Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
in cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat
Special Report on Selected Side Events at SB 24
15-26 May 2006 | Bonn, Germany
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Events convened on Friday, 19 May 2006

Research needs relating to the Convention

Presented by the UNFCCC

John Church, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), noted that WCRP research contributes to the work of IPCC Working Groups I and II and the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. He emphasized rising concerns relating to the change in ice sheet stability and world monsoons, as well as sea level rise and extreme events.

Kevin Noone, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), presented IGBP’s key research activities on climate change including their contributions to improving observation of the climate system and understanding the impacts of GHG concentration.

Andreas Rechkemmer, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), outlined IHDP’s core projects that consider climate change, including one on global and regional scenarios of land-use change and another on the institutional dimensions of global environmental change.

Michael Raupach, Earth System Science Partnership, introduced the Global Carbon Project and highlighted its three themes: patterns and variability of sources and sinks; climate processes, interactions and vulnerabilities; and urban and regional carbon management.

Andrew Matthews, Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, highlighted that an oversell in the capability of global satellite information has resulted in a lack of investment in sustained observation at the local and regional levels.

Gerhard Breulmann, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), noted opportunities for cooperation between IAI and SBSTA.

Eric Odada, Pan African System for Analysis Research and Training Secretariat, highlighted the challenges and experiences in vulnerabilities and adaptation research in developing countries.

Hiroki Kondo, Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology presented the third phase of Japan’s Science and Technology Basic Plan and described its strategies on climate change.

Lu Xuedu, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, outlined the Chinese approach to climate change research, which includes the National Science Foundation Programme and the International Scientific Cooperation Programme.

Linda Moodie, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, presented the US’ climate change approach and highlighted the work of the US Climate Change Science Programme.

José Domingos Miguez, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil, highlighted research relating to renewable energy development and on the impacts and adaptation to climate change in coastal zones.

David Warrilow, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, presented key trends in EU climate research and stressed the importance of focusing on uncertainties and non-climatic impacts of carbon dioxide.

Participants discussed the need for better global and local climate observations; viability of land and ocean sinks; and the brain drain of developing country scientists.

Eric Odada, Pan African START Secretariat, noted that research should focus on regions and that capacity for regional research should be developed
Andrew Matthews, Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, underscored the need for commitments to continuing capacity development and training for developing States
Gerhard Breulmann, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI)
John Church, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)
Andreas Rechkemmer, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)
Michael Raupach, Earth System Science Partnership
Kevin Noone, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
Haldor Thorgeirsson, UNFCCC
Contact:
John Church <john.church@csiro.au>
Andreas Rechkemmer <rechkemmer.ihdp@uni-bonn.de>
Michael Raupach <michael.raupach@ csiro.au>
Andrew Matthews <wa.matthews@gmail.com>
Gerhard Breulmann <gerhard@dir.iai.int>
Eric Odada <pass@uonbi.ac.ke>
Hiroki Kondo <hkondo@jamstec.go.jp>
Lu Xuedu <lvxd@mail.most.gov.cn>
Linda Moodie <linda.moodie@noaa.gov>
José Miguez <miguez@mct.gov.br>
David Warrilow <david.warrilow@defra.gsi.gov.uk>

Reducing emissions from deforestation: perspectives from FRA 2005

Presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization

Dieter Schoene, Food and Agriculture Organization, presented an overview of the 2005 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2005), noting that it gathers data from 229 countries and territories on about 40 variables over the time periods of 1995, 2000 and 2005.

Among the FRA 2005’s key findings, Schoene noted that forests cover 30% of the world’s total land area, that the five most forest-rich countries account for 50% of total forest area and that the ten most forest-rich countries account for two-thirds of total forest area. He added that while primary forests account for 36% of the total forest area, six million hectares are modified or lost each year.

Schoene highlighted limitations to the data collection in the FRAs including, inter alia: the dependence of half of the developing countries on expert estimates to calculate forest area for FRA 2000; the inability of developing countries to provide forest increment data for FRA 2000; and the use by a large number of countries of the same carbon stock data for the 1995, 2000 and 2005 periods in the FRA 2005. He emphasized that area is a poor proxy for determining carbon emissions because forest carbon density varies, and noted the lack of forest carbon density data in developing countries.

Addressing the significance of deforestation and the FRA 2005 to negotiations on LULUCF and carbon capture and storage, Schoene identified the need to: consider the broad range of forest change dynamics that influence carbon emissions, including reforestation, natural regeneration and stock changes; determine whether negotiations should address deforestation or net forest area change; and achieve a consensus on whether to include emissions due to forest degradation.

Schoene stressed the need for a holistic approach to data collection, stating that both on-the-ground and remote sensing data are needed. He cited engagement of administrations and national correspondents as critical to collecting reliable data.

Participants discussed: the need to consider GHG emissions other than carbon from forests and the importance of increased research on soil carbon. One participant emphasized that although data gaps exist, this should not be used to hamper negotiations, noting that tools exist to fill these gaps.

Dieter Schoene, FAO, emphasized that only policy change can reduce deforestation and related emissions and that such policy change must be informed by data on the entire forestry sector
Contact:
Dieter Schoene <dieter.schoene@fao.org>

Development and transfer of technologies

Presented by the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Expert Group on Technology Transfer

Bernard Mazijn, Expert Group on Technology Transfer, explained that the event brings together experts on the transfer of publicly-owned technologies and representatives from UNFCCC Parties.

Speaking on intellectual property rights (IPRs), Jayant Sathaye, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, explained that in most countries, institutions typically own the IPRs to the technologies that result from government-sponsored research. He identified joint research between institutions of higher learning as a useful means for transferring technology and building capacity in partnering countries.

Xu Ning, World Intellectual Property Organization, discussed the importance of intellectual property information systems, stating that public interest is better served when access to patent information is improved. She suggested that Parties consult PatentScope and national and regional services to acquire patent information.

Elmer Holt, US Department of Energy, highlighted that IPR protection is important to governments because it: stimulates creativity; promotes competition; provides opportunities to establish national comparative advantages; contributes to prosperity and international trade; and improves access to new technologies.

Rajesh Kumar Sethi, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, suggested that in India, barriers to technology transfer are experienced mainly by small and medium-sized enterprises that lack the resources needed to access technologies.

Jürgen Lefevere, European Commission, speaking in his personal capacity, suggested that IPR ownership is secondary to technology development and deployment of appropriate technologies to the right place and at the right cost. He introduced the EU-China Partnership on Climate Change, which seeks to develop and demonstrate near-zero emissions coal technology using carbon capture and storage in China and the EU.

Participants discussed: technology transfer and renewable energy technologies; correlations between implementation of patent principles and changes in innovation and creativity; and the implications of the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights to technology transfer.

Xu Ning, World Intellectual Property Organization
Elmer Holt, US Department of Energy, explained that technology transfer encompasses a broad set of processes for mitigating and adapting to climate change and that it forms one element of the overarching goal of the UNFCCC to stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere
Rajesh Kumar Sethi, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests
Jayant Sathaye, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Contacts:
Bernard Mazijn <Bernard.Mazijn@skynet.be>
Jürgen Lefevere <juergen.lefevere@cec.eu.int>
Elmer Holt <elmer.holt@hq.doe.gov>
Rajesh Kumar Sethi <rksethi@nic.in>
Xu Ning <ning.xu@wipo.int>
Jayant Sathaye <jasathaye@lbl.gov>

Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: methodological and policy issues

Presented by Joanneum Research

Bernhard Schlamadinger, Joanneum Research, provided an overview of a recent workshop held in Austria to discuss policy and methodological issues related to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. He said since COP11, it has become widely recognized that carbon dioxide stabilization is not possible without addressing deforestation and degradation. He explained that the panelists would highlight findings from the workshops’ breakout groups.

Ewald Rameststeiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, focused on trends, causes, countermeasures and national implementation issues related to deforestation and degradation in both “governed” and “non-governed” contexts. He noted that business interests are one of the key drivers for governed deforestation and proposed using countermeasures such as sustainable forest management and legality certification. He cited small-scale agriculture and illegal encroachment as drivers of ungoverned deforestation.

Daniel Murdiyarso, Center for International Forestry Research, focused on methodological and technical issues related to deforestation. Elaborating on data needs and availability, he noted that: data must be relevant to assess drivers of deforestation and degradation; uncertainties should be considered in all data processing steps; both global and bottom-up national and region-specific analysis should be undertaken; and there is a need for collaboration between developed and developing countries.

Tracy Johns, Union of Concerned Scientists, analyzed instruments and mechanisms at the international level for reducing emissions from deforestation. She described three possible mechanisms based on a flexible multi-stage approach: policies and measures; project-based emission reductions; and national or sub-national quantified emission reduction commitments.

Participants addressed the relevance of a market mechanism for reducing deforestation, barriers to a market mechanism and the need for alternatives.

Tracy Johns, Union of Concerned Scientists, underscored that a market mechanism is the best option to provide incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, noting challenges include fair benefit distribution
Daniel Murdiyarso, CIFOR
Bernhard Schlamdinger, Joanneum Research, Austria
Ewald Rameststeiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Contacts:
Bernhard Schlamadinger
<bernhard.schlamadinger@joanneum.at>
Daniel Murdiyarso <d.murdiyarso@cgiar.org>
Tracy Johns <tracy.johns@mac.com>
Ewald Rametsetiner <ramet@iiasa.ac.at>

When will carbon dioxide capture and storage be acceptable?

Presented by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands

Ole Andreas Flagstad, Diet Norske Veritas, presented the ACCSEPT Project, which aims at gathering knowledge on the social, legal and regulatory acceptance of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Jason Anderson, Institute for European Environmental Policy, addressed the issue of acceptance of CCS in the context of other mitigation options. He explained that CCS could be one of many mitigation options that exist to address the two-degree challenge in the European context. He said CCS could achieve cost savings but that it may reduce pressure for targets by giving the impression of a fallback solution. He indicated that a comparative public survey has demonstrated strong support for renewable energy although CCS is seen as more desirable than nuclear energy.

Heleen de Coninck, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, described the policy and regulatory context of CCS, noting that the establishment of a clear legal framework is needed to ensure safety of storage sites. She listed the international treaties that could regulate CCS activities and stressed that there is no overall clarity of their legality. She highlighted concern regarding the interest of marine environment protection treaties to make CCS illegal, since increased carbon dioxide emissions lead to oceans acidification. She informed that various studies have shown very low general knowledge of CCS and that the initial public reaction is one of skepticism.

Stephan Singer, WWF, stated that CCS is no “silver bullet” but, if undertaken safely, it could be part of the portfolio of mitigation options. He highlighted that CCS could be an alternative to the renewed interest in nuclear energy but that it should only be envisaged in the context of a robust climate change framework with aggressive targets.

Antoine-Tristan Mocilnikar, Energy Counselor to the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development, France, highlighted the growing demand for energy and that coal will remain an important part of future power generation. He underlined that energy efficiency and CCS are the only two solutions that adequately address the coal challenge. He called for improving CCS technology, establishing a legal and economic framework for CCS, and developing it in a sustainable manner.

Participants discussed the duty of governments and stakeholders to inform the public on CCS, the need to assess the risks associated with CCS and its economic viability.

Heleen de Coninck, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, said carbon prices are currently too low for structural CCS deployement in the power sector
Jason Anderson, Institute for European Environmental Policy
Ole Andreas Flagstad, Diet Norske Veritas, listed expected outcomes of the ACCSEPT Project, including: better understanding of the social perception of CCS technology; providing comparable figures on CCS costs according to various storage options and regions; establishing storage guidelines in the context of the EU ETS; and identifying gaps in CCS knowledge
Contacts:
Ole Andreas Flagstad <ole.andreas.flagstad@dnv.com>
Jason Anderson <janderson@ieeplondon.org.uk>
Heleen de Coninck <deconinck@ecn.nl>
Antoine-Tristan Mocilnikar
<antoine-tristan.mocilnikar@mines.org>
Stephan Singer <ssinger@wwfepo.org>
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Asmita Bhardwaj, Alice Bisiaux, Robynne Boyd, and Alexandra Conliffe. The photographer is Francis Dejon. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Soledad Aguilar <soledad@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. 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 SB 24 can be found on the Linkages website at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/sb24/enbots/. The ENBOTS Team at SB 24 can be contacted by e-mail at <alice@iisd.org>.

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