Series – 1 The Significance and Purpose Behind the Conference of Parties (COP)

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The Annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a crucial gathering for global climate action. The COP, held annually unless decided otherwise by the participating countries, stands as the premier international summit for climate-related decisions. It boasts nearly universal participation, making it the singular multilateral forum where nations collectively address climate change.
World leaders convene to forge agreements on combating the climate crisis, with objectives ranging from limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius to assisting vulnerable communities in adapting to climate change effects. Additionally, the shared ambition is to achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050.
A cornerstone to comprehending the significance of COP lies in understanding the Paris Agreement. This legally binding international treaty on climate change, adopted in 2015 at COP21 in Paris, France, entered into force in November 2016. Its primary objective is to cap the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
Recent emphasis by world leaders on the 1.5°C target stems from warnings by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicating that surpassing this threshold would result in more severe climate change impacts, including intensified droughts, heatwaves, and rainfall.
To achieve the 1.5°C goal, greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and decline by 43% by 2030. The Paris Agreement is groundbreaking as the first binding agreement uniting all nations to combat and adapt to climate change.
As COP28 approaches, the focus shifts to implementing the Paris Agreement and elevating ambition and action. This decade is pivotal, as UN scientific reports underscore the imperative of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avert severe climate impacts.
COP 28 is poised to identify global solutions, inform countries’ revised and more ambitious climate plans, accelerate the ongoing green transition, and ultimately achieve the goals set forth in the Paris Agreement.
In addition to advancing existing Paris Agreement objectives, COP28 will center its efforts on several key fronts:
A primary focus is on expediting the adoption of clean energy sources to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Emphasizing the transfer of funds for climate action from wealthier to economically disadvantaged nations, along with shaping a new agreement tailored to the needs of developing countries.
COP28 places a strong emphasis on addressing the interconnected issues of nature preservation and human well-being, recognizing the integral role they play in climate resilience.
Striving to make COP28 the most inclusive summit to date, ensuring diverse voices and perspectives contribute to shaping effective climate solutions.
Dedicated days during the conference will delve into specific topics such as health, finance, food, and nature, providing a comprehensive exploration of the intricate facets influencing climate action.
Stay tuned for the next article, where we will delve even deeper into COP28.