COP21, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change.

COP-21, as the conference is frequently referred to, stands for the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

The UNFCCC, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties. Parties are the member states that ratified the convention, making it the leading international negotiation mechanism on climate change.

The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 (in Kyoto, Japan) where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, or COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was created.

UN-Habitat is an observer organization to the UNFCCC, and member states, the UNFCCC secretariat and other observers have frequently asked UN-Habitat to provide inputs and recommendations on urban climate change issues.

With cities accounting for close to half of global GHG emissions (36-49% according to the IPCC), and the large population and socio-economic infrastructures concentrated in cities that will have to adapt to climate change, ‘Cities’ are a recognized and important subject in climate change discussions.

Visit the official COP21 website for more information and also learn more about UN-Habitat's work on climate change.Program Agenda

​UN-Habitat led or co-led events at UNFCCC COP-21

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DateTimeEventVenue02 Dec12:00 – 13:30Raising Resilience in Urban AreasBlue Zone, Dutch Pavilion04 Dec10:00 – 11:00Launching of Guiding Principles for City Climate Action PlansBlue Zone, CC Studio7 Dec15:00 – 16:30Cities take climate action, Cities Alliance at COP-21Green Zone, TAP Pavilion17:30 – 19:00 ICLEI / UN-Habitat: Low emission development and north-south cooperationBlue Zone, EU Pavilion8 Dec     10:15 – 13:30Cities & Regions DayBlue Zone11:00 – 12:00 Combating The Growth of Sprawl and The Decline of Healthy Public Space SystemsGreen Zone, TAP Pavilion13:00 – 14:50The City We Need: Engaging the private sector on cities and climate change towards Habitat IIIDowntown, Grand Palais13:30 – 15:00High Level Event on Zero Emission VehiclesBlue Zone, Dutch Pavilion16:30 – 17:30Launch of Cities Alliance Resilience JWPGreen Zone, TAP Pavilion18:30 – 20:00One UN solutions for cities & climate change: The new climate agreement & The new urban agendaBlue Zone, Room 49 Dec16:00 – 17:30 Financing low carbon & climate resilient urban projects, Cities Alliance at COP-21TAP Pavilion, Green Zone RoomOne UN Exhibition on Cities and Climate Change : Exhibition Center, 1-11 December

Background Documents

UN Habitat Climate Change Strategy 2014-2019Cities and Climate Change: An IntroductionIntegrating Climate Change into City Development StrategiesHabitat III Issue Paper 17 - Cities and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

Post Session Documents

Adoption of the Paris AgreementClimate Summit for Local LeadersThe Paris Action Statement. Transforming local and regional climate actionSubnational Climate Action Hub

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