Joint implementations (JI) refer to when a country or company pays for projects that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It is usually an industrialised country that pays for environmental initiatives in developing nations. They do this to get emission rights. The mechanism comes from the Kyoto protocol – the first international environmental deal (1997) from the UNs climate meetings. The 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. This deal was the first international initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. UNFCCC decided that the industrial countries should take a greater responsibility for greenhouse gas reductions. This since they are the most responsible for creating them in the first place.
In 1994 the UN stated that the global initiatives created with UNFCCC, was not enough to fight climate change. Therefore, they organised an environmental meeting in Kyoto, Japan. This resulted in the Kyoto protocol and the mechanism joint implementation.
Joint implementation is one out of three flexible mechanisms within the Kyoto protocol. The other mechanisms are the clean development mechanism and the emission trading. These are market-based approaches that aim to be cost-effective for all. Regardless of what a nation’s economy might look like. The aim is also to enable a more fair distribution of green technology.
The mechanisms are flexible – meaning they enable a flexibility in the commitments. The mechanism joint implementations is primarily an exchange between countries and/or a collaboration between two countries that have decided to reduce their emissions. This aligns with the UNFCCC idea that industrialised nations should take a larger responsibility then developing countries.
Joint implementations work through a system of Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). An example of such an effort is for instance a Danish project that took place between 2008-2012. Namely when Denmark invested in an environmental project in the Czech Republic. More preciesly, Denmark invested in modern green technology in the Czech Republic. While getting ERUs that allowed them to emit more greenhouse gases in their own nation. Another interesting fact proven by a study from Stockholms Environment Institute (SEI) shows that Ukraine and Russia are the two nations that have received the most green investments through the mechanism of joint implementations.
Example of source: UNFCCC