The Day After in Kyoto.

DECEMBER 11, 1997 – International negotiators, representing 159 countries, struck an historical agreement Wednesday to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

After 11 days of intense debate at the Third Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, delegates agreed to the following provisions:

Developed Countries
Thirty-eight developed countries agreed to reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gases. Collectively, developed countries agreed to cut back their emissions by a total of 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012 from 1990 levels. The six gases included carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and three ozone-damaging fluorocarbons not covered by the Montreal Protocol that banned global chlorofluorocarbons (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride).

Developed countries that cannot meet their own emissions targets can strike deals with other developed countries that do better than required, to buy the excess "quota" – a concept known as emissions trading. This may encourage reductions to be made where most cost-effective. 

China Workshop Addresses Multinational Approach to Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

DECEMBER 26, 1997; UPDATED AUGUST 11, 1998 -- Climate change policy experts from China, Japan, and the United States recently met to discuss innovative and cost-effective options for reducing global levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Their meeting was the culmination of an international research project in which researchers analyzed opportunities and obstacles for transferring and diffusing lower-emissions technology in developing countries, and evaluated the potential for the increased use of economic incentives for industrialized countries to invest in these production processes. 

Specifically, their emphasis was on understanding the means for technology transfer and diffusion generally, and the market mechanisms and government policies that stimulate or impede the transfer and diffusion of climate-friendlier technologies. The collaborative analysis emphasized the identification of practical options that address incentives, policies, and institutional requirements in the context of carbon dioxide limitations and the energy sector.

The project brought together diverse national, institutional and disciplinary perspectives from the Beijing Environment and Development Institute* (BEDI) in China, the Central Research Institute for the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) in Japan, and Resources for the Future (RFF) in the U.S. Its major strength, project coordinator Michael Toman says, is the participation of experts from China who worked in concert with American and Japanese researchers to promote a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for international cooperation from a Chinese perspective.