Kyoto Protocol

GC: n

CT: After two and a half years of intensive negotiations, a substantial extension to the Convention was adopted in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997. This Kyoto Protocol established legally binding emissions targets for industrialized countries, and created innovative mechanisms to assist these countries in meeting these targets. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 18 November 2004, after 55 Parties to the Convention had ratified it, including enough industrialized countries — who have specific targets — to encompass 55 per cent of that group’s carbon dioxide emissions in 1990.

S: UN – (last access: 13 December 2015)

N: 1. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the “Marrakesh Accords.” Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.
2. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was complemented by the 1997, legally binding, Kyoto Protocol, which has 192 Parties, shown in green on the map to the right. Under this treaty, 37 industrialised countries and the European Community have committed to reducing their emissions by an average of 5% by 2012 against 1990 levels. Industrialized countries must first and foremost take domestic action against climate change. But the Protocol also allows them to meet their emission reduction commitments abroad through so-called “market-based mechanisms”.
3. One of the initial tasks of the treaty was to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of emissions and removals for industrialized countries. With a few exceptions, these were used as the 1990 “base year” levels. Developing countries are also encouraged to produce inventories. Developed countries must regularly submit greenhouse gas inventories to the UNFCCC.
Countries ratifying the treaty agree to take climate change into account in such matters as agriculture, industry, energy, natural resources, and activities involving sea coasts. They agree to develop national programmes to slow climate change.
The Convention encourages all Parties to take action on two prongs:
Mitigation: – Taking action to prevent and limit further climate change by developing, gathering and sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices.
Adaptation: – Taking action to protect and adapt to the impacts of climate change by launching national strategies including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries and cooperating in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
The parties to the convention meet each year in the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change.
4. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 38 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005.
5. “The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so”.

S: 1. (last access: 13 December 2015). 2 & 3. (last access: 13 December 2015). 4 & 5. IATE (last access: 13 December 2015).

SYN: Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

S: IATE (last access: 13 December 2015); (last access: 13 December 2015).

CR: chlorofluorocarbon, climate change, Conference of the Parties, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.