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Joint Implementation

The United Nations’ second mechanism for reducing emissions in developed countries after the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is the Joint Implementation (JI). Set forth in Article 6 of 1997’s Kyoto Protocol, the JI has made little political or regional advances since its inception. The CDM has seen the majority of the success from the so-called flexible mechanisms.

Generally regarded as the most efficient and effective long-term means to reduce/offset greenhouse gas (GHG) or carbon emissions, the CDM was seen as the first steps towards establishing a fungible global carbon market. On the other hand, the JI is envisaged as being the blueprint of how a project-based emission reduction mechanism will operate after 2012.

As with the CDM, the JI’s uniqueness lies in its novel project approach. When it comes to accessing low-cost emission reduction opportunities in the poorer-developed countries within Annex I (generally called Economies-in-Transition), the goal of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was to create a system by which this could be exploited with the help of funds from richer developed countries.

In exchange for these funds, offset credits known as Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) are generated. One ERU technically allows the holder to offset one metric tonne of CO2 (equivalent) of their own emissions.

JI projects can be undertaken in Annex I/EIT countries as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements: that the host country is a Party to the Kyoto Protocol with committed assigned amounts; that it has in place a national system for the estimation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and sinks and that it has a national emissions registry that all emitting bodies are signatories of. If these cannot be guaranteed, then a JI project is still possible, but only under the Track 2 scheme.


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