Kyoto Protocol

a 1997 agreement reached in Kyoto, Japan, that amended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It mandated emissions cuts by thirty-eight developed economies while encouraging (but not requiring) developing countries to follow suit, and it was renewed in 2011 for an additional five years. The Kyoto Protocol was an example of the UN climate principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” which acknowledged collective obligation for the planet’s health but emphasized that only developed countries cut emissions.