New guide from UNDP on Climate Change

01 Nov 2006

UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States published a ‘How-to Guide’ in September 2006, on National Institutional Frameworks for the Kyoto Protocol Flexible Mechanisms in Eastern Europe and CIS countries.

New Horizons - The document aims to help national climate change policy-makers and UNDP country offices understand the requirements and processes for establishing national institutional frameworks for implementing the Kyoto Protocol in Eastern Europe and the CIS. The guide is designed to assist countries that will be hosting and approving Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) projects in designing the necessary procedures for project review and evaluation, including criteria for assessing a project's contribution to sustainable development.

In his Forward message, Vladimir Litvak (Regional Energy and Environment Practice Manager, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS) wrote:

“Entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol* provided the countries in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with new opportunities for reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieving other sustainable development objectives through participation in the Protocol's flexible mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI). The establishment of the required institutional frameworks, such as the Designated National Authorities (DNAs) and Designated Focal Points (DFPs) is one of the most important criteria to be met by the countries wishing to host CDM/JI projects.

In Eastern Europe and the CIS, progress in designing appropriate institutional frameworks for Kyoto-compatible mechanisms has been uneven. While the new EU member states and new accession countries (Bulgaria and Romania) have moved forward with creating their DFPs and mobilizing resources for capacity building, this process in the rest of the region has been rather slow, especially on the side of non-Annex 1 countries in Southeast Europe and the CIS. For most of the countries in the CIS and Southeast Europe, the absence of a fully defined DNA stems from a mix of factors, including lack of understanding of the requirements of the CDM, limited financial resources for training and allocating government personnel for project review, and an absence of significant technical assistance from the donor community.

The goal of this guide is to help national climate change policy-makers and UNDP country offices understand the requirements and processes for establishing national institutional frameworks for implementing the Kyoto Protocol and put in place transparent and efficient national governance structures for JI and CDM. It is based on the hands-on experience that has been accumulated to date by the East European and CIS countries, particularly in relation to the type of institutional structures, functions and roles that have been established and how well they have worked.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been actively involved in JI/CDM capacity development activities in over 20 countries across several different regions of the world. UNDP considers that the market instruments of the Kyoto Protocol, JI and CDM, can play a significant role in promoting sustainable development and increasing the flow of finances and sustainable technologies to the countries in transition. We believe that this Guide will help East European and CIS countries make this happen.”

* What is the Kyoto Protocol?

Adopted at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol sets binding commitments for 39 signatory developed and transition countries, to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5.2 percent compared to 1990 levels during the first commitment period of 2008 to 2012. The Protocol came into force on 16 February 2005 following ratification by Russia in November of 2004. As of April 2006, a total of 163 countries have ratified the agreement, representing over 61.1 percent of emissions from Annex I countries.