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When we talk about climate change and the Kyoto protocol, the conversation quickly turns into “alphabet soup”: UNFCCC, CDM, JI, IPCC, etc. What’s behind these abbreviations? Here a very simplified overview.

UNFCCC = Climate Convention
The United Nations has 193 members. Almost all have signed the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” The UNFCCC is responsible for the issuance of CERs. Both the JI and the CDM Executive Board (see below) are subordinated to the UNFCCC. [more]

Kyoto Protocol = mandatory emission reductions for developed countries
The Kyoto Protocol is a substantial extension of the UNFCCC: it sets legally binding emission-reduction targets for some industrialized countries. The remaining participant countries are exempt. This means that although almost all UNFCCC members are also signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, very few are obligated to act. [more]

JI and CDM = instruments for international cooperation
The Kyoto protocol gives industrialized countries tools to achieve their emission targets including international cooperation. When two industrial countries work together their cooperation is called Joint Implementation (JI). The cooperation between an industrialized country and a developing country is called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). CDM projects can generate CERs. [more]

IPCC = scientific assessment of climate change
And who gives the UNFCCC member countries a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change? For this a committee was created: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [more]

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