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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 : Friday 13 Nov

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

bullet United States Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, Stuart E. Eizenstat, told the ENB that the small island states of Niue and Nauru have expressed a strong interest in becoming more engaged in the climate change regime. Mr. Eizenstat was answering a question about those developing countries he expected to follow Argentina in undertaking voluntary commitments.

bullet Attempts by the COP-4 President to facilitate final rounds of negotiations are in disarray. Negotiators are not convinced that a proposal by María Julia Alsogaray to take part in bilateral ‘consultations’ can deliver results. The Umbrella Group and the EU have met to work out a method for a decisive round of negotiations.
Late issues on the table include policies and measures, a draft cover decision on deadlines and a decision allowing the COP-4 President to convene ministerial-level meetings during the inter-sessional period. The issue of compliance has been tentatively agreed subject to a resolution of other outstanding issues.
One delegate said he was looking forward to the "Mañana Mandate" with a number of issues kicked into touch for future decision-making.

bullet The closing Plenary of the Fourth Conference of the Parties in Buenos Aires is scheduled for 12 midnight. A high level meeting of the Friends of the Chair is attempting to close a deal following a meeting between the EU and the Umbrella Group.

Photos and RealAudio from the last day of COP-4, 13 November

RealAudio interviews:

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Democratic Congressman Peter de Fazio, Oregon, discusses the significance of the US decision to sign the Kyoto Protocol

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Monika Langthaler, a Green Party member of the Austrian parliament presents the Greens’ position on negotiations at COP-4


11closedus_s.jpg (5292 bytes)
11closed1_s.jpg (5901 bytes) Everything happened behind closed doors as the reconvening of the Plenary was postponed indefinitely
11closedout_s.jpg (6643 bytes)
11philipbraz_s.jpg (4323 bytes) Bernarditas Castro Muller, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines, and Newton Paciornik, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil, on their way to the final G-77/China briefing 11g77meet_s.jpg (4719 bytes) Delegates from G-77/China member countries on their way the G-77 briefing in the early morning hours before the closing Plenary
11sleepchi_s.jpg (6204 bytes) Delegates sleeping as the scheduled time of the Closing Plenary time is postponed until the early morning 11iantuv_s.jpg (4321 bytes) Ian Fry, Government of Tuvalu, takes a nap in the early morning hours
11battle_s.jpg (7214 bytes) The exposition area of the conference center is reminiscent of a battle field on the final evening of the conference. Pictured here is the area "occupied" by the NGO forces.

Final Plenary Session

After a difficult negotiation process, a Buenos Aires Plan of Action was adopted in the final session of COP4.

RealAudio segments from the final Plenary chaired by COP-4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray:

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Adoption of Agenda Items on Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 National Communications

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Agenda items relating to financial mechanisms, technology transfer and Articles 6, 12 and 17 of the Protocol are adopted. Switzerland makes an intervention to express concern at the exclusion of countries from the final round of negotiations. The Swiss representative also comments on the lack of transparency and asks the UNFCCC Secretariat to address the problem at future meetings

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) The Buenos Aires Plan of Action is adopted. Several countries make interventions, including Austria (on behalf of the EU), Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, United States, Slovenia, Japan, Argentina, Senegal and Mexico. All praise the work of COP4 President Alsogaray. The report of the Conference is adopted and the President closes the session

11algos_s.jpg (5693 bytes) COP President Maria Julia Alsogaray on her way to the podium to preside over the closing Plenary
11switz2_s.jpg (8597 bytes) In the closing Plenary, Philippe Roch (left), State Secretary, Federal Department of Transport, Communication and Energy, Switzerland, lamented the lack of transparency in the negotiating process at this COP and at previous COPS and hoped that the problems would be remedied in the future 11usdel_s.jpg (6149 bytes) The US delegation in the closing Plenary
11austria_s.jpg (6442 bytes) Martin Bartenstein, Federal Minister for the Environment, Austria, and speaking on behalf of the EU, proposed naming the Program of Action after Buenos Aires which was accepted by acclamation

11saudi_s.jpg (8615 bytes) Khalid M. Abuleif of Aramco (left), a delagate from Kuwait and Fareed S. Asaly, also of Aramco (right) looking over the final decision documents

11indon2_s.jpg (7237 bytes) Ambassador Arizal Effendi, Indonesia, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China, thanked the President Alsogaray for her hard work in a closing statement 11philiran_s.jpg (6594 bytes) Bernarditas Castro Muller, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines, and Mohammad Reza Salamat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran, as the closing Plenary begins

Post Conference Press Briefing - United States

United States Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, Stuart E. Eizenstat, gave an assessment of the outcomes from COP4.

11eisenrep_s.jpg (5653 bytes) Reporters interview Stuart Eizenstat, head of the US delegation, after the conference closes

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Stuart Eizenstat briefs the press

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) Eizenstat fields questions relating to China, voluntary commitments, and informal consultations involving developing countries


Miscellaneous photos:

11ugpetang_s.jpg (5726 bytes) Phillip Gwage, Ministry of Land, Water and the Environment, Uganda, discusses the process with Peter Doran and Angela Churie, ENB 11raulteam_s.jpg (5792 bytes) "The Raulstan delegation": Raul Estrada and his entourage of Peter Doran, Lavanya Rajamana, Victoria Kellett, and Angela Churie (all recent defectors from the ENB)

The impact of flexibility mechanisms

The Kyoto Protocol may provide for so much flexibility in meeting commitments that it may not succeed in substantially changing current energy trends, according to panelists at this special event. The meeting was organised jointly by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA, e-mail: cvrolijk@riia.org, web site: http://www.riia.org/) and the World Energy Council (WEC), and dealt with recent research on the Protocol, its flexibility mechanisms and energy scenarios.

10frausbel_s.jpg (7731 bytes)Right: Marie Helene Aubert, French Member of Parliament, Monika Langthaler, Member of Parliament, Austria, Juan Claudio Behrend, European Parliament, Belgium

11grpanel_s.jpg (8326 bytes)Left: Marie Helene Aubert, French Member of Parliament, Monika Langthaler, Member of Parliament, Austria, Juan Claudio Behrend, European Parliament, Belgium, and Sauro Turroni, Deputati Verdim Italy at a European parliament green group press conference

 

11energy_s.jpg (3360 bytes)Right:  Michael Jefferson, World Energy Council, William A. Nitze, Environmental Protection Agency, and Michael Grubb, The Royal Institute of International Affairs

raworld.gif (1544 bytes) RIIA's Michael Grubb discusses the meeting and his views on the Protocol


Conference on Demand

Conference on Demand, a service of the Cyber Kansai Project in Japan and the UNFCCC secretariat, has broadcast RealVideo and Audio of COP-4 over the internet based on a joint a Memorandum of Understanding. Broadcasts from the Plenary Halls and selected press conferences and side events are stored as RealVideo and RealAudio files to be viewed and listened to on demand. The purpose is to enhance the impact of the conference by using the most advanced information technology to broadcast its meetings to the world via the Internet. The Cyber Kansai Project did its first live broadcast at COP-3 in Kyoto and both COP-3 and COP-4 are available at http://www.cop3.ckp.or.jp and http://ckp.cop4.org/, respectively.

11confdem2_s.jpg (7956 bytes)Right: Saguru Yamaguchi, Associate Professor, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, and head of the Conference on Demand team

11confdem_s.jpg (7584 bytes) Left: The Conference on Demand workspace has splitters to bring the conference to the UK, the US and Asian countries


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