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. The Paris Agreement has an “upward” structure unlike most international environmental treaties, which are “top down”, characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives that states must implement.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives.  Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law.
This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an “executive agreement, not a treaty.” Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.  The EU and its member states are individually responsible for ratifying the Paris Agreement. There was a strong preference for the EU and its 28 Member States to simultaneously table their ratification instruments to ensure that neither the EU nor its Member States commit to commitments that belong exclusively to the other and there was concern that there was a disagreement on each Member State`s share of the EU-wide reduction target. just as Britain`s vote to leave the EU could delay the Paris pact.  However, on 4 October 2016, the European Parliament approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement and the EU tabled its ratification instruments on 5 October 2016 with several EU Member States.  Maintaining the agreement could also be serious obstacles for the United States as we begin the process of exploiting America`s abundant energy reserves, which we have very strongly begun. It would have been unthinkable if an international agreement could have prevented the United States from conducting its own internal economic affairs, but that is the new reality we face if we do not leave the agreement or negotiate a much better deal. “The decision to leave the Paris agreement was wrong when it was announced, and it`s still wrong today,” said Helen Mountford of the World Resources Institute. We have one of the most frequent energy reserves in the world, enough to lift America`s poorest working people out of poverty. But as part of this agreement, we are effectively locking up these reserves and taking the great wealth of our nation – it is a great wealth, it is a phenomenal wealth. Not so long ago, we had no idea that we had such wealth and that we were leaving millions and millions of families trapped in poverty and unemployment. In addition, countries are working to reach “the global peak in greenhouse gas emissions” as soon as possible.