"Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six 'greenhouse gases.' This treaty would commit the United States to a target of reducing greenhouse gases by 7% below 1990 levels during a 'commitment period' between 2008-2012. Because of the fact that 'sinks,' which remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, are counted and because of other provisions discussed in this report, the actual reduction of emissions within the United States that would be required to meet the target was estimated to be lower than 7%. The United States signed the Protocol on November 12, 1998. However, the Clinton Administration did not submit the Protocol to the Senate for advice and consent, acknowledging that one condition outlined by S.Res. 98, passed in mid-1997 - meaningful participation by developing countries in binding commitments limiting greenhouse gases - had not been met. In late March 2001, the Bush Administration rejected the Kyoto Protocol. The United States continues to attend the annual conferences of the parties (COPs) to the UNFCCC, but does not participate in Kyoto Protocol-related negotiations. This report is intended to provide background on the Kyoto Protocol. It will be updated annually or as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30692