What is the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement?

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted with the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a sustainable level and thereby counteracting serious consequences. After ratification by the 50th state, it entered into force in 1994.

The Contracting States meet at regular intervals at the so-called COPs (Conference of the Parties) to agree on further action in climate protection. In 1997, this meeting took place in Kyoto, Japan, where the "Kyoto Protocol" was adopted as the first document with legally binding limits and reductions for the ratified industrialized countries. The period of validity was set for the period 2008 to 2012 (1st commitment period) and 2013 to 2020 (2nd commitment period).

In order to maintain the international climate protection process after 2020, there was a need for a new climate agreement. This was adopted in 2015 at the COP in Paris as the "Paris Agreement", which for the first time included a concrete goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 ° C warming from the pre-industrial level of 1750. For this purpose, the ratified states set their own reduction targets, with a review and reinforcement of climate protection efforts taking place every five years. In October 2016, the usual number of at least 55 ratified states responsible for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions Has been reached, allowing the agreement to enter into force.

Source: IASS Potsdam, Umweltbundesamt Deutschland, BMU Deutschland

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