Climate change was identified as major global issue over the last couple of decades. In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to work together to consider what they could do to limit global temperature increases and the resulting climate change,
and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable. 

By 1995, countries realized that emission reductions provisions in the Convention were inadequate. To strengthen the global response to climate change they adopted the Kyoto Protocol (KP) in Kyoto, Japan, on 11th December, 1997. It was entered into force on 16th February, 2005.

The KP legally binds developed countries to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1st January 2013 and will end in 2020.

Under the Protocol, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Protocol also offers them an additional means to meet their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms: International Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint implementation (JI).