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Joint Implementation: Important Decisions Postponed (COP18 analysis)

The Joint Implementation (JI) has had a rather poor track record. Countries such as Ukraine have been issuing millions of JI credits with virtually no integrity or climate benefits. Carbon Market Watch developed detailed recommendations on JI ahead of COP18 in Doha. Yet Parties postponed most of the important decisions to next year.

Key decisions on JI made in Doha include:

  • Merging the two tracks of JI  into one single track;
  • Common overarching guiding principles, including“Clear, transparent and objective requirements to ensure that projects are additional to what would otherwise occur”;
  • Establishing an appeals process;
  • Inviting observer organizations to submit views on how JI should be revised by 18 February 2013.

All further decisions about JI have been delegated to the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and will be discussed at the next meeting in Bonn in June 2013. The decision text can be downloaded here.

One of the amendments in the Kyoto Protocol (paragraph 3.7ter) is likely going to have an indirect positive effect on the JI’s environmental integrity. A country with weak targets and lots of hot air has an incentive to issue lots of JI credits and set very weak rules. Since all countries have to have a somewhat stringent target under this new paragraph (at least one that will not result in more hot air), this may lead to an improved environmental quality of JI. This will only be the case though if countries cannot use their hot air from the first commitment period to shadow their JI credits. This has not been decided yet. It is also on the agenda for the SBI June 2013.

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