2015 UN Climate Change Conference
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris, France, from November 30 to December 12 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it. The agreement will become legally binding if joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Such parties will need to sign the agreement in New York between April 22, 2016 (Earth Day) and April 21, 2017, and also adopt it within their own legal systems (through ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession).
According to the organizing committee at the outset of the talks, the expected key result was an agreement to set a goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century. In the adopted version of the Paris Agreement, the parties will also “pursue efforts to” limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The 1.5 °C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to some scientists.
The Paris Agreement is a direct successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which was another mission to end manmade climate change.