For nearly three decades, the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for Cop meetings – which stands for Conference of the Parties.
In that time, climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.
In previous meetings, countries have forged significant partnerships to combat the major global issues, including plans to reduce emissions through traffic management and green building certifications.
Progress has been slow – and the world is in a far more desperate situation today than it was in 1995, when Cop1 was held.
One of the most memorable to date was Cop21 in Paris in 2015.
There, for the first time, something momentous happened. Every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2ºC and to aim for no more than 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Known as the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions – known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs.
Here, The National takes a look at the achievements of the Conference of the Parties in years gone by.
Cop1 – Berlin, Germany (1995)
This year marked the first real global commitment to tackle climate change.
The signatories agreed to meet annually to maintain control over global warming and reduce emissions of polluting gases.
Cop3 – Kyoto, Japan (1997)
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted based on the scientific consensus that global warming was occurring and that human-made CO₂ emissions were driving it.
World leaders agreed to commit to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in industrialised countries and laid the foundation of the carbon market.
Cop13 – Bali, Indonesia (2007)
The Bali Roadmap set a timetable for negotiations for a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol and include all countries, not only the developed ones.
Cop15 – Copenhagen, Denmark (2009)
A significant year. Delegations from around the world validated the objective of keeping global warming below 2ºC and several countries committed to financing developing countries in the long term.
Cop17 – Durban, South Africa (2011)
This time, all countries agreed to start reducing emissions, including the US and emerging countries such as Brazil, India and South Africa.
Cop21 – Paris, France (2015)
After 20 years of negotiations, the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted to keep global warming below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5ºC.
Cop23 – Bonn, Germany (2017)
At the UN Climate Change Conference this year, nations of the world met to advance the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement and achieve progress on its implementation rulebook, with the aim of concluding it in 2018.
Facilitative dialogues, known as the Talanoa Dialogue, were created and set out a process allowing countries to share experiences and good practices in order to achieve the agreement objectives.
Cop26 – Glasgow, Scotland (2021)
This was one of the most important Cops of recent years, as countries assessed progress on commitments made in Paris in 2015.
Ahead of the event, a number of Gulf nations made pledges to reach net zero, with the UAE making a commitment to achieve it by 2050.
However, the Glasgow Climate Pact that 197 countries agreed to at the end of the conference was weaker than many had hoped, with a commitment to “phasing down” and not “phasing out” coal use.
Cop28 – UAE (2023)
To be held at Dubai Expo City, Cop28 will be the most important since Paris in 2015, according to Majid Al Suwaidi, the event’s director general.
Mr Al Suwaidi has said countries will come back with updated and more ambitious commitments to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, something seen as vital as the world struggles to limit global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Updated: November 08, 2022, 10:09 AM