Twenty-four SEI staff will be in Paris to participate in dozens of activities at and around the COP, including six side-events at the conference venue at Le Bourget and a public event in the Climate Generations space.

World leaders adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, recognizing the problem of human-induced climate change and vowing to address it. The Kyoto Protocol, also adopted in Rio, set binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for the first time, for industrialized countries, to cover the period 2008-2012.

The Parties hoped to reach a new, longer-term agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009 (COP15). Although the results fell short of that goal, world leaders recognized the common objective to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Developed countries also agreed to mobilize 100 billion USD per year by 2020 to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

After years of working to find a new path forward, the Parties agreed in Warsaw in 2013 to develop national pledges (“intended nationally determined contributions”) that, collectively, would form the basis of new global climate agreement to be approved in Paris this year, and become effective in 2020. That is what is at stake at COP21.

Click on the menu items at right for listings of SEI-hosted COP events and related activities, relevant publications, news stories and opinion articles.

See a list of SEI-hosted events at COP21 »

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Learn more about COP21 on the UNFCCC website »