The Kyoto Protocol, a pioneering environmental treaty adopted at COP3 in Japan in 1997, is the first time nations have agreed on country-by-country emission reduction targets. The protocol, which only came into force in 2005, set binding emission reduction targets only for industrialized countries, based on the fact that they are responsible for most of the world`s high greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first signed the agreement, but never ratified it; President George W. Bush argued that the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy because developing countries such as China and India would not be included. In the absence of the participation of these three countries, the effectiveness of the treaty was limited, as its objectives covered only a small fraction of total global emissions. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. At a rose garden ceremony on June 1, 2017, U.S.
President Donald Trump declared his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump argued that meeting the goals of the agreement, which was to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, would have a negative impact on job growth, hamper production and lead to dramatic declines in the coal mining, natural gas, steel and cement industries. He also stressed that the agreement had set unfair standards for U.S. efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, while it would allow developing countries such as China and India to provide greater flexibility to meet their own climate goals. Towards the end of his speech, Trump left open the possibility of renegotiating the agreement to give the United States a better deal that serves the country`s interests: Iran, Iraq and Libya – all members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) – and conflict-torn states such as Yemen and South Sudan have not ratified the agreement. Countries must, among other things, report on their greenhouse gas inventories and their progress against their targets, so that external experts can assess their success. Countries should also review their commitments by 2020 and present new targets every five years to further reduce emissions. They must participate in a “comprehensive state of affairs” to measure collective efforts in order to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. In the meantime, developed countries must also assess the financial assistance they will provide to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. The agreement commits all countries to reduce their emissions and cooperate to adapt to the effects of climate change and calls on countries to strengthen their commitments over time. The agreement provides developed countries with a means to assist developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts, while establishing a framework for monitoring and reporting transparently on developing countries` climate goals.