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Swiss AIJ Pilot Program
1999 Report of activities to the UNFCCC

 The following report follows the uniform reporting format for national programs on activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase (Annex IV of document FCCC/SB SBSTA/1997/4).

List of Programmes

  • 1 Designated national authority for activities implemented jointly

1.A Please fill in if not already communicated or if changes have occurred:


Please fill in if applicable

Name of the national authority:

Name of the national authority (English):

Swiss AIJ Pilot Program Secretariat


Federal Office for Foreign Economic Affairs


Acronym (English):

SWAPP Secretariat

Function within activity:

(standard classifiers to be developed)


Effingerstrasse 1

Post code:







(41 31) 323 08 85


(41 31) 324 09 58



Contact person (for this activity):



Arquit Niederberger

First name, middle name:

Anne M.

Job title:

Program Manager

Direct tel:

same as above

Direct fax:

same as above

Direct E-mail:

  • 2 Description of programme structure and features:

Switzerland announced at the Second Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in July 1996 its intention to participate in the pilot phase for activities implemented jointly. A Secretariat to manage the day-to-day operation of the Swiss AIJ Pilot Program (SWAPP) took up its work full-time in April 1997, and the Interministerial Committee for AIJ/JI that has decision-making responsibility for the SWAPP approved an official „Program Overview" for the SWAPP (objectives, activities, management structure) at its first meeting on 22 May 1997. The project selection criteria in the Program Overview were subsequently modified (10 April 1998) to take into account decisions reached in Kyoto, as reflected in the Kyoto Protocol.


Given the current status of the international AIJ pilot regime and taking into consideration national circumstances, needs and resources, the objectives of the Swiss AIJ Pilot Program are:

  • ultimately, to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing the UNFCCC;
  • to assess the potential for and the cost-effectiveness of the AIJ/JI instrument within the framework of Swiss climate policy;
  • on the basis of AIJ investment projects, to contribute to the development of credible methodologies for determining and verifying emissions reductions achieved via AIJ projects;
  • to implement exemplary AIJ projects that clearly demonstrate real, additional environmental benefits, as well as local benefits to the host country (demonstration of „best practice" JI projects);
  • to promote the transfer of technologies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, with a view to encouraging private sector investment;
  • to devise, evaluate and implement potential incentive mechanisms to encourage private sector AIJ transactions.

Switzerland hopes to play a significant role in setting the standard for quality AIJ projects, by capitalizing on our technology and know-how resources and responding to the priorities of host country partners.


The Swiss AIJ Pilot Program is designed to function on a flexible, „learning-by-doing" or „project-by-project" basis and will encompass a broad range of activities:

  • Government financing of AIJ projects

The Swiss government aims to provide financial support for the AIJ component of at least four investment projects during the pilot phase. In most cases, these projects will be identified through bi- and multi-lateral channels already in place for Swiss government cooperation with developing and central & eastern European countries. For this reason, an open „call for proposals" from the private sector is not envisioned.

  • Designing incentives for private sector investment

One of the main objectives of the SWAPP is to encourage private sector investment in the AIJ component of greenhouse gas reduction projects (e.g., in the form of co-financing), even though the most obvious incentive – crediting – is explicitly denied during the pilot phase. Initiating a dialog with private actors to develop the necessary incentives will be a priority in 1999.

  • Exploration of investment funds for AIJ/JI

The Swiss government is currently considering the possibility of contributing to dedicated international investment funds to finance AIJ projects and is seeking ways to support AIJ projects via financial intermediaries (e.g., bilateral, „green" venture capital funds).

  • Contribution to methodological progress

In parallel with the implementation of AIJ investment projects under the Swiss Program and in cooperation with partner (host) countries, an effort will be made to find operational solutions to the various methodological challenges associated with the AIJ/JI instrument. Actions might include studies by consultants or NGOs, support for methodological workshops, reviews of experience with AIJ or case studies of existing projects ("simulation studies").

  • Capacity-building activities, networking and information

The AIJ pilot phase, by nature, will be a learning experience for all participants, and capacity-building activities will be an integral component of the SWAPP. Domestically and in dialog with potential host countries, the targeted dissemination of information concerning the AIJ pilot phase, the JI instrument and the Swiss AIJ Pilot Program to the private sector and NGO communities is a high initial priority.

Program management

An Interministerial AIJ/JI Committee (IC-AIJ/JI) carries decision-making responsibility for the SWAPP. In particular, the IC-AIJ/JI must approve AIJ projects and all reports to the UNFCCC concerning the SWAPP. The IC-AIJ/JI includes representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; the Federal Office of Environment, Forests and Landscape (the lead agency for climate policy in Switzerland); the Federal Office of Energy and the Federal Office for Foreign Economic Affairs, which chairs the body.

A small secretariat coordinates the day-to-day operations of the Swiss AIJ Pilot Program and serves as the contact point for all information regarding the SWAPP. The secretariat is also responsible for developing any guidelines and procedures required within the framework of the SWAPP, for assisting with the preparation of AIJ projects and for tracking their implementation.

  • 3 Process for obtaining approval

3.A Brief description of procedure:

  • As we do not envision general solicitation of project proposals from private sector developers, decisions on project approval will be taken on a case-by-case basis by the IC-AIJ/JI. Transparent procedures for project approval, monitoring, reporting and verification will evolve during the pilot phase. The project selection criteria described below – along with the „uniform reporting format" adopted by the SBSTA in March 1997 – will serve as a basis for decisions on Swiss activities within the AIJ pilot phase.

3.B List all criteria for national acceptance of an activity implemented jointly:

  • Criteria that support decision 5/CP.1:

    The SWAPP has adopted the same basic criteria approved by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in April 1995 for projects during the international AIJ pilot phase, namely:

  • AIJ should be compatible with and supportive of national environment and development priorities and strategies and contribute to cost-effectiveness in achieving global benefits;
  • All AIJ under the pilot phase require prior acceptance, approval or endorsement by Governments of Parties participating in these activities;
  • AIJ should bring about real, measurable and long-term environmental benefits related to the mitigation of climate change that would not have occurred in the absence of such activities;
  • the financing of activities implemented jointly ahall be additional to the financial obligations of Parties included in Annex II to the Convention within the framework of the financial mechanism as well as to current official development assistance (ODA).
    • Other criteria for national acceptance of AIJ:

      • To be eligible under the SWAPP, AIJ investment projects must also:
  • provide for sufficient training and/or other forms of capacity-building with the aim of ensuring that local capacities are adequate to properly manage, maintain and repair technology;
  • have demonstration character (potential to be replicated);
  • be designed to allow quantitative monitoring und verification (e.g. focus on projects that result in significant CO2 reductions or absorptions);
  • result in multiple benefits and be relatively cost-effective;
  • limit emissions caused by energy production and end-use (e.g. fuel-switching to low- or no-carbon fuels, promote the sustainable management of renewable energies, enhanced energy-efficiency) and/or
  • result in net carbon sequestration at the national level, local benefits generation (taking into account the interests of indigenous and local populations) and sustainable managment of natural resources (e.g. conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity, forests and soils; substitution of fossil fuels).
  • During the pilot phase, Switzerland will strive to find credible and user-friendly approaches to operationalizing these criteria, taking advantage of the previous and ongoing analytical work performed by other programs, institutions and individuals.
  • 4 Summary of activities

4.A Summary of AIJ projects reported under annex I:


Type of projecta)

Title of activity

Stage of activityb)






energy efficiency

Swiss Thermal Energy Project, Romania

in progress

project documentation and AIJ/JI agreements can be accessed via our web site

  • a) For example using IPCC classification: energy efficiency; renewable energy; fuel switching; forest preservation, restoration or reforestation; afforestation; fugitive gas capture; industrial processes; solvents; agriculture; waste disposal or bunker fuels.

    b) Select the appropriate option: mutually agreed / in progress / completed

4.B Non-project activities:


The SWAPP maintains a Web site at, which includes a great deal of information on our activities, as well as links to the UNFCCC Secretariat and to programs of other countries and organisations. Periodic information updates are mailed to approximately 200 Swiss experts with an active interest in AIJ, JI and CDM.

A press conference to introduce the Swiss AIJ Pilot Program to the public was held on 12 January 1999. This event attracted excellent media attention, since we were able to inform about the initiation of the first official Swiss AIJ pilot project with Romania, which was marked by the signing of a framework MOU and a project agreement in Bucharest on 8 January 1999.

Project preparation

In addition to the Romanian project listed under 4.A for which a URF has been submitted, we are in the advanced stages of planning a project with the Slovak Republic that would involve the installation of two turbines to generate electricity (replacing fossil-fuel generated grid electricity use) and of an advanced energy control system in the largest wood processing company in the country, in conjunction with a modernisation undertaken with an EBRD loan. The feasibility study has been completed, the project approved as an AIJ by the Swiss government and Swiss financing agreed to. The project is estimated to result in carbon dioxide emission reductions of 147,000 t CO2 over its assumed 8-yr lifetime.

A framework MOU with Costa Rica regarding cooperation under the AIJ pilot phase was signed in February 1998. We are in the process of identifying at least one project for implementation under the SWAPP. Similarly, we are in discussion with several countries that have completed National AIJ/JI/CDM Strategy Studies under our collaborative initiative with the World Bank (see description of this program, below) to identify potential projects for Swiss funding. In addition, several project ideas have been submitted by private actors, but are not yet well enough developed for SWAPP approval.

Capacity building activities

On 24 September 1997, an MOU establishing the Swiss–World Bank Collaborative Initiative on National AIJ/JI/CDM Strategy Studies was concluded. This capacity building initiative has provided co-financing for studies conducted by the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan. A synthesis report covering the results of these studies was prepared and the program evaluated by external experts; preliminary results were presented at COP4 and the report was made available to delegations at SBSTA/SBI 10 and can be obtained from the World Bank. As of May 1999, additional studies are under preparation or in the early phase of implementation in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Columbia, Bolivia and the Philippines. More information on the Initiative can be obtained via our web site ( ac_cb_strategystudies.html).

Switzerland also supports NGO efforts. We co-sponsored a workshop organised by the Climate Network Africa (CNA) entitled "Activities Implemented Jointly under the UNFCCC for Industry in East and Southern Africa", which was held in Nairobi on 10-11 November 1997. Copies of the report can be obtained by CNA (e-mail:, tel.: +254 2 545 241). Switzerland also co-sponsored CNA's "African regional workshop on the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC", which took place in Nairobi on 14-16 July 1998. Finally, Switzerland contributed CHF 50,000 to CNA's 3-yr capacity building initiative "Understanding and in