Carbon emissions targets and pricing

Jordan’s (Intended) Nationally Determined Contribution, or (I)NDC, included a conditional pledge to reduce GHG emissions by a bulk of 14% until 2030, and an unconditional pledge to abate GHG emissions at up to 1.5%, compared with business-as-usual (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 2015; UNFCCC, 2015). The country signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and ratified it in 1993. Jordan acceded to the Kyoto Protocol as non-Annex-I country in 2003. Jordan has not introduced any mechanism to price carbon emissions explicitly, either through taxes or through an emissions trading system, though this is not identified as a priority for Jordan in the short- to medium- run.

Licensing procedures and environmental impact assessments

Several governmental institutions are involved in setting administrative and licensing procedures for renewable-energy projects, which can take as long as three years (Interview with project developers, 2015). In addition to an environmental permit, the main licence that a renewable project developer must obtain is a power-generation licence delivered by the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC), entitled “Standard Generation Licenses Procedures for Renewable Generators Connected to the

Transmission System and Distribution System” (EMRC, 2015a). All renewable projects above 1 MW have to be licensed by the EMRC (Interview with EMRC, 2016). Certain projects below 5 MW can be exempted from the EMRC licensing requirement. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) mandate that renewable-power project developers issue all necessary licences and permits within an agreed time limit.

In addition, under Jordan’s Environmental Protection Law No. 52 (2006), companies with activities that could affect the environment are subject to environmental impact assessments (EIAs). The Ministry of Environment is the main responsible authority for environmental protection in Jordan. The Royal Department for Environmental Protection inspects industrial facilities to check their compliance with environmental regulations (OECD, 2013 a).

To streamline licensing procedures for all types of new investment projects in Jordan, the Government has established a one-stop-shop (OSS) Investment Window within the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC), as part of the 2014 Investment Law, with the authority to grant licences (OECD, 2015f). As mentioned previously, under the 2014 Investment Law, the JIC is the main government agency responsible for investment promotion, including in renewable energy. The JIC also requires each new free or special economic zone to undergo a Strategic Environmental Assessment. Experience suggests, however, that this one-stop-shop is currently not the main licensing agency for renewables projects, which have to go through EMRC for licensing.

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