COP21 – United nations conference on climate change

COP21, United nations conference on climate change, is the 21st Conference of the Parties, i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate. It will be held in Le Bourget, France, from 30 November to 11 December.

How will the negotiations be organized during COP21:

30 NOVEMBER: HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT PHASE (the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Laurent Fabius, has been officially invested with the Presidency of the Conference of the Parties)


TUESDAY, 1 TO FRIDAY, 4 DECEMBER: the representatives of the 196 parties negotiate the future agreement within the Ad Hoc Working Group on the ADP (ADP was established during COP17 in 2011, and is responsible, in the framework of the UNFCCC, for producing a new “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force.” This agreement should be adopted in 2015 before taking effect in 2020.). The work will be carried out under the authority of the two ADP co-chairs.

In parallel, subsidiary bodies for implementation (SBI) and scientific and technological advice (SBSTA) continue their work on the more technical aspects (monitoring of the implementation of current climate policies, including in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, etc.).

SATURDAY, 5 DECEMBER: closure of the work of the ADP, which submits a new text, resulting from the negotiations of this first week, to the French Presidency.


It is during this second week that France fully presides over COP21. The Environment or Foreign Affairs Ministers (or lead negotiators in their absence) of the 196 parties meet to negotiate the new text. The French Presidency then proposes to the 19- parties the terms for continuation of the work, following consultation with them and taking into account the results of the first week.

MONDAY, 7 and TUESDAY, 8 DECEMBER: Ministers’ speeches. In parallel, the 196 parties continue their work on the draft agreement.

WEDNESDAY, 9 DECEMBER: Conclusion of the negotiations in order to carry out legal and linguistic verifications of the agreement text in the 6 UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

THURSDAY, 10 DECEMBER: adoption of the decisions.

FRIDAY, 11 DECEMBER: adoption of the Paris Agreement. The signing of this agreement is not planned for the same day, but for early 2016, during a ceremony organized by the United Nations Secretary-General.