|The concept of "Joint
Implementation" (JI) was introduced early in the negotiations leading up
to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and was formally adopted into
the text of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The United States joined
more than 150 countries
in signing the FCCC, which explicitly provides through Article 4(2)(a)
for signatories to meet their obligation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions "jointly with other Parties." The term "JI" has been used subsequently
to describe a wide range of possible arrangements between entities in two
or more countries, leading to the implementation of cooperative development
projects that seek to reduce, avoid, or sequester GHG emissions.
In October 1993, the United States
launched the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation (USIJI) as part of
President Clinton’s Climate Change Action Plan. The program was designed
to attract private sector resources to encourage the diffusion of innovative
technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable
development. USIJI is a voluntary pilot program and is the largest and
most developed of the several pilot programs of its type operating worldwide
to explore the potential of JI. It is administered by an interagency secretariat
co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, with significant participation from the U.S.
Agency for International Development and the U.S. Departments of
Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, State, and Treasury.
USIJI is a flexible nonregulatory
program that encourages participants in the United States to engage in
GHG-reducing projects overseas.