Key moments and milestones

Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) releases
first report. IPCC and World
Climate Conference call for
global treaty on climate change.
United Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
negotiations begin.


UNFCCC adopted at the Earth
Summit in Rio and opened for

UNFCCC came into force and
ratified by 195 parties.

(COP 1) Berlin: First Conference
of the Parties (COP) to the
UNFCCC. This led to the Berlin
Mandate for the negotiations of
the Kyoto Protocol.

(COP 3) Kyoto: Kyoto Protocol
established. In subsequent
years, details of Kyoto Protocol
were negotiated.

(COP 7) Marrakech: Details of
Kyoto agreement adopted (i.e.
market based mechanisms,
rules for accounting etc.).

(COP 11) Montreal: Kyoto
Protocol came into effect.

(COP 13) Bali: Parties agreed to
the “Bali roadmap”. This
included the second
commitment period of the Kyoto
Protocol (2013-2020) and a more
comprehensive plan (i.e. money)
to support developing countries
as part of them agreeing to
stronger measures to reduce

(COP 15)
Copenhagen: Copenhagen
expanded the coverage of
emissions reductions actions
from about 20% of global
emissions to 80% of global
emissions. The “Copenhagen
Accord” also identified the
importance of the long-term
goal to limit global warming to
2 degrees Celsius above pre
industrial levels.

(COP 16) Cancun: Mexico
successfully brought the process
back on track. Led to extensive
support infrastructure for
developing countries including
the Climate Technology Centre,
the Green Climate Fund and
frameworks for adaptation.
Cancun further recognised the
importance of limiting global
warming to 2 degrees Celsius
above pre-industrial levels.

(COP 17) Durban: The “Durban
Mandate” was concerned with
negotiations building to Paris
2015 to discuss post 2020
targets, including actions by
developing countries.

(COP 18) Doha: Second
commitment period of Kyoto
was adopted.

“Over the coming months we expect many more
nations to come forward to make their submissions
public. The pace at which these contributions are
coming forward bodes well for Paris and beyond,”
Christiana Figueres
Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

(COP 20) Lima: Full text of second
commitment period for Kyoto
finalised and endorsed by all parties
(though not all parties have ratified).
Lima provided clarity regarding the
information expected from
countries for Paris 2015
commitments. It was also agreed
that the UNFCCC secretariat will
produce a report assessing whether
cumulative commitments from
countries will be sufficient to limit
global warming to 2 degrees. Report
is due on 1 November 2015.

(COP 21) Paris: Countries have
agreed to provide post-2020
targets, known as Intended
Nationally Determined
Contributions (INDCs) prior to
Paris negotiations to improve
transparency and the chance for
a strong agreement. As a
signatory to the UNFCCC,
Australian will be party to the
agreement reached in Paris.

After Paris
Negotiations will continue to bridge the gap between commitments
reached in the Paris agreement and emissions reductions required to
get the world on a 2 degree pathway.

This timeline was developed with the support of Tristan Knowles