Although the Kyoto Protocol was a diplomatic feat, its success was far from certain. In fact, reports from the first two years after the treaty entered into force suggested that most participants would not meet their emissions targets. However, even if the targets were met, the ultimate environmental benefits would not be significant, according to some critics, as China, the world`s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the United States, the world`s second largest emitter, would not be bound by the protocol (China because of its status as a developing country and the United States because it has not ratified the protocol). Other critics claimed that the emission reductions called for in the protocol were too modest to make a demonstrable difference in global temperatures in the decades that followed, even though they were fully achieved with the participation of the United States. At the same time, some developing countries have argued that improving adaptation to climate variability and change is just as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol left open several issues that would later be decided by the Sixth COP6 Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, which attempted to resolve these issues at its meeting in The Hague in late 2000, but was unable to reach an agreement due to disputes between the European Union (which advocated stricter implementation) and the United States. Canada, Japan and Australia (who wanted the agreement to be less demanding and more flexible). However, as the scientific consensus grew that human activities have a discernible impact on global climate systems and contribute significantly to global warming that could lead to major impacts such as sea level rise, changes in weather patterns, and health impacts – and when it turned out that large countries like the United States and Japan would not reach the objective of voluntary stabilization by the year 2000. The Contracting Parties to the Treaty decided in 1995 that it would be necessary to conclude a legally binding and non-voluntary agreement. Negotiations on a protocol establishing legally binding limits or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have begun. The Parties decided that this round of negotiations would impose restrictions only on developed countries (the 38 countries listed in Annex I to the UNFCCC, including the former communist countries, and referred to as «Annex I countries»). (Developing countries are referred to as «non-Annex I countries.») (1) This was referred to as the «Berlin Mandate», which reflected the maintenance of the principle set out in the UNFCCC that the Parties have «common but differentiated responsibilities» in dealing with climate change issues and that Annex I countries should take initial measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The United States signed the Protocol on November 12, 1998, during the Clinton Presidency.
To become binding on the United States, however, the treaty had to be ratified by the Senate, which had already passed the non-binding Byrd Hagel resolution of 1997, in which he expressed disapproval of an international agreement that did not commit developing countries to reducing their emissions and would «seriously harm the U.S. economy.» The resolution was adopted by 95 votes to 0.  Although the Clinton administration signed the treaty, it was never submitted to the Senate for ratification. The Green Investment Program (GIS) is a plan to derive environmental benefits from excess allowance trading (AAUs) under the Kyoto Protocol.  The Green Investment Scheme (GIS), a mechanism under the International Emissions Trading System (IEE), aims to achieve greater flexibility in achieving the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol while preserving the environmental integrity of EIAs. However, the use of GIS is not required under the Kyoto Protocol, and there is no official definition of the term.  A number of specific issues related to joint implementation and emissions trading rules were left in Kyoto for negotiation and resolution at subsequent meetings. In the years since the protocol was finalized, it has become increasingly clear that this is an extremely complex issue. The European Union has developed a system that can be implemented within the EU, whether or not the Kyoto Protocol enters into force, and has set itself the target of launching emissions trading in early 2005. However, citing scientific issues that have not yet been resolved, the EU system will not take into account issues of wells or land use. As of June 2013, there were 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to combat global warming.
This total includes 191 states (189 UN Member States plus the Cook Islands and Niue) and a supranational union (the European Union).   Canada abandoned the Protocol with effect from December 15, 2012 and ceased to be a member of the Protocol effective that date. Andorra, Palestine, South Sudan, the United States and, following their withdrawal on December 15, 2012, Canada are the only Parties to the UNFCCC that are not Parties to the Protocol. Moreover, the protocol is not applied to observers of the Holy See`s UNFCCC. .