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The English version of our glossary is currently under construction and will be regularly updated.

Kyoto Protocol

By signing the Kyoto Protocol (1997), the international community embedded for the first time an absolute and legally binding limit on greenhouse-gas emissions in an international agreement.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was ratified at the third Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. It includes legally binding obligations that complement those in the UNFCCC. Those countries listed in Annex B of the Protocol (the majority of OECD countries and newly industrialised countries) agreed to reduce their anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) by at least 5% below the 1990 level within the timeframe of 2008 to 2012. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005.