The Adoption of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • Tomaž Gerden


The measures at the level of the United Nations have been implemented in light of the scientific research on the increasing emissions of gases, predominantly created during fossil fuels combustion, which cause the warming of the atmosphere and result in harmful climate change effects. The adoption of this measures has also been demanded by non-governmental environmental organisations. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted by the leaders of the intergovernmental organisation members at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. After the ratification process, it came into force in March 1994. It also provided for the drawing-up of an appendix: a Protocol on the obligatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Parties to the Framework Convention started the negotiations at their first annual conference COP1 in Berlin in March and April 1995. Due to their modest greenhouse gas emissions per capita and their right to development, the developing states demanded that the obligatory reductions of these emissions only be implemented by the industrially-developed countries. In the latter camp, the European Union favoured a tougher implementation; the United States of America argued for a less demanding agreement due to the pressure of the oil and coal lobbies; while the OPEC member countries were against all measures. After lengthy negotiations, the Protocol was adopted at the end of the COP3 Conference in Kyoto on 11 December 1997. It only involved a group of industrially developed countries, which undertook to reduce their emissions by 5.2 %, on average, until the year 2012 in comparison with the base-year of 1990. In the EU as well as in Slovenia, an 8 % reduction was implemented. As the United States of America withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, its ratification was delayed. It came into force on 16 February 2005, after it had been ratified by more than 55 UN member states, together responsible for more than 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.


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