Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are the two project-based mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol that may be used by Annex I Parties to fulfil their Kyoto targets.
The basic principles of the mechanism commonly referred to as “Joint Implementation” are defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol.
“For the purpose of meeting its commitments …, any Party included in Annex I may transfer to, or acquire from, any other such Party emission reduction units resulting from projects aimed at reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancing anthropogenic removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in any sector of the economy”, provided that certain (participation) requirements are fulfilled.
In other words, under JI, an Annex I Party (with a commitment inscribed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol) may implement an emission-reducing project or a project that enhances removals by sinks in the territory of another Annex I Party (with a commitment inscribed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol) and count the resulting emission reduction units (ERUs) towards meeting its own Kyoto target. An Annex I Party may also authorize legal entities to participate in JI projects.
Any JI project shall have the approval of the Parties involved and provide a reduction in emissions by sources, or an enhancement of removals by sinks, that is additional to any that would otherwise occur.
Projects starting as of 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 the year 2008.
If a host Party meets all the eligibility requirements to transfer and/or acquire ERUs, it may verify reductions in anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancements of anthropogenic removals by sinks 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 “simplified” procedure is commonly referred to as the “Track 1 procedure”.
If a host Party does not meet all, but the minimum eligibility requirements, the verification of reductions in emissions by sources or enhancements of removals by sinks as being additional has to occur through the verification procedure under the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC). Under this so-called “Track 2 procedure” ERUs may only be transferred if an independent entity accredited by the JISC determines that the relevant requirements are met.
A host Party which meets all the eligibility requirements may at any time choose to use the Track 2 procedure.
The transfer of ERUs verified in accordance with the Track 2 procedure is not subject to any provisions relating to the commitment period reserve or other limitations to transfers under Article 17.