The Paris Agreement 2015—snapshot

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Paris Agreement 2015—snapshot
  • Background on the UNFCCC
  • Does the UNFCCC impose legally binding obligations?
  • The Kyoto Protocol
  • Lead up to Paris Summit
  • NGOs, civil society and media
  • Overview of principal outcomes of COP18 and COP19
  • Overview of principal outcomes of COP20
  • The EU position
  • The UK position
  • More...

The Paris Agreement 2015—snapshot

TitleParis Summit (COP21/CMP11)
LocationParis, France
Date30 November—12 December 2015
SubjectClimate change, International environmental law, climate targets

Background on the UNFCCC

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty agreed at the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro. Its objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous levels of man-made climate change. There are 197 signatories (referred to as Parties) to the UNFCCC. The initial objective of the UNFCCC was to establish national benchmark figures for greenhouse gas emissions, with a base year of 1990.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the decision-making body of the Convention. It meets annually, unless Parties decide otherwise, to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

For more information, see Practice Note: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992—snapshot.

The Paris Agreement, entered into at the Paris Summit in 2015, was the culmination of years of global effort by the Parties to the UNFCCC to agree a binding commitment on the implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol (discussed below, see: The Kyoto Protocol).

Some of the key UN climate change conferences on the development of the Paris Agreement include:

  1. COP15 in Copenhagen, 2009

  2. COP16 in Cancun, 2010

  3. COP17 in Durban, 2011

  4. COP18 in Doha, 2012

  5. COP19 in

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