About the Project
This site contains various versions of the negotiating texts for COP21, the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Paris in December 2015.
Delegates from 195 countries will negotiate with the aim of reaching agreement on the timetable and actions to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a level that limits the global average temperature increase to “below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.
There are high hopes that this conference may be the first to deliver a new binding agreement to succeed that agreed in 1992 Kyoto. In particular, in Durban in 2011, all countries agreed that an “outcome with legal force … and applicable to all parties, would be adopted at the conference in December 2015.”
Who is Doing This?
This effort is led by Rufus Pollock of Open Knowledge Labs in collaboration with Tommaso Venturini of the médialab at Sciences Po. It uses material from the ENB from IISD and has benefited from the efforts of multiple contributors including:
- Snezana Latas
- Verena Flues
- Robert Gieseke
Background photos from COP21 by Benjamin Géminel released under CC0 Public Domain.
Open Knowledge is an international non-profit dedicated to opening up important, public interest, information and seeing it used to create insight and change.
Why This Site
The climate negotiations can be hard to follow. As a large scale international process there are bewildering number of acronyms, subgroups, non-papers, unofficial non-papers, chairs, co-chairs and more.
In particular, the key negotiating texts are difficult to access and use. For example:
- They are locked up in PDF - hard for search engines to find, hard to link into, hard to use on mobile
- It is difficult to locate the various iterations of the treaty and very challenging to track changes between those iterations
- There is no system for annotating the treaty with information like which countries are pushing for particular options in the text (and why)
This website provides (italics items are in progress):
- Latest text in clean markdown and HTML
- The evolution of the text in one place
- Annotation (via hypothesis) (in progress)
- Comparison of the text versions (to be done)
- A glossary of acronyms
We want and welcome help! To find out more and get involved see this issue on github.
Get in Touch
Please post your question in the forum.
Aside: we use the term treaty and protocol interchangeably here to mean a legal instrument or other outcome with legal force on the various parties.
The key thing for our purposes is to understand is that negotiation on the treaty itself takes place in what is called the “Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” or ADP for short. As the UN site explains:
What is the ADP?
The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is a subsidiary body that was established by decision 1/CP.17 in December 2011. The mandate of the ADP is to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, which is to be completed no later than 2015 in order for it to be adopted at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.
The key mandate for the ADP was:
The COP, by decision 1/CP.17, launched a process to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties (also referred to as the 2015 agreement), which shall be adopted at the twenty-first session of the COP, in 2015, for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.
According to decision 2/CP.18, the ADP is to consider elements for a draft negotiating text no later than at its session to be held in conjunction with COP 20, in December 2014, with a view to making available a negotiating text before May 2015.
The ADP’s job was to prepare a draft negotiating text by May 2015 which would then be debated at Paris. Ultimately pre-negotiations took longer and a final draft text was only released on 23 October 2015.
- 23 Oct 2015 - final draft text for COP21 (PDF) (Word Version)
- Results of negotiations at COP21 itself are being posted here: http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/items/9326.php
See also the online Data Package here.