« View All Blog Posts

A Brief Guide to COP21
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, begins on November 30th in Paris. COP21's goal is "for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations" to "achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2C."

We have written in more detail about the history of the COP conferences which you can check out here.

Below is a short guide to the proceedings in Paris and some channels you can use to follow the progress.

Timetable of COP21 Negotiations

  • November 30, 2016: Arrival of Heads of State (list of speakers available here)
  • December 1–4, 2016: "The Negotiators Phase"
  • December 6–11, 2016: "The Ministers Phase"

The full program of events is viewable here.

The Sixth Annual Sustainable Innovation Forum

Alongside COP21 The Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF15) is taking place December 7–8, 2016. SIF15 is the largest business focused event held during the same timeframe. Through the combined efforts of Climate Action and the UN Environment Program, this conference assembles diverse stakeholders across business, government, finance, the United Nations, NGOs, and others to drive innovation from the business sector.

How to Watch and Participate

The official website for COP21 has a calendar of day-to-day events and latest news so that interested parties can follow along.

In addition, if you are on Twitter, follow these accounts and hashtags for real-time updates:

SIF15 will be live streamed and there will also be Twitter chats with top speakers. Check back here for the live stream and follow @Climate_Action_ on Twitter.

More Resources:

In advance of COP21, several publications and organizations have created content to elucidate the issues and the challenges.

The New York Times released a summary of the pledges made by individual countries so far. While these represent the "biggest cut ever achieved," they would not be sufficient to keep the world within the 2 Degrees Celsius temperature increase.

Carbon Brief has released an interactive guide to the issues in the Paris talks. The various "bubbles" link to the draft text of COP21 published by the UNFCCC on November 10th.

The UNFCCC has also developed its own interactive guide covering the structure of the UNFCCC and the big issues such as mitigation, adaption and climate finance.

First Affirmative understands that the ways we save, spend, and invest can dramatically influence both the fabric and consciousness of society. We believe that in addition to the benefits of ownership, investors bear responsibility for the impact our money has in the world. Are you making conscious decisions about the impact of your consumer purchase and investment decisions?

Posted: November 25, 2015