The Road to Dubai: The Evolution of The COP Conference

The first COP meeting was actually in 1995, but it was really the 2015 COP in Paris that cemented the urgency of progress 

James Gard 27 November, 2023 | 9:30AM
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In two years' time when Brazil hosts COP, the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, will be 30.

Every COP faces more global scrutiny than the last, and the pressure increases every year to make a significant announcement. But why is that? 

The first COP meeting actually occurred in 1995, but it was really the 2015 COP in Paris that cemented the urgency of progress. There, the so-called Paris Agreement on climate change was unveiled at the 11th hour.

Nothing as far-reaching has been produced since, but the Paris Agreement is still in motion; this year’s summit will involve a global "stocktake" of carbon emissions using the Paris targets as a reference point. Much debate will focus on whether the 1.5 degree ceiling is still workable.

Here's an at-a-glance guide to the the last seven meetings by theme and results.

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James Gard

James Gard  is senior editor for


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