Kyoto Protocol—eligibility, compliance and enforcement
Kyoto Protocol—eligibility, compliance and enforcement

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

  • Kyoto Protocol—eligibility, compliance and enforcement
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Detailed eligibility requirements
  • Compliance
  • Facilitative branch
  • Enforcement branch
  • Enforcement
  • Enforcement consequences
  • Time limits and publicity
  • Are the enforcement provisions binding?
  • More...

The Kyoto Protocol commits developed economies set out in Annex I to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Annex I Parties) to detailed reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

It contains three flexible market-based mechanisms for achieving emissions reductions:

  1. emissions trading (ET)

    allows Annex 1 Parties which have their reduction targets set out in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol to participate in ET to fulfil their reduction commitments

  2. joint implementation (JI)

    allows Annex I Parties to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission reduction project in another Annex I country through a JI project

  3. clean development mechanism (CDM)

    allows Annex I Parties to initiate and support projects in non-Annex I countries that reduce GHG emissions

The Kyoto Protocol has two commitment periods where emissions reductions are to be carried out. The first commitment period ran from 2008 to 2012, and required Annex I Parties to reduce overall emissions of GHG by at least 5% below 1990 levels. The second commitment period runs from 2013 to 2020 and requires emissions to be reduced by at least 18% below 1990 levels, though post-2012, these commitments are not binding.

For further information, see Practice Notes: Kyoto Protocol 1997—snapshot and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992—snapshot.

Eligibility requirements

To participate in the market-based mechanisms, Annex I Parties must:

  1. have ratified the Kyoto Protocol

  2. have calculated their assigned amount in terms

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