The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan in order to produce significant changes in the nations of the world, such that overall emissions which lead to global warming might be reduced.
The Kyoto Treaty thus stands out as one of the largest international efforts towards environmental protection to have been implemented to date.
The Kyoto Protocol specifically asks the nations that sign onto the Kyoto Treaty to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur hexafluoride, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, and perflurocarbons to certain acceptable levels.
The means by which countries might meet the standards of the Kyoto Protocol would vary between states, but could include such means as emissions trading, for example. The Kyoto Treaty split nations up into different categories called Annexes in order to determine exactly what emissions reductions they must implement by 2012.
The Kyoto Treaty has currently been agreed to and joined with by 187 different states throughout the world, ranging from Fiji to Lesotho to Denmark to Canada and others as members. The Kyoto Protocol was signed by the United States, but the United States Government itself has not ratified the Kyoto Treaty, which means that the Kyoto Protocol standards have not been put into effect by the United States of America.
There are several other nations which have not signed onto the Kyoto Protocol, including the Palestinian Authority and Vatican City.