The Kyoto Protocol is considered a milestone in international climate policy. It was adopted at the third Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol was the first agreement to include binding commitments for developed countries to limit and reduce emissions. To date, 191 countries have ratified the Protocol, including all EU member states and key emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa. The US has still not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Canada withdrew in 2013.
For the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force, at least 55 parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, together accounting for at least 55 percent of total CO2 emissions produced by developed countries in 1990, had to ratify it.
At the Climate Change Conference in Kyoto, the Parties determined that the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol would last from 2008 to 2012. The second period began in 2012 and will end in 2020
In the Kyoto Protocol there are three mechanisms that aim to support developed countries in achieving their emission reductions. The so-called Kyoto mechanisms, or flexible mechanisms, enable developed countries to meet part of their emission reduction commitments abroad.