The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of July 2010, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol.
Under the Protocol, the 39 "Annex I countries" commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by the GHGs. All remaining member countries, not a party to Annex I, give general commitments. Annex I countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level, by the year 2012. Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The Protocol allows for several "flexible mechanisms", such as emissions trading, the clean development mechanism (CDM) and joint implementation to allow Annex I countries to meet their GHG emission limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial exchanges, projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I countries, from other Annex I countries, or from annex I countries with excess allowances.
Each Annex I country is required to submit an annual report of inventories of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from sources and removals from sinks under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
Progress towards meeting targets
- For the Annex I non-Economies-in-Transition (non-EIT) Kyoto Protocol (KP) Parties, emissions in 2005 were 5% higher than 1990 levels. Their Kyoto target for 2008-2012 is for a 6% reduction in emissions. The Annex I non-EITs KP Parties are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
- The Annex I Economies in Transition (EIT) KP Parties emissions in 2005 were 35% below 1990 levels. Their Kyoto target is for a 2% reduction. The Annex I EIT KP Parties are Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
- In 2005, the Annex I non-KP Parties emissions were 18% above their 1990 levels. The Annex I non-KP Parties are Turkey and the United States.
- In total, the Annex I KP Parties emissions for 2005 were 14% below their 1990 levels. Their Kyoto target is for a 4% reduction.
Kyoto Protocol documents
- Climate Progress Blog
- Science Progress Blog
- Global Climate Change Blog
- Climate Feedback Blog
- Climate of our Future Blog
- It's Getting Hot In Here Blog
- Climate Ark Blog
- De-Smog Blog
- Celsias Blog
- A Few Things Ill Considered Blog
- Real Climate Blog
- New York Times Green Blog
- Dr. Green's Blog
- ↑ "Kyoto Protocol." United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 26 Nov. 2009. Retrieved 19 Jan 2011. http://www.unfccc.int.
- ↑ "Kyoto Protocol: Status of Ratification". United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2009-01-14. http://unfccc.int/files/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/application/pdf/kp_ratification.pdf. Retrieved 19-Jan-2011.
- ↑ European Environment Agency. (2010). Tracking progress toward Kyoto and 2020 targets in Europe. Copenhagen, Denmark: EEA.