A Brief History:

"The international response to climate change took shape with the development of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Agreed to in 1992, the UNFCCC set out a framework for action to control or cut greenhouse gas emissions. Since the UNFCCC entered into force in 1994, five meetings of the Conference of the Parties [COP] have taken place, as well as numerous workshops and meetings of the UNFCCC's subsidiary bodies. A Protocol to the Convention was adopted in 1997 at the Third Conference of the Parties, held in Kyoto. Although it has yet to enter into force, the UNFCCC's Kyoto Protocol commits industrialized countries to achieve quantified targets for decreasing their emissions of greenhouse gases."

[Above paragraph from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) website]

This history, while short, shows the most important portions of the making of the Protocol.  Nations gathered together in 1992 to agree that the idea of Global Climate Change had enough scientific backing to require international action.  The representatives of each government, including Al Gore, author of Earth in the Balance and former vice-president of the United States, signed the Protocol in 1997 in Kyoto.  This Protocol must be ratified by the governments represented in order to become law.  At this point in time, only 31 nation-states, some of which were not at the original signing, have ratified this document.  The United States is not one of these nations.  Nor are the United Kingdom, France, Japan, or China.

If you are interested in getting involved in the efforts to keep the air clean, the water clean, please contact the institutions which have been formed for these efforts.  And if you think the United States government should sign the Kyoto Protocol, please - call your senator, call your government officials.  Let your voice be heard.

Back to Main Page