The Kyoto protocol has been adopted by 172 nations. These nations include economic powerhouses such as Japan, Germany, England and France. Collectively the emissions represented under Kyoto account for 60 % of worldwide GHG emissions.
A notable exception to the adoption of the Kyoto protocol is the United States which despite repeated efforts by the International community has elected not to enter into the Kyoto Protocol. After initially committing to Kyoto in 2002 , Canada has more recently elected to follow the lead of the United States and has also declined from continuing to participate in this initiative. A possible alternative framework for emissions reduction was outlined by Canada in April 2007. The approach would eventually establish intensity targets by 2010 and make use of domestic offset projects as well as CERs.
Despite the absence of these two nations from Kyoto, interest in emissions reduction by regions, organizations and indeed individuals within North America has been overwhelming and is gathering momentum. In certain regions legislative frameworks to emission reductions have starting appearing. Examples include the California’s CARB initiative and the RGGI initiative covering several north eastern states in the US.
The bulk of North American activity, however, is based on voluntary commitment to achieve certain reduction levels as well as carbon offsetting through the funding of voluntary emissions reduction projects.