Climate change

Made in Japan: the new tool to mitigate climate change

The joint crediting mechanism will provide low-carbon technology to developing countries and help them to evaluate and cut carbon emissions
Japan renewable energy : Solar Panels Are Displayed At Itochu Headquarters Tokyo
The Shinjuku district skyline rises behind solar panels displayed at Itochu Corp headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. The country is aiming to help developing countries develop low-carbon technologies. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/Getty Images
The government of Japan has developed the joint credit mechanism(JCM) to mitigate climate change and help developing countries achieve low-carbon growth by mobilising technology, markets and finance. Japan is also pushing for widespread use of advanced low-carbon technologies and products in various fields.
The JCM aims to facilitate diffusion of leading low-carbon technologies, products, systems, services, and infrastructure as well as implementation of mitigation actions, and contribute to sustainable development of developing countries. It also aims to evaluate reduction in greenhouse gas emission levels in a quantitative manner, by applying measurement, reporting and verification methodologies, and using them to achieve Japan's emissions reduction target.
The JCM will also contribute to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change objective by facilitating global actions for cutting emissions and complementing the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto protocol. For example, a JCM project in Mongolia plans to replace conventional coal-based boilers with new energy-efficient ones. Reducing coal use will not only contribute to mitigation of climate change but also improve economic efficiency and air quality. Such efforts are being driven by Japan's financial and technological support through the JCM.
Japan and a host country establish a joint committee to govern and operate the JCM. The committee develops and adopts rules and guidelines, registers projects, and issues JCM credits for greenhouse gas emission reductions or removals. The committee is also tasked to prevent JCM projects from being registered under any other international climate mitigation mechanisms, to avoid double counting on emission reductions.
Under the JCM, emission reductions are defined as the difference between "reference emissions" and project emissions. The reference emissions are calculated below business-as-usual emissions, which represent plausible emissions in providing the same outputs or service level of the proposed JCM project in the host country. Together with applying default values for several parameters in calculating emission reductions, these approaches ensure a net decrease and/or avoidance of emissions while reducing the burden of measurement, and increasing transparency for calculating emission reductions.
A growing number of countries are joining the JCM, which this year has entered into a new phase. After continuous efforts to develop the concept through several studies and discussions with partner countries, the JCM is now ready for the implementation.
In January, Mongolia signed a bilateral pact with Japan to implement JCM in capital Ulan Bator. Since then Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Maldives, Vietnam and Laos have also joined JCM.
The government of Japan is strengthening its efforts to popularise JCM through demonstration of projects backed by financial investments in advanced technologies, together with support for feasibility studies and capacity building in partner countries. The country is expecting JCM to start reducing emissions as it transfers technology to developing countries.
Yuji Mizuno is the director for international negotiations at the climate change policy division of the environment ministry of Japan. For more information, visit the New Mechanisms Information Platform
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