The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, which was subsequently augmented in 1997 by the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. With 2008—2012 being designated as the compliance period for the Kyoto Protocol and with many countries and organizations contemplating future commitments, a worldwide effort is underway to lay out a road map for a “post-Kyoto” agreement.
IN THE BEGINNING, THE UNITED STATES LEAD THE WAY
Ten years ago, the U.S. Administration under President Bill Clinton was a driving force in Kyoto,Japan, to negotiate the first international agreement to limit GHG emissions under the UNFCCC. Subsequently, the impetus for the Kyoto Protocol’s market-based emissions-trading provisions came from the United States, which had to overcome stiff opposition from the European Union (EU). Yet, it is the EU that has since embraced emissions trading as the cornerstone of meeting its GHG emissions reduction targets.'