What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that was signed in 1997. This agreement was meant to reduce the amounts of greenhouse gasses that would be released into the atmosphere. This was meant as a way to slow global warming.
Many people feel as if the Kyoto Protocol has not had much of an impact. This is partly because the United States has not agreed to the treaty. This is also partly due to the fact that further negotiations to implement of the protocols have broken down. At this point, it seems quite likely that the protocols will not be updated and agreed to before the original agreement expires at the end of 2012.
The Kyoto Protocol treaty was negotiated in December 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan and came into force February 16th, 2005.
"The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the year 1990 (but note that, compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol, this target represents a 29% cut). The goal is to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs - calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12. National targets range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland."