The Kyoto Protocol

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.

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.

Under the Protocol, 37 countries ("Annex 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 them, and all member countries give general commitments.

EU-countries like Greece,Spain,Ireland and Sweden have not committed themselves to any reduction while France has committed itself not to expand its emissions (0% reduction) in the internal-EU distribution agreement.

This agreement ensures a 8% reduction for the EU-region as a whole in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.  Greenland has only committed itself through Denmark. However Greenland has not committed itself to a reduction towards Denmark. But might do it in the next period.

Overview map Of States obligated by the Kyoto Protocol as of 2010.
  • Green countries = Those of the Annex I countries who are fully obligated (also called Annex II countries).
  • Yellow countries = Annex I countries who only are obligated within some freedom as to their requirements in the protocol. Also called Countries with Economics in Transition (EIT)).
  • Red countries = are not obligated by the Kyoto Protocol. Are either countries who have Non-annex 1 status in the protocol, and thereby are not obligated or countries that have not signed the protocol yet.

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