1997: Creation of the Kyoto Protocol
Image Credit: 1
Innovation: Kyoto Protocol
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Year: Adopted in 1997, Enforcement began in 2005
By: United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change
The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) that obligates industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was adopted on December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and enforcement began on February 16, 2005. Industrialized countries, called Annex I countries, are required to submit annual reports of their quantity of gas emissions. These countries must prepare policies and measures for reduction and increase absorption of these gases. Industrialized countries can be rewarded with credits from their policies and reduction measures that would allow higher concentrations of gases. The protocol wants to return emission levels back to the level of specified base years, which in most cases is 1990 although it differs from country to country. If a country does not reach its emission limitation, the country must make up the difference plus an additional 30% during the second commitment period and their ability to make transfers under an emissions trading program will be suspended. This protocol has made the reduction of greenhouse gases a bigger priority and brings light to the importance and effects of these gases. Countries feel more pressure to reduce harmful gas emissions as rules are now enforced concerning them.