Conference of the Parties (COP)

The Conference of the Parties is the highest decision-making body of the UNFCCC. Since 1995, the parties to the UNFCCC have met regularly in Conference of the Parties to continue to review progress, consider further action to address the threat of climate change, and adopt decisions. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin in 1995 and the third took place in Kyoto, Japan, leading to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, establishing legally binding obligations for developing nations to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the period 2008–2012. The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference produced an agreement that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level. At COP21 in Paris in 2015, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a landmark agreement (the Paris Agreement) to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable, low-carbon future. The most recent COP25 meeting was held in Madrid, Spain, in 2019.

The COP also cooperates with, and is supported by, numerous other international organizations and groups, including scientific bodies, UN agencies, and other conventions. These include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which publishes comprehensive reviews on climate change science every five to six years, as well as other technical reports and papers.

The International Council on Environmental Economics and Development (ICEED) regularly attends COP official meetings and side events.