Kyoto Protocol 1997—snapshot

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Kyoto Protocol 1997—snapshot
  • The Kyoto Protocol
  • Emission reduction targets
  • How are reductions achieved?
  • Emissions trading
  • The clean development mechanism (CDM)
  • Joint implementation (JI)
  • The future of JI and CDM
  • Institutional framework
  • Reporting
  • More...

Kyoto Protocol 1997—snapshot

TitleKyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol)
See: Ratification status for details
LocationKyoto, Japan
AdoptedCOP 3 on 11 December 1997
Came into force16 February 2005
SubjectClimate change

The Kyoto Protocol

Between 2008 and 2020, the Kyoto Protocol committed developed economies in Annex I to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Annex I Parties) to detailed reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Emission reductions applied to the following GHGs:

  1. carbon dioxide (CO2)

  2. methane

  3. nitrous oxide

  4. hydrofluorocarbons

  5. perfluorocarbons

  6. sulphur hexafluoride

The UNFCCC aims to stabilise GHG emissions at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. UNFCCC signatories agree to principles that limit GHG emissions. The Kyoto Protocol implemented those principles. The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the decision-making body of the Convention and meets annually to assess and promote its implementation. For more information on the UNFCCC, see Practice Note: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992—snapshot.

Since 2005, the COP has also served as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). The CMP is the main institution responsible for overseeing the effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, and its functions include negotiating amendments/additions/extensions to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol had two commitment periods where emissions reductions were to be carried out. The first commitment period

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