COP21 is the 21st “Conference of the Parties” – an annual UN conference on the subject of the climate, and climate change. This year’s COP meeting will be held in Paris from 30 November to 12 December and will bring together leaders from around the world with the aim of achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on the climate, designed to keep global warming below 2°C.

The first real concerted global effort to formulate a political response to climate change happened at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The Rio Convention, the result of the Summit, incorporated the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The first Conference of the Parties took place in Berlin in 1995. It was at the third session of COP in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, that the Kyoto Protocol (an extension to the UNFCCC) was adopted. Wikipedia has a very helpful list of all of the COP conferences.

Why is COP21 so important?
The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period (the Doha Amendment) began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.

After the disappointing result at the 2009 Copenhagen conference where nothing concrete was really agreed – the politicians put off making a decision and countries later submitted non-binding emissions reductions pledges or mitigation action pledges – COP21 is seen as something of a “last hope”, and a vital step to getting a global agreement on emissions reductions.

COP21 and Climate Stewards
40,000 attendees are expected at COP21. Unfortunately, you can’t just turn up and be part of the official meeting at the “Le Bourget” site – only participants formally accredited by the UN will be allowed in. So, does that mean we can do nothing? As the French would say “loin de là!”

Tibet Third Pole is facilitating a team of Tibetans and specialists to go to Paris and attend various side events bringing a Tibet perspective to the climate negotiations.

More information about our activities will be announced shortly…..

GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCHOn 29 November, the eve of the crucial COP21 Paris Climate Summit, people from around the world will be coming together to demand that our governments take action to save our beautiful planet.

Tibet is on the frontline of global climate change and is under serious threat from China’s failed environment policies. Join us and other climate change activists in Paris, and in major cities around the world, to make this the biggest climate change protest to date.

Join us – let’s show international solidarity in the fight for climate justice and Tibet Third Pole! Sign up via the Avaaz website.