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The Kyoto Protocol, a pioneering environmental treaty adopted at COP3 in Japan in 1997, is the first time nations have agreed on country-by-country emission reduction targets. The protocol, which only came into force in 2005, set binding emission reduction targets only for industrialized countries, based on the fact that they are responsible for most of the world`s high greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first signed the agreement, but never ratified it; President George W. Bush argued that the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy because developing countries such as China and India would not be included. In the absence of the participation of these three countries, the effectiveness of the treaty was limited, as its objectives covered only a small fraction of total global emissions. The initial commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2012. This year, at COP18 in Doha, Qatar, delegates agreed to extend the agreement until 2020 (without some industrialized countries withdrawing). They also reaffirmed their commitment made at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, to create a new global climate treaty by 2015 that would require all major emitters not included in the Kyoto Protocol, such as China, India and the United States, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The new treaty – which was to become the Paris Agreement – was to completely replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2020. However, the Paris agreement came into force earlier than expected in November 2016. The goal of the agreement is to reduce global warming outlined in Article 2, “improving the implementation” of the UNFCCC[11] When the agreement reached enough signatures on October 5, 2016 to cross the threshold, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Even if we achieve every goal… we will only get to part of where we need to go. He also said that “this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.” It will help other nations reduce their emissions over time and set bolder goals as technology progresses, all under a strong transparency system that will allow each nation to assess the progress of all other nations. [27] Today`s U.S.-China formal membership action is an important step towards this year`s entry into force: countries representing about 40% of global emissions have joined and more than 55 countries have already joined or publicly pledged to join the agreement this year. Last December, more than 190 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious agreement in history. For the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions must formally accede to the agreement. Specific results of increased attention to adjustment financing in Paris include the announcement by the G7 countries of $420 million for climate risk insurance and the launch of a Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative. [51] In 2016, the Obama administration awarded a $500 million grant to the “Green Climate Fund” as “the first part of a $3 billion commitment made at the Paris climate talks.” [52] [53] [54] To date, the Green Climate Fund has received more than $10 billion in commitments.