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published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
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Special Report on Selected Side Events at UNFCCC COP-10

6 - 17 December 2004 | Buenos Aires, Argentina



Daily Web Coverage & Daily Reports:

6 December 2004

7 December 2004

8 December 2004

9 December 2004

10 December 2004

11 December 2004

13 December 2004

14 December 2004

15 December 2004

16 December 2004

17 December 2004

Brief Analysis



 


 

Events convened on Tuesday, 14 December 2004

History of the IPCC and its role for the UNFCCC


Presented by the World Meteorological Organization/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
 

Joke Waller-Hunter, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, stressed that IPCC’s input helped reaching the Marrakesh agreement on LULUCF

Rajendra Pauchari, IPCC Chairman, described IPCC’s mandate, noting that its main purpose is to provide comprehensive scientific assessments that are relevant to policy makers without being prescriptive. He said the highly selective process of assigning experts to the IPCC enhances the quality of the IPCC’s work.

Joke Waller-Hunter, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said the IPCC is an authoritative, relevant and policy-neutral body whose work is at the core of the international climate policy process. She highlighted IPCC’s contributions on land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF), and methodological guidance regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. Waller-Hunter said the IPCC’s first assessment report set the stage for initial negotiations, the second assassment report established the possibility of addressing climate change without serious economic impacts, and the third assessment report further provided information on concentrations of individual GHGs.

 

Rajendra Pauchari, IPCC Chair, discussed outstanding scientific issues, and said the cost of inaction is not only monetary but also involves loss of human lives and ecological disruption that cannot be quantified

Renate Christ, IPCC, outlined the structure of the IPCC, noting that it consists of working groups on scientific basis, impacts and adaptation, and mitigation. She reviewed the main findings of each working group contained in the assessments, and stressed that the assessment reports contributed two agenda items to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

Harald Dovland, Norwegian Ministry of the Environment, discussed the role of science in policy making, noting that the IPCC’s assessment reports preceded the adoption of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the addition of two new SBSTA items, respectively. He highlighted IPCC’s contributions to good practice guidance and emissions guidelines, expressed concern over the number of SBSTA members attending IPCC meetings, noted the risk of politicizing the IPCC, and called for further simplifying the language of assessment reports.

Osvaldo Canziani, Co-Chair of the working group on vulnerability, impacts and adaptation, discussed his working group’s contribution to the IPCC’s

third assessment report issued in 2001. He said the impacts of climate change are easy to observe but attributing strict causality is difficult. Canziani highlighted the concept of critical threshold temperatures that may lead to irreversible ecological destruction, and stressed the need to further investigate: causal links between climate change and ostensible climate impacts; vulnerability to climate change; and climate effects under different development paths.
Hans Holger-Rogner, International Atomic Energy Agency, said the task of the working group on mitigation is to assess information on mitigation options, and stressed the need to distinguish between long-term and short-term effects of mitigation, as well as between technical, economic and social aspects of mitigation options. He said specific policies need to be tailored to national and local circumstances, but must mainstream mitigation in sustainable development as well as address cross-cutting issues.

Taka Hiraishi, Co-Chair of IPCC’s National GHG Inventories Programme (NGGIP), outlined NGGIP’s work on developing internationally agreed methodology for the calculation and reporting of national GHG emissions. He noted that the 2003 Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF is being revised for 2006.

Discussion: Pauchari indicated that the IPCC reports are not subject to external evaluation and are often misinterpreted in the press. Regarding the fourth assessment report due in 2007, he said the working group on basic science needs to reduce key scientific uncertainties. He noted that the cost of inaction cannot be quantified in monetary terms only, and that the cost of action is often exaggerated.
Contact:

Rajendra Pauchari <chairipcc@teri.res.in>
Renate Christ <rchrist@wmo.int>
Harald Dovland <harald.dovland@md.dep.no>
Osvaldo Canziani <information@feu999.org
Hans-Holger Rogner <h.h.rogner@iaea.org>
Taka Hiraishi <hiraishi@iges.or.jp>  

The practical consequences of climate equity: Toward a relevant equity reference framework


Presented by the Tellus Institute

Sivan Kartha, Tellus Institute, said future climate commitments should consider both responsibility and capacity, which involves addressing emissions and wealth

Paul Baer, Berkeley Energy and Resources Group, advocated a precautionary approach to climate change, noting that limiting temperatures rise below 2°C requires stabilizing GHG concentrations at 400 parts per million (ppm) rather than 550 ppm.

Tom Athanasiou, EcoEquity, introduced “the Gordian knot” analytical framework, based on adequacy, realism and equity, emphasizing that adequacy should be assessed without prejudging what is realistic or fair. He said the South is justified in insisting on the right to sustainable development without having to commit to mitigation measures.

Sivan Kartha, Tellus Institute, endorsed the idea of a development threshold, dividing countries into those responsible for mitigation and those entitled to prioritize development. He said due to class and wealth divisions in the South, the threshold may not be national income but some other indicator.

Sarah Hendry, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

stressed the importance of creating an environment for discussions, where views can be freely expressed without the fear of committing to future actions.

Chandrashehkar Dasgupta, the Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), highlighted the balance reflected in UNFCCC Article 2 (Objective). He stressed that new commitments should not compromise other objectives of the Convention, including sustainable economic development. He objected to the idea of a development threshold, saying it would condemn large parts of the world’s population to poverty.

Agus Pratama Sari, Pelangi/Indonesian Delegate, emphasized that the distinction between developed and developing countries is a political one that masks more complex realities. He said conflicting interests within countries should be the starting point for discussing future commitments, and cautioned that the right to development should be carefully analyzed to determine whether it is invoked genuinely or as rhetoric by Southern elites seeking to avoid changes to their comfortable lifestyles.

Jennifer Morgan, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, emphasized the need for new ideas and social debate on the adequacy of climate commitments. She highlighted the role of vested interests in climate politics, saying that the cost of achieving the 2°C temperature rise maximum limit would not necessarily be very high.

Book launch: A guide to the international climate change regime


Presented by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex
 

Richard Bradley, IEA, said a sustainable energy system requires more rapid technology transfer

Farhana Yamin, IDS, launched the book International Climate Change Regime: A Guide to Rules, Institutions and Procedures, co-authored with Joanna Depledge, University of Cambridge. She said the book is a comprehensive and objective account of the rules, institutions and procedures governing the international climate change regime. She explained that the book covers the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, the Marrakesh Accords and all decisions by the Conference of the Parties (COP) up to COP-9. She noted the complexity of the climate change negotiations, and said the book attempts to clarify how the regime functions and what its rules are. She highlighted that the book covers various aspects of the climate change regime, and includes a discussion on political coalitions, institutional structure, negotiations and linkages with other regimes. She emphasized the opportunity to celebrate the existence of two legally binding international climate treaties.

Richard Kinley, UNFCCC Secretariat, said the book makes an important contribution to understanding how the climate regime works that will

benefit delegates, scholars and a variety of stakeholders.
Contact:

Farhana Yamin <f.yamin@ids.ac.uk>
Richard Kinley <rkinley@unfccc.int>

Facts and trends to 2050: Energy and climate change


Presented by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Laurent Corbier, WBCSD, presented the new report “Facts and trends to 2050 – Energy and climate change,” and stressed the magnitude of the challenge of cutting future carbon emissions

Laurent Corbier, WBCSD, introduced his organization, a coalition of 175 international companies from 35 countries, and outlined its work program for 2004. He said facts and trends provided in a new WBCSD report are the basis for his organization’s future work on policies, business responses and tools.

William Kyte Obe, Eon, emphasized that, for the business community, climate change is only one of many concerns, and stressed the need to communicate climate change-related issues in a language that is understandable by top business executives. He called for long-term signals by policy makers and for setting a price for carbon, noting that the market will find solutions if appropriate prices are set.

David Hone, Shell International, introduced the publication “Facts and trends to 2050 - Energy and climate change,” which comprises sections on energy demand, climate impacts, technological change, and the future challenge. Presenting energy data of the International Energy Agency and IPCC climate change scenarios, he noted that energy demand will double

or triple over the next 50 years, and that carbon emissions have to be reduced by seven giga tons by 2050. He discussed the lifespan of energy infrastructure, noting that the necessary transition toward a low carbon economy will take time.

Mark Akhurst, BP, compared existing technological options in the power and transport sectors by examining the consequences of reducing one giga ton of carbon using different technologies. He emphasized that these technologies are already deployed, but none of them could solve the problem alone, noting that a mix of technological measures was needed.

Discussion: A participant said the presentations focused on technological potentials, without addressing the specific barriers to rapid diffusion of these technologies. Panelists responded that future work will elaborate on policies and frameworks.

More information:

http://www.wbcsd.org
Contact:

Laurent Corbier <corbier@wbcsd.org>
William Kyte Obe <dr-william.kyte@eon-uk.com>
David Hone <david.hone@shell.com>
Mark Akhurst <akhurstm@bp.com>

The climate change and air quality nexus


Presented by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

Dieter Wartchow, City Hall of Porto Alegre, Brazil, stressed the need to promote household energy efficiency

Rocky Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City, US, said since the US federal government is not leading to address climate change, leadership must be exercised at the local level. Highlighting links between global warming and local air quality, he said 60% of air pollution in the Salt Lake Valley comes from automobile use. He said his city aims to meet or exceed a 7% GHG emissions reduction compared to the 1990 baseline, and described how these reductions will be achieved through energy conservation and a shift to renewable energy. He described a number of transport initiatives, including the introduction of compressed-natural gas vehicles, promotion of public transport, and expansion of bicycle lanes.

Dieter Wartchow, City Hall of Porto Alegre, Brazil, highlighted the need for effective social management of environmental resources, stressing the need for environmental education to encourage public participation in emissions reduction initiatives. Indicating that the transport sector is responsible for 65% of energy consumption in Porto Alegre, he described

efforts to increase bicycle lane coverage and promote cleaner fuels. He outlined local efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use, highlighting economic benefits. He described EcoPark, a public-private partnership that aims to capture methane emissions from municipal waste.

Ryan Bell, ICLEI, introduced the Harmonized Emissions Analysis Tool (HEAT), a multilingual internet database for storing, tracking and reporting GHG emissions and offering criteria on air pollutants. He explained that HEAT will enable local governments to conduct emissions analyses, and predict future emissions and emissions reductions associated with projects. He indicated that HEAT will allow for analyses of emissions variations between jurisdictions with different geography, demography, development levels and economic profiles.

Contact:

Rocky Anderson <rocky.anderson@slcgov.com>
Dieter Wartchow <dieterw@portoweb.com.br>
Ryan Bell <rbell@iclei.org

Innovative partnerships to address climate change


Presented by the US Government

Gao Feng, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed that partnerships are important for implementation of the UNFCCC

Paula Dobriansky, US Department of State, indicated that the Bush administration is providing economic incentives for energy-efficient technologies and US$4.1 billion in tax credits for emissions reductions. She explained that the US has bilateral relations with 14 countries to address climate change, resulting in over 200 projects around the world.

Altero Mattioli, Italy’s Minister for the Environment and Land Protection, stressed the need to disseminate low carbon technologies and promote the use of renewable energies. He outlined two initiatives undertaken in cooperation with the US: one that promotes the use of renewable energy in the Mediterranean region; and a second that involves creating gardens in Mesopotamia.

Prodipto Ghosh, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, indicated that his country collaborates with the US to promote a wide range of climate-friendly technologies. He stressed that partnerships do not represent uni-directional flows of technologies and resources, but entail

Prodipto Ghosh, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, stressed that his country’s partnerships with the US follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities

contributions from both sides.

Gao Feng, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that bilateral consultations on climate change are underway between China and the US. He said high investment will be made in the energy sector in China in the near future, indicating the intention to build 100 nuclear power plants in the next 20 years.

Conrad Lautenbacher, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, outlined a number of research programs and partnerships related to climate change. He highlighted the Climate Change Science Program, noting that it seeks to improve knowledge of climate and the environment, quantify forces driving climate change, reduce uncertainty in projections of future climate change, and understand the adaptability of ecosystems.

Judith Ayers, US Environmental Protection Agency, described the “methane to markets partnership,” which brings countries together to reduce methane emissions from coal mines, oil and gas systems and

 landfills. She said the project provides cost-effective methane recovery for use as an energy source.

Jacqueline Schafer, US Agency for International Development, noted that her organization places an emphasis on partnerships in addressing a wide range of climate change issues.

Stephen Eule, US Department of Energy, said well designed collaborations can accelerate the development and implementation of cleaner energy technologies. He highlighted the Generation IV International Forum, saying it is concerned with promoting the fourth generation of advanced nuclear systems. He highlighted the need for strong private sector participation.

Discussion: Participants raised questions regarding the lack of market incentives for carbon sequestration, programs aimed at indigenous communities, the impacts of rising oil prices on climate technology markets, and the promotion of available alternative energy technologies in the short term.


More information:

http://www.iphe.net

Climate change: Issues and approaches


Presented by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA)

Fatih Birol, IEA, called for strong policies that promote alternative energy technologies

Richard Sykes, Shell International, said the IPIECA and its working group on climate change had organized workshops for its member companies on, inter alia, long-term carbon management, carbon storage, and guidelines for reporting GHG emissions.

Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency (IEA), presented the World Energy Outlook 2004, highlighting that 90% of the increase in oil demand in OECD countries until 2030 will occur in the transport sector. He noted that the average carbon content of primary energy will increase slightly through 2030 due to a decline in the share of nuclear power in the world’s energy market, and called for faster technology development and deployment. He said according to IEA’s forecasts, the number of people without access to electricity will decline from today’s 1.6 billion to 1.4 billion people in 2030.

Mark Akhurst, BP, presented conclusions and recommendations from an

Fatih Birol, IEA, called for strong policies that promote alternative energy technologies

IPIECA workshop on long-term carbon and energy management, held in 2001, stating that fossil fuel availability will not be a concern over the next decades. On long-term policies, Akhurst said clear guidelines are needed, which take into account the fact that technologies must be efficient and economic.

Frede Cappelen, Statoil, said climate change is not a near-term priority in Asia and Latin America, noting that key issues in these regions include sustainable development, poverty alleviation and affordable energy. He stressed that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) would offer one pathway to technology transfer, but lamented the complicated approval criteria and the weak capacity of the CDM Executive Board, which discourage the development of large-scale projects by the private sector.

Robert Greco III, American Petroleum Institute, discussed a workshop on

the transport sector, noting that the cost of fuel provides a large economic driver to improve efficiency. He identified trade-offs between primary energy consumption and GHG emissions for biofuels, noting that mobility is critical for development.

Arthur Lee, ChevronTexacon Corporation, identified a large technical potential for carbon dioxide capture and geological storage (CCS), noting that current costs of CCS from power plants are from US$40-60 per ton of carbon dioxide. On risk management for CCS, Lee stressed the importance of site selection, safe operations, operational monitoring and storage time.
Contact:

Richard Sykes <richard.sykes@shell.com>
Fatih Birol <fatih.birol@iea.org>
Mark Akhurst <akhurstm@bp.com>
Frede Cappelen <fca@statoil.com>
Robert Greco III <greco@api.org>
Arthur Lee <rlas@chevrontexaco.com>

Latest climate change results from the Hadley Centre


Presented by the Hadley Centre
 

Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the Hadley Centre works to improve understanding of uncertainties and prediction of climatic extremes

Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, introduced the Hadley Centre’s work on reducing uncertainty and improving prediction of extreme climatic events. Noting lingering uncertainty, she highlighted findings that existing GHG in the atmosphere have already increased the likelihood of extreme weather events.

David Griggs, Hadley Centre, discussed uncertainty, risk and climate change. He said the global average temperature has risen by 0.7°C between 1861 and 2003, 2003 was the third warmest year on record, and the ten warmest years occurred after 1990. He discussed uncertainty stemming from complex interactions between multiple variables such as future emissions and cloud cover, and presented the Hadley Centre’s new technique for estimating climate model uncertainty.

Vicky Pope, Hadley Centre, reviewed changes in weather extremes, the

possibility of a Gulf Stream collapse, projected melting of Greenland’s ice sheet and the probability of severe heat waves. She said doubling carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere would entail a 3-4°C increase in mean temperature and a 3°C increase in extreme temperature for Washington D.C., as well as a decrease in precipitation and rainforest decline in Amazonia. Regarding Gulf Stream dynamics, she said thermohaline circulation (THC) has shut down in the past, leading to dramatic cooling in the Northern hemisphere. She indicated that another shutdown would result in winter temperatures in London equivalent to those in Moscow. Noting that Greenland’s ice sheet is 3200 meters thick, Pope said local warming of 2.7°C in Greenland would trigger considerable ice meltdown over the next 1000 years. She added that human influence has more than doubled the risk of heat waves of the magnitude seen in Europe in the summer of 2003.

Discussion: Griggs stressed significant uncertainties regarding the possible implications of THC shutdown for regional sea level rise, cloud cover and the connection between El Niño and global climate change. 

Contact:

David Griggs <dave.griggs@metoffice.com>
Vicky Pope <vicky.pope@metoffice.gov.uk

Watch the UNFCCC webcast of Side Events




 

 


 

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. This issue has been written by Rado Dimitrov, Ph.D., Catherine Ganzleben, D.Phil., Kati Kulovesi, Charlotte Salpin, and Christoph Sutter, Ph.D. The photographer is Leila Mead. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at UNFCCC COP-10 is provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from COP-10 can be found on the Linkages website at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop10/enbots/. The ENBOTS Team at COP-10 can be contacted at Pabellón 9 and by e-mail at <charlotte@iisd.org>.


 

 


 

 

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