Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement thas was adopted in Japan in 1997, and entered into force in 2005. It is linked to the UNFCCC, but stands on its own and requires separate ratification by states. The Kyoto Protocol, among other things, sets binding targets for industrialized countries to cut their GHG emissions. The Protocol recognizes the historical responsibility of developed countries for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere, and places a heavier burden on them under the CBDR principle (see CBDR/RC). Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period started in 2013 and will end in 2020, although the composition of Parties in this period is different from the first. (see also Kyoto mechanisms)


Sources:
unfccc.int/kyoto protocol

Read more about the Kyoto Protocol on:
www.theguardian.com (kyoto-protocol)
environment.about.com
eur-lex.europa.eu