COP 4 was held in November 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The outstanding issues were expected to be closed in Kyoto at that meeting. However, the complexity and difficulty of reaching agreement on these issues proved insurmountable and the parties adopted a two-year « action plan » to advance efforts and develop mechanisms for implementing the Kyoto Protocol, which is expected to be finalized by the year 2000. During COP4, Argentina and Kazakhstan expressed their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the first two non-annex countries, their commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement recognizes the role of non-partisan stakeholders in the fight against climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. COP is synonymous with conference of the parties under the UNFCCC, and the annual meetings have swswaus between fractious and soporific, interspersed in moments of high drama and the occasional triumph (the Paris agreement in 2015) and disaster (Copenhagen in 2009). This year is the 25th edition. Delegates arrived last night for the two-week summit. The conference did not reach a binding agreement on long-term measures. A 13-paragraph « political agreement » was negotiated by about 25 parties, including the United States and China, but was only « noted » by the COP because it is considered an external document and is not negotiated under the UNFCCC process.  The agreement was remarkable in that it was a common commitment by developed countries to new and additional resources, including forestry and investment by international institutions, to $30 billion over the 2010-2012 period. The longer-term climate finance options mentioned in the agreement will be discussed in the UN Secretary-General`s High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Financing, which is expected to report in November 2010.
Negotiations on the extension of the Kyoto Protocol have raised unresolved questions, as have negotiations on a long-term cooperation framework. Working groups on these negotiating paths must now report to COP 16 and CMP 6 in Mexico. It will also enable the contracting parties to gradually strengthen their contributions to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. COP 15 took place in Copenhagen, Denmark from 7 to 18 December 2009. The overall objective of the UN climate change conference cop 15/CMP 5 in Denmark was to conclude an ambitious global climate agreement from 2012, when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol will expire. However, on November 14, 2009, the New York Times reported that « President Obama and other heads of state and government around the world have decided to abandon the difficult task of reaching an agreement on climate change… instead of deciding to make the Copenhagen conference the task of reaching a less specific « politically binding » agreement, which would ask the most difficult questions to come.  Ministers and officials from 192 countries attended the Copenhagen meeting and many civil society organizations participated.