Kyoto Protocol - Definition, Operation, Member Countries & Doha Amendment

It is an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kyoto Protocol applies to 6 greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. It is an extension of the 1992 UNFCCC. This article will bring you the relevant details about the Kyoto Protocol. You can download the Kyoto Protocol UPSC Notes from the download button at the end of the article.

Check the Kyoto Protocol UPSC video lecture from one of our top IAS experts.

The Topic, ‘Kyoto Protocol’ is important from the UPSC Mains GS III exam point of view. To complement exam preparation, follow the links mentioned below: 

Kyoto Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, keeping in mind the socio-economic development of the concerned countries and the polluter pays principle. It is one of the important international environment protocols.

The protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. 36 countries had participated in the first commitment period. 9 countries opted for flexibility mechanisms since their national emissions were greater than their targets. Hence these countries funded emissions reductions in other countries.

Although the 36 developed countries had reduced their emissions, global emissions increased by 32 % from 1990 to 2010. The financial crisis of 2007-08 was one of the major contributors to the reduction in emissions.

Kyoto Protocol UPSC Facts

When and where was it adopted?

It was adopted in Kyoto, Japan on 11 December 1997.

When did Kyoto Protocol come into force?

Kyoto Protocol came into force on 16 February 2005.

How many countries are signatories of the Kyoto Protocol?

84 countries are signatories of the Kyoto Protocol.

How many countries are parties to the Kyoto Protocol?

192 countries are parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Which are the countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol?

  1. Canada
  2. Andorra
  3. The United States of America
  4. South Sudan

Details of the Kyoto Protocol for UPSC

  1. It is legally binding
  2. Only members of UNFCCC can become parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
  3. Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the 3rd session of UNFCCC
  4. To meet the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, member countries cannot include international shipping and international aviation
  5. Countries can use Land Use (LU), land-use change (LUC), and Forestry to meet their Kyoto targets.

What is the Conference of Parties (COP)?

The Official meeting of all countries associated with the Kyoto Protocol is called the Conference of Parties (COP).

India at the Kyoto Protocol

  1. India was exempted from legally binding commitments on greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. India emphasized on the differentiation between developed and developing nations concerning the burden of responsibility for climate action.
  3. India successfully defended its obligation on socio-economic development while concurrently forcing developed countries of the Annex I category to take more responsibilities on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol?

After the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ended, an amendment i.e. changes was carried out to the Kyoto Protocol. This amendment talks about emission reduction targets for the second commitment period. The 2nd commitment period ranges from 2012-2020.

Read the facts related to the Doha Amendment for IAS Exam in the table below:

As per Doha Amendments how many countries have binding targets? 37 countries have binding targets
Which country withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2012? Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2012
How many countries have accepted the Doha Amendment? 135 states have accepted the Doha Amendment
How many countries have to accept the Doha Amendment to enter into force? 144 states have to accept the Doha Amendment for Kyoto Protocol to enter into force
How many countries with binding commitments have ratified the Doha Amendment? There are 37 countries with binding targets and only 7 countries have ratified it

India and the Doha Amendment

Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol by decision in accordance with Articles 20 and 21 of the Kyoto Protocol, at the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) held in Doha, Qatar, on 8 December 2012.

As of 28 October 2020, 147 Parties have deposited their instrument of acceptance, therefore the threshold for entry into force of the Doha Amendment has been met.

  1. India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol i.e. meet the emission targets for the time period 2012-2020.
  2. India was the 80th country to accept the amendment.

Kyoto Protocol UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about Kyoto Protocol


Did China sign Kyoto Protocol?

China has approved the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and signed it on May 29, 1998.

What is the difference between Montreal and Kyoto Protocol?

While the Montreal Protocol was established to phase out substances that deplete ozone, the Kyoto Protocol was set in place to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, with the exception to ozone depleting substances.
To read more about Montreal Protocol, check the linked article.
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NCERT Notes on Climate Change Climate Change in India
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