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UNFCCC COP-4
THE FOURTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
2 - 13  November 1998

ENB logo Version française: BNT

Late-breaking news : Thursday 12 Nov

Updates brought to you by the ENB team members throughout the day:

bullet Kazakhstan’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Dr. Serikbek ZH. Daukeev, has told the high level segment that his country intends to enter Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol and take on obligations to abate greenhouse gas emissions. He added: "We support an objective and reasonable target for the first budget period, which includes abatement measures for GHG emissions but which does not create barriers to economic development."

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Real Audio: Kazakhstan announces readiness to enter Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol and assume a commitment to abatement of GHGs.

The United States Climate Action Network has responded to the US decision to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Spokesperson Jennifer Morgan of the WWF welcomed the decision as a "necessary step" but contrasted it with the more significant question of a strong programme of domestic action for the United States. She added: "In Buenos Aires the US has only stepped on to the dance floor and has yet to learn the dance steps for the tango to really begin."

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) RealAudio of Jennifer Morgan's statement

bullet From the ENB New York Office: A. Peter Burleigh, Charge d’Affaires of the United States Mission to the United Nations, signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, at 3:00 pm, Thursday 12 November, at UN Headquarters. The United States is the sixtieth nation to sign the Protocol. In a brief statement, Ambassador Burliegh cited the signing of the Protocol as a reaffirmation of US commitment to working with other nations to address the challenge of climate change. He also said that signing the Protocol serves US environmental, economic and national goals. He noted participation of key developing countries, carbon trading and the Clean Development Mechanism as issues that still must be addressed.

bullet With less than twenty-four hours of scheduled conference time remaining at COP-4, the sounds of "table thumping" are emerging from ministerial sessions set up to make the political decisions on some key outcomes. Ministers are reported to be using initial meetings to re-state long held positions. COP-4 President, Maria Julia Alsogaray (Argentina) has set up a high level structure for input from the ministers and is pressing ministers to begin drafting agreed text. An extended bureau has been created to oversee the progress of a core group and four working groups of ministers and country representatives dealing with: Kyoto mechanisms (formerly known as the ‘flexibility mechanisms’); non-Annex I communications; COP/MOP-1; UNFCCC Articles 4.3 (a) and (b); and the combined issues of technology transfer, the Kyoto Mechanisms, Activities Implemented Jointly, and UNFCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse impacts and compensation. Reports from the working groups are going back to the core group with three representatives of the G-77, one from the EU and one from the Umbrella Group.

Photos and RealAudio from the negotiations, 12 November

UNITED STATES TO SIGN KYOTO PROTOCOL

The United States has announced that it is to sign the Kyoto Protocol in New York. Speaking at the High Level session at COP-4 in Buenos Aires, Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, received warm applause when he said that the US would honor its pledge in Kyoto in 1997. He added: "In taking this action the US reaffirms our commitment to work with the nations gathered here to address the challenge of climate change. We are guided by the firm belief that signing will serve our environmental, economic and national security goals. Kyoto is a landmark achievement but it is a work in progress and key issues remain outstanding, As an original signatory to the Protocol the US will be able to play a stronger and more effective role in resolving these issues."

RealAudio from the COP-4 High Level Segment:

raworld.gif (1544 bytes)  At the opening of the high-level segment the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Michael Zammit Cutajar, informed the Conference of the Parties that ministers were getting down to business

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Panangian Siregar, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Indonesia, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China, challenged developed countries to honor their commitment to lead and sounded a warning about the imposition of conditionalities

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Martin Bartenstein, Federal Minister for the Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, Austria, speaking on behalf of the European Union, outlined the issue areas where progress is necessary

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Stuart Eizenstat, United States Undersecretary of State for Business, Commerce, Economic and Agricultural Affairs, announces the US decision to sign the Kyoto Protocol and outlines outstanding issues in the negotiations

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner for Environment of the European Community, supports prioritization of the CDM, domestic action and compliance

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Amb. Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Permanent Representative Mission of the Independent State of Samoa, speaking on behalf of the AOSIS group

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) UK Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, gives a characteristically frank assessment of the negotiations and tells negotiators that "sympathy is not good enough"

10lieber_s.jpg (7340 bytes) US Senator Joseph Lieberman (on the left) being congratulated after the US announced that it would sign the Kyoto Protocol 10hagel_s.jpg (4918 bytes) US Senator Chuck Hagel, Nebraska, said in signing the Kyoto Protocol, the President blatantly contradicts the will of the US Senate
10somoa2_s.jpg (3183 bytes) Amb. Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Permanent Representative Mission of the Independent State of Samoa 10us_s.jpg (3683 bytes) Stuart Eizenstat, US Undersecretary of State
10indonuse_s.jpg (3556 bytes) Panangian Siregar, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Indonesia, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China 10euyes_s.jpg (3479 bytes) Martin Bartenstein, Federal Minister for the Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, Austria, speaking on behalf of the European Union and its member States
10ec_s.jpg (4087 bytes) Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner for Environment of the European Community 10arg_s.jpg (3846 bytes) Guido Di Tella, Foreign Minister, Argentina
10senegal_s.jpg (5050 bytes) Souty Toure, Minister of the Environment and of the Protection of Nature, Senegal 10morganint_s.jpg (6045 bytes) Jennifer Morgan, World Wide Fund for Nature, gave Chris Spence, ENB, an NGO perspective on the US signing of the Kyoto Protocol
10irelandi_s.jpg (8408 bytes) Noel Dempsey, Minister for the Environment and Local Governments, Ireland 10audience_s.jpg (7700 bytes) Conference participants watch the evening's US press conference on a closed circuit TV outside the press briefing room after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol by the U.S.

REAL AUDIO from the afternoon COP-4 Plenary session

The following statements were made during the afternoon session of the High Level Segment

raworld.gif (1544 bytes)  Carlos Manuel Rodríguez-Echandi, Ministro a.i. de Ambiente y Energía, on behalf of the Central American States, high lighted the devastation visited on the Central American region by hurricane Mitch

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Kazakhstan announces readiness to enter Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol and assume a commitment to abatement of GHGs.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) José Israel Vargas, Minister for Science and Technology, Brazil, on the CDM’s promotion of meaningful participation and cooperation between Annex I and non-Annex I countries

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Simon Upton, Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand, welcomes Argentina’s "courageous step" towards undertaking a voluntary commitment

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Dominique Voynet, Ministre de l’Amenagement du Territoire et de l’Environnement, France, calls for an emphasis on domestic policies and measures

raworld.gif (1544 bytes)  Liu Jiang, Minster and Vice-Chairman of the State Development and Planning Commission, China, contrasts the responsibilities of countries responsible for luxury versus survival emissions and opposes attempts to impose commitments on developing countries

raworld.gif (1544 bytes)  J�rgen Trittin, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, performs his first duty as the new German Minister Responsible for the Environment with a renunciation of nuclear power as part of the solution to climate change and a call for action on aviation fuel

10costa_s.jpg (6855 bytes) Carlos Manuel Rodriguez-Echandi, Ministro a.i. de Ambiente y Energ�a, Costa Rica, spoke on behalf of the Central American countries and remembered those affected by the Hurrican Mitch 10kazak_s.jpg (3887 bytes) Serikbek Daukeev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Kazakhstan, said his country would undertake voluntary commitments and would enter into Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol through Annex 1 of the FCCC
10gambiatif_s.jpg (5010 bytes) Captain Edward Singhatey, Secretary of State for Presidential Affairs, Fisheries and Natural Resources, The Gambia 10nezeal_s.jpg (7783 bytes) Simon Upton, Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand, (far right) talking to his delegation after his address to the Plenary
10chile_s.jpg (4269 bytes) John Biehl, Ministeria Secretario General de la Presidencia, Chile 10german_s.jpg (4775 bytes) J�rgen Trittin, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany

US delegation Press Briefing

The US, represented by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs) and Todd Stern (Assistant to the President for Special Projects) briefed the media on recent events and fielded questions.

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Stuart E. Eizenstat discusses the US move to sign the Protocol

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Eizenstat and Stern answer questions from the floor relating to Kazakhstan, technology transfer, EU policy, US domestic policy, and voluntary commitments

10rafe3_s.jpg (4902 bytes)Top left: Rafe Pomerance, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Development, US Department of State in a huddle with US delegates

 

10rafe2_s.jpg (6102 bytes)Right: Eizenstat and Pomerance on their way to a meetings

10eisen_s.jpg (6410 bytes)Bottom left: Todd Stern, Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary, US (far left), and US Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat running off to a meeting after the US announced they would sign the Kyoto Protocol


UK Press Briefing

Deputy Minister John Prescott was upbeat about prospects for achieving some worthwhile outcomes at COP4.

10gumm2_s.jpg (7178 bytes)Right: CNN interviewing John Gummer, MP, United Kingdom delegation

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) John Prescott discusses the conference, then answers questions from the floor about the US signing of the Protocol and relations between EU and G77/China


EU Commissioner and Council President Press Briefing

European Union Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard and President of the Council Martin Bartenstein discussed recent events, including the US announcement that it would sign the Protocol, and the state of negotiations at the conference.

RealAudio recordings from the briefing:

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Martin Bartenstein outlines the EU's position

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Bjerregaard and Bartenstein respond to questions from the floor, covering issues such as talks between the US and the EU, and also the general state of negotiations at COP4


AOSIS heads of government and ministers Press Briefing

Urgent action must be taken at this conference to address climate change, according to representatives of the 35 member-strong Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Panelists spoke forcefully about the problems AOSIS countries are experiencing due to climate change, and called for environmental issues to take precedence over political considerations.

AOSIS was represented by:

10aoses_s.jpg (7432 bytes)Left: Terry Coe, Minister in Charge of Climate Change, NIUE, Leo A. Falcam, Vice President, Federated States of Micronesia, Bikenibeu Paeniu, Prime Minister, Tuvalu, Ludwig Keke, Deputy Speaker, Nauru

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Rt Hon Bikenibeu Paeniu, discusses the urgency of the problems being faced by AOSIS member countries, and airs concerns about progress so far at COP4.


10energy_crisi_s.jpg (3410 bytes) The Conference experienced an energy crisis during the afternoon speeches. The lights were restored after a few minutes of darkness and confusion

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