The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and commits its parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that (a) global warming is occurring and (b) human-made CO2 emissions are driving it. The protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005.
The core principle of the Kyoto Protocol is that industrialized countries have a responsibility to lead the way in cutting emissions because they are historically the primary contributors to the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, predominantly produced through the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The Kyoto Protocol introduced three flexible mechanisms to help these countries meet their emission targets in a cost-effective way: Emissions Trading, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and Joint Implementation (JI).
Under the protocol, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, as part of the flexible mechanisms mentioned, countries undershooting their targets can sell their surplus allowances to others that over-achieve. The protocol was groundbreaking because it translated climate change rhetoric into legally binding commitments, but it faced some criticism and challenges, such as the withdrawal of the United States from the protocol and the uneven distribution of burdens among countries.
For further information and exploration of the Kyoto Protocol, you can visit the following resources:
1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Kyoto Protocol:
2. The United Nations – Kyoto Protocol overview and full text document:
These web pages are maintained by reputable organizations and are updated to ensure the information is current. They should serve as informative platforms for a deep dive into the specifics of the Kyoto Protocol, its mechanisms, and its global impact on climate change policy.
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