Kyoto Protocol Agreement

The Kyoto Protocol Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide

The Kyoto Protocol Agreement is an international treaty designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the environment. This treaty was adopted on December 11, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The agreement was a response to the growing concern of climate change worldwide, and its primary objective was to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by the year 2012. The protocol was initially signed by 84 countries, representing over 61% of global emissions at the time. However, it has since been ratified by 192 countries, including major emitters such as China and the United States.

The Kyoto Protocol established legally binding commitments for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These commitments varied by country, with targets ranging from an 8% reduction for the European Union to an increase of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland. The United States, which was responsible for 36% of global emissions at the time, did not ratify the protocol.

The protocol also established three mechanisms that allowed countries to meet their emissions targets: emissions trading, the clean development mechanism, and joint implementation. Emissions trading allowed countries to buy and sell emission credits, while the clean development mechanism allowed developed countries to invest in renewable energy projects in developing countries in exchange for emission credits. Joint implementation allowed countries to work together to reduce emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol had a significant impact on global emissions. Between 1990 and 2012, the 43 countries that were committed to reduce emissions under the protocol lowered their emissions by 22.6%. However, the protocol has been criticized for not being ambitious enough, as global emissions have continued to increase despite its implementation.

The Kyoto Protocol`s first commitment period expired in 2012, and negotiations began for a second commitment period. In 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted, which aimed to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement built upon the Kyoto Protocol and included all parties, not just developed countries.

In conclusion, the Kyoto Protocol Agreement was an important step towards reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. While it had its limitations, it established legally binding commitments and mechanisms for countries to work together to combat climate change. The protocol`s legacy lives on in the Paris Agreement, which aims to build upon its successes and further reduce global emissions.