implemented into practice so that every nation can combat the climate change-induced effects and head towards green technology.

Moreover, it raised awareness regarding the contribution of the food systems in addressing the climate change crisis and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Many scientists and climate researchers believe that COP 25 was a huge opportunity to focus on the Asian Development Banks (ADBs) Strategy 2030 and present the numerous projects and achievements of the ADB.

The development of the financial mechanism focused on the loss and damage caused by the climate impacts in COP 25, which seems vital when we must tackle the climate change crisis.

Conclusion

Most of the Conference of Parties remained very productive because of the Paris agreement implemented within various countries.

Despite incomplete action on the climate change issues and the carbon trading, at least the commitment has been made, and gradually the countries are implementing it with discussion.

The Conference of Parties initiated in 1994 is considered a milestone when it yelled about the climate change crisis and its product solutions.

COP 26 is on the way to come. Every nation hopes that the negotiation on climate change and the commitment to the proposed actions will go side by side.

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.