useful information

What was COP21? Held in Paris, France in the Winter of 2015, it was the 21st annual session of the Conference of Parties (COP). The UN Climate Change Conference negociated the Paris Agreement - 196 parties committed to reducing climate change. The agreement was signed by 174 countries on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) in New York. They agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 ℃.
The Paris Agreement in essence requires economic and social transformation with developed nations committing to assist developing nations in limiting global temperatures. 

What is COP26?
Hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy in Glasgow in Novemeber 2021 (delayed 12mths due to COVID-19). The event is duty bound to carry out a 5-year review on the targets agreed on in 2015, with all parties required to submit updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Also on the agenda is revisiting the unresolved debates of COP25 (Madrid 2019) which was labelled by some as a failure and ignited youth protest rallies in response. The USA withdrew from the Paris Agreement under Trump’s governance, President Joe Biden has since rejoined - one of his first official acts as president.
There will be particular interest in how climate governance features in post-pandemic recovery.

What is the IPCC?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations. The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. The IPCC currently has 195 members.Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks. An open and transparent review by experts and governments around the world is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment and to reflect a diverse range of views and expertise. Through its assessments, the IPCC identifies the strength of scientific agreement in different areas and indicates where further research is needed. The IPCC does not conduct its own research. (

What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. A summary of some key points...

Long-term temperature goal
(Art. 2) – The PA reaffirms the goal of limiting global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.

Global peaking and 'climate neutrality' (Art. 4) –Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as soon as possible.

Mitigation (Art. 4) – The PA establishes binding commitments by all Parties to prepare, communicate and maintain a nationally determined contribution (NDC) and to pursue domestic measures to achieve them. All Parties shall communicate their NDCs every 5 years and provide information necessary for clarity and transparency.

Sinks and reservoirs (Art.5) –The PA also encourages Parties to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of GHGs, including forests.

Adaptation (Art. 7) – The PA establishes a global goal on adaptation – of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change in the context of the temperature goal of the Agreement. It aims to significantly strengthen national adaptation efforts. It recognizes that adaptation is a global challenge faced by all.

Loss and damage (Art. 8) – The PA recognizes the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage.

Finance, technology and capacity-building support (Art. 9, 10 and 11) – The PA reaffirms the obligations of developed countries to support the efforts of developing country Parties to build clean, climate-resilient futures, while for the first time encouraging voluntary contributions by other Parties.

Climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information (Art 12) is also to be enhanced under the Agreement.

Transparency (Art. 13), implementation and compliance (Art. 15) – The PA relies on a robust transparency and accounting system to provide clarity on action and support by Parties.

Global Stocktake (Art. 14) – A “global stocktake”, to take place in 2023 and every 5 years thereafter, will assess collective progress toward achieving the purpose of the Agreement in a comprehensive and facilitative manner.

Decision 1/CP.21 also sets out a number of measures to enhance action prior to 2020, including strengthening the technical examination process, enhancement of provision of urgent finance, technology and support and measures to strengthen high-level engagement.


What is the 3rd Pole?
The region that encompasses the Hindu Kush Himalayas mountain range and the Tibetan Plateau is widely known as the Third Pole because its ice fields contain the largest reserve of freshwater outside the polar regions. This region is the source of the 10 major river systems that provide irrigation, power and drinking water to over 1.9 billion people in Asia – over 24% of the world’s population.

Where can I find more info about the speakers?
see contributors page for personal links.

Global Tapestry of Alternatives -

The Degrowth Movement



center for creative ecologies

Toronto Biennale

General Ecology

Compound 13 Lab

Jan Van Eyck Academie

Where can I read about the 2019 symposium at BSU?

Who is organising this conference & why?

With the support of cohesive cross-department, inter-disciplinary collaborations across the Bath Spa University schools the symposium An Uncertain Forecast was hosted at BSU, Newton Park in 2019.

Motivated by the need to facilitate conversations and identify pragmatic responses accordingly, in the context of our university departments further examination of decolonising the curriculum, whilst embedding ecological thinking and practices into teaching and learning this year’s conference offers additional opportunities for meaningful student engagement.