International energy policy includes the international environmental treaty United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) produced by the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The treaty, which is legally non-binding, provides for periodic updates or protocols that set mandatory emission limits. Nearly 200 parties – including the United States have signed this treaty.
The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, is the principal update to the UNFCCC, and includes commitments from participating industrialized countries to reduce specific greenhouse gases and for all member countries to give general commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol has been signed and ratified by 187 parties. The United States has not signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
Parties of the UNFCCC meet annually in Conference of the Parties (COP). The 2014 Bonn Climate Change Conference will be held in Bonn, Germany, in October 2014.