United Nations’ treaties are forged in their own world, one that many of us know very little about. Debates over a phrase can extend over years, and an agreement on a single paragraph can be hailed as an important breakthrough. Within this daunting and drawn out process, the treaty itself can unintentionally become the goal. Kyoto fell into this trap, as the original intent to reduce GHG emissions was sacrificed for the sake of reaching a deal, and the practical result is that the Protocol has become little more than a reporting mechanism. What good is a global climate treaty where most nations have no restraints on their GHG emissions? So how did this happen? We begin by examining the framework of the sensitive and complex negotiations leading to the Kyoto Protocol.