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Climate Change - A Global Issue

UN Conferences on Climate Change




United Nations Climate Change Conferences are global forums for multilateral discussion of climate change matters. They serve as the formal meetings of

  • the Conference of the Parties (COP),
  • the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and
  • the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA).

They also include sessions of 

  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and
  • the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).

The Conference of the Parties (COP, CMP and CMA) serves two main purposes:

  • Review the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement
  • Adopt decisions to further develop and implement these three instruments (can also include the establishment of another subsidiary body or the adoption of new legal instruments)

The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. It meets every year. The CMP and the CMA meet annually during the same period as the COP. 

Sessions and related documentation:


UN Climate Change Summit 2019


In the face of the worsening climate crisis, UN Secretary-General António Guterres convened the Climate Action Summit 2019. It took place on 23 September 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York as part of the High-Level Week.

Other UN System Bodies Working on Climate Change