At its seventh session, the Conference of Parties to the Convention (COP) 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, the COP 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 these procedures and mechanisms. The basis for electing members/alternates was also agreed in the same decision. Decision 24/CP.7 was confirmed by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) through decision 27/CMP.1.

In addition, at its first session, the CMP also decided to consider a proposed 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. Article 18 stipulates that any procedures and mechanism under that Article entailing binding consequences shall be adopted by an amendment to the Protocol. At its second session, the CMP referred the matter to the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) for consideration at its twenty-fifth session. The proposed amendment continued to be considered by the SBI until its thirty-seventh session (Doha, November 2012) when it agreed to recommend that the CMP complete its consideration of the proposal. Thus, the CMP, at its eighth session, concluded its consideration of the proposal.


Article 18 of the Kyoto Protocol calls on the CMP to approve, at its first session, "procedures and mechanisms" to determine and address cases of non-compliance with the Protocol. At its fourth session (Buenos Aires, November 1998), the COP established a joint working group (JWG) on compliance to develop a compliance system under the Protocol, with a view to adopting a decision on this issue at COP 6 (The Hague, November 2000).The “Buenos Aires Plan of Action” adopted at COP 4 called for work on, among other things, the preparations for CMP 1, including the elements of the Protocol related to compliance (decision 1/CP.4

At COP 6 in The Hague, however, Parties were unable to reach agreement on the package of decisions under the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. In the case of 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 the second part of its sixth session (COP 6 part II), the COP 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. Although considerable progress was made, outstanding points remained and the draft decision was forwarded to COP 7 (Marrakesh, October/November 2001) for further elaboration, completion and adoption.

Rules of procedure and elections

At CMP1, the procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol were adopted (in decision 27/CMP.1), and the first members and alternate members of the facilitative and enforcement branches were elected.Later at their first meetings in March 2006, the first chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of the branches were chosen.

In November 2006, the first annual report of the Committee was presented to the CMP at its second session.Since then, the Committee has been reporting on its activities at each ordinary session of the CMP (see the annual reports submitted by the Committee to the CMP

At its second session, the CMP approved the rules of procedure for the Committee (decision 4/CMP.2) as recommended in the Committee’s first annual report.At its fourth session in December 2008, the CMP adopted amendments to the Committee's rules of procedure (decision 4/CMP.4). At its ninth session in November 2013, the CMP adopted further amendments to the Committee's rules of procedure (decision 8/CMP.9).

For a general overview of the Compliance Committee’s functions and proceedings, see the attached illustration:

The Compliance System
Members and alternate members of the Compliance Committee
Rules of procedure of the Compliance Committee of the Kyoto Protocol