Conference of the Parties

GC: n

CT: The Conference of the Parties is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.
To date the Conference of the Parties has held 12 ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting (the latter, to adopt the Biosafety Protocol, was held in two parts). From 1994 to 1996, the Conference of the Parties held its ordinary meetings annually. Since then these meetings have been held somewhat less frequently and, following a change in the rules of procedure in 2000, will now be held every two years.

S: CBD – (last access: 13 December 2015)

N: 1. Abbreviation: COP.
2. One of the designations for the main negotiating body under an international agreement; it is a policy-making body that meets periodically to take stock of implementation of the agreement and adopt decisions, resolutions, or recommendations for the future implementation of the agreement.
3. The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.
4. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.
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. Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions – that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others – there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.
5. COP21 held in Paris (from 30 November to 11 December 2015): A deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C has been agreed at the climate change summit in Paris after two weeks of intense negotiations.

  • The pact is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions.
  • The agreement is partly legally binding and partly voluntary.
  • Earlier, key blocs, including the G77 group of developing countries, and nations such as China and India said they supported the proposals.
  • President of the UN climate conference of parties (COP) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “I now invite the COP to adopt the decision entitled Paris Agreement outlined in the document.
  • “Looking out to the room I see that the reaction is positive, I see no objections. The Paris agreement is adopted.”

S: 1 & 2. IATE (last access: 13 December 2015); (last access: 13 December 2015). 3 & 4. (last access: 13 December 2015). 5. BBC – (last access: 13 December 2015).


CR: climate change, Kyoto Protocol, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.