Policy

Supporting international action on climate change

Supporting detail:

Negotiating for a comprehensive global climate change agreement

We want to agree an international deal to cut emissions that is consistent with limiting global temperature increases to 2°C. We also want to help countries adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. For these reasons, we take part in international negotiations on climate change that are working towards an international agreement.

The negotiations are formally conducted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The parties to the convention meet annually at the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Summary of the UNFCCC’s role

Background information on the UNFCCC

At COP 17 in Durban in 2011, all parties agreed to adopt a new agreement no later than 2015 and for it to come into force from 2020.

Previous Conferences of the Parties

Conference of the Parties 18, Doha 2012

Parties at COP 18 agreed to:

  • close 2 of the 3 parallel negotiating tracks so that future negotiations will all focus on the new agreement in 2015
  • a work plan for negotiation of a new legally binding global climate change agreement by 2015
  • increase action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before the new agreement comes into force in 2020
  • a second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol

Further information on the outcomes of COP 18

Conference of the Parties 17, Durban 2011

Parties at COP 17 agreed to:

  • the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which aims to negotiate a new legally binding global climate change agreement by 2015 and increase action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before the new agreement comes into force in 2020
  • decide in 2012 a second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol
  • establish a board for the Green Climate Fund

Further information on the outcomes of COP 17

Conference of the Parties 16, Cancun 2010

Parties at COP 16 agreed:

  • an overall 2°C target to limit temperature rise
  • to use the UN system to assess different countries’ actions against climate change
  • on a system of measurement, reporting and verification to gauge how countries are meeting their promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • to establish the Green Climate Fund and help developing countries access low carbon technology and adapt to climate change
  • to halt, slow and reverse the destruction of trees through the development of international rules and a monitoring system

Further information on the outcomes of COP 16

Further information on earlier Conferences of Parties

Near negotiation processes

In addition to formal international negotiations on climate change, the UK also works within a number of informal or ‘near negotiation’ processes where climate change issues are discussed.

Examples of near negotiation forums include:

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