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President John Mahama on November 31, 2015, delivered his statement at the Leaders Event of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, (COP 21) in Paris, France.
The leaders’ event, was attended by 150 countries and heads of government. The Conference itself will end on December 11.
The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties. The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation.
The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realized and COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.
COP21, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims at achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
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