Conference of the Parties (COP)

Indigenous women and frontline communities share stories at COP25 of defending against climate change in Nepal and Chile.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began in March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention.  The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system.”  Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to sustain that food production and economic development.[1]

What is the Conference of the Parties (COP)?
The COP is the decision-making body of the UNFCC. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP gatherings, 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

History of the COP
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.

Current COP
COP26, which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31-Nov. 12, will bring together delegates from nearly 200 nations to work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing global warming. Along with world leaders, many other people turn out for the annual event, including representatives from faith and environmental groups, scientists, business professionals and others who are concerned about humans’ impact on climate change.

COP and The PC(USA)

While staff are disappointed not to be able to attend this year, our participant spots are being used to to connect Presbyterians and support partners.

More about COP26:

Presbyterians prepare for UN Climate Change Conference

Letter to G20 leaders warning of increasingly disastrous consequences on impoverished and vulnerable communities that contribute least to the climate crisis.

COP 26 Day One – Oct. 31, 2021 (Burkhard Paetzold)

COP 26 Day One – Oct. 31, 2021 (Fred Milligan)

Cop26: Virtual Opportunities

COP Days 2&3 – Nov. 1 and 2 (Fred Milligan)

Peacemaker lifts up the importance of Cop26

COP 26 – Nov. 3 & 4 (Fred Milligan)

COP 26 – Nov. 3 & 4 (Burkhard Paetzold)

A Service for the Conference of Parties 26 – Glasgow Cathedral

Presbyterians sharing their experiences at UN climate conference

COP 26 – Nov. 6-8 (Fred Milligan)

COP 26 – Nov. 5-7 (Burkhard Paetzold)

Cop26: Gender Justice Critical for Climate Action

COP26: Consumer Impacts and Climate Change

Returning To Where Everything Started

COP 26-November 9-13 (Fred Milligan)

COP 26 – Nov. 8-11 (Burkhard Paetzold)

COP26 Outcomes Draw Mixed Reactions


[1] https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-convention/what-is-the-united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change