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UN climate negotiations: Kyoto Protocol — first commitment period

UN climate negotiations: Kyoto Protocol — first commitment period

SUMMARY OF:

Council Decision 2002/358/EC on the EU’s approval of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DECISION DO?

It gives the EU’s legal approval to the Kyoto Protocol — an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — and confirmation that the EU and the 15 countries that were members at the time the legislation was adopted (the ‘EU-15’) would honour the commitments they made to an 8 % cut in their greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels for the EU as a whole.

KEY POINTS

  • As the Kyoto Protocol allowed groups of countries to meet their targets jointly, the overall 8 % reduction for the EU and EU countries was broken down into legally binding national targets, tailored to the relative wealth of each country at the time.
  • The decision sets out emission limitations or reductions for the ‘EU-15’ between 2008 and 2012. These are:
    • the EU to reduce overall emission levels to 92 %,
    • 8 countries to reduce emissions, to between 72 % (Luxembourg) and 94 % (Netherlands),
    • 5 to be allowed to increase them, to between 104 % (Sweden) and 127 % (Portugal)
    • 2 (France and Finland) to maintain them at existing levels (100 %).
  • Similar individual targets have been set for countries that joined the EU after the Kyoto Protocol was adopted — except for Cyprus and Malta, which have no targets.
  • The EU and the EU countries have met their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012).
  • To bridge the gap between the end of the first Kyoto period and the start of a new global agreement in 2020, 37 developed countries and the EU agreed to a second period. The arrangements for 2013-2020 were adopted at the Doha climate change conference in December 2012.

BACKGROUND

The Kyoto Protocol was, until the Paris climate conference in December 2015, the world’s only legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Adopted in December 1997, it contains pledges by participating industrialised nations to reduce their total emissions of 6 greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) by an average of 5 % over the first commitment period (2008-2012) compared to 1990 levels.

FROM WHEN DOES THIS DECISION APPLY?

It entered into force on 2 May 2002.

BACKGROUND

‘Kyoto 1st commitment period (2008-12)’ on the European Commission's website.

ACT

Council Decision 2002/358/EC of 25 April 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder (OJ L 130 of 15.5.2002, pp. 1–3)

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision (EU) 2015/1339 of 13 July 2015 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder (OJ L 207, 4.8.2015, pp. 1–5)

last update 08.02.2016

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