What does COP27 stand for? Meaning of UN Egypt climate change summit name - and why it’s called COP

The full title of the event is the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference - so where do we get COP27 from?

As COP27 nears its kick-off, many people are rightly asking: “What exactly does ‘COP’ stand for?”

The UN summit is being held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh 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.

But why is it called COP27? And what does the name stand for?

Here is everything you need to know.

What does ‘COP’ stand for?

It’s easy to assume that COP27 is a simple abbreviation of the event’s full title, shortened to make it roll off the tongue much more easily. But that’s not the case.

The full title of the event is: the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. So why is it not called the UNCCC? What does “Cop” actually stand for?

The reason that the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference is known as COP27 is because it brings together the Conference of the Parties for a number of treaties.

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”.