What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997 at the third conference of parties to the framework convention on climate change. The Kyoto Protocol is the first treaty, which included legally binding emission reduction targets (for the so-called Annex B states – 37 industrialized nations). Although states have differing reduction targets, the average reduction for all Annex B states for the period of 2008 – 2012 was 5% in relation to 1990.
The primary vehicles for achieving these targets are national reduction policies. However, the protocol also included a number of so-called flexible mechanisms, to aid states with target achievement (see below).