What is Kyoto Protocol?



It is a popular view that global warming is mainly induced by human activities. There are many wide spread initiatives to curtail this. On December 11, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, the UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – negotiated a protocol governing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the countries with industrial developments. This is called the Kyoto Protocol, which was enforced on February 16, 2005. All the countries in the word have signed the Kyoto Protocol. However, until date only 191 member states have ratified, that is, have legal obligations to follow the terms of the protocol.

According to the terms of the protocol, the participating countries must ensure that they reduce the emissions of gasses: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perflurocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride. The target was to reduce the emission levels of 1990 by 5.2%, collectively. The target year is 2012. Individually, each ratified country has different targets (some lower than 5.2 and some higher).