The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, aka COP26, is set to conclude Friday, Nov. 12, after two weeks of people from around the world collaborating to put an end to the climate crisis (or so they say). The conference was supposed to take place last year, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, COP26 was pushed to this year.
As this year’s event comes to a close, environmentalists may be wondering, where and when is the next COP?
What is the COP?
The Conference of the Parties, or COP, is an annual conference in which over a hundred participating nations and territories come together to review the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC is an agreement between the participating nations and territories, or parties, where they agreed to try to keep global temperatures as low as possible, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The first annual meeting of the COP was held in 1995, and the UN has held a COP on climate change annually since then. The only exception where the conference was not held was in 2020, when COP26 was delayed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference usually consists of multiple days where different parties get to propose, speak, and present information regarding climate change. This allows new ideas to be implemented, and smaller countries to have a platform that they may not have had before. COP26 began on October 31 and is set to conclude on November 12. This year’s conference took place in Glasgow, Scotland, and the location tends to change every year.
Many powerful nations have shared their plans to improve their emissions over the course of COP26, even though many environmentalists are skeptical that we will see real change. For instance, the U.S. announced last week that it has a plan to cut methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as per The Guardian. Additionally, both the U.S. and China announced Wednesday that they plan to work together to cut carbon emissions, according to CNN.
The Paris Agreement was signed at COP21 a few years ago.
In 2015, COP21 took place in Paris, France, and the parties adopted the Paris Accord, a major agreement for nations across the world. The agreement has a goal to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
When and where is COP27?
COP27 will occur from November 7 through 18, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, as reported by The Herald. This is not Egypt's first time hosting a climate summit — the country hosted the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2018.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is an agreement between the COP parties, where the UN states discusses “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.”