Conference of the Parties (COP)

COP26 will take place from 31 October to 12 November

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention. The ultimate aim of the UNFCCC is to prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system.

Conference of the Parties (COP)

The COP is the decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention.

A key task for the COP is to review the emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken and the progress made by Parties in achieving the objective of the Convention. The first COP meeting was held in 1995. 

Glasgow COP26

This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26. With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow from November 1 to 12, 2021. In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. More than 190 world leaders will arrive in Scotland. Joining them will be tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks. Most experts believe COP26 has a unique urgency.

Issues up for discussion

The most commonly raised priorities include:

  • Enabling ambition through carbon markets.
  • Rules for the transparent reporting of action and support.
  • Common timeframes for emission reduction commitments.
  • Enabling enhanced adaptation action.
  • Averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage.
  • Means of implementation, including the initiation of deliberations on a new goal for global climate finance after 2025.
  • Responding to the latest science and the ambition of current emission reduction targets.
  • Promoting fair, inclusive climate action.

Click here to learn more about the negotiations.

Aims of the COP26 negotiations

At COP26, delegates will be aiming to finalize the ‘Paris Rulebook’ – the rules needed to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement and conclude outstanding issues from COP25 in Madrid. They will also seek to deliver on all essential negotiating items for 2020 and 2021.


  • Reduce emissions
  • Strengthen adaptation and resilience to climate impacts
  • Scale up finance and support

Potential solutions