It was on this date in 1997 that over 150 states convening in Kyoto, Japan adopted an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force on February 16, 2005, ninety days after Russia's ratification put the agreement over the threshold mandated by the treaty. (The agreement specified that entry into force would occur upon the ratifications of a combination of states accounting for over 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. Russia's ratification brought that figure up to 61.6 percent.) The thirty industrialized states that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 5 percent by 2012.
The United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.