Each year since 1995, the nations of the world have gathered to try to reach a global agreement on carbon dioxide emissions.
These ‘Conferences of the Parties’, or COPs as they are usually termed, involve all of the members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and take place towards the end of the year. This year will see the 24th COP take place in Katowice, Poland.
Over the years the COPs have developed a style all of their own. Indeed, some observers have even gone as far as to suggest that each year sees less and less by way of meaningful activity, and more and more liturgy and ritual.
They may just have a point, as our historical review reveals.