As global, national and local communities have sought to address climate change, the issue of mitigation – reducing GHG emissions or removing them from the atmosphere through the creation of ‘sinks’ – has been at the top of the agenda. As we saw in Chapter 1, the goal of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was to ‘prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ through the reduction of atmospheric levels of GHG emissions (UNFCCC 1992). Subsequent international agreements, including the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, as well as national-government targets, have also focused on this issue. GHG emissions have been monitored, predictions of future emissions have been calculated, and targets have been set. Despite these commitments, global levels of GHG emissions continue to rise. Even where national governments have signed up to such obligations, there is limited evidence that they have met their targets. Equally, where reductions have been achieved, this has often been as a result of factors beyond the direct scope of climate-change policy. For example, although the UK can claim to have cut emissions of GHG by 18.6 per cent over the period 1990-2008, these reductions were largely achieved through changes in the energy-supply system from coal-to gas-fired power stations, which were mandated because of other political and economic concerns (European Environment Agency 2011). In Germany, reductions of 22.2 per cent have been achieved over the same period, but this is partly a reflection of the changing boundaries of the country following the integration of West and East Germany in 1991 and the subsequent decline in economic growth and energy use in parts of former East Germany (European Environment Agency 2011).