to assume voluntary commitment, invites Parties to create a bridge for
non-Annex l countries to participate in all Kyoto Mechanisms
Argentina's María Julia Alsogaray has informed COP-5 that her country
is now prepared to adopt a voluntary target to reduce its GHG emission
growth rate, fulfilling outgoing President Menem's pledge at COP-4. She
called on the Parties to establish a process to accept Argentina's voluntary
commitment and to create a "bridge to the Convention that would allow
Argentina and other non-Annex l countries to participate in all of the
announcement to the Conference of the Parties, the Argentine delegation
convened a briefing to explain their country's voluntary commitment to
reduce GHG emission growth rate. In this RealAudio clip, Maria
Julia Alsogaray summarizes Argentina's actions and notes that it is
only a first step for both Argentina and the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies
along a path to full implementation.
Download Argentina's revised First
National Communication, prepared to accompany the submission of its
voluntary target (PDF format).
Quote from the Executive Summary: "By way of this
document, Argentina is now submitting its greenhouse gas emission target...
This target is aimed at achieving, within the framework of the country's
developmental policies, a reduction in the rate of growth of GHG emissions,
through the implementation of measures that may contribute to the process
of sustainable development."
Vicente Barros, Asesor, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio
Internacional y Culto during the briefing convened by the delegation of
United States' Frank E Loy, Under
Secretary of State for Global Affairs at the Department of State, congratulated
Argentina on its leadership and hard work. He said nations can simultaneously
reduce emissions and contribute to their economic growth by taking on
an appropriate emissions target that allows them to engage in trading.
added: "We need to build on these successes and look for market-oriented
strategies that will reap rewards for developing countries that voluntarily
reduce their emissions. So in addition to ongoing discussions about the
timing and nature of developing
country commitments, we would like to work together on a complementary
track. We would like to open a new dialogue between developed and developing
countries about how to use the Kyoto process to more effectively pursue
sustainable development opportunities." The US plans to explore at a high-level
and in an appropriate forum, the progress that has been made and how developed
and developing countries can cooperate to broaden and strengthen the trend.
is ready to ratify Kyoto Protocol by Rio+10 in 2002, but …
The Finnish Presidency of the European Union has announced that it
is "willing and ready to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by the Rio+10 Conference"
in 2002. Satu Hassi, Minister of the Environment and Development Cooperation
in Finland said the Kyoto Protocol is the most ambitious intergovernmental
agreement aiming at the preservation of a living world for generations
to come. It appears that the unilateral gesture, however, is conditional
and may be withdrawn or amended subject to the attitude of other Parties
to the ratification deadline, such as the US. The offer is best compared
to the EU's opening bid of 15% reductions in the lead up to the final
negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol. This bid was effectively withdrawn
and revised downwards in the course of the negotiation. Pictured here
Walström, Commissioner, European Commission (center) and Satu Hassi (right).
EU gesture added more momentum to support for a Rio+10 deadline for ratification
leading to Entry into Force of the Protocol. Support for the deadline
was also expressed during the High Level Segment by the President of the
COP; Klaus Töpfer (UNEP), the representative of the UN Secretary-General;
the UNFCCC Executive Secretary; the AOSIS speaker; the UK's Deputy Prime
Minister John Prescott and a number of other countries.
the stick is too big, the beast falls over
European Ministers rounded on United States business and industry
representatives at an early morning briefing Tuesday. Business representatives
from the US were taken aback by the frankness of the European Ministers
as they challenged industry to support the climate change regime. In a
rehearsal of familiar themes, the balance of regulatory and taxation instruments
as opposed to voluntary agreements was discussed at length. Facing suggestions
that Governments might resort to more stick than carrot, one business
representative retorted: "If the stick is too big, the beast falls over."
UK Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, attempted to move the discussion
forward. One of the themes of the discussion was the role European business
and industry leaders might play in encouraging their United States counterparts
to adopt a less defensive response to the challenges and opportunities
raised by climate change.
stirs friction within G-77/China
There are reports of friction within the G-77/China group as a result
of Saudi Arabia's attitude to a number of outstanding issues in the negotiations,
including international transportation. The Saudi delegation is the co-ordinator
for the issue within the G-77/China. They are also leading players in
the ongoing contact group discussions on adverse effects.
Note: RealVideo of all statements made in Plenary are available
from the Video Archive of the UNFCCC's
dias left to right: Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, Michael
Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, COP-5 President Jan
Szyszko, and Richard Kinley, COP Secretary
The UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Michael Zammit Cutajar, said
the arrival of Ministers lifted the Conference from tactics to vision.
He outlined five building blocks for building confidence for success
in the negotiations on the Buenos Aires Action Plan:
industrial economies can use the opportunity to demonstrate their
engagement in early domestic action
- The CDM
can be made the cornerstone of a North-South compact
- COP-5 has
provided an opportunity to address the bottlenecks in the delivery
and consideration of national communications by non Annex-1 countries
- The credibility
of the Protocol must remain a central concern. Achievement of
the Protocol targets solely through "hot air" and "sinks" will
undermine the commitment to modify longer-term emission trends
- A negotiating
process needs deadlines. Pressure must be kept up for results
at COP-6, with the aim of bringing the Protocol into force by
2002. He also suggested reaching an understanding on what lies
beyond COP-6, including the review of the Protocol by COP/MOP
2, the 2005 performance benchmark and the continuation of the
Protocol into the second and future commitment periods.
Klaus Töpfer reads a message from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
The President of COP-5, Jan Szyszko (Poland) introduced the High-level
segment and suggested that Entry into Force of the Kyoto Protocol
in 2002 should become a motto for the Conference.
Allison Drayton, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Guyana to the
UN, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China, commented on the "super
cyclone" in the Bay of Bengal
Satu Hassi, Minister of the Environment and Development Cooperation,
Finland speaking on behalf of the EU
The Finnish Presidency of the European Union called for a revised
negotiating text on the Kyoto Mechanisms and on compliance, so that
COP-6 can make actual decisions. An intensified work programme should
lead to the production of negotiating texts by June 2000. On partnership
with developing countries, she noted that developing countries' contributions
to GHG emissions are increasingly rapidly. The EU announced that it
is willing and ready to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by the Rio+10 Conference.
László Miklós, Minister of the Environment, Slovakia speaking on behalf
of the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia)
Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Ambassador to the of Samoa to the UN, speaking
on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said proposals
on land use activities (sinks) would erase obligations agreed in the
Kyoto Protocol, using "sleight of hand". He supported early Entry
into Force by 2002 and welcomed the preparedness of some non-Annex
Parties to undertake obligations.
Vincent Lasse, Minister of Finance, Development and Planning, Trinidad
and Tobago speaking on behalf of CARICOM
Ana Maria Majano, Minister of the Environment, El Salvador, speaking
on behalf of the Central American Group
James A. Michel, Vice-President, Seychelles
Redley Killion, Vice-President, Federated States of Micronesia
The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland,
John Prescott, invited the Parties to ratify the Kyoto Protocol
at the Rio+10 Conference. He also called on Parties to avoid the "highwire"
act in the negotiating process, with the risk of breakdown.
María Julia Alsogaray, Head of the Secretariat of Natural Resources
and Sustainable Development, Argentina
Dr. Kezimbira Miyingo, Minister of State for Environment (Uganda)
on behalf of the Africa Group said the urgent issues for resolution
at COP-5 include capacity building, adaptation to adverse effects,
access to and support for the development and transfer of clean
technologies and access to finance through the CDM and AIJ. He added:
"While Africa recognizes the role that the private sector can play
in the implementation of the CDM, Annex-l Parties must still play
the lead role. The issue of climate change is similar to the issue
of national security and cannot be left to the private sector."
Ichita Yamamoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Japan
Noel Dempsey, Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Ireland
Liu Jiang, Minister and Vice Chairman, State Development Planning
Statements by IGOs, UN agencies and NGOs
Note: RealVideo of all statements made in Plenary are available from
the Video Archive of the UNFCCC's
Björn Stigson, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
(WBSCD), told Parties that there was no need to reinvent the wheel.
They should use existing mechanisms to help implement the Kyoto provisions
on trading and verification.
Karla Schoeters, Climate Action Network (Europe) told the Parties
that the planet is struggling while they address political and technical
issues in their negotiations. Climate change is not something for
the future. It is happening today. She was one of the speakers who
ruled out nuclear power as a suitable technology under the provisions
of the Kyoto Protocol.
Robert Watson, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) identified serious
weaknesses in the Parties approach to climate change and warned
about the dire
state of the IPCC's finances. He also outlined possible ways in
which climate change can negatively
impact sustainable development.
Professor G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO), commented on extreme weather events and called
on Parties to support climate monitoring, climate research and to
address the needs of developing countries, especially those of small
Klaus Töpfer, UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director,
said the fight against poverty in the world is the single most important
precondition for effective action on the environment.
Michel Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Director, greets Klaus Töpfer
Mohamed T El-Ashry, CEO of the Global Environment Facility,
was one of a number of speakers at the High Level segment who expressed
sympathy to the victims of the 'super cyclone' in the Bay of Bengal.
Charles Spencer, Franciscans International, invited delegates
to "stop the talk and walk the walk". He appealed to OPEC to stop
holding up the process and warned that emissions trading could allow
Parties to divest themselves of their responsibility for tackling
climate change. He added that the time for nuclear power has come
Robert Priddle, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA)
Shokri Ghanem, Officer-in-Charge, Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Astrid Gisbertz, European Atomic Forum (FORATOM)
Juhani Santaholma, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
Thorvald Moe, Deputy Secretary-General, Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Brett Orlando, The World Conservation Union (IUCN)
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