Conference of the Parties (COP)

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its role is to oversee and review the implementation of the Convention at annual meetings and to negotiate new commitments. The complete set of functions of the COP is set out in Article 7(2) of the UNFCCC:

The Conference of the Parties, as the supreme body of this Convention, shall keep under regular review the implementation of the Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt, and shall make, within its mandate, the decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention. To this end, it shall:
  1. Periodically examine the obligations of the Parties and the institutional arrangements under the Convention, in the light of the objective of the Convention, the experience gained in its implementation and the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge;
  2. Promote and facilitate the exchange of information on measures adopted by the Parties to address climate change and its effects, taking into account the differing circumstances, responsibilities and capabilities of the Parties and their respective commitments under the Convention;
  3. Facilitate, at the request of two or more Parties, the coordination of measures adopted by them to address climate change and its effects, taking into account the differing circumstances, responsibilities and capabilities of the Parties and their respective commitments under the Convention;
  4. Promote and guide, in accordance with the objective and provisions of the Convention, the development and periodic refinement of comparable methodologies, to be agreed on by the Conference of the Parties, inter alia, for preparing inventories of greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks, and for evaluating the effectiveness of measures to limit the emissions and enhance the removals of these gases;
  5. Assess, on the basis of all information made available to it in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, the implementation of the Convention by the Parties, the overall effects of the measures taken pursuant to the Convention, in particular environmental, economic and social effects as well as their cumulative impacts and the extent to which progress towards the objective of the Convention is being achieved;
  6. Consider and adopt regular reports on the implementation of the Convention and ensure their publication;
  7. Make recommendations on any matters necessary for the implementation of the Convention;
  8. Seek to mobilize financial resources in accordance with Article 4, paragraphs 3, 4 and 5, and Article 11;
  9. Establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary for the implementation of the Convention;
  10. Review reports submitted by its subsidiary bodies and provide guidance to them;
  11. Agree upon and adopt, by consensus, rules of procedure and financial rules for itself and for any subsidiary bodies;
  12. Seek and utilize, where appropriate, the services and cooperation of, and information provided by, competent international organizations and intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies; and
  13. Exercise such other functions as are required for the achievement of the objective of the Convention as well as all other functions assigned to it under the Convention (UNFCCC, Article 7(2)).

Related Topics

Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP)

UNFCCC Secretariat

Kyoto Protocol

Executive Board