Stages and results 1995-2004


1995: COP1: Berlin

Adoption of the "Berlin Mandate", which initiates negotiations on new commitments. It is intended to define quantified targets for the limitation and reduction of emissions by specified deadlines (2005, 2010, 2020). No new commitments are planned for developing countries.


1996: COP2: Geneva

The participating government representatives corroborate the need for a protocol to the Climate Change Convention that specifies binding quantitative targets. The negotiations being held in the context of the "Berlin Mandate" enter a decisive phase.


1997: COP3: Kyoto

Over 5,000 representatives of governments, business, science and the media participate in this conference, which led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol on 11 December 1997. This marks the establishment of a basis for an internationally binding emissions reduction policy.

The Protocol entered into force on 16.2.2005 having been ratified by over 55 countries, which are responsible for 55% of the CO2 emissions generated by the industrialised countries (ratification status in 2016: 192 states).


1998: COP4: Buenos Aires

The Kyoto Protocol contains numerous provisions which still have to be worked out in detail. A comprehensive action plan ("Buenos Aires Plan of Action") is passed in Buenos Aires.


1999: COP5: Bonn

The work on the Plan of Action is in full swing. Numerous Parties to the Climate Change Convention demand its scheduled implementation by the year 2000 so that the Kyoto Protocol can enter into force ten years after the Rio Earth Summit (i.e. 2002).


2000: COP6: The Hague

Positions on the most controversial issues became entrenched: i.e. the use of the flexible mechanisms and counting of carbon sinks, the monitoring of compliance with country commitments, and provision of support for developing countries in the context of the Kyoto Protocol. The conference has to be adjourned without reaching a clear result.


2001: IPCC Third Assessment Report

The Third Assessment Report reinforces and substantiates the previous findings of the IPCC. It also establishes that the global warming that has occurred since the 1970s can no longer be explained by natural variations in the climate.


2001: COP6-2: Bonn

The auspices for the resumed negotiations are not good: the USA, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, declared in spring that it would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The will to implement the Protocol prevails, however, and the conference ends with an agreement on the main principles for its application.


2001: COP7: Marrakesh

The agreement reached in Bonn is formulated in concrete resolutions:

Despite the latest compromises, which dilute the requirements under the Protocol even more, a clear political signal is given: even without the USA, the international community wants a binding internationally-coordinated policy for the protection of the climate. The path is clear for the ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

Results of the Negotiations 1997-2001 (PDF, 303 kB, 13.05.2016)(in German) Source: German Environment Agency (UBA)


2002: COP8: New Delhi

Various detailed provisions on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol are ironed out. Ratification by Russia is still lacking for the entry into force of the Protocol.

First highly controversial debates between industrialised and developing countries about possible targets and priorities for the time after the completion of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012).


2003: COP9: Milan

Ratification by Russia is still outstanding after the entry into force of the Protocol and the negotiations focus on questions that remain open in relation to its implementation,  particularly regarding carbon sink projects in developing countries.

Discussions about possible targets and priorities for the time after the completion of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol can still only be held on an informal basis. Article 3.9 of the Protocol specifies that the discussion of emission reduction targets for the post-2012 period shall begin in 2005 at the latest.


2004: COP10: Buenos Aires

The conference takes place against the backdrop of Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which enables its entry into force in February 2005. The obligations defined in the Protocol become binding as a result and involve commitments on the part of around 130 signatory states by then.

Second, the conference is dominated by the categorical rejection of the discussion of climate protection obligations beyond the time horizon of the Kyoto Protocol (i.e. after 2012) by the USA, India and the OPEC Member States.

It is nonetheless decided in 2005 to initiate discussions about the future of international climate policy. A programme of work on measures for adaptation to climate change is also passed by the conference.

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