1997 Kyoto Climate Agreement

Kyoto Protocol, in the middle of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty, named after the Japanese city that adopted it in December 1997, which aimed to reduce the emissions of gases that contribute to global warming. The protocol, in force since 2005, called for emissions of six greenhouse gases in 41 countries plus the European Union during the 2008/2012 “commitment period” to be 5.2% below 1990 levels. It has been widely touted as the most important environmental treaty ever negotiated, although some critics have questioned its effectiveness. When George W. Bush was elected President of the United States in 2000, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel asked him what form his government was in on climate change. Bush responded that he “takes climate change very seriously”,[101] but that he was against the Kyoto Treaty because it would “exclude 80 percent of the world, including major population centers like China and India, from complying with the rules and would cause serious damage to the U.S. economy.” [102] The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research reported in 2001: Barker et al. (2007, p. 79) evaluated the literature on cost estimates of the Kyoto Protocol.

[117] Due to the United States` non-participation in the Kyoto Treaty, the cost estimates were significantly lower than the estimates of the previous IPCC Third Assessment Report. Without the participation of the United States and using the Kyoto flexible mechanisms fully, the cost was estimated to be less than 0.05% of Schedule B GDP. This is compared to previous estimates of 0.1 to 1.1%. Without the use of flexible mechanisms, costs were estimated to be less than 0.1% without U.S. participation. This is compared to previous estimates of 0.2 to 2%. These cost estimates were considered to be based on a great deal of evidence and convergence in the literature. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which requires States Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global warming is taking place (part 1) and (part two) it is very likely that human-caused CO2 emissions are the majority cause.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and came into force on 16 February 2005. There are currently 192 parties (Canada withdrew from the protocol as of December 2012). At the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18), held in Doha, Qatar, in 2012, delegates agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2020. They also reaffirmed their commitment to COP17, which took place in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, to create a new global and legally binding climate treaty by 2015 that would require greenhouse gas-producing countries – including large CO2 emitters that do not comply with the Kyoto Protocol (such as China, India and the United States) – to limit and reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.