The European Union, its Member States and Iceland have signed the agreement necessary for the joint fulfilment of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
They have committed to jointly achieve a 20% reduction in their combined greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2013-2020 compared to the level in 1990 or their chosen base year.
Since Iceland is not an EU Member State, the terms of joint fulfilment concerning its participation had to be laid down in a separate international agreement.
Today's procedure marks an important step towards completing the ratification of the joint commitment of the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol by the EU, its Member States and Iceland.
The next step will be for the European Parliament to give its consent to both the joint fulfilment agreement and the proposed ratification of the second commitment period, before formal adoption by the Council.
The EU and its Member States have been applying the targets and rules for the second commitment period since it started in January 2013. The second phase of the Kyoto Protocol serves as a bridge towards a post-2020 global climate change agreement, applicable to all countries.