Under the Kyoto Protocol, the Netherlands has to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by an average 6 percent in the period 2008–2012 relative to the base year 1990. Emissions in the base year totalled 214.3 billion CO2 equivalents. Strictly speaking, emissions in the base year are the sum of the CO2 equivalents of CO2, N2O and CH4 in 1990 and of fluorine gases in 1995.
The emissions reduction imposed by the Kyoto Protocol is partly realised by restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. The Emission Trading System allows the Netherlands to achieve reductions abroad. The Netherlands is allowed to buy emission rights in other countries or to finance projects in other countries which result in emission reductions (Joint Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism).