What happened on December 11: The Kyoto Protocol was signed and 'The Greatest' landed one final punch

The Kyoto Protocol was the first of many climate change treaties to come. Did it manage to have any real impact though?
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

Climate summits and resolutions are par for the course these days. The Kyoto Protocol is special, in that sense, because it was the first such agreement between nations to work on reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11 in 1997, it was an extension of the 1993 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The signatories vowed to reduce their greenhouse emissions to a level that would prevent a dangerous impact on the atmosphere. It also recognised the role that developed countries can play in reducing global warming and put the onus on them to reduce carbon emissions. 

However, the treaty was held back by the constraints of technicalities and diplomacy. In simple terms, it required at least 55 signatories to ratify it. That wasn't possible until seven long years later, in 2005, when it finally came into effect. The period between 1997 and 2006 saw greenhouse emissions increase by 24% around the world. When it finally did come into force, however, it did manage to create some impact. Between 1990-2012, signatories of the Kyoto Protocol managed to stay well below the treaty's target for greenhouse emissions. The treaty has been renewed twice and the latest amendment was made in Doha in 2020.

Ali's swan song
'Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Well, December 11, 1981, was the last time heavyweight boxing world champion, Muhammad Ali, stepped into the ring professionally. The legendary boxer lost the bout to Trevor Berbick, but that made nary a blip on a career that saw him nicknamed simply as 'The Greatest.'

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