Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Kyoto, Japan
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 16/02/2005

Category

Environment and products

Sub category

Air

Groups

UNEP

What is it about?

This instrument establishes for State parties numerical percentage goals for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, so as to prevent global warming. It is adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (New York, 9 May 1992). The Kyoto Protocol concerns six gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC and SF6). Developed countries are required to lower their emissions of these noxious gases by at least 5% below the 1990 levels. The requirements vary by State but must be established at least between 2008 and 2012. In order to achieve these objectives, State parties are required to improve their energy yield, reform their energy and transport sectors, promote the usage of renewable energies and to protect their forests. Some flexibility is offered to States that cannot reduce their internal emissions enough to satisfy their international obligations. The Protocol includes three market-based instruments known as the Kyoto Mechanisms that allow countries to earn or buy credits outside their borders. States may also fulfil their obligations by financing projects leading to the reduction of greenhouse gases. These projects may be undertaken on either their own territory or that of another State.

Why is it relevant?

In addition to protecting health and the environment, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 prevents States from establishing discriminatory practices related to international trade under the guise of greenhouse gas protections. Developing countries are not restricted by the Kyoto Protocol, even those that emit the most greenhouse gases. Signatory developing countries benefit, however, from greenhouse gas reduction projects financed on their territory.

Additional Information

N/A

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (New York, 9 May 1992)
  • Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna, 22 March 1985)
  • 1.Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal, 16 September 1987)
  • 1.1. Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (London, 29 June 1990)
  • 1.2. Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Copenhagen, 25 November 1992)
  • 1.3 Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer Adopted by the 9th Meeting of the Parties (Montreal, 17 September 1997)
  • 1.4 Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Peking, 03 December 1999)
  • Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva, 13 November 1979) 1. Protocol on Long-term Financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) (Geneva, 28 September 1984) 2. Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes by at least 30 per cent (Helsinki, 08 July 1985) 3. Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes (Sofia, 31 October 1988) 4. Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes (Geneva, 18 November 1991) 5. Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions (Oslo, 14 June 1994) 6. Protocol on Heavy Metals (Aarhus, 24 June 1998) 7. Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Aarhus, 24 June 1998) 8. Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground Level Ozone (Göteborg, 30 November 1999)

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