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Climate change is unequivocal and was already discussed in 1979 at the first World Climate Conference. 30 years passed until governments began to take concrete action on climate change.

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 150 countries adopted the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal is to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, several industrial countries (the so-called Kyoto Parties) pledged to reduce their emissions of the six key greenhouse gases by a total of 5% compared to 1990.

Other objectives of the Kyoto Protocol are to promote a low-carbon energy infrastructure and technology transfer to developing countries. For this goal three so-called Kyoto mechanisms were developed: Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI).

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ran between 2008 and 2012. The Kyoto Protocol was extented untill 2020, while its successor is negociated.

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