The Protocol contains legally binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for 36 industrialized countries, requiring them to reduce their collective emissions of six key greenhouse gases by at least 5 percent by 2012, compared to 1990 levels. According to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the final step in the ratification process will be the deposit of the formal instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York, an event expected to occur in the coming weeks. The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force 90 days after that.
Although the United States is not participating in the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement is expected to result in an international emissions-trading system among developed countries and will encourage those countries to finance sustainable energy projects in developing countries.
Publication date: 11/15/2004