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Intersessional Ad Hoc Working Groups of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

UN Headquarters, New York
6-16 March 2001                                                                                           

 

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| Monday 12| Tuesday 13| Wednesday 14| Thursday 15| Friday 16

   

Highlights from Tuesday, 6 March

The CSD-9 Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Transport and Atmosphere continued its work today, and considered the Secretary-General's report on Protection of the Atmosphere (E/CN.17/2001/2) in the morning. The Working Group also elected Daudi Taliwaku (Uganda) as Co-Chair. Delegates resumed at 5:10 pm, after receiving the Co-Chairs' two preliminary draft papers, a summary of the previous day's discussions on transport and a document outlining possible elements for the draft decision.

Above photo: CSD-9 Vice-Chairs David Stuart (Australia) and Daudi Taliwaku (Uganda).

ENB Coverage of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development met in New York from 26 February to 2 March 2001

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Delegates in the ECOSOC chamber during the morning session
General Statements on the Secretary-general's report on Protection of the Atmosphere
JoAnne DiSano, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, introduced the Secretary-general's report on Protection of the Atmosphere (E/CN.17/2001/2). She said the report addresses matters relating to atmosphere protection and climate, including vulnerability, adaptation and human health impacts, and highlighted the overarching issues, including capacity building, education and training and public awareness.

Australia commented that work accomplished in other fora should not be duplicated. He supported a collaborative approach to addressing air quality in urban areas, including fine particular matter emitted by the transport sector and air toxins. He noted national efforts toward implementation of domestic greenhouse reduction programmes. He said climate variability must be considered as a stand-alone sustainability issue and supported improvement of the geographic coverage of the Global Climate Observing System.

Iran, for the G-77/China, cautioned against preempting the outcomes of COP-6 of the UNFCCC COP-6. He stressed the need for: additional resources to the Multilateral Fund for the further implementation of the Montreal Protocol and its Annexes; development of affordable and adaptable alternatives to non-ozone depleting substances (ODS) for developing country use; leadership by developed countries in addressing pollution within common but differentiated responsibilities; and holistic and comprehensive approaches to atmospheric protection. He called on CSD-9 to, inter alia: address financial, technological and institutional barriers to combating air pollution in developing countries; encourage regional cooperation in addressing air pollution; and call on the IPCC to support active and more proportionate involvement of developing country experts.

China said developed countries must realize in good faith their objectives under the Montreal Protocol and that the IPCC should remain unbiased. He said decreased multilateral financial support has created a need for subsidies. He stressed the importance of transboundary movement of emissions and said space-based observation must not come at a detriment of land-based observation.

Sweden, on behalf of the EU, supported, inter alia: international action and cooperation in efforts to reduce emissions; selecting measures on transboundary air pollution that achieve multiple goals; preventing the introduction of ozone depleting substances not yet covered by international regulations; and focusing on air pollutants and their mitigation, so as not to preempt UNFCCC COP-6 outcomes.

New Zealand invited the Secretary-general's report to support all critical ground-based measurement programmes. He supported research on vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity and dissemination of information and understanding of climate change issues through capacity building and specialist material.
Canada called for, inter alia: resources to enable developing countries to eliminate and reduce persistent organic pollutants; collaboration with industry and other organizations in raising awareness; and technology access.

Cuba called for greater synergy between the Montreal Protocol and conventions on Biological Diversity, Climate Change and Desertification, noting that they are interlinked and could give joint results.

Switzerland stressed issues such as the timely implementation of the Montreal Protocol and other agreements on atmosphere protection. He said the UNFCCC COP is the only competent negotiating forum for climate change.
Norway called for a focus on the prevention, rather than the cure, of atmospheric pollution, and highlighted, inter alia, public participation and standards.
The NGO Energy and Climate Change Caucus said that if all the loopholes in the Kyoto Protocol were eliminated, an important 5 percent reduction would be achieved, which would still be insufficient. She outlined elements for a global action plan to achieve sustainable energy policies including: removing harmful subsidies; redirecting funding to conservation and sustainable energy; establishing and supporting an international sustainable energy organization; supporting full cost accounting in all energy policy and pricing decisions; and supporting targets, timeframes and cooperation in achieving objectives.
Saudi Arabia opposed preempting the outcomes of COP-6, and opposed the development of a cooperative mechanism to establish a legal framework to prevent transboundary haze, which he said would be premature.
The US delegation meets with NGOs to discuss expected outcomes on transport and atmosphere.

Indonesia noted that unsustainable consumption patterns and the transport sector in developed countries are responsible for emissions. He highlighted: addressing the detrimental impacts of the changing atmospheric composition; improving the scientific basis for decision-making; and raising the awareness of all segments of society on the effects of ozone depletion. He called for action to reduce the detrimental effects of Ozone Depleting Substances that are already trapped in the atmosphere and to control regional transboundary air pollution.


Comments on possible elements for the Draft Decision on Transport

The document on possible elements for the Draft Decision on Transport includes sections on general considerations, international cooperation, regional cooperation, and recommendations at the national level.

Photo: Co-Chair Stuart with the Australian delegation

Iran (left) with CO-Chair Stuart

On general considerations to be included in the draft decision, Iran, for the G-77/China, suggested adding text on: compliance with international law and agreements in the movement of nuclear waste; affordability and accessibility of transport services and systems to ensure mobility on equitable basis to all sectors of society is instrumental to sustainable development; and on tackling transport-related environmental impacts requires capacity building, technology transfer and provision of new and additional financial resources, particularly to developing countries. With respect to challenges from multiple stakeholders, the G-77/China preferred stating that dialogue is encouraged, rather than "increasingly accepted as a pre-condition for effective action by governments." With regard to the three general considerations on the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and the Global Plan of Action on Human Settlements, he preferred deleting references to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol to avoid being selective.


Jose Romero (Switzerland) speaking with an NGO.
Elaborating the importance of transport to mountainous regions, Kyrgyzstan, with Switzerland, suggested language on ensuring such regions benefit from transport and infrastructure development, the implementation of development projects, as well as construction, maintenance and modernization of transport infrastructure and cooperation with international organizations and the private sector. Switzerland also reiterated the internalization of external costs and the polluter-pays-principle. He proposed a paragraph emphasizing, inter alia, that progress in approaches to sustainable mobility depends on technological processes.
Colombia, with Chile, Guyana and Saudi Arabia, proposed a paragraph stating that limitations and loopholes exist in the international environmental regime regarding the transboundary movement of nuclear wastes and their disposal, and that further work in this area should include, inter alia, the conclusion of a legally binding instrument. The Russian Federation, with Canada, Japan and the US, objected, stating that the issue has been covered in other areas of the document and that any approach to transboundary movement should be more general.

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