On 9 May 1992, the world’s governments adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Five years later, on 11 December 1997, governments took a further step forwards and adopted the landmark Kyoto Protocol.

Building on the framework of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol broke new ground with its legally-binding constraints on greenhouse gas emissions and its innovative "mechanisms" aimed at cutting the cost of curbing emissions. Today, 186 countries (including the European Community) are Parties to the Convention, more than most any other environmental treaty, and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol is expected soon.

This guide, prepared in the tenth anniversary year of the adoption of the Convention, explains in detail the commitments of both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, along with the "rulebook" for their implementation.