Kyoto Protocol on climate change

The Kyoto Protocol, which follows the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is one of the chief instruments for tackling climate change. It contains the undertakings entered into by the industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of certain greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming. The total emissions of the developed countries are to be reduced by at least 5% over the period 2008-2012 compared with 1990 levels. ACT Council Decision 2002/358/EC of 25 April 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder. SUMMARY On 4 February 1991 the Council authorised the Commission to participate on behalf of the European Community in the negotiation of a United Nations framework convention on climate change, which was adopted in New York on 9 May 1992. The European Community ratified the Framework Convention by Decision 94/69/EC of 15 December 1993. The Framework Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994. The Framework Convention made a large contribution towards the establishment of key principles of the international fight against climate change. In particular, it defines the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility". It also helped to make people the world over more aware of the problems linked to climate change. However, the Convention does not contain commitments in figures, detailed on a country by country basis, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Berlin in March 1995, the Parties to the Convention decided to negotiate a Protocol containing measures to reduce emissions for the period beyond 2000 in the industrialised countries. After much work, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto. The European Community signed the Protocol on 29 April 1998. In December 2001 the Laeken European Council confirmed that the Union wanted to see the Kyoto Protocol enter into force ahead of the Johannesburg world summit on sustainable development (26 August ± 4 September 2002). To that end, this Decision approved the Protocol on behalf of the Community. The Member States were to coordinate their action to deposit their instruments of ratification at the same time as the Community, and as far as possible by 1 June 2002. Annex II to the Decision sets out the commitments to limit and reduce emissions agreed by the Community and its Member States for the initial commitment period (2008 to 2012). The contents of the Protocol The Kyoto Protocol tackles emissions of six greenhouse gases:
y y

carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4);

which are not listed in Annex I to the Framework Convention. Overall. sulphur hexafluoride (SF 6). for the second commitment period. the Parties to Annex I to the Framework Convention (i. cooperation with the other Contracting Parties (exchanges of experience or information. For the period up to 2008. development of renewable energy sources. to reduce the total emissions of the developed countries by at least 5% below 1990 levels.). REFERENCES Act Decision 2002/358/EC Entry force into Deadline for transposition in the Official Journal Member States OJ L 130 of 2. may make 1995 a reference year for emissions of HFCs. On 31 May 2002. etc. Commitments will be reviewed by 2005 at the latest. each Party must have set up a national system of the estimation of emissions of human origin and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases (not controlled by the Montreal Protocol). Several industrialised countries have refused to ratify the Protocol. Following its ratification by Russia.2002 15. the European Union ratified the Kyoto Protocol. It represents an important step forward in the effort to tackle global warming as it includes binding. Member States which joined the EU after that date undertake to reduce their emissions by 8%. Parties who so wish. with the exception of Poland and Hungary (6%). during the period 2008 to 2012. The States which were members of the EU before 2004 must collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8% between 2008 and 2012. the industrialised countries) undertake collectively to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. No later than one year prior to the start of the first commitment period.y y y y nitrous oxide (N2O).5. the Parties undertake to make demonstrable progress in achieving their commitments by no later than 2005. hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). including the United States and Australia. and Malta and Cyprus. The Protocol suggests various means of attaining these objectives: y y stepping up or introducing national policies to reduce emissions (greater energy efficiency. quantified objectives for limiting and reducing greenhouse gases. perfluorocarbons (PFCs). the Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.5.2002 .e. coordination of national policies through emission permits. promotion of sustainable forms of agriculture. Annex B to the Protocol contains the quantified commitments given by the Parties. joint implementation and a clean development mechanism). PFCs and SF6.

carbone missions from cars. following the adoption of Directive 2009/31/EC. During the period from 1990 to 2007. The European Union has a adopted a new strategy on climate change. Additional measures will be needed in order to achieve a reduction of at least 20% in greenhouse emissions in the EU. the field of renewable energy. the Commission notes a 24% increase in emissions in the transport sector.RELATED ACTS Proposal for a Council Decision of 17 October 2006 establishing the proposal to be adopted on behalf of the European Community with regard to a proposal for amendment of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [COM(2006) 602 final . although the Kyoto Protocol only recently entered into force. does not ensure the environmental integrity of the Protocol. the European Union has made significant progress in fulfilling its commitments. 11% in the agricultural sector (declining cattle numbers and decreasing use of mineral fertiliser and manure). Their greenhouse gas emissions have reduced by 12. in its current form. reducing emissions in sectors not covered by the EU ETS. carbon capture and storage. This Report states that. New measures have been adopted in the field of climate and energy. In particular. halocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride). because that amendment.Not published in the Official Journal]. this progress is due to the implementation of the European Climate Change Programme. as . fuel quality. 39% in the waste sector (methane emissions from managed wastefills). However. 11% in relation of industrial processes (production of adipic acid. The Report notes that the countries of the European Union have fulfilled the objectives set by the Kyoto Protocol. in particular the adoption of Directive 2008/101/EC on the aviation sector and Directive 2009/33/EC on road transport. The Commission proposes that the Community should not support the adoption of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol proposed by Belarus. Commission Communication of 15 December 2005 ³Report on demonstrable progress under the Kyoto Protocol´ [COM(2005) 615 final ± Not published in the Official Journal]. the Commission reports a reduction in emissions of: y y y y 7% in the energy sector. The Kyoto objectives have been served by the introduction of the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).5% compared with 1990 (reference year). concerning: y y y y y y improving the EU ETS. while their economic growth has continued. Other measures have contributed towards reducing emissions. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament européen and the Council Progress towards achieving the Kyoto objectives (required under Article 5 of Decision 280/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol) [COM(2009) 630 final ± Not published in the Official Journal].

02.02. industry. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament.2005]. Last updated: 14. Commission Communication of 9 February 2005 ³Winning the battle against global climate change´ [COM(2005) 35 final . Communication of 19 May 1999 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: preparing for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol [COM(1999) 230 final ± Not published in the Official Journal]. Council Decision 94/69/EC of 15 December 1993 concerning the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [Official Journal L 33 of 07. which is based on information communicated to the Commission in June 2005. towards an EU post-Kyoto strategy [COM(1998) 353 final ± Not published in the Official Journal].05.well as measures specific to certain sectors (transport. is required by Article 5(3) of Decision 280/2004/EC.06.2010 .) and additional domestic measures. etc.2004]. energy. Decision 280/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol [Official Journal L 49 of 19. The Kyoto target of reducing emissions by 8% can be met if Member States implement additional domestic measures and use flexible mechanisms.Official Journal C 125 of 21.1994]. of 3 June 1998: climate change. This Report.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful