COP21 - Outcome and Implications

The Conference


A total of 196 parties (195 countries and the European Union (EU)) gathered at the United Nations’ (UN) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015, to discuss a global climate change agreement to limit the rise in global temperature to 2°C by 2100. The major focus areas of the conference included decreasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and promoting sustainable development. 

The first commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005, was a breakthrough in the international negotiations on climate change. It aimed to decrease GHG emissions by 5% from 1990 levels during the 2008–2012 period. COP15, held in Copenhagen in December 2009, was unsuccessful in setting up an agreement to substitute for the Kyoto Protocol, which was subsequently extended to 2020 at the Doha Conference of the same year. The second commitment aimed to decrease GHG emissions by around 18% from 1990 levels during the 2013–2020 period (UNFCCC, 2015a). However, China, which stands first in terms of global Carbon Dioxide (CO2
Ahead of COP21, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offered its support to countries to come up with their corresponding climate targets and actions – referred to as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) – which served as a critical component of the COP21 process. After the conference, UNDP, along with its partners, will continue executing actions to attain success against the set INDC targets. It will also provide support for the promotion of clean and renewable energy sources, emphasis on forestry and avoiding deforestation, and expand investments in climate change adoption.
) emissions, has no obligations under this protocol. The Warsaw Climate Change Conference and the Lima Climate Change Conference, held in 2013 and 2014 respectively, led to crucial advances towards COP21

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