UN Guterres Hails Kyoto Success. Celebrate the 20th Anniversary with UN Climate Change
UN Climate Change News, Bonn, Nov 15 – The Kyoto Protocol, the first international treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions and which celebrates its 20th
anniversary next month, remains an essential vehicle for developed countries to make more rapid and urgent cuts in their
emissions, UN Secretary General António Guterres said today.
His clear message to leaders and delegates at the high-level opening of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference was
backed up in the most concrete way by Belgium, Sweden, Germany and Spain, who became the latest countries to ratify the
Doha Amendment, which establishes the second commitment period of action under the Protocol.
“In this 20th anniversary year of the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the
Climate Change Convention, I call on all relevant nations that have not yet done so to ratify the Doha Amendment,” said
The Protocol, since its adoption at COP3 on December 11, 1997, has become a beacon of climate action and an inspiring
precursor to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, because it demonstrated that international climate change
agreements not only work but can significantly exceed expectations in meeting their objectives.
The world is not yet on track to meet the central goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – to limit the global average
temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.
“The latest UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report shows that current pledges will only deliver a third of what
is needed … the window of opportunity to meet the 2 degree target may close in 20 years or less. And we may have only
five years to bend the emissions curve towards 1.5 degrees. We need at least a further 25 per cent cut in global
emissions by 2020,” said Mr Guterres.
The Doha Amendment covers this pre-2020 period, which is critical in the overall effort to get on track to the Paris
goal. To date, 88 Parties have accepted the Amendment. To enter Doha into force requires 144 of the 192 parties to the
How Will You Mark the Anniversary of Kyoto Protocol?
To celebrate the anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol and to encourage the ratification of Doha by more Parties, UN Climate
Change is launching a social media campaign towards the December 11 anniversary asking people to send messages of
People can take selfies of themselves, friends or family holding up signs saying “I Love the Kyoto Protocol”, and post
these images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #ILoveKyotoProtocol. We will select the best and share
them on our own social media platforms.
“In 1997, we achieved a landmark agreement with the Kyoto Protocol, with its measurable reduction targets. It is the
20th anniversary of that agreement next month and is something worth recognising today,” added President of COP 23 and
Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama.
Kyoto Showed Climate Agreements Can Outperform
The Protocol, which set emission cut commitments by developed countries, was adopted on December 11, 1997 in Kyoto,
Japan and came into force on February 16, 2005.
During its first commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, 37 industrialized countries and the European Community, which as
an organization is also a Party to the Climate Change Convention, agreed to take a leading role in climate action by
reducing their emissions to an average of just over five percent against 1990 levels.
In the end, they reduced them by well over 20 per cent.
“I am certain that the Kyoto Protocol was central to this exceptional result. Kyoto was behind the inspiration,
innovation and sheer economic sense of renewable energy, energy efficiency, new technology, pollution reduction and new
carbon markets which emerged in developed countries in this period and then began to pick up pace,” said Patricia
Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary.
“Thanks to Kyoto, we are not starting from scratch and we know we have solutions to meet the Paris goal, but only if we
act now further, faster and together, led by developed nation emission cuts,” she said.