Joint Implementation (JI) is one of the market-based mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol used by Countries with commitments under the Protocol to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet their emission targets.
JI project examples include renewable energy projects like erection of wind parks, afforestation and reforestation, energy efficiency projects, and reduction of methane emissions.
JI is considered to be a "project-based mechanism", similar to the Clean Development Mechanism, which feeds the carbon market. JI projects are very similar to Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects with one important difference. JI projects are between developed (Annex I) country countries, whereas CDM projects are hosted by developing countries.CDM projects are far more common than JI projects (6,292 to 437 as of mid-2011).
JI, as defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol, allows a country with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to earn "emission reduction units" (ERUs) from an emission-reduction or emission removal project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target. Joint implementation offers Parties a flexible and cost-efficient means of fulfilling a part of their Kyoto commitments, while the host Party benefits from foreign investment and technology transfer.
The JI Guidelines for Implementation of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol were adopted at the first Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol in Montreal, November 28 to December 10, 2005 (Decision 9). These Guidelines provided definitions, roles, participation requirements, and verification procedures for the Supervisory Committee.
In order for a project to be considered an eligible JI plan, that project must provide a reduction in emissions by sources, or an enhancement of removals by sinks, that is additional to what would otherwise have occurred. Projects must have approval of the host Party and participants have to be authorized to participate by a Party involved in the project.
Projects starting as from the year 2000 may be eligible as JI projects if they meet the relevant requirements, but ERUs may only be issued for a crediting period starting after the beginning of 2008.
Paragraph 21 of the JI Guidelines specifies "that a Party included in Annex I with a commitment inscribed in Annex B is eligible to transfer and/or acquire ERUs issued in accordance with the relevant provisions, if it is in compliance with the following eligibility requirements:
(a) It is a Party to the Kyoto Protocol
(b) Its assigned amount pursuant to Article 3, paragraphs 7 and 8, has been calculated and recorded in accordance with decision 13/CMP.1
(c) It has in place a national system for the estimation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and anthropogenic removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 1, and the requirements in the guidelines decided thereunder
(d) It has in place a national registry in accordance with Article 7, paragraph 4, and the requirements in the guidelines decided thereunder
(e) It has submitted annually the most recent required inventory, in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 2, and Article 7, paragraph 1, and the requirements in the guidelines decided thereunder, including the national inventory report and the common reporting format. For the first commitment period, the quality assessment needed for the purpose of determining eligibility to use the mechanisms shall be limited to the parts of the inventory pertaining to emissions of greenhouse gases from sources/sector categories from Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol and the submission of the annual inventory on sinks
(f) It submits the supplementary information on assigned amount in accordance with Article 7, paragraph 1, and the requirements in the guidelines decided thereunder and makes any additions to, and subtractions from, assigned amount pursuant to Article 3, paragraphs 7 and 8, including for the activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, in accordance with Article 7, paragraph 4, and the requirements in the guidelines decided thereunder."
If a host Party is looking to implement a JI project, it can accomplish this under the JI Guidlines by following either "Track 1" procedure or "Track 2" procedure.
If a host Party meets all of the eligibility requirements to transfer and/or acquire ERUs, it may verify emission reductions or enhancements of removals from a JI project as being additional to any that would otherwise occur. Upon such verification, the host Party may issue the appropriate quantity of ERUs. This procedure is commonly referred to as the “Track 1” procedure.”
If a host Party does not meet all, but only a limited set of eligibility requirements, verification of emission reductions or enhancements of removals as being additional has to be done through the verification procedure under the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC). Under this so-called “Track 2” procedure, an independent entity accredited by the JISC has to determine whether the relevant requirements have been met before the host Party can issue and transfer ERUs.
Simply because a host Party can work under the Track 1 procedure does not mean that they must use that option. A host Party which meets all the eligibility requirements may at any time choose to use the verification procedure under the JISC (Track 2 procedure).
JI Supervisory Committee
The Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC), under the authority and guidance of the CMP, supervises the verification procedure defined in paragraphs 30-45 of the JI guidelines. The Supervisory Committee is an independent entity designed to determine whether a project and the ensuing reductions of anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancements of anthropogenic removals by sinks meet the relevant requirements of Article 6 and the guidelines.
At the Committee's first meeting, the JISC adopted draft rules of procedure and applied them provisionally until adoption by they were adopted by the CMP at its second session
The JISC is comprised of ten members from Parties to the Kyoto Protocol serving for a maximum of two consecutive terms. These ten members include three members from Parties included in Annex I that are undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, three members from Parties from Annex I not undergoing the transition to a market economy, three members from Parties not included in Annex I, and one member from the small island developing States. The CoP/MOP also elects an alternate member for each JISC member. In the absence of a member from a meeting of the Committee, their alternate shall serve as the member for that meeting.
Currently there are 17 countries hosting JI projects, with the majority of projects hosted in the Ukraine and Russia. The highest number of JI projects are in landfill gas, with many projects in areas like biomass energy, wind, energy distribution, solar, transportation, and coal beds/mine methane. The leader for JI Track 2 projects is Russia, while Ukraine hosts the most JI Track 1 projects.
Coal Mine Methane Capture and Utilization at Holodnaya Balka Mine in Donetsk Oblast: Countries Involved: Ukraine (Host Country), Japan. Project Description: The proposed project includes improvement of coal mine methane (CMM) drainage system and utilization of CMM at Holodnaya Balka Mine through installation of a combined heat and power plant (CHP), and flare system. The proposed project is environmentally sound, resource-saving, and provides reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, the project will provide additional benefits such as mine’s economic efficiency, labour protection and safety, and stimulus for initiation of similar projects at other similar coal mine sites.
- Installation of CCGT-400 at Shaturskaya TPP, OGK-4, Moscow area, Russia: Countries Involved: Russia (Host Country), Germany. Project Description: Currently, Shaturskaya TPP is the third largest plant of OGK-4 (Fourth Generation of Wholesale Electricity Market). It provides 20% of Moscow region’s energy requirement, and all of Shatura’s heat requirements. A Combined Cycle Generator (CCGT) unit with an electricity capacity of 400 MW will be installed and commissioned by mid October 2010. The efficiency of the new energy unit is around 56%, and it will be fuelled by natural gas. The estimated emission reductions for this project over the crediting period, 2008–2012, is approximately 1.1 million tonnes of CO2.