Skip to main content

Joint implementations (JI) is a mechanism in the Kyoto Protocol – the first international protocol on climate change from 1997. It allowed countries to buy emission rights by financing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. Usually, it was an industrialised nation that financed environmental projects in developing countries. The Kyoto protocol expired on the 31st of December 2020.

The Kyoto protocol

The Kyoto protocol is a part of the UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – created in 1992. The deal was the first international initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It builds on the idea that industrialised countries should take greater responsibility for greenhouse gas reductions, as their industries are the most significant cause of climate change.

In 1994 the UN stated that the global initiatives created by UNFCCC were insufficient to fight climate change. Therefore, they organised an environmental meeting in Kyoto, Japan. The gathering resulted in the Kyoto protocol and the mechanism of joint implementation.

Joint implementation is one of three flexible mechanisms within the Kyoto protocol. The other mechanisms are the clean development mechanism and the emission trading. These market-based approaches aim to be cost-effective for all, regardless of the state of any nation’s economy. The aim is also to facilitate a fairer distribution of green technology.

Joint implementations

The mechanisms are flexible – meaning they enable flexibility in the commitments. Joint implementations are primarily an exchange between countries or a collaboration between two countries that have decided to reduce their emissions. This fact aligns with the UNFCCC idea that industrialised nations should take more responsibility than developing countries. Joint implementations work through a system of Emission Reduction Units (ERUs).

An example of a joint implementation was a Danish project from 2008. It went on for four years and included Danish investments in modern green technology in the Czech Republic. The contributions gave Denmark ERUs for its industries. Another interesting fact from a Stockholms Environment Institute (SEI) study shows that Ukraine and Russia received many environmental investments through joint implementations.

Example of source: UNFCCC


Do you know your carbon footprint?

With the ClimateHero climate calculator, you can calculate your carbon footprint in 5 minutes!