The Kyoto Protocol, a pioneering environmental treaty adopted at COP3 in Japan in 1997, is the first time nations have agreed on country-by-country emission reduction targets. The protocol, which only came into force in 2005, set binding emission reduction targets only for industrialized countries, based on the fact that they are responsible for most of the world`s high greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first signed the agreement, but never ratified it; President George W. Bush argued that the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy because developing countries such as China and India would not be included. In the absence of the participation of these three countries, the effectiveness of the treaty was limited, as its objectives covered only a small fraction of total global emissions. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding emission reduction targets (as well as penalties for non-compliance) only for industrialized countries, the Paris Agreement requires all countries – rich, poor, developed and developing – to take their share and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the Paris Agreement provides for greater flexibility: commitments that countries should make are not included, countries can voluntarily set their emissions targets and countries will not be penalized if they do not meet their proposed targets. But what the Paris agreement requires is to monitor, report and reassess, over time, the objectives of individual and collective countries, in order to bring the world closer to the broader objectives of the agreement. And the agreement stipulates that countries must announce their next round of targets every five years, contrary to the Kyoto Protocol, which was aimed at this target but which contained no specific requirements to achieve this goal. The Paris Agreement, marked by the historic agreement once adopted, owes its success not only to the return of a framework favourable to climate change and sustainable development, but also to efforts to review the management of international climate negotiations.

The Paris Agreement is supported by new initiatives that will all be adapted to the difficulties identified at the previous COP. This innovative approach is based on four elements: the adoption of a universal agreement. Define each state`s national contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although the text of the agreement does not mention the content of these contributions, it obliges signatory states to establish a contribution plan, implement it and raise amounts every five years. Civil society`s participation in the negotiation process through the action programme adopted in November 2016, which brings together civil society initiatives from 180 countries. In 2015, members of civil society were appointed at a high level to facilitate civil society participation in the intergovernmental process. The financial commitment of developed countries to contribute up to $100 billion a year from 2020.