Need for an assessment of the Kyoto Mechanisms

In April 2014, the Annex B countries of the Kyoto Protocol published the number of transactions of Kyoto units that had taken place by the end of 2013 as well as the GHG emissions of the Annex B countries in 2012. This report summarises how each country achieved their emission reduction targets during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

- EU15 countries transferred 989 million t-CO2 of Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) and 32 million t-CO2 of Removal Units (RMUs) as well as acquiring 348 million t-CO2 of Emission Reduction units (ERUs), 670 million t-CO2 of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and 79 million t-CO2 of RMUs. By using these units, the EU achieved a reduction of 12.2% from the base year.

- The Economies in Transition (EIT) countries transferred 1,741 million t-CO2 of AAUs and ERUs in total, while they acquired 9,257 million t-CO2 of CERs. As a result, the EIT countries still have a surplus allowance of 9,257 t-CO2.

- Japan achieved a 8.4% emissions reduction from the base year using GHG removals by sinks, AAUs from the Czech Republic and Ukraine, as well as primary CERs. Because Japan had an initial assigned amount that was less than the country’s GHG emissions over five years from 2008 to 2012, it was necessary to use a large amount of Kyoto units to achieve Japan’s target.

- The five-year GHG emissions from Annex B countries of the Kyoto Protocol came to 9.3 billion t-CO2 (22% reduction from the 1990 level). When the CERs and RMUs are counted, the GHG emissions are calculated at 8.9 billion t-CO2 (26% reduction from 1990 the level).

- For the next step, it will be necessary to conduct research into what extent the Kyoto Mechanism could contribute to substantial GHG emission reductions in consideration of external factors, such as economic recession and structural changes to energy supplies.