International regulatory bodies and guidelines for carbon reporting

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International regulatory bodies and guidelines for carbon reporting

The first negotiations regarding the issues of global climate change were launched in December 1990 at the UN general assembly that later became the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC 2011). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was formed to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) was convened to conduct these negotiations, which were concluded in just 15 months. The Convention was adopted on 9 May 1992, and opened for signature a month later at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It entered into force on 21 March 1994, after receiving the requisite 50 ratifications. The Convention now has 186 Parties and is approaching universal membership. More recently in 1997, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures (Climate Change Secretariat 2002). The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the Conference of parties (COP), the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.

Despite the primary goal of the Kyoto protocol of legally binding countries to their commitment of reducing greenhouse gases, the complexity of the negotiation remain unfinished even after the Kyoto Protocol itself was adopted. However, certain individual targets for Parties in the commitment period 2008-2012 were agreed.


Countries included in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol and their emissions targets
Country Target (1990** -2008/2012)
EU-15*, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland -8%
US*** -7%
Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland -6%
Croatia -5%
New Zealand, Russian Federation, Ukraine 0
Norway +1%
Australia +8%
Iceland +10%

* The EU’s 15 member States will redistribute their targets among themselves, taking advantage of a scheme under the Protocol known as a “bubble”. The EU has already reached agreement on how its targets will be redistributed.

** Some EITs have a baseline other than 1990.

*** The US has indicated its intention not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Table 2.1 Emission targets.

The targets cover emission of six main greenhouse gases:

• Carbon dioxide (CO2);

• Methane (CH4);

• Nitrous oxide (N2O);

• Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);

• Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and

• Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)

The bodies of the Kyoto protocol are as follow:

The Conference of the Parties (COP) serves as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. This is referred to as the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). The CMP meets annually during the same period as the COP. Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to the Protocol are able to participate in the CMP as observers, but without the right to take decisions.  The functions of the CMP relating to the Protocol are similar to those carried out by the COP for the Convention. The first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held in Montreal, Canada in December 2005, in conjunction with the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11). Decisions were adopted that outline the path to future international action on climate change.  The Parties to the Kyoto Protocol also formally adopted the “rulebook” of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the so-called ‘Marrakesh accords’, which sets the framework for implementation of the Protocol.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)

These two permanent subsidiary bodies established under the Convention also serve the CMP.

The Bureau

The Bureau of the COP also serves the CMP. However, any member of the COP Bureau representing a non-Party to the Kyoto Protocol has to be replaced by a member representing a Kyoto Protocol Party.

Constituted Bodies under the Kyoto Protocol

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board

The CDM Executive Board supervises the CDM under the Kyoto Protocol and prepares decisions for the CMP. It undertakes a variety of tasks relating to the day-to-day operation of the CDM, including the accreditation of operational entities.

Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee

The Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC), under the authority and guidance of the CMP, inter alia, supervises the verification of emission reduction units (ERUs) generated by JI projects following the verification procedure under the JISC.

Compliance Committee

The compliance regime consists of a Compliance Committee made up of two branches: a Facilitative Branch and an Enforcement Branch.