The Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting gases does not directly address climate change, but ozone-depleting gases contribute to global warming. The 1987 Montreal Protocol requires 196 nations to reduce ozone-depleting gas emissions, often used in refrigerators, foams and industrial applications. These gases dilute the ozone layer, so that more ultraviolet (UV) light can pass through the atmosphere. Increased exposure to UV light is associated with an increase in skin cancer. Our atmosphere is truly a global common good shared by all of us. Relatively short ago, we realized that human activity could significantly change our climate by changing the chemical composition of our atmosphere (this new understanding is at the origin of the idea of the Anthropocene). This brief history of international agreements to mitigate our effects on climate begins with the Montreal Protocol and ends with the Paris climate agreement. As we focus on the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris climate agreement, it is important that we know the previous agreements, which marked the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. We cannot solve the problem of climate change without the participation of developing countries. First, the U.S. Senate strongly opposes any agreement that denies them objectives.
The Senate passed by 95 to 0 the byrd resolution on hail, which made the commitment of developing countries to emissions targets a precondition for ratification of the Kyoto Treaty. Yes, there is broad consensus within the scientific community, although some deny that climate change is a problem, including politicians in the United States. When negotiating teams meet for international climate talks, “there is less skepticism about science and more disagreement about how to set priorities,” said David Victor, professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego. The basic science is that the 1990 IPCC report served as the basis for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international climate treaty adopted at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. The UNFCCC came into force in 1994 (after the signing and ratification of 154 countries). The treaty voluntarily required participating countries (known as “contracting parties to the agreement”) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Although the treaty`s objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the treaty itself does not contain greenhouse gas emission limits or binding enforcement mechanisms to get countries to meet their declared emission reduction targets (which is why the treaty is referred to as “legally non-binding”). This voluntary approach has not been successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Nevertheless, the UNFCCC served as a framework for the negotiation of subsequent international treaties (so-called “protocols” or “agreements”) on climate change mitigation. Under the UNFCCC, participating countries – known as “parties to the convention” met annually at “party conferences” called COP and numbered in the following order. The first conference, LA COP1, was held in Berlin in 1995, the last, COP25, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. The CDP`s goal is to ensure that countries communicate and assess progress in mitigating climate change, set rules and modalities, and consider other measures.