Meeting to save the climate

Countries around the world meet every year to fight against global warming.

The first world summit on the climate was held in Geneva in 1979. Then a global climate research programme was launched, and ten years later, in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created. Its first report already warned of the effects of human activity on the environment.

Since then, countries have met every year at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to try to reach an agreement that limits emissions from each country.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the main cause of global warming. (Efe / Diego Azubel)

1992: Rio Climate Summit

The famous Earth Summit gave rise to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty where the existence of climate change is officially recognised. The countries agreed that they should take action, but without specifying the measures.

1997: Kyoto Protocol

In Japan, emissions targets by country were established, except for emerging countries: in this way, they were able to continue developing their economy.

However, at the end of the summit, the congress of the United States (the largest emitter of greenhouse gases) rejected the agreement. In the end, no country fulfilled the commitments.

2009: Copenhagen COP

It took more than a decade for countries to decide to negotiate limits on greenhouse gas emissions again. However, the COP15 in Copenhagen was a great failure: no binding treaty was drafted to oblige the parties to fulfill commitments.

In cities around the world, such as Barcelona, demonstrations were held to demand that politicians reach an agreement in Copenhagen. (Xavier Gómez)

2015: Paris COP

Six years later, in Paris, representatives of 195 countries reached an agreement: to limit the global temperature increase to 2ºC by the year 2100.

According to some experts, this limit on warming should prevent irreversible damage to the planet. However, some scientists and environmental organisations say it is not enough. The fact is that, even though the objective is marked, no commitments or binding targets have yet been established for any of the countries.

Political leaders rated the Paris Agreement as ‘historic’. However, two years later, negotiations continue and the terms for each country have still not been agreed. (Ian Langsdon / AFP)

2017: Bonn COP

The COP23 in Bonn (Germany) should serve to ratify the Paris Agreement: that is, to establish concrete limits on the greenhouse gas emissions of each country.

The goal is for all countries to commit to respect the agreement.

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