Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1998
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. It is an extension of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and aims to address the issue of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some key points about the Kyoto Protocol:
- Objective: The main goal of the Kyoto Protocol is to limit the emission of greenhouse gases that are believed to contribute to global climate change. It sets binding targets for industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
- Emission Reduction Targets: The Kyoto Protocol established specific emission reduction targets for countries listed in Annex I of the protocol. These countries, also known as Annex I countries or developed countries, were required to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels during the period of 2008-2012.
- Flexible Mechanisms: To help countries achieve their emission reduction targets, the Kyoto Protocol introduced three market-based mechanisms, known as the “flexible mechanisms”: a. Emissions Trading: This mechanism allows countries to trade emission allowances with each other. It provides flexibility for countries to meet their targets by buying or selling emission credits. b. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): The CDM allows developed countries to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries and receive carbon credits in return. c. Joint Implementation (JI): JI enables developed countries to invest in emission reduction projects in other developed countries and count the emission reductions towards their own targets.
- Compliance Mechanism: The Kyoto Protocol includes a compliance mechanism to ensure that countries meet their emission reduction targets. It establishes a compliance committee that reviews and evaluates the compliance of countries and imposes consequences for non-compliance.
- Withdrawal: The protocol allows countries to withdraw from it if they choose to do so. However, such withdrawal would have legal implications and might result in the country facing consequences under the compliance mechanism.
- Kyoto Protocol and Beyond: The Kyoto Protocol was followed by the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 and entered into force in 2016. The Paris Agreement builds upon the principles of the Kyoto Protocol and sets more ambitious goals for combating climate change, aiming to limit global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
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