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Explainers & Tips

COP: Explained

Explainer Series

Published 11/7/2022

COP - this one is some classic government jargon.

Basically, COP is an annual conference where about 200 governments get together to discuss tackling climate change.

COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’, with the ‘parties’ being all the governments that have signed up for the United Nation’s climate change treaty.

This year’s COP:

This year’s COP, which is COP27, is currently taking place and is being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The number after ‘COP’ just means how many there’s been, so right now it’s the 27th Conference of the Parties.

So what actually happens at COP?

At COP, governments get together to talk about things like emission reduction targets, how to cope with the impacts of climate change, and the ever-important question of where the money comes from - which is always a bit controversial.

Of course, that’s not to say all of the governments come to an agreement on these things… Or that they then follow through on them if they do agree…

Ultimately, the intention of COP is great and it can lead to some good outcomes like the Paris Agreement (more details on this coming soon...), but often, unfortunately, the reality falls short of the expectation.

P.s. in case it wasn’t confusing enough, there’s a separate COP for discussing biodiversity (COP15). This COP is happening in December in Montreal, but the climate change one is the biggy and gets much more airtime.

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Much love,

The CJ Team x