Climate Change Conferences

The United Nations Climate Change Conference  COP 17 / CMP 7, 28 November – 9 will take place in Durban, South Africa in December 2011

 (This article appeared in the Carbon Rangers Newsletter edited by br Kevin Cawley and is based on material taken from the UN Website for the Conference.)


The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, will bring together representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December.  For those unfamiliar with the UN acronyms, COP= “Conference of the Parties” and refers to the member states who participated in the various meetings and discussions.  The number following the COP designation refers to the particular meeting in the sequence.  The Durban meeting is known as COP 17 because it is the 17th meeting in the current series.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the “supreme body” of the Convention, that is, its highest decision-making authority. It is an association of all the countries that are Parties to the Convention.
The COP is responsible for keeping international efforts to address climate change on track. It reviews the implementation of the Convention and examines the commitments of Parties in light of the Conventions objective, new scientific findings and experience gained in implementing climate change policies. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.
The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat, unless a Party offers to host the session. Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions – that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others  there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.
The Durban Conference will comprise:
– The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP),
– The 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP),
– The 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI),
– The 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA),
– The Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)
– The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA.)

The Conference will be hosted by the Government of South Africa and will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) & Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC). Host country website

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