Sberbank's ERPA approval methods and its "binding
recommendations" provoke discussion
Since completion of the first tender selection of Joint
Implementation Projects ("JI Projects"), the right of
Sberbank of Russia OJSC ("Sberbank") to sign off on
contracts ("ERPAs") governing the transfer of Emission
Reduction Units (ERUs) under JI Projects has become a major focus
of discussion. As can be inferred from the
"recommendations" it has been giving to JI Project
participants with regard to various aspects of such contracts,
Sberbank appears to contemplate linking its approval of such ERPAs
(i) to the sale price of ERUs, (ii) to the terms and conditions of
payments for delivered ERUs as provided in such ERPAs, and (iii) to
some other criteria mentioned in Sberbank's
Whether such recommendations given by Sberbank are binding or
not is a cause for much discussion. Also, the effect of these
recommendations on the respective ERPAs is not clear. What is clear
is that this effect will heavily depend on the provisions of the
respective ERPAs on the rights and obligations of the parties in
case of changes in the legislation. Negotiations between
participants of JI Projects on amendments to their ERPA can reduce
risks stemming from the ERPA's non-compliance with
Sberbank's recommendations. Should negotiations prove difficult
and not easily lead to an agreement, each participant in a JI
Project should develop its own strategy for interaction with its
counterparty in order to minimize the legal and commercial risks
connected with Sberbank's possible refusal to sign off on the
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A new Spanish Law on air pollution has been published and is
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