Kyoto treaty



  • noun an international treaty signed in 1997, by which governments agreed to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases to lower than their 1990 levels by 2010. The main point of the treaty was that signatories would reduce their emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 2010; but in order to achieve this, the main industrialised countries can buy emission reductions (called emission credits) from other countries, instead of reducing their own emissions themselves. This allows the USA, for example, to acquire emission credits for reductions in emissions in Ukraine, where, because of the collapse of the economy, emissions are already lower than stipulated in the treaty. Another scheme allows the richer countries to get credit for emission reductions in schemes which they finance in poorer countries.