COP Timeline


UNFCCC opened for signature

May 9, 1992

After an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in New York from April 30 to May 9, 1992.

First COP in Rio de Janeiro

June 3 1992

Informally known as the Earth Summit, the first COP was held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. The stated objective of these meetings is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

China Ratifies Agreement


UNFCCC Enters into Force

March 21st, 1994

Kyoto Protocol


The Kyoto Protocol was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their GHG emissions.

Bali Action Plan


As part of the Bali Action Plan, adopted in 2007, all developed country Parties have agreed to "quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives, while ensuring the comparability of efforts among them, taking into account
differences in their national circumstances." Developing country Parties agreed to "[nationally] appropriate mitigation actions [NAMAs] context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing
and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner."

COP16 Cancún Agreements


The 2010 Cancún agreements state that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.

UNFCCC Reached 194 Parties

December 2012

21 Conferences to date

December 2015

US and China formally commit to the Paris Agreement

October 1st 2016

President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China formally committed to the Paris climate agreement

Paris Agreement Legal Enforcement Goal


The U.N. set a goal for the Paris climate agreement to go into legal force by January 2017.