COP28: Meaning behind acronym as UN summit set to begin at Dubai's Expo City

Meaning behind the COP28 acronym as UN summit is set to begin at Dubai's Expo City
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The acronym "COP" frequently appears in discussions surrounding global climate action, often attached to numerical designations like COP26, COP27, and beyond. However, the true meaning behind this abbreviation might not be immediately evident to many. With COP28 kicking-off on Thursday (November 30), many people are rightly asking: “What exactly does ‘COP’ stand for?”

The UN summit is being held in Dubai's Expo City in early November to “accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement”, a treaty aimed at keeping the rise in global temperatures to below 2C, adopted in 2015.

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The first COP summit - dubbed “COP1” - was held in Berlin, Germany back in 1995 - since then we’ve seen COP26 in Glasgow in 2022, and last year's COP27 taking place in Egypt. But why is this year's event called COP28? And what does the name actually stand for? Here is everything you need to know about it.

What does ‘COP’ stand for?

COP28 might seem like an easy abbreviation, but it doesn't directly stem from the event's full title, which is the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. So, why isn't it called UNCCC28, and what's the significance behind "COP"?

The reason the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference is known as COP28 is because it brings together the Conference of the Parties for a number of treaties - this is the 28th iteration of the event. A conference of the Parties is the supreme governing body of an international convention, composed of representatives of all Parties and accredited observers of each treaty. COP will be attended by representatives and Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - established in the early 90s to combat "dangerous human interference with the climate system" - the Kyoto Protocol that commits state parties to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement, parties are required to attend such conferences at least once every five years, under a process colloquially known as the 'ratchet mechanism', designed to “ratchet up ambition to mitigate climate change”.

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