The Compliance Committee is the body charged with ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
Article 18 of the Kyoto Protocol calls on the COP/MOP to:
The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall, at its first session, approve appropriate and effective procedures and mechanisms to determine and to address cases of non-compliance with the provisions of this Protocol (Kyoto Protocol, Article 18).
At COP 4, Parties established a joint working group on compliance to develop a compliance system under the Protocol, with a view to adopting a decision on this issue at COP 6. The Buenos Aires Plan of Action adopted at COP 4 called for work on, among other things, the preparations for COP/MOP 1, including the elements of the Protocol related to compliance.
At COP 6, however, Parties were unable to reach agreement on the package of decisions under the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. In relation to compliance, key outstanding issues included what the consequences of non-compliance should be and the membership of the Compliance Committee. As with other issues, the negotiating texts on compliance were forwarded to a resumed session of COP 6 for further consideration.
At COP 6 Part II, Parties adopted the Bonn Agreements on the Implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, registering political agreement on key issues, including on compliance. Parties also continued work at COP 6 Part II on procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance, based on the Bonn Agreements. Although considerable progress was made, outstanding points remained and the draft decision was forwarded to COP 7 for further elaboration, completion and adoption.
At COP 7, Parties adopted a decision on the compliance regime for the Kyoto Protocol, which is among the most comprehensive and rigorous in the international arena. It provides for facilitation, promotion and enforcement of the Protocol's commitments.
In decision 24/CP.7 of the Marrakesh Accords, COP 7 adopted the text containing procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol, and recognized the need to prepare for the timely operation of the procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol. The basis for electing members/alternates was also agreed in the same decision. Decision 24/CP.7 was confirmed by the COP/MOP in 27/CMP.1. In addition, the first COP/MOP also decided to consider an amendment to the Protocol in respect of procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance in terms of Article 18, with a view to making a decision by its third session. The proposed amendment would make the consequences in decision 27/CMP.1 binding on Parties which ratified it, in conformity with Article 18 of the Protocol, which stipulates that any binding consequences shall be adopted by amendment.
At COP/MOP 1, the procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol were adopted (in decision 27/CMP.1), and the members and alternate members of the facilitative and enforcement branches were elected. Later at their first meetings in March 2006, the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the branches were chosen.
In November 2006, the first annual report of the Committee was presented to COP/MOP 2. The COP/MOP approved the rules of procedure for the Committee, as recommended in the Committee's report.
Adapted from www.unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/compliance/background/items/3026.php