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COP (Conference of the Parties)

The COP is the supreme body of the Convention. It comprises countries that have ratified the UNFCCC. The COP usually meets annually for two weeks in December.

INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions)

A term used under the UNFCCC for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that all parties were asked to publish in the lead up to the 2015 COP21 in Paris.

UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

A treaty signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro by more than 150 countries. Its ultimate objective is “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC contains an unmet, voluntary goal for Annex 1 Parties (developed countries) to return their emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. The treaty took effect in 1994. In 1995 its Conference of Parties first met in Berlin (COP 1). The Secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany.