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UNFCCC Background


By 1995, countries realized that emission reductions provisions in the Convention were inadequate. They launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol.


The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets.


The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ends in 2012. At COP17 in Durban, governments of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol decided that a second commitment period, from 2013 onwards, would seamlessly follow the end of the first commitment period. The length of the second commitment period is to be determined: it will be either five or eight years long.

There are now 195 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the international climate change negotiations, particularly the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP), the subsidiary bodies (which advise the COP/CMP), and the COP/CMP Bureau (which deals mainly with procedural and organizational issues arising from the COP/CMP and also has technical functions). For a brief depiction of how these various bodies are related to one another, please see Bodies.

For further reading please visit the reference stated below.

Reference: Background on the UNFCCC, 2013