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Summits and Protocols Related to Environment

Published on Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Summits and Protocols related to Environment:

In this article, the following topics are discussed
  • Earth Summit-1992 
  • UNFCC- Came into force from 1994 
  • Conference of Parties (COP) 
  • Montreal Protocol- Came into effective from 1989 
  • Kyoto protocol- Came into effective from 2005 
  • Doha amendment-2012 
  • Kigali amendment-2016 

Earth Summit:

  • Earth summit was held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992. Therefore it is also known as Rio Summit 
  • The main outcome of the summit was the formation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 
  • In this summit, an action plan of 40 chapters called Agenda 21 was adopted by over 100 Nations. 
  • Another important outcome in this summit was convention on Biological Diversity, Forest principals 


  • UNFCC means United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is one of the outcomes of Earth summit 
  • The objective of UNFCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. 
  • UNFCC is not legally binding on any country 
  • The convention does not set mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. 

The parties of the UNFCC are grouped into three categories:

  • Annex-I Countries: (40 + 1): Industrialized countries are placed in this category. Annex-I group consists of 40 countries and the European Union
  • Annex II Countries: (23): The Developed countries which play a financial role in the development of the developing countries and pay the cost for the development in the developing countries were placed in Annex II countries. 
  • Developing Countries: As per the UNFCC the Developing countries, are not required to reduce emission levels unless developed countries supply enough funding and technology for their development. 
  • The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also provides that the parties should act to protect the climate system “on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities 

Conference of Parties:

  • The nations, who have signed UNFCCC convention, meet every year to discuss climate change strategy. These meetings are called Conference of the Parties (COP) 
  • The first conference of Parties was held in Berlin (Germany) 
  • In COP-3, Kyoto Protocol came into existence. 
  • Till now, 23 conferences of Parties were held. 
  • The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany. Presided over by the Government of Fiji. 
  • Next Conference of Parties will be held in Poland 

Kyoto protocol-1997

  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and it came into effect from 2005. The protocol is based on the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR). 
  • The main aim of Kyoto protocol is to fight global warming by reducing GHGs emissions. 
  • Kyoto protocol is legally binding on developed countries to go for greenhouse gas emission reductions, and establishing the Clean Development Mechanism for developing countries. 
  • India, China and other developing countries were exempt from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol because their contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases during the industrialisation period is less when compared with developed countries 
  • India signed and ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol in August 2002. 

Kyoto protocol proposes three kinds of mechanisms to reduce Greenhouse gases. They are

  • Emission Trading, 
  • Joint Implementation and 
  • Clean Development Mechanism. 

Doha amendment:

  • Doha amendment is related to Kyoto protocol 
  • The 1st commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012. The 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Doha. It was agreed to extend the ‘Kyoto Protocol’ that was to end in 2012 to 2020. 
  • It was also agreed to renegotiate the agreement reached in Durban by 2015 and to implement it by 2020. 

Montreal Protocol-Ozone depletion

  • Ozone depletion refers to the phenomenon of reductions in the amount of ozone in the stratosphere. The problem of ozone depletion is caused by high levels of chlorine and bromine compounds in the stratosphere. Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet light from passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, observed and projected decreases in ozone have generated worldwide concern. 
  • This led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol banning the use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds, as well as other ozone-depleting chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethane (also known as methyl chloroform), and bromine compounds are known as halons. 
  • The Montreal protocol was signed in 1987 and came into force from 1989 
  • It aims at reducing the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer. 
  • It has been ratified by 197 parties making it universally ratified protocol in United Nations history. 
  • It is also highly successful international arrangement 

Kigali amendment-2016

  • Kigali amendment is related to the amendment of Montreal protocol. 
  • The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is legally binding and will come into force from 1 January 2019. 
  • The Kigali amendment is expected to reduce the use of HFCs by 85% by 2045; 
  • As per Kigali amendment Developing countries will follow with a freeze of HFCs consumption levels in 2024, with some countries freezing consumption in 2028. By the late 2040s, all countries are expected to consume no more than 15-20% of their respective baselines. Overall, the agreement is expected to reduce HFC use by 85% by 2045. 
  • China, which is the largest producer of HFCs in the world, will reduce HFC use by 80% by 2045 over the 2020-22 baseline. 
  • India will reduce the use of HFCs by 85% over the 2024-26 baseline. 

Model Question:

1. In which year Earth summit was held:
a. 1990
b. 1991
c. 1992
d. 1994

2. Montreal protocol is related to
a. Biological diversity
b. Ozone layer
c. Protection of oceans
d. Protection of forests

3. COP-23 was held in which city? 
a. Bonn in Germany
b. Paris in France
c. New York in USA
d. Montreal in Canada

4. Next conference of Parties (COP-24) will be held in: 
a. India
b. Germany
c. Poland
d. Italy

5. For Developed countries, Kigali amendment legally binding on 
a. 2017
b. 2019
c. 2020
d. 2025

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