Finland may discharge some of the country’s international greenhouse gas emission obligations by purchasing emission units by so-called Kyoto mechanisms. Kyoto mechanisms were set by the Kyoto Protocol, which is part of the UN Climate Agreement. These mechanisms are intended to promote the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of emission reduction measures. Furthermore, the selling countries benefit from getting extra funding and new technologies. There are three Kyoto mechanisms:
Clean Development Mechanism means that an industrialised country funds emission reduction projects or projects which are a drain on a developing country's resources, and in turn receives certified emission reductions that the project earns, for its own use. In order for the reduction units to be sold, the projects must meet certain criteria. At the same time, the projects must promote sustainable development in the target country.
Jointly Implemented project means that the industrialised country will fund projects that reduce or curb greenhouse gas emissions, or promote projects that bind the carbons in the air in another industrialised country. In return, the industrialised country gets to purchase the emission reduction units for these projects.
International Emission trading means that the industrialised country may purchase emission units from another industrialised country.
The first period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012; it continues to involve many uncertainties with regard to the Kyoto mechanisms. Advice on these is given as part of the international climate negotiations. The EU’s Climate and Energy Package enables the Kyoto mechanisms to be used within a limited way from 2013 onwards, but detailed rules will be established at a later date. The use of the Kyoto Mechanisms will be discussed as part of the UN climate negotiations.