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68. UNFCCC: Need for More Ambitious Action to Achieve Kyoto Protocol Goals

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On June 17, 2020, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released a new UN Climate Change assessment showing that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions of 18% compared to the 1990 goal levels under the Kyoto Protocol’s second phase can be fully achieved. However, this assessment applies only to 37 countries, and the continuous global increase in emissions indicates the need for more ambitious action. The year 2020 is critical because the Kyoto Protocol Parties will submit new targets or update efforts to reduce GHG emissions. If the current trend continues, the global average temperature could rise by more than 3 oC. Based on the Paris Agreement, the temperature rise should be kept as much as possible to 1.5 degrees C or below 2 degrees C.

According to the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the Kyoto Protocol, which is the framework until 2020, imposes a certain numerical reduction on GHG emissions for developed countries, but not on developing countries. Japan had a 6% reduction obligation during the first commitment period (2008-2012), but did not participate in the second commitment period (2013-2020). The Paris Agreement, which is the framework after 2020, was adopted for the first time as a framework in which all countries participate.

The UNFCCC climate change assessment is available here.


UNCCC. Kyoto’s Second Phase Emission Reductions Achievable But Greater Ambition Needed. ARTICLE / 17 JUN, 2020.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. International Framework on Climate Change 


Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)

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