Compliance regime of the Kyoto Protocol
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988 jointly by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), with the aim of assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the risk of human-induced climate change. Since its inception, the IPCC has produced a series of comprehensive Assessment Reports on the state of our knowledge about the causes of climate change, its potential effects, and options for response strategies. It has also prepared Special Reports, Technical Documents, methodologies and guidelines. IPCC publications have become commonly used reference works,
The international response to the challenge of climate change has materialized in two legal instruments, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994, and the Kyoto Protocol. The Convention, ratified by 186 countries, has as its ultimate goal to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in order to prevent dangerous anthropogenic disturbances in the climate system.
In 1997, governments agreed to incorporate an addition to the treaty, known as the Kyoto Protocol, which develops and gives concrete content to the generic provisions of the UNFCCC and which has more vigorous (and legally binding) measures. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997 and which entered into force in February 2005, establishes, for the first time, targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions for the main developed countries and countries with economies in transition. Greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized countries must be reduced by at least 5% below 1990 levels for the period 2008-2012.
Article 18 of the Protocol addresses the need to approve the procedures and mechanisms related to the fulfillment by the Parties of their obligations under the Protocol. These compliance procedures and mechanisms were approved at the first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol – Decision 27 / CP.1 – held after its entry into force, in Montreal in December 2005.
A Compliance Committee is created to ensure the Parties’ compliance with the obligations assumed under the Protocol. The Compliance Committee, with twenty members elected by the Parties, is organized into a Plenary, a Table, and two different groups: the Facilitation Group and the Compliance Control Group. The Facilitation Group is responsible for providing support, assistance and advice to the Parties in order to promote compliance, prior to any non-compliance. The Compliance Control Group is responsible for determining whether or not a non-compliance has occurred, and if it determines that it has, it can establish corrective measures for the Parties.