What Are the Targets Set for the Kyoto Protocol?

The common target was to reduce the emissions of the following greenhouse gases to 5.2% below the levels recorded in the year 1990 by 2012.

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

The member states were grouped into two classes: developed states and developing nations. The countries that benefited from the industrial revolution and other developed nations that emit a large amount of greenhouse gases were given legally binding targets. The developing nations did not have any targets.

The reduction targets for major industrialized nations:

  • EU – 8%
  • US – 7%
  • Canada, Japan, Hungary and Poland – 6%
  • Croatia – 5%

The following were allowed to increase their emissions up to their respective targets.

  • Iceland – 10%
  • Australia – 8%
  • Norway – 1%

Ukraine, New Zealand and the Russian Federation were given a target of 0%, which means they do not have to reduce, but they cannot increase their emission levels from that of 1990.