strategy

Implementing international commitments jointly

Synonyms:
Using joint implementation mechanisms for sustainable development
Description:
Two or more parties working together to meet their individual needs or commitments in a mutually advantageous manner.
Context:
The [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] recognizes that the implementation of the Convention could include "joint implementation" of commitments, which implies that a country would be allowed the flexibility to invest in another country in order to achieve some pre-determined reduction level. This would increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness by allowing countries to fund abatement in places where it might be cheaper than in their own countries. However, the modalities for undertaking joint implementation are still to be defined. Pilot schemes could provide useful experience.

Joint implementation can be seen as a first step towards a more balanced, comprehensive, multilateral system of commitments (such as tradable permits) to deal with the problem of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Care should be taken to ensure that the modalities and guidelines for the development of joint implementation projects are designed to respond to a number of concern, including the need to ensure that weaker countries obtain a fair share of the benefits of the programmes; that programmes promote emission reductions at the source, as well as increase carbon sequestration; that joint implementation investments are clearly additional and are not made at the expense of ODA; and that the focus of such investment in developing countries does not divert attention from the need for CO2 emission reductions in industrial countries. However, joint implementation involves investment mainly by the private sector.

Implementation:
Joint implementation has been built into the [Framework Convention on Climate Change]. The idea is that two or more countries can work together to reduce their joint emissions of greenhouse gases or increase the size of the carbon sinks in the most economically effective way possible. One way of doing this is for a developed country to invest in equipment in a other countries to make a certain reduction in emissions more cheaply than could be done in its own country. Another way is for one country to finance reafforestation projects in another.
Claim:
To make joint implementation work, the differences of the parties must be acknowledged and accounted for. Means must be found to enable effective participation at the sacrifice of equal participation. Negotiations within the EEC/EU about how to share out the community's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions broke down amid bitter arguments that some countries were falsifying their projections and trying to avoid levels of abatement that would meet the EEC/EU target. The final outcome was perhaps less effective for everyone than would have been if the original differences were recognized.
Counter Claim:
When a rich country invests money in a poorer one, some degree of ownership of the assets involved may be established or assumed -- as is often the case following any form of investment in a developing country by a developed one. Poor countries are unlikely to be attracted by investments that entail loss of assets. The issue of who owns the investments may also become critical, for example, when the investing country needs some control of the management to ensure the investment is repaid and agreements met, or the investment matures.
Subjects:
Sustainable development
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies