Lessons from JI and GIS for Post-2012 Carbon Finance Mechanisms in Russia and Ukraine

Climate Policy, Vol 14, No 2, 2014, pp. 224-241.

The Kyoto mechanisms provided Russia and Ukraine with their main incentives for participating in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This article explores what opportunities the anticipated post-2012 mechanisms offer Russia and Ukraine in light of the lessons from Joint Implementation (JI) and the Green Investment Scheme (GIS) during the first Kyoto commitment period. The key factors explaining the success of these mechanisms were identified as 1) design of the mechanism, 2) role of the private sector in its implementation, 3) coordination required, and 4) political will gained. Even though not make or break issues, weak rule of law, problems with policy implementation and the ambiguous role of private sector actors are likely to defer also the future mechanisms. Success and failure rather hinge on the priority they are accorded by the top leadership. Regardless, simple mechanisms with few actors involved are likely to be less complicated to set up and run than for instance emissions trading schemes which require a domestic burden sharing. Project-based options in which domestic actors have gained experience may be better suited. However, any lessons prior to the new mechanisms take a clearer shape must be considered as preliminary.