Australia has a unique opportunity to work with the Pacific to secure a defining moment for climate, nature and communities if called on to host COP31 in 2026. 

What is the Conference of the Parties (COP)? 

COP – an acronym for Conference of the Parties – refers to the high-level conferences that bring together the official Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). At these gatherings, the world comes together to assess progress on tackling the climate crisis and decide how to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. They also decide on processes and agreements around specific issues, including climate finance and security.

These days, COPs are not just for government negotiations but also include Presidency initiatives, non-legally binding declarations, and the launch of new partnerships and commitments by civil society, industry, academia, Indigenous peoples and local communities and international organisations (referred to as the Action Agenda). COPs are, therefore, the leading global platform where different entities and sectors collectively discuss, debate and create more inclusive climate solutions.

Where are COPs hosted?

COPs are hosted in a different country each year and are organised within the five regional groupings of the United Nations: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe and Others. Within their respective grouping, countries bid to host future COPs, and if the bid is approved, that country assumes the COP Presidency for an entire year.

In 2023, COP28 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on behalf of the Asia Group, and with almost 100,000 participants, it was by far the largest COP ever held. In 2024, COP29 will be held in Azerbaijan on behalf of the Eastern Europe grouping and Brazil, on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean Group, will host COP30 in 2025.

Australia has bid to host COP31 in 2026 on behalf of the Western European and Other Group and in partnership with the Pacific, which falls into the Asia Group.

Flags outside the United Nations
© Mathias Reding / Unsplash

Why is COP31 important?

Australia has officially bid to co-host COP31 in 2026 in partnership with the Pacific.

If successful, Australia will need to provide the venue, equipment and services for all aspects of the COP31 in 2026 as the COP Presidency. This includes the negotiations, pavilions and meeting spaces to accommodate all non-state actors in the Action Agenda and places for the general public to access information about climate change.

Most importantly, Australia will need to be a global leader and convenor for greater decisive climate ambition, bringing together all stakeholders in ways that are inclusive, open and informed by community voices. Australia and Pacific Island countries will also work together to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis throughout our region, sharing our experiences driving inclusive climate action.

It is also an exciting chance for Australians who care about climate change to get involved. There will be opportunities throughout the conference to raise their voices, showcase green innovations, host events and volunteer to make it as inclusive and impactful as possible.

With global attention focussed on host countries, COP31 could be a defining moment for Australia and the Pacific that will catalyse innovation, investment and impact on climate solutions. 

COP31 is our chance – across all communities throughout Australia and the Pacific – to deliver real change for people, the climate and nature. 

WWF-Australia's goal

Build the momentum for COP31 to be hosted in Australia in partnership with the Pacific and secure a defining moment for climate, nature and communities that will stabilise global warming to 1.5°C.

How we will achieve this

Climate March 2019 in New York, New York.
Climate March 2019 in New York, New York. Save our green earth sign. © WWF-US / Keith Arnold

Build networks to spread awareness and engagement around the bid to host COP31.

First Peoples Forum for Oceania in Mission Beach= Queensland
© Styledia / Girringun

Support decision-making processes that elevate First Nations and Pacific experience and knowledge.

Four women holding signs at Climate March 2019 in New York, New York.
Four women holding signs at Climate March 2019 in New York, New York. © WWF-US / Keith Arnold

Work with the WWF International network to magnify collective climate action at COP31, no matter where it is.

Learn more

Regenerative Sky

WWF-Australia is not only dedicated to building momentum for COP31 Australia and the Pacific, but our vision is to support Australia in becoming a global leader in securing a healthy climate powered by communities, nature, and renewable energy. 

Learn more about COP


Read WWF's expectation papers outlining essential outcomes from the previous COP28. They highlight the need for:

  • A successful Global Stocktake, which paves the way for stronger NDCs to correct course to 1.5C.
  • A decision to phase out fossil fuels no later than 2050.
  • Full operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, with pledged funds.
  • A decision on a comprehensive framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
  • The scaling up of finance by developed countries to beyond $100 billion per annum.
  • Alignment of all private and public financial flows with climate objectives.