Highlights of Kyoto Protocol (Part 1)
The Kyoto Protocol to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an effort to reduce emission of Green House Gases (mainly CO2) with legally binding targets on developed or industrialized countries. The UNFCCC is an international treaty to reduce impact of anthropogenic (human induced) gases on environment. The Kyoto Protocol was formally adopted in 1997 but entered into force in 2005 after ratification of Russia (as ratification of minimum 55 industrialized countries were required).
Introduction (Article 1-2)
- Definitions under Article 1:-
- ‘Convention’ – UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- ‘Conference of Parties (COP)’ – Conference of Parties to Convention.
- Annex 1 – parties that contribute about 55% of emissions of world (mainly consist of industrialized countries that were members of OECD + economies in transition from regulated to market economy).
- Annex A – Greenhouse Gases (GHG) such as CO2, CH4, SF6, N2O, HFC etc. and related sectors.
- Annex B – describes reduction commitment as % of base year.
- Every party in Annex I for sustainable development shall take following measures to:-
- Promote energy efficiency and use of renewable energy resources in relevant sectors;
- Promote Agriculture with sustainable development;
- Limit/control methane and GHG emissions;
Binding Provisions (Article 3)
- The parties (in Annex I) either individually or jointly shall ensure that their aggregate emissions of GHG mentioned in Annex A do not exceed their assigned amounts as calculated pursuant to Annex B and reduce their overall emissions by at least 5% below of 1990 levels in commitment period of 2008-2012.
- The Kyoto Protocol prescribes that 1990 shall be used as base year for any of above commitment. But the Parties in Annex 1 undergoing a transition to market economy shall use base year as decided by COP in its 2nd session.
- Any party can use 1995 as base year for its commitments related to emissions of Hydro fluorocarbons, Per Fluorocarbons and Sulphur Dioxide.
Joint Implementation (Article 4-6)
- If any parties (Annex I) make an agreement to fulfil their commitment under article 3 jointly then each party shall be responsible for its own level in case of failure of combined commitment. (Article 4)
- Every party in Annex I shall establish a national system for estimation of emission GHG (as per Annex A) as per methodology adopted by Conference of Parties. (Article 5)
- The Kyoto Protocol states that to achieve commitment under Article 3, any party (under Annex 1) may transfer to or acquire from any other such party emission reduction units by way of a project resulting in reduction anthropogenic gases in any sector of economy. (Article6)
Monitoring and Review (Article 7-9)
- Every party in Annex 1 shall make and submit an annual report on annual inventory of emissions with inclusion of all supplementary emission such as transfer or acquisition to achieve commitment as specified under Article 3. (Article 7)
- The information submit by parties under Article 7 shall be reviewed by expert teams as per guidelines. The expert teams shall submit report on problem of implementation of commitments to COP and circulate to all parties to convention. (Article 8)
- The COP serving as meeting of parties shall periodically review or discuss the above matters and take necessary action. (Article 9)
Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (Article 10-11)
- All parties to Kyoto Protocol with taken into account their ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ (without putting any new commitment burden on Non Annex 1 parties) shall :-
- Formulate national or regional programmes about consideration of climate change especially in energy, transport sectors as well as in forestry, agriculture and waste management.
- Include information of emission of GHG, measures taken for abatement of emissions etc. in their national communications.
- Cooperate in Technical Research and to promote training or education programmes at domestic or international level to reduce emissions of GHG or adverse impact of climate change.
- The developed country parties shall provide necessary financial resources to developing country parties to meet commitments as defined above (Article 11).