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ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY (AIJ)
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).
1.A Please fill in if not already communicated or if changes have occurred:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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).
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").
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.
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.A Brief description of procedure:
3.B List all criteria for national acceptance of an activity implemented jointly:
4.A Summary of AIJ projects reported under annex I:
4.B Non-project activities:
The SWAPP maintains a Web site at http://www.admin.ch/swissaij, 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.
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 (http://www.admin.ch/swissaij/ 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: email@example.com, 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