The Kyoto Protocol implemented the UNFCCC`s goal of reducing the onset of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to a “level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic disturbances to the climate system” (Article 2). The Kyoto Protocol applies to the six greenhouse gases listed in Schedule A: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).  Starting in 2020, the United States is the only signatory that has not ratified the protocol.  In 1990, the United States accounted for 36% of emissions. For the treaty to enter into force without ratification by the United States, it would require a coalition including the EU, Russia, Japan and smaller parties. During the Bonn climate talks (COP-6.5) in 2001, an agreement was reached without the US government.  A document described by AFP as a draft climate language of the communiqué omits any reference to reducing the use of fossil fuels and removes the formulations of previous G20 statements that call the Paris agreement “irreversible”. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has made a number of projections on what could be the future increase in global average temperature.  IPCC projections are “basic projections,” which means that they assume that no future efforts will be made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC forecasts cover the period from the beginning of the 21st century to the end of the 21st century.   The “probable” zone (which, based on the opinion of IPCC experts, has a likely probability of more than 66%), is a projected increase in global average temperature in the 21st quarter.
At the time of the letter, the form and content of the institutional framework for international climate policy after 2012 is not yet clear. However, it is clear that a sectoral approach to climate policy is a radical departure from the current approach to the Kyoto Protocol (McGee and Taplin 2009, this issue), although Japan has argued that its “cooperative sectoral approach” could be compatible with quantified national emission reduction targets. However, sectoral approaches inevitably require the participation of private actors, which does not fit well with the nature of negotiations between sovereign nation-states. In addition, sectoral approaches include activities that may be too technical to be handled by international bureaucrats, including emissions data collection, reduction potential forecasts and identification of advanced technologies.