REC organises side-event with Latvia and JIAG at COP-15

December 16, 2009

Parties explore opportunities for measurable, sustainable GHG reductions

The Regional Environmental Center (REC), in cooperation with the Government of Latvia and Joint Implementation Action Group, organised its COP-15 side event on December 14 in Copenhagen on Green Investment Schemes (GIS), Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM).

HOT & COLD: Copenhagen gets chilly as talks heat up at COP-15. Photo: Zsolt Bauer

In the framework of a side event titled "Options for Flexibility under Quantified, Post-2012 GHG Reduction Targets", speakers and contributors explored various options for international carbon trade amongst those countries within an emissions-restraint platform.

Most Central and Eastern European countries will continue to commit to either reduced or capped emission targets after 2012. The event looked at various instruments to achieve real, measurable and sustainable GHG emission reductions, including GIS, JI, emission trading and domestic offsets.

The Government of Latvia presented its experience with GIS and shared its views on the future of this mechanism. Valdis Bisters, Director of Climate Policy and Technology Department at Latvia's Ministry of the Environment, explained that GIS is operational in Latvia, and is established by law and implemented as state budgetary programme. Five agreements have been signed already, offering a testing ground for the scheme and scaling technological deployment - in terms of both energy supply and demand.

The REC elaborated on the prospects for flexible mechanisms in South-East European (SEE) countries, some of which also plan to join the European Union. Maria Khovanskaya, project manager of the REC's Climate Change topic area, gave a general overview about the preparedness of SEE countries to undertake CDM projects. She added that EU accession will essentially influence the pools of available projects, and that the nature of flexibility will very likely change, with JI or GIS being the relevant mechanism.

The Joint Implementation Action Group explained JI's essence to the audience and went on to outline improvements to have a workable mechanism in place by 2012. Lennard de Klerk, chair of the Joint Implementation Action Group, briefly introduced the role of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and explained the characteristics of Track 1 and Track 2. He then expressed hope that JI, in spite of its complexity, will remain a useful post-2012 tool for triggering private sector involvement.

During the discussion that followed, panel members shared their views on the applicability of flexible mechanisms under various conditions. They also contributed to a deeper understanding of GIS, JI and CDM implementation.