“If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us. ” -Pope Francis

What is it?


The acronym COP stands for the Conference of the Parties, of which there are three: biodiversity, climate change, and desertification. These conferences were established in 1992 during the UN Earth Summit. The most prominent of the three is the COP on climate change. It is the highest-level decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and it serves as an annual gathering for governments to meet and discuss climate change. Participatory governments include the UN Member States who have signed the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, or the Paris Agreement. This year, the 27th COP on climate change (COP27) will be held in Egypt. The summit will bring governments, civil society, and other stakeholders together to discuss climate change and its impacts, agree on how to address it, and accelerate climate action.

Key Terms

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC outlines the legal framework and principles for international climate change cooperation. Its overarching goal is stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouses gases to avoid “dangerous anthropologic interference with the climate system.” Click here to learn more.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that was adopted in 2015 to address climate change. It marks a significant achievement in the global discourse because it is the first legally-binding agreement to unite a multitude of countries with a commitment to engage in ambitious efforts to combat climate change and its impacts. Under the Paris Agreement, each country determines how much they will reduce their carbon emissions each year, and these plans are called nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Click here to learn more.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC is the United Nations body tasked with assessing the science related to climate change. It produces reports on climate change, including its impacts, risks, and recommended actions for governments in response to the scientific, technical, and socioeconomic data. Click here to learn more.

Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG13)

SDG13 is a commitment by the global community to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. “Climate change is a real and undeniable threat to our entire civilization.The effects are already visible and will be catastrophic unless we act now. Through education, innovation and adherence to our climate commitments, we can make the necessary changes to protect the planet.” Click here to learn more.

COP27 Goals

The world needs climate action NOW. Global emissions continue to rise as the planet rapidly approaches a dangerous precipice. We are far off track in terms of limiting climate change to agreed levels, threatening Earth’s ability to sustain the human population. The IPCC’s 2022 report identifies half of humanity as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This vulnerability reveals patterns of immense inequality and marginalization, with those who have contributed least to climate change positioned to be most affected. COP27 provides a rare opportunity for governments, civil society, and other stakeholders to meet and collaborate to tackle the impending impacts of climate change.


Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases. The global community needs to work together to limit global warming to below 2°C, ideally below 1.5°C. Immediate action is required to realize this goal. COP27 calls on countries to fulfill the pledges of the Paris Agreement and implement the commitments from COP26 to increase their NDCs and create an ambitious work plan for climate change mitigation.


Adaptation is the process of taking action to reduce the current and expected effects of climate change. At COP26, a work plan was launched to advance the Paris Agreement global goal on adaptation. At COP27, governments need to demonstrate their commitment towards this global goal, enhancing resilience, and assisting the most vulnerable communities. COP27 should serve to encourage action on adaptation, placing adaptation at the forefront of global climate action.


It is imperative to make significant progress on climate finance at COP27. The global community needs to increase transparency of financing, better facilitate the funding needs of developing countries, and follow through on financial pledges -including demonstrated progress on delivery of the annual USD 100 billion goal. Both adequacy and predictability of climate finance are essential elements necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Collaboration amongst governments, civil society, and stakeholders is essential to deliver on the commitments of the Paris Agreement and ensure the world remains sustainable and capable of supporting life. COP negotiations are consensus-based, so reaching agreement on climate commitments and action will require inclusive and active participation from all stakeholders -with humans at the center. All stakeholders, collaboratively, need to turn commitments into action.

What does this document contain?

Recommended Events:

  • How to Join Online using WebTV (The UN web tv)
  • Orientation webinar – Shoeless on Sinai: A digital pilgrimage to COP27
  • Protecting communities in the clean energy transition
  • “Sisters for the Environment” launch webinar
  • Informal interfaith gathering in the spirit of Talanoa Dialogue @COP27
  • Global online prayer vigil for COP27
  • Catholics at COP27
  • Social media guides
  • Twitter hashtags
  • Facebook hashtags
  • Sample Messaging – on COP27 Themes
  • Sample Messaging – Pilgrimage
  • Sample Messaging – Laudato ‘Si
  • Shoeless on Sinai: A Digital Pilgrimage to COP27
  • Resources: The UN and You – COP27
  • COP 27 Reflections Calendar

27th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, 6-18 November 2022
Click here to view the guide in English, Español, and Française


Justice Coalition of Religious: Guide to COP27


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