The Committee

The Committee – Conference of the Parties UNFCCC

 

During this conference you will not only step into the role of either a diplomat or an expert but represent a country of your choice in the Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC. Hereby, a session will be simulated where it is Your task to represent the country of your choice the best you can.

This unique opportunity can only be taken by attending this special conference as it is the very first MUN where the COP of UNFCCC will be simulated.

In the COP normally 196 countries are represented, however, as the experience shows they often end up in endless debates.

Thus, we offer only 150 places and it is upon the participants to choose those which are most interesting for them or which might have the biggest impact for a climate change debate.

Nevertheless, in the COP parties are formed to have a bigger impact during negotiations and forming resolutions. These parties are organized into regional groups: African States, Asian States, Eastern European States, Latin American and the Caribbean States, and the Western European and Other States (the “Other States” include Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America).

However, these regional groups usually don’t represent the substantive interests of the Parties and several other groupings are more important for climate negotiations.

Developing countries generally work through the Group of 77 to establish common negotiating positions. The G-77 was founded in 1964 in the context of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Since May 2014 there are 133 members in the Group. 

The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a coalition of some 40 low-lying islands, most of which are members of the G-77 that are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. SIDS countries are united by the threat that climate change poses to their survival and frequently adopt a common stance in negotiations. Normally, the group of SIDS is the first mover of measures for mitigation of climate change and were also the first to propose a draft text during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations calling for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 20% from 1990 levels by 2005.

The group of the Least Developed Countries consists of 48 ones.  They have become increasingly active in the climate change process, often working together to defend their particular interests, for example with regard to vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. 

The 28 members of the European Union meet in private to agree on common negotiating positions. The country that holds the EU Presidency then speaks for the European Union and its 28 member states. Nevertheless, this time every European country has the right to state his position.

The Umbrella Group is a loose coalition of non-EU developed countries which formed following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Although there is no formal list, the Group is usually made up of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the US.

The Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), formed in 2000, comprises Mexico, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

 

There are several other groupings which have had a larger impact on previous negotiations but will not be taken into account this time.

 

Climate Conferences in Reality

Since the industrial revolution human beings have an huge impact on nature, biodiversity and wildlife. During this time more power was being produced than needed and fossil fuels have been firstly exploited on a larger scale. The generation of coal was born.

Nowadays, we are exploiting so many landscapes, searching oil and gas to calm our hunger for mobility and electricity that this has an impact on the global climate.

To prevent the nations of emitting more carbon dioxide and methane the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was negotiated in Rio de Janeiro and entered into force in 1994.

The goal of the UNFCCC is to give guidelines how new international treaties may be negotiated to set binding agreements for greenhouse gas emissions. Nowadays, UNFCCC consists of 196 parties which meet annually in the conference of the parties (COP) to prevent climate change. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Both, UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol have set an important precedent as a means of solving long-term international environmental problems, shaping only the first steps for combating climate change with an international response strategy.

Stimulating several national policies, the formation of an international carbon market and the establishment of new institutional mechanisms are the Kyoto Protocol’s most notable accomplishments. 192 Parties have aligned to the Kyoto Protocol. Since the 16th of February 2005, when the protocol came into force, the Parties have continuously been negotiating and have adapted the Protocol in order to achieve more determined results by 2030. The global nature of the problem and the fact that no single country emits more than approximately 20% of global emissions emphasises the necessity of common agreements; engaging multiple countries for a successful solution.

The 2010 Cancún agreements state that future global warming should be limited to below

2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.

The Cop 21 in Paris restated the main outcome of the Cancun agreement

Sources:

http://www.un.org/climatechange/towards-a-climate-agreement/

https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch13s13-3.html

 

Timeline of international agreements concerning climate

1979 — First World Climate Conference takes place in Geneva.

 

1988 — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is established.

 

1990 — The IPCC and the second World Climate Conference emphasise the necessity for a global treaty on climate change. Beginning of the United Nations General Assembly negotiations on a framework convention.

 

1991 — First meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee takes place.

 

1992 — Additionally to the UNFCCC, its sister Rio Conventions, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification are opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio.

 

1994 — The UNFCCC comes into force.

 

1995 — The first Conference of the Parties (COP 1) takes place in Berlin.

 

1996 — In order to support action under the Convention, the UNFCCC Secretariat is set up.

 

1997 — At COP3, the Kyoto Protocol is formally accepted.

 

2001 — At COP7, the Marrakesh Accords are adopted. These are a set of agreements, giving details for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, such as founding new funding and planning instruments for adaptation, and establishing a technology transfer framework.

 

2005 — The first Meeting of the Parties signing the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1) takes place in Montreal. Parties launched negotiations on the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). This provides the basis for the Nairobi Work Programme on Adaptation, which then was accepted in 2006.

 

2007 — The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report is published. Climate science has risen into popular consciousness. At COP13, Parties agreed on the Bali Road Map, which lead the way towards a post-2012 outcome.

 

2009 — At COP15, the Copenhagen Accord was drafted in Copenhagen. Afterwards, countries submitted non-binding emissions reductions pledges or mitigation action pledges.

 

2010 — Outlining the Cancun Agreements, which was largely accepted at COP16. Countries officialised their emission reduction pledges through these agreements. This was the largest cooperative effort the world has ever seen to reduce emissions in a common accountable way.

 

2011 — At COP17, the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action was drafted and accepted. The need to formulate the blueprint for a new universal, legal agreement to deal with climate change beyond 2020 was recognized by the Governments. This agreement should emphasise all parties playing their part as best as possible and ensure all gaining from the benefits of a jointly success.

 

2012 – The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol is revised by the CMP at CMP8. The amendment includes: a revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on in the second commitment period. Additionally, updating several articles of the Kyoto Protocol referring to the first commitment period in order to be adjusted for the second commitment period.

 

2013 – Further advancing the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage were key decisions adopted at COP19/CMP9.

 

2014 – COP20 takes place in Lima, Peru elaborating the elements of a new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015.

 

2015 – COP21 hold  in Paris, France                                                                                                                                                            signing of Paris Agreement and countries establish Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs).

 

2016 – COP22 hold in Marrakesh, Marocco, focusing on National Determined Contributions.

 

2017 – COP23 Bonn, Germany

 

 

Source: UNFCCC