No progress on Joint Implementation Projects in Russia

Rashid Alimov

Kyoto Protocol refers to Russia as an industrialized country. Several Russian companies expressed interest in participating in projects of joint implementation (JI) - projects aimed at reducing emissions and performed in Russia at the expense of investments of other industrialized countries. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases on the basis of such projects is credited to a donor country. Each application for a JI project undergoes an independent examination, and then submitted for approval by the host country.
Governmental Decree № 843 (dated October 28, 2009) «On measures to implement Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change», which entered into force on 10 November, adopted a new procedure for governmental approval of applications for JI projects in Russia.
According to this decree, Sberbank - the Savings Bank of Russia is apponted an operator of carbon units. Previously, applications had to be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Development, and by the time of a new procedure launch, the Ministry received over 40 applications, all of them had passed independent examination. Recently, the list of applications lodged disappeared from the site of the Ministry and there was information that all filed applications must now be refiled under the new procedure.
According to experts, Russia could potentially take up to 58% of the world market of joint implementation projects. By some estimates, these projects can draw to Russia's economy at least $ 2 billion of targeted investments.

RSEU and other environmental NGOs have repeatedly appealed to the Government to accelerate the harmonization of joint implementation projects. Governmental bureaucratic delays hamper busines projects that could begin a year ago, providing a reduction of hundreds mln tons of CO2-equivalent in the period from 2008 to 2012.