Kyoto Protocol


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The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for leading our international negotiations on climate change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement created under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Kyoto, Japan in 1997.

On 3 December 2007, the then Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd, signed Australia's instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This instrument was accepted on 12 December 2007. Australia's ratification came into effect on 11 March 2008.

The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce the collective greenhouse gas emissions of developed country Parties by at least five per cent below 1990 levels during 2008 to 2012—referred to as the first commitment period.

At United Nations climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa in 2011, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol decided to establish a second commitment period from 1 January 2013. There will be further negotiations in 2012 to finalise the emission reductions targets to be taken by countries who participate in the second commitment period.

Australia intends to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol covering 2013 to 2020.

In tandem with the Kyoto Protocol, 90 countries covering over 80 per cent of global emissions have made international pledges to limit their emissions under the UNFCCC.

Australia is committed to taking strong action on climate change and we are playing our part in the global effort to achieve an ambitious international outcome. Australia has made a 2020 emission reduction pledge under the UNFCCC. Australia has also stated that it is prepared to consider a new commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, following necessary domestic processes. The Australian Government has a three-pillar approach to tackling climate change.