COP – 20 Fast Facts


1. What is the UNFCCC?

  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Established in 1992, countries joined an international treaty as a structure for international co-operation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases.

2. What is COP?

  • COP is the UN’s Climate Change Conference; COP stands for Conference of the Parties
  • The 197 Parties are those members who participate in shaping policy and advocating strategies to reverse or mitigate global warming and its impact on the planet, working to achieve the goals identified in the UNFCCC.

3. When did COP start?

  • The first COP took place in 1995 in Berlin, subsequently (to date) there have been 26 editions. The next conference, COP27, takes place in Egypt and the following session takes place in the UAE.

4. How many editions of COP have taken place in the MENA region?

  • Two COP events have taken place in Marrakech, Morocco, (COP7 in 2001 and COP22 in 2016).
  • COP18 was held in Doha, Qatar, in 2012. COP27 is scheduled for Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022, with COP28 being hosted by the UAE in Dubai a year later (6-17 November 2023).

5. What is the Kyoto Protocol?

  • The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement among developed nations to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and greenhouse gases (GHG) in an effort to minimize the impacts of climate change, extending from the UNFCCC and adopted in 1997.

6. What is the Paris Agreement?

  • The Paris Agreement, often referred to as the Paris Accords or the Paris Climate Accords, is an international treaty on climate change, adopted in 2015, aiming to keep global warming at 1.5C-2.0C, applicable to all countries in accordance with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

7. What is the difference between COP’s Blue and Green zones?

  • The official UNFCCC COP is split into a Blue Zone, for official badge-holders only, and a Green Zone, which is open to the public to visit. In theory these two spaces are linked but in practice (historically) there is very little flow of people from the Blue Zone into the Green Zone.
  • The space brings together delegations from 197 Parties, alongside observer organisations to share their stories at panel discussions, side events, exhibits, and cultural events.
  • All attendees within the Blue Zone must be accredited by the UNFCCC.

8. What are Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)?

  • The Paris Agreement requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. In simple terms, these are the steps being taken to reduce CO2 emissions (defined by a number or percentage) within a specific time frame.

9. What are UN SDGs?

  • The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are a collection of 17 objectives designed as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future".
  • The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by 2030.

10. When is COP27

  • It is scheduled from 6 – 18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

11. What is happening at the Sharm El-Sheikh COP27 venue?

  • The organisers claim that having the main COP27 venue in the centre of the “green city” of Sharm El-Sheikh, that “it offers sustainability a front seat throughout”.
  • Delivering a sustainable carbon-neutral conference is their goal, using renewable energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, water reuse and conservation.
  • About 22 hotels obtained international certificates as green hotels, 64 hotels in process to have Green Star certificates. Egypt also seeks to provide sustainable transport for COP27 participants by providing 260 electric and natural gas buses. Construction of 3 solar power plants with a total capacity of 15 MW is another feature of the COP27 delivery plan.

12. What is Egypt’s NDC?

  • Egypt is responsible for over a third of total fossil gas consumption in Africa, and it is the continent’s second largest gas producer.
  • Egypt has released its updated first NDC which appears conditional on gaining financial support amounting to US$246 Billion in aid for mitigation and adaptation initiatives, linked to emissions reductions of circa 33 per cent v. its business as usual (BAU) scenario.

13. Who is organising COP27?

  • The UNFCCC Secretariat is the ultimate organiser of COP27, under the patronage of Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former military officer and Egyptian politician who has served since 2014.
  • The COP presidency position is held by the Minister of Environment from the host government. For Egypt, Dr. Yasmine Fouad Abdel Aziz is the Minster of Environment and will chair COP27.
  • Egypt’s Climate Change Champion is Mahmoud Mohiedin.

14. What are the main themes of COP27

  • The main themes are consistent with the legacy from previous sessions focusing on Egypt’s ambitions to present a COP which deals with mitigation, adaptation and climate finance, demonstrating success stories on implementing commitments and fulfilling pledges, with a regional emphasis towards Africa.
  • In reality, a lot of attention will be given to finance and aid packages as an enabler of better sustainable practices to reduce emissions for less developed nations.

15. What is the official programme for COP27?

The following indicative programme has been published by the organisers’.

COP27 Indicative Programme
Sunday 6 November COP27 opens
Day 1 Monday 7 November World Leaders Summit
Day 2 Tuesday 8 November World Leaders Summit
Day 3 Wednesday 9 November Finance
Day 4 Thursday 10 November Science
Thursday 10 November Youth & Future Generations
Day 5 Friday 11 November Decarbonisation
Day 6 Saturday 12 November Adaptation & Agriculture
Day 7 Sunday 13 November Rest day
Day 8 Monday 14 November Gender
Monday 14 November Water
Day 9 Tuesday 15 November Ace & Civil Society
Tuesday 15 November Energy
Day 10 Wednesday 16 November Biodiversity
Day 11 Thursday 17 November Solutions
Day 12 Friday 18 November COP27 closes

16. When and where is COP28?

  • COP28 is provisionally scheduled for 6 – 17 November, at Expo City Dubai, UAE.

17. Who is organising COP28?

  • For COP28, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Environment, will be occupying the presidency position.
  • UAE’s Foreign Minister, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is Chairman of the Higher Committee overseeing preparations. He is supported by HE Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed al-Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Vice Chairman of the COP28 UAE Higher Committee.

18. What is Expo City Dubai?

  • Expo City Dubai was the venue built for Expo 2020, presented in from October 2021 until March 2022.
  • The venue compromises multiple facilities from exhibition halls to permanent pavilions showcasing innovations in science and technology, many of which are being re-purposed for COP28.
  • The selection of Expo City as a venue for COP28 builds on the legacy and message of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" - key goals of Expo 2020 were sustainability, opportunity, and mobility, while showcasing the site's sustainable infrastructure.
  • Apart from benefitting from an established public transport system (Dubai Metro), much of the infrastructure is being re-used; hotels, water, waste and energy systems are already in place eliminating the need to create new, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

19. What are the main themes of COP28?

  • COP28 focuses on key pillars, including the implementation of climate commitments and pledges, inclusion, working together to take action and identifying solutions that contribute to overcoming challenges, and leveraging opportunities to ensure a sustainable future.
  • Details about COP28 will be made public after COP27. However, we are aware that key themes will include an increasing focus on youth, space and the application of technology to enable the achievement of NDCs.

20. What is the UAE’s NDC?

  • These were recently revised (Sep 22 WAM) - in support of the objectives of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the country aims to reduce emissions by 31 per cent (previously 23.5 per cent), compared to the business-as-usual scenario for the year 2030.
  • The UAE’s updated second NDC responds to the call of the Glasgow Climate Pact, a main outcome of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), for countries to strengthen the ambition of their NDCs by end-2022.