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Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and can provide the architecture for the future international agreement on climate change. 

Under the Protocol, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Protocol also offers them an additional means to meet their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms.

The Kyoto mechanisms are:

Monitoring Emission Targets

Under the Protocol, countries' actual emissions have to be monitored and precise records have to be kept of the trades carried out.

Registry systems track and record transactions by Parties under the mechanisms. The UN Climate Change Secretariat, based in Bonn, Germany, keeps an international transaction log to verify that transactions are consistent with the rules of the Protocol.

Reporting is done by Parties by submitting annual emission inventories and national reports under the Protocol at regular intervals.

compliance system ensures that Parties are meeting their commitments and helps them to meet their commitments if they have problems doing so.

Adaptation: The Kyoto Protocol, like the Convention, is also designed to assist countries in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change. It facilitates the development and deployment of technologies that can help increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The Adaptation Fund was established to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. In the first commitment period, the Fund was financed mainly with a share of proceeds from CDM project activities. In Doha, in 2012, it was decided that for the second commitment period, international emissions trading and joint implementation would also provide the Adaptation Fund with a 2 percent share of proceeds.

Reference: Kyoto Protocol, 2013

 

Targets for the first commitment period

The targets for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol cover emissions of the six main greenhouse gases, namely:

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

The maximum amount of emissions (measured as the equivalent in carbon dioxide) that a Party may emit over a commitment period in order to comply with its emissions target is known as a Party’s assigned amount. The individual targets for Annex I Parties are listed in the Kyoto Protocol's Annex B.

pdf-icon Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual on Accounting of Emissions and Assigned Amounts

 Reference: Kyoto Protocol, 2013