The Kyoto Protocol as a Learning Treaty

The Kyoto Protocol illustrates the setup of a learning treaty management system. The Protocol spells out the states parties' obligations by stipulating differentiated targets and time tables. It takes a number of institutional steps designed to ensure the implementation of the Protocol as a whole and of the commitments of each single state party.44 The Conference of the Parties shall keep the implementation of the Protocol under regular review and it may take decisions to promote its effective implementation. In doing so it performs two functions, to promote the implementation first of the Protocol as such and second, by each single member state. This function has to be interpreted in the context of the commitments entered into by developed countries under the Convention on Climate Change. According to its Article 4, Paragraph 2(d) and (e), it is their obligation to keep their commitments under review with a view to reducing anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Also, it is the obligation of the Conference of Parties to reexamine the obligations of the parties in the light of the objective of the Convention, the experience gained in its implementation, and the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge. This means that the obligations under the Convention on Climate Change are not static but can and will be progressively developed to the extent new technological developments and/or scientific findings would allow us to do so. Success in implementing this approach depends on the information received by the Conference of Parties.

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