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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 19, Warsaw 2013

The final deal in Warsaw was a carefully balanced package comprising three main elements:

  1. Durban Platform. Parties agreed the next steps to Paris, including: the need for countries to begin domestic preparations for their contributions to the new deal; the expectation that all major economies will propose initial contributions by the first quarter of 2015 with agreed information accompanying these; and that a draft negotiating text for the new deal will be ready by next year’s COP in Lima. In addition, Parties agreed to enhance work to reduce emissions pre2020.
  2. Finance. Parties agreed a set of operational and policy agreements, including: a timetable to initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2014; and a new process for assessing progress in scaling up climate finance to $100bn per year from 2020.
  3. Loss & Damage. Parties adopted a new institutional arrangement for loss and damage - the ‘Warsaw Mechanism’ under the Cancun Adaptation Framework. It will be reviewed in 2016.

Beyond these three end-game Decisions, Parties agreed significant packages on measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions reductions in every country and on the rules and finance for addressing deforestation.

Previous COP conferences

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: