UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) was established in 1992 when countries adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With subsequent adoption of Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement in 2015, Parties to these agreements have progressively developed the secretariat’s role as the UN entity tasked with supporting the global response to climate change.

The secretariat organises and supports between two and four negotiating sessions each year. The largest and most important is the Conference of the Parties (COPs) held annually and hosted in different locations around the globe. It is the largest annual United Nations conference, attended by around 25,000.

The UNFCCC secretariat also supports the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, agreed by governments to signal that successful climate action requires strong support from a wide range of ‘non state’ actors, including regions, cities, business, investors and all parts of civil society. At UN Climate Change Conferences, a large number of events demonstrate how non-Party stakeholders are working with governments and the UN system to implement the Paris Agreement.

IEMA participation

Since 2015, IEMA has engaged with Conference of Parties (COP) sessions and with UNFCCC Secretariat.

COP21 (Paris)- We were invited to join an ISO event and to present on new work for ISO’s Climate Change Coordinating Committee (CCCC). We profiled survey outcomes from IEMA members, including their views on future priorities for ISO standards on climate change. IEMA also ran an online MOOC for international students and a webinar campaign, building professional awareness ahead of the COP. Read more.

COP23 (Bonn) – Nick Blyth participated as vice-chair of ISO task force – helping to organise events on the role of International Standards for Climate Action. The primary event saw ISO partnered with International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Included Martin Baxter on revised I4001 and Nick Blyth on ISO work developing new Climate Change guidance for all standards writers. Nick also helped organise a separate event with the European Commission focusing on Climate Change adaptation and presented in the Indonesian Pavilion. Read more.

COP24 (Katowice) - IEMA participated for first time as a UNFCCC officially registered body. We ran an IEMA joint event with ISO and IAF and presented IEMA’s member led guidance on using EMS for Climate action. Read more