We send delegations of youth, educators, and multi-sector representatives to annually participate in the global UN climate negotiations: the Conference of the Parties (COP).
UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) includes 197 countries, or Parties, who are committed to preventing human interference with the Earth’s climate system and addressing climate change impacts happening now. Since 1995, the UNFCCC has hosted a COP annually to discuss and negotiate climate action commitments on a global scale.
Our Window into COP program sends representatives to observe the UN negotiations, attend side events throughout the host city, webcast back to the U.S., blog daily, and join individuals from around the world speaking truth to power on the importance of climate action.
COPs and the Paris Agreement
In 2015 at COP21, 196 countries finalized and signed the Paris Agreement – the first global climate accord that commits all signatories to climate action. The Agreement acts as an action plan for the international community to address climate change, but there is still work to be done.
In June of 2017, the Trump administration committed to withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, leaving America as the only country not signed on to the international accord. As individual U.S. states have stepped up to announce “We Are Still In” despite the decisions of our federal government, businesses, cities, universities, tribes, and nonprofits have also signed on to work toward reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.
COP24 saw the creation of the official rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement. The 156-page rulebook is written and agreed upon by more than 190 participating countries. These rules will dictate how countries tackle climate change action beginning in 2020 and beyond. Every participating country, whether developed or developing, is expected to follow the same standard for measuring emissions and tracking climate policies. The rulebook also expects richer countries to spell out the financial support they will offer to assist poorer nations as they navigate the clean energy transition and build resilience against natural disasters.
Use this Toolkit to prepare your students to follow the COP or learn more about international climate negotiations anytime of the year!