Since the late 1980s, scientists have been worried about climate change. The subject has received increasing attention. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established and in the Kyoto Protocol agreements on measures have been made. This ultimately led to the EU ETS emissions trade system at European level.

Founding of the IPCC and UNFCCC

In 1988 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  was established, a committee of scientists that determines what the current state of scientific thinking is on climate change. During the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was drawn up.

Various industrial nations agreed in the UNFCC to limit their greenhouse gas emissions to keep human influence on the planet below a critical boundary. Read more about the background of the UNFCCC.

The Kyoto Protocol

In the mid-1990s it became apparent that further measures were required to prevent a damaging increase in temperature. This led to the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC, which was drawn up during the Conference of the Parties in Kyoto in 1997.

The Kyoto Protocol enabled the trade in emission allowances between countries.

The Kyoto Protocol is in force until 2020. After 2020 the agreements made in a new climate agreement will apply.

Reference to the Paris Agreement on climate change.