Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was the 1st agreement between nations to mandate country by country reductions in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. It was adopted on 11 December 1997, but it entered into force only in 2005 due to a complex ratification process. At the moment, there are 192 parties participating. 
In short, the Kyoto Protocol operates under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, by pledging industrialized countries to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to the agreed targets. It only binds developed countries, because it is recognized that they have the main responsibility for the current levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Industrialised nations commit to cut their yearly emissions of carbon, as measured in six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) up to an average of 5% reduction compared to the 1990 level, in the period 2008-2012. 
In 2012 the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted for a 2nd commitment period until the end of 2020. During it, parties agree to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18% below 90s levels. However, the composition of this 2nd commitment period is different from the previous one: significant was the missed sign of the United States.
The Convention itself only asks those countries to adopt policies and measures on mitigation and to report periodically. It has established a rigorous monitoring, review and verification system, as well as a compliance system to ensure transparency and hold Parties to account. The tools that have been instituted to carry out the controls are for example registry systems, reporting, compliance and adaptation.
The Kyoto Protocol has been celebrated since the beginning as a breakthrough in international climate policy. From the stance of standard economic theory, such an agreement with potentially large economic adjustment costs to industrialized nations is hard to explain, since climate protection constitutes the case of voluntarily providing a pure global public good. Costs of emission reduction occur immediately but benefits will arise only in the future, these circumstances highlight government's’ willingness to appease voters who want to see some climate policy action but are not willing to pay much.
However, it must be kept in mind that the Kyoto Protocol has not resolved any of the fundamental incentive problems inherent to the voluntary provision of climate protection as a pure global public good. Consequently, policies that aim at more effective treaties must push for institutional settings that promote a stronger international cooperation.