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published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
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UNFCCC
IISD
Special Report on Selected Side Events at UNFCCC COP-9
01 - 12 December 2003, Milan, Italy
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Events convened on Tuesday, 02 December 2003

Financial and technical support for the preparation of national communications for non-Annex I Parties

Presented by the UNFCCC

Graham Sem, UNFCCC, presented the UNFCCC user's manual for the guidelines on preparing non-Annex I Parties' national communications. He said that a national communication should include: national greenhouse gas inventories; a general description of steps taken or envisaged to implement the Convention; and constraints and gaps relating to financial, technical and capacity needs.

Olga Pilifosova, UNFCCC, presented the UNFCCC Resource Book/Compendium on Methods and Tools to Assess Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation, which catalogues existing policy processes and tools and makes them available to users.

Dilip Ahuja, Global Environment Facility (GEF), presented GEF Operational Procedures for the Expedited Financing of National Communications from Non-Annex I Parties, which contains information on, inter alia: countries' eligibility for support; stakeholder consultation; good practices in project preparation; the indicative budget; and outcomes.

Bo Lim, UNDP, said the National Communications Support Programme (NCSP) was designed to provide additional technical assistance to non-Annex I Parties for the preparation of their initial national communications. She noted that NCSP had established an information website and organized numerous regional exchange and training workshops.

Ravi Sharma, UNEP/GEF, summarized lessons learned in the preparation of initial national communications, including the importance of project management, capacity building and stakeholder participation. Highlighting the UNEP/GEF process for Second National Communications, he noted that stakeholder consultation involves: GEF and UNFCCC focal points sending requests to UNEP for funding; UNEP assisting in the scheduling and designing of consultations; UNEP providing a template for developing project proposals, which takes into account stakeholder recommendations; and UNFCCC focal points establishing a project management team to initiate national communications.

Richard Warrick, International Global Change Institute, explained that the SimCLIM System is a software programme for integrating data and models for climate impact and adaptation assessments. He said the system can be used to, inter alia, generate climate change scenarios, examine current climate variability and extremes and assess risks.

David Hassell, Hadley Centre, said that Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies (PRECIS) is a tool for generating a regional climate modeling system. He explained that it can be applied to any area of the globe and used to generate detailed climatic projections for vulnerability and adaptation studies. He noted that PRECIS allows countries to produce national scenarios of climatic changes, and can be run on inexpensive computers.

Lim then presented the user's guidebook on the adaptation policy framework, which provides users with summarized information about processes for developing adaptation strategies and policies and measures to cope with climate change.

Bo Lim, UNDP, and Ravi Sharma, UNEP/GEF, answer participants' questions on the guidelines for preparing and financing national communications.
Dilip Ahuja, GEF, says Parties are requested to submit electronic versions of the outputs of activities and finalized versions of the National Communication draft.
Graham Sem <gsem@unfccc.int>
Olga Pilifosova <opilifosova@unfccc.int>
Bo Lim <bo.lim@undp.org>
Ravi Sharma <ravi.sharma@unep.org>
Richard Warrick <igci@waikato.ac.nz>
David Hassell <precis@metoffice.com>



Keep Kyoto on track

Presented by the International Union of Railways

Recognizing that the use of private transport is accelerating in developing countries, Robin Carruthers, World Bank, said is it important to ensure that municipalities and consumers are aware of the environmental costs of their transport choices.

Lewis Fulton, International Energy Agency, considered the possibility of transferring transport models between different countries.

Noting the difficulty of maintaining railways' share in the transport sector, Marcel Verslype, International Union of Railways, suggested the possibility of sharing experience across sectors.

Rolf Tuchhardt, Community of European Railways, emphasized the need to harmonize rail systems across Europe in order to improve the efficiency of cross-border freight transport, and highlighted financing opportunities provided by infrastructure charging.

Roberto Massetti, International Association of Public Transport, noted the difficulties of providing public transport in urban areas where there is competition for space, and stressed the need for increased investments to improve quality and efficiency.

Michael Schemmer, Union of European Railway Industries (UNIFE), stressed the need to make rail transport more attractive, both to passengers and to people living near to railways in order to increase rail capacity.

Discussion:

Participants considered Bogota's successful bus transit system, which provides high-quality, high-volume service. Tuchhardt emphasized the need to develop linkages between transport modes and Carruthers noted that there are few examples of coordination between manufactures and operators of transport modes. Tuchhardt expressed disappointment at the European Commission's failure to develop the infrastructure charging directive and stressed the importance of transport users paying the external costs of their mobility. Verslype noted that all transport modes should be obliged to pay the same infrastructure costs in order to ensure a level playing field between sectors. Participants considered how to encourage bicycle use and integrate cycling with public transport. Massetti noted the need for infrastructure to allow passengers to load bicycles onto trains. Carruthers said that the use of bicycles in China was declining and stressed the need for storage areas near rail stations.


One participant emphasized lack of geographic coverage and uncompetitive prices in the rail sector. Verslype clarified that rail infrastructure costs have escalated over the past ten years and Tuchhardt noted that since airlines are not subject to the same taxation framework as rail, the playing field is unfair. One participant emphasized the need for transport authorities to work with local planning authorities and said passengers need information to facilitate their transport choices.

Michael Schemmer, UNIFE, stresses the need to improve the efficiency, comfort and attractiveness of rail transport.
Robert Wright, Financial Times, asks participants whether transport is being adequately addressed at COP-9.
Robin Carruthers <rcarruthers@worldbank.org>
Lewis Fulton <lew.fulton@iea.org>
Marcel Verslype <marcel.verslype@b-rail.be>
Rolf Tuchhardt <rolf.tuchhardt@cer.be>
Roberto Massetti <roberto.massetti@atm-mi.it>
Michael Schemmer <michael.schemmer@de.transport.bombardier.com>



IPCC LULUCF Programme

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

Taka Hiraishi, IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, introduced the IPCC Good Practice Guidance (GPG) for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), and Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-Induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types. Several authors of the GPG for LULUCF then presented the report's various chapters.

Jim Penman, UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, presented a general overview of the IPCC GPG for LULUCF report. He explained that the GPG contains advice on implementing the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, including advice on estimation methods, quality assurance and control in the application of methods, documentation, archiving, and estimating uncertainties.

Presenting the chapter that addresses the basis for consistent representation of land areas, Ronnie Milne, Natural Environment Research Council, stressed the need for methods that are adequate, consistent, complete and transparent. Noting the need for “land categories” that are mappable by remote sensing and provide a robust basis for carbon estimation, he identified six categories: forest lands; croplands; grasslands; wetlands; settlements; and other.
Milne outlined three approaches for categorizing land: basic land-use data; survey of land use and land-use change; and geographically explicit land use.

N.H. Ravindranath, Indian Institute of Science, presented the report's chapter that covers the Land-Use Change and Forestry (LUCF) Sector GPG. He drew attention to significant advances over the 1996 IPCC Guidelines, including adoption of the land use category approach to organize methodologies and GPG, and the introduction of three hierarchical tiers of methods for land use categories, gases and carbon pools.

Bernhard Schlamadinger, Joanneum Research, discussed the report's section on supplementary methods and GPG arising from the Kyoto Protocol. He outlined steps for estimating and reporting supplementary information, and presented decision trees for classifying lands and for determining whether a unit of land is subject to direct human-induced deforestation.

Sandra Brown, Winrock International, described the section concerning LULUCF projects, noting that it provides, inter alia: guidance on measuring, monitoring and estimating anthropogenic changes in carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from LULUCF activities at the project level; guidance for multi-tier, practical steps for designing and implementing measures and monitoring plans and for estimating changes in carbon stocks and non-CO2 greenhouse gases; and “stand alone” guidance with cross linkages to other sections of the report.

Newton Paciornik, Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil, outlined the chapter that addresses cross-cutting issues such as identifying and quantifying uncertainties, sampling, identifying key categories, and ensuring quality assurance and control, time series consistency and recalculations, and verification.

Samuel Kainja, Forestry Department of Malawi, presented the report on Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-Induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types. He said the report addresses definitions, methods for inventory, scale and effect, and unbalanced accounting.

Taka Hiraishi, IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, introduces two reports prepared by the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.
Taka Hiraishi <hiraishi@iges.or.up>
Jim Penman <jim.penman@defra.gsi.gov.uk>
Ronnie Milne <rmilne@ceh.ac.uk>
N.H. Ravindranath <ravi@ces.iisc.ernet.in>
Bernhard Schlamadinger <bernhard.schlamadinger@joanneum.at>
Sandra Brown <sbrown@winrock.org>
Newton Paciornik <newton@finep.gov.br>
Samuel Kainja <skainja@malawi.net>



Supporting designated national authorities in implementing the Clean Development Mechanism

Presented by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Haroldo Machado Filho, Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil, described the Brazilian Implementation Guide for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which is supported by the National Bank for Social and Economic Development and UNCTAD with the assistance of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. He explained that the guide addresses the rules and procedures related to the CDM and outlines the CDM's institutional structure and project cycle.

Augusto Jucá, UNDP, noted Brazil's initiatives on climate change and spoke on the CDM biomass electricity cogeneration project, a UN inter-agency project supported by the UN Foundation. He underscored the project's objectives to engage the private sector in the CDM, build capacity, reduce emissions and develop methodologies for renewable energy cogeneration.

Gao Pronove, LearnSD, explained that LearnSD is an online learning center for sustainable development that focuses on issues including climate change, biodiversity, desertification and water. He underscored that one of the main objectives of LearnSD is to enable organizations to train and build capacity.

Miguel Rapatan, LearnSD, described the importance of e-learning, noting that as more people learn about sustainable development, more sustainable development occurs. Rapatan listed LearnSD's benefits such as: access to expert training; network building; collaborative project development; certification by experts; rapid information dissemination; and the programme's low cost.

Lucas Assunção, UNCTAD, introduced Climate Investment Partnership (CIP), which is an initiative that helps designated national authorities and assists governments and organizations including UNCTAD. He explained that in the process of helping project developers carry out proposals, an obstacle that arises is insufficient access to potential investors. He said CIP helps project developers obtain funding, especially in a market with few buyers of certified emissions reductions.

Frank Joshua, CIP, described CIP as an innovative public-private partnership that facilitates upfront financing for climate-friendly projects. Joshua stressed that CIP brings together public and private financing, insurers, guarantors, investors and project developers and quickly identifies funding for projects.

Discussion: Participants discussed the need for free e-learning and the credibility of LearnSD's certifications. They also noted that although the Brazilian Implementation Guide for the CDM is a necessary first step, further initiatives should be taken.

Lucas Assunção, UNCTAD, says one challenge is to enable and support the designated national authorities so that they can develop the model best suited for them.
Miguel Rapatan, LearnSD, explains that e-learning provides wide and rapid information dissemination at half the cost of live conferences.
Haroldo Machado Filho <harmac@zaz.com.br>
Augusto Jucá <ajuca@undp.org.br>
Gao Pronove <gao@govida.net>
Miguel Rapatan <miguel.rapatan@learnsd.org>
Frank Joshua
<frank.joshua@climateinvestors.com>
Lucas Assunção <lucas.assuncao@unctad.org>



Extreme meteorological events and climate change

Presented by the Delegation of Switzerland

José Romero, Switzerland, explained that the Swiss Advisory body on Climate Change (OcCC) is an independent body focused on analyzing the interlinkages between increased frequency of extreme events and climate change.

Roland Hohmann, OcCC, presented the OcCC report on extreme events and climate change, and noted Switzerland faced: temperature extremes, frosts, droughts, forest fires, heavy precipitations, floods, avalanches and winter storms.

He defined extreme events as rare events that deviate heavily from the statistical mean or trend, and are not necessarily associated with damage. Hohmann said the report examined whether extreme events in Switzerland had become more frequent as a result of climate change and it had revealed no obvious trend in the frequency of extreme events. Hohmann noted that small changes in the frequency of very rare events are masked by natural climatic variations and frequent occurrences of extreme events in recent years could either represent a real trend or be incidental.

He concluded that extreme events are unsuitable indicators for assessing global climate change. Hohmann observed that in the 21st Century, hot and cold temperature extremes are expected to increase due to anticipated climate change.

Discussion: Participants discussed whether the OcCC report would convince skeptical scientists of the seriousness of climate change impacts underscored in IPCC Third Assessment Reports. Participants also discussed the report's methodology for gathering historical data, and the definition of extreme events.

Roland Hohmann, OcCC, observes that the capacity to identify trends in extreme anomalies using instrumental measurements is limited because of limited historical data and the rareness of such events.
More information:

http://www.occc.ch



DNA Durbar (UNDP Energy and Environment Group – Climate Change & CDM unit)

Presented by UNDP

Arun Kashyap, UNDP, noted that even if the internal rate of return on a CDM project is high, there is a lack of investors and enabling environments. He underscored the importance of focusing on capacity building for the designated national authority (DNA) and on sharing experiences from both Annex I and non-Annex I countries.

Li Liyan, National Climate Change Coordination Committee of China, described the basic requirements for CDM projects in China, which include conforming to China's law, regulations, sustainable development strategies and policies. She explained that the objective for CDM management is to set up a simplified, efficient and transparent CDM management system. Liyan noted that CDM development in China faces challenges regarding the need to increase capacity building, strengthen institutional arrangements, and lower transactions costs.

Nadzri Yahaya, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment of Malaysia, explained that CDM projects in Malaysia that are selected must: be bilateral; address mitigation issues; provide additional energy resources; and contribute to the improvement of technologies. He listed Malaysia's concerns with CDM activities including that there is a lack of investors, a depressed CDM market of only US$2.50 per ton, high costs for accreditation of operating entities and registration fees.

Ali Agoumi, Ministry of Land Use Management, Water and the Environment of Morocco, outlined the strategy, organization and procedures of the CDM in his country. He emphasized that CDM projects must be a part of the national sustainable development strategy priorities, conform to current country legislation, in particular those related to the environment, and use clean technologies.

Lex de Jonge, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands, explained the structure of the Dutch CDM DNA and its main tasks, which include CDM policy development, approving individual CDM contracts and project related capacity building. He emphasized that sustainable development is a prerogative for CDM projects, which should focus on renewable energy sources, clean sustainable grown biomass, energy efficiency improvements and fossil fuel switch.
Marina Stadthagen Icaza, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua, described the “oficina nacional de desarrollo limpio” (ONDL), which is Nicaragua's DNA for CDM projects. She explained that the ONDL's responsibilities include: providing technical assistance to project proponents; helping project developers identify investors and financial resources; and conducting and coordinating the national approval process.

Discussion:

Participants discussed the specific meaning of what “bilateral” projects entail, in particular as described under the Kyoto Protocol. They also questioned whether the CDM is a purely market-based instrument and the role of the government in providing funds and influencing pricing. Participants also asked about evaluating sustainable development criteria.

Ali Agoumi, Ministry of Land Use Management, Water and the Environment of Morocco, states that with UNDP and UNEP support, Morocco has prepared an appropriate strategy aimed at attracting CDM investments.
Nadzri Yahaya, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment of Malaysia, explains that Malaysian CDM projects prioritize energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Arun Kashyap <arun.kashyap@undp.org>
Li Liyan <lily@ccchina.gov.cn>
Nadzri Yahaya <nadzri@moste.gov.my>
Ali Agoumi <rcmdp@mtds.com>
Lex de Jonge <lex.dejonge@minvrom.nl>
Marina Stadthagen <marinas@ibw.com.ni>



Peatlands and climate change: Carbon store or source?

Presented by the Global Environment Centre, Wildlife Habitat Canada and Wetlands International

Faizal Parish, Global Environment Centre, presented an overview on peatlands and climate change. Parish noted that peatlands occur in 150 countries, and that Canada and the Russian Federation have the largest extent of peatlands. He said peatlands are important for forestry and biodiversity and play an important role in the global carbon cycle, as at least 550 billion tonnes of terrestrial carbon is stored in the peatlands system.

David Cooper, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, said that certain climate change mitigation and adaptation measures could have negative impacts on biodiversity. He concluded that: there is a clear opportunity to implement mutually beneficial activities; these opportunities are rarely realized because of lack of coordination at national and international levels; and there is a range of tools available to help future coordination efforts.

Ed Wiken, Wildlife Habitat Canada, noted that peatlands contribute to domestic as well as international wildlife conservation and biodiversity goals. He explained a Canadian model used to predict sensitivity to climate change, noting that severe and very severe effects will occur on peatlands in the mid-belt of Canada.

Yus Rusila Noor, Wetlands International Asia Pacific, explained why peatlands are important in Indonesia, noting their linkages to biodiversity, climate change, hydrology and sustainable livelihoods. He identified the threats to Indonesian peat swamp forests such as conversion of land, drainage, fires and overexploitation. Noor highlighted Indonesia's community approaches to replanting, the “debt-for-peatlands rehabilitation-swap,” training to prevent forest fires and restoring hydrology.

Tatiana Minayeva, Wetlands International Russia, discussed peatlands and climate change in the Russian Federation. Mineava noted that the UNFCCC does not adequately consider peatlands, and expressed hope that this gap would be addressed. She indicated that the Russian Federation has a high diversity of peatlands, and that agriculture is the main cause of peatland loss. She said more information on the integrative ecosystem management approach was needed in her country.

David Lee, Global Environment Centre, noted the existing networks for disseminating and discussing information on peatlands, the Southeast Asia Peat Network and PEAT-Portal. He expressed the hope that these networks would provide a platform for discussion on peatlands and climate change issues. Lee said awareness could be enhanced by use of the internet, collaborative networking and the establishment of an e-community to exchange information and promote peatlands.

Discussion: Participants discussed possible global activities on wetlands and climate change, ways to combat illegal logging at the local level, the need to quantify global peatland emissions and the importance of relating peatlands to COP-9 issues, including methodologies for emissions, good practice guidance and cooperation with other conventions.

David Cooper, CBD, notes the need to have wide stakeholder involvement when developing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and environmental and social norms to avoid perverse outcomes.
Faizal Parish, Global Environment Centre, explains that there are two possible futures for peatlands: where they continue toact as sinks, or where they become one of the largest emissions sources in the LULUCF sector.
Faizal Parish <fparish@genet.po.my>
David Cooper <david.cooper@biodiv.org>
Ed Wiken <ewilken@whc.org>
Yus Rusila Noor <wi-ip@indo.net.id>
Tatiana Minayeva <tminaeva@wwf.ru>
David Lee <david@genet.po.my>



Emission reductions from transportation
projects: The CDM and sustainability

Presented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Jodi Browne, IISD, noted that the transport sector generates a quarter of total global carbon emissions and said the sector is growing faster in developing countries than in developed countries. She identified quantity, modal choice, energy consumption, and fuel carbon content as key elements influencing transport emissions. Noting that approximately 5% of CDM projects focus on transport, Browne said that they represent a crucial opportunity to increase funding flows for transport projects in developing countries. Highlighting that the transport sector accounts for 33% of greenhouse gas emissions in Chile and is the fastest growing sector, she identified possible CDM projects for Santiago, including: switching technologies for buses; developing bicycle infrastructure; and promoting multi-modal transport developments around metro stations. Browne considered the value of location efficiency projects and raised questions on how to: monitor and verify emission reductions; link projects with real estate development; and track residents' transport use.

Franz Tattenbach, Fundecor, noted that credits for CDM projects are awarded upon delivery of results. He emphasized the need to avoid perverse incentives for developing countries to delay the implementation of projects in order to receive credits at a latter stage.

Adrián Fernández, National Institute of Ecology of Mexico, stressed that the problem of air pollution requires urgent attention in Latin American cities, where citizens suffer from health problems as a consequence of pollution exposure. He emphasized the need for full accounting of the projects' benefits to reduce air pollution, including both greenhouse gas emissions reductions and health benefits. He identified reduced exposure to air pollution as a concrete benefit, and said that the inclusion of these benefits in project proposals could sway decision-making processes toward investment in efficient transport projects. He stressed that governments should establish policies to promote cleaner technologies in vehicles and send clear signals to vehicle manufactures to supply state-of-the-art vehicles. Fernández noted that obsolete technologies had been marketed by car companies in Latin America, and that this had delayed the phase-out of leaded petrol. He stressed the need to ensure that countries have a technologically advanced vehicle stock that maximizes the benefits from clean fuels.

Eduardo Sanheuza, Consultants on Climate Change and Development, emphasized the need for information on the cost of replacement technologies and maintenance for vehicles. He said that establishing an emissions baseline for projects can be complicated by a lack of data and that stakeholders may then question the baseline.

Claudia Blanco, Chile, outlined the strategy for establishing an emissions baseline for the transportation sector in Santiago. She identified problems accessing state-of-the-art technologies at a competitive price in the development of a multi-modal project in Santiago.

Discussion: Tattenbach said that project developers often make conservative estimates of project benefits in order to avoid failure and loss of credits under the CDM process. Participants discussed the difficulties associated with establishing and verifying emissions baselines, and assessing future emission levels against this baseline. Participants considered whether transport projects are feasible under the current guidelines for CDM projects. A participant noted that if the current decision-making process fails to address the problem of increasing emissions from private transport, then the guidelines shoudl be revised.

Jodi Browne, IISD, questions whether there is a need to revise the project guidelines for the CDM to increase the number of CDM transport projects.
Eduardo Sanheuza (right), Consultants on Climate Change and Development, says that it is crucial to take emission baselines into account when developing transport projects.
Jodi Browne <jbrowne@iisd.ca>
Franz Tattenbach <ftattenbach@fundecor.or.cr>
Adrián Fernández <afernand@ine.gob.mx>
Eduardo Sanhueza <j.sanhueza@mi.cl>
Claudia Blanco <cblanco.rm@conama.cl>


The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) on the side 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 Fiona Koza <fiona@iisd.org>, Karen Alvarenga de Oliveira <karen@iisd.org>, Kaori Kawarabayashi <kaori@iisd.org>, Catherine Ganzleben <catherine@iisd.org> and Lauren Flejzor <lauren@iisd.org>. The Digital Editor is David Fernau <david@iisd.org> the photographers are David Fernau and Leila Mead <leila@iisd.org> and the online assistant is Diego Noguera <diego@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for publication of ENB on the side at UNFCCC COP-9 is provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The opinions expressed in ENB on the side are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENB on the side may be used in non-commercial publications only and 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 ENB on the side from COP-9 can be found on the Linkages website at: http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop9/enbots/

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