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Climate and Atmosphere


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December 2006

CDM BOARD DISCUSSES PROJECT METHODOLOGIES, ACTIVITIES

The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has held its 28th meeting, addressing numerous issues under its work plan, as well as financial matters and guidance by the COP/MOP. Much of the focus for the 12-15 December 2006 meeting in Bonn, Germany, was on issues of accreditation, methodologies for baselines and monitoring plans, afforestation and reforestation project activities, small-scale project activities, registration of project activities, and the issuance of certified emissions reduction units (or CERs).

Link to further information Meeting report
GEF CEO Proposes Shorter Project Cycle and Reduced Pipeline at Council Meeting

8 December 2006: The Global Environment Facility's (GEF) CEO Monique Barbut opened the 5-8 December 2006 Council meeting in Washington DC, US, with a proposed “Five Point Sustainability Compact to Increase Efficiency and Impact.” Her proposal included: shifting from a project-driven to a programmatic approach by focusing strategies on a clear set of priority issues for the global environment; reducing the current project pipeline in half; appointing an “Ombudsman” in the GEF Secretariat to respond to country concerns or complaints; and redesigning the project approval cycle to reduce it from 66 to 22 months. The Council adopted decisions on several issues, including decisions to: consider options to reduce project preparation and approval cycles to less than 22 months; adopt objective criteria for project selection, pipeline management and cancellation; recommend to the Fourth GEF Assembly to designate GEF as the financial mechanism for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); and further consider the roles and comparative advantages of GEF Agencies. The Council also approved a biosafety strategy to enhance the cost-effectiveness of capacity building efforts to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The strategy will require all projects to perform a stock-taking assessment to determine clearly defined targets, and will promote the funding of regional and subregional full-sized projects when there are opportunities for cost-effective sharing of limited resources and coordination between biosafety frameworks. It will also promote medium-sized country projects or multi-country thematic projects when these are most effective. On 8 December, the Council also approved new projects within the Climate Change Convention's Special Climate Change Fund and Least Developed Country Fund (SCCF and LDC Funds). [GEF CEO's speech, 5 December 2006] [GEF Talking Points, November 2006] [GEF Council Documents, December 2006]
UNGA COMMITTEE APPROVES SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RESOLUTIONS, CONCLUDES SESSION

The UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial) concluded its session on 6 December 2006, after adopting draft resolutions on, inter alia: the Implementation of Agenda 21, requesting the Secretary-General to submit reports on energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air/pollution atmosphere and climate change; the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea, urging States to develop programmes to halt the loss of marine biodiversity; the Convention on Biological Diversity, noting the progress made in negotiating the international regime on genetic resources and benefit-sharing by the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group; the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, reiterating the need for stable, adequate and predictable financial resources; and the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, calling for the integration of desertification into national strategies for sustainable development. The Committee was not able to reach consensus on a draft resolution on Climate Change, due to a provision endorsing the linkage between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) secretariat and the United Nations. Several delegations, including the European Union and G-77/China, expressed regret over this. The paragraph was included in the resolution only after a vote in which 108 countries supported the text and two (Japan and the US) opposed its inclusion. There were 49 abstentions. The resolution as a whole was also approved by a recorded vote with 114 votes in favor, none against, and 49 abstentions. The resolution calls on countries to work together to achieve the objective of the UNFCCC and notes the decisions taken at the recent UN Climate Change Conference – Nairobi 2006. Link to further information UN press release (8 December 2006)
ENERGY FORUM FOCUSES ON ENERGIZING AFRICA

Africa was the focus of the sixth meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy held recently in Vienna. The event, which took place from 29 November to 1 December 2006, convened under the theme “Africa is energizing itself” and focused on such topics as sub-regional issues, biofuels, hydropower, the Clean Development Mechanism, and financing. The meeting, which brought together various stakeholders, identified ways and means of supporting African aspirations at the 15th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) to be held in New York in May 2007, and exchanged views on key topics in this area.

Link to further information IISD RS report of the meeting

November 2006

GREAT BRITAIN'S FORESTRY COMMISSION CONVENES MEETING ON FORESTRY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

The meeting “Forestry: A Sectoral Response to Climate Change” took place from 21-23 November 2006, in Steyning, England. A Wilton Park conference, in cooperation with Great Britain's Forestry Commission, participants at this meeting addressed pressing climate change and forestry questions, including: whether the impacts of climate change on boreal, temperate and tropical forest can be predicted, and whether present forestry policy and practice adequately accommodate the current understanding of climate change; what contribution carbon sequestration in forests globally can make to the mitigation of climate change; whether the current international frameworks and agreements are achieving sustainable forestry and reforestation, and whether they are sufficient to stop deforestation and forest degradation; how the national and international forest sectors should respond to climate change in the future; and whether new research, organizational, policy and practice initiatives are required. The Forestry Commission also launched a new climate change website, which, among other things, will contain all papers from the meeting. Links to further information IISDRS coverage of the meeting Forestry Commission website
NAIROBI CLIMATE CONFERENCE UNDERWAY

The “UN Climate Change Conference–Nairobi 2006” is underway, with delegates negotiating issues such as an Adaptation Fund and long-term action to combat climate change. The event, which has drawn an estimated 6000 delegates, began on 6 November and will conclude on 17 November. It includes a number of parallel official meetings, including the second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 2) and the twelfth Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Other groups meeting in parallel with COP 12 and COP/MOP 2 include the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), which are convening for their 25th sessions. At the same time, a third, recently established subsidiary body – the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG) – will hold its second session. A second workshop under the recently convened “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention” will take place from 15-16 November. This workshop is likely to focus on “advancing development goals in a sustainable way” and “realizing the full potential of market-based opportunities,” and to consider the new Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. At COP/MOP 2, Parties are expected to take up issues relating to the Protocol's flexible mechanisms, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation. Delegates will also discuss Parties' compliance with the Protocol and a proposed amendment to the Protocol, as well as a proposal by the Russian Federation on procedures to approve voluntary commitments under the Protocol. A review of the treaty is also mandated for COP/MOP 2 under Article 9 of the Protocol. COP 12's agenda includes a review of implementation of commitments and various other provisions of the Convention relating to such matters as the financial mechanism, national communications, technology transfer, capacity building, and the adverse effects of climate change and of implementing the Convention A joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment will take place from 15-17 November. In addition to these official meetings, an estimated 130 “side events” are being held on a range of climate change topics. Link to further information IISD RS Climate Change Conference website
NAIROBI CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE ENDS ON HIGH NOTE

The “UN Climate Change Conference – Nairobi 2006” has ended with many delegates expressing satisfaction at progress on a number of issues. The two-week event, held in Nairobi, Kenya from 6-17 November 2006, involved a series of UN meetings, including the twelfth Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 2). These events were attended by almost 6000 participants. Unlike the first COP/MOP in Montreal in 2005, the Nairobi conference may not be remembered as one of those critical milestones when a major breakthrough occurred. It did mark an important staging post in a number of ways, though, as negotiators prepare the way for what some hope will be another “momentous meeting” between 2008 and 2010. At COP/MOP 2, parties took up issues related to the Protocol's flexible mechanisms, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation. Delegates adopted decisions on capacity building and made progress on adaptation issues and a number of financial, administrative and other matters. A major outcome from Nairobi was agreement on an historic first amendment to the Protocol, allowing Belarus to take on emissions reduction commitments under Annex B to the Protocol. COP 12 reviewed the implementation of commitments and provisions of the Convention relating to matters such as the financial mechanism, technology transfer, and the adverse effects of climate change on developing and least developed countries (LDCs) and of response measures and the special needs of LDCs (Article 4.8 and 4.9). However, the major focus of both COP/MOP 2 and COP 12 was on long-term action on climate change and on developing a framework for action once the Kyoto Protocol's “first commitment period” finishes in 2012. A “multi-track” approach to these issues, agreed at COP 11 and COP/MOP 1, continued in Nairobi. Under the COP, a second workshop under the recently convened “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention” was held from 15-16 November. The workshop focused on “advancing development goals in a sustainable way” and “realizing the full potential of market-based opportunities.” The Dialogue also considered the newly published Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. The COP/MOP considered long-term issues under agenda items on a “review of the treaty,” which was mandated for COP/MOP 2 under Article 9 of the Protocol. In addition, discussions were held on a proposal by the Russian Federation on procedures to approve voluntary commitments under the Protocol. Finally, a recently-established subsidiary body under the Protocol – the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG) – held its second session, from 6-14 November. Progress was made on establishing the AWG's principles and work programme, and agreement was reached on holding further discussions on both voluntary commitments and the AWG in May 2007. The COP and COP/MOP were assisted in their work by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), which convened for their 25th sessions from 6-14 November. In addition, numerous contact groups and informal discussions were arranged to help negotiations move forward. These meetings resulted in the adoption of 8 COP decisions and 11 COP/MOP decisions and in the approval of a number of conclusions by the subsidiary bodies. In parallel with the negotiations, a joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment was held from 15-17 November. This was attended by over 100 ministers and other high-level government officials. In addition to these meetings, an estimated 130 “side events” were held on a range of climate change topics. Links to further information IISD RS meeting coverage IISD RS side event coverage
MONTREAL PROTOCOL MULTILATERAL FUND APPROVES US$48 MILLION FOR PROJECTS

The Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol held its fiftieth Meeting from 6-10 November 2006, in New Delhi, India. Among other issues, the Committee evaluated: the status of contributions and disbursements; balances and availability of resources; the 2006 business plan; cases on non-compliance; and the status of the multilateral funds accounts. The Executive Committee approved a total of US$48 million for projects and activities in 77 developing countries, which is expected to eliminate 3,371 tonnes of ozone depleting substances (ODS) consumption. The Executive Committee also considered challenges that the Montreal Protocol still faces, including the phase out of HCFCs, which have been rapidly expanding in developing countries in recent years, and the need for the environmentally sound destruction of ODS, which would be unrecoverable and unusable. Links to further information Multilateral Fund Press Release, 11 November 2006 Meeting documents
EIGHTEENTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL AGREES ON KEY EXEMPTION

The Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion has succeeded in coming to a compromise on exemptions for an ozone depleting pesticide. In the meeting, which convened in New Delhi, India, from 30 October – 3 November 2006, progress was achieved on a variety of issues, including on the budget, a tracking system for trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS), difficulties phased by developing countries in phasing out asthma inhalers powered by CFCs, the future of the Montreal Protocol, and the treatment of stockpiles of ODS. Link to further information IISD RS coverage

October 2006

CLIMATE CHANGE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSES HOT TOPICS IN THE EVE OF COP-12

A climate change roundtable took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 30 October 2006 to “Assess priorities for global action on the eve of the Nairobi climate change talks.” It was organized by the Geneva Environment Network and attracted over 60 participants. Annie Roncerel, Senior Programme Coordinator of the Climate Change Programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), welcomed participants and moderated the session. Among the presenters, José Romero, Senior Scientific Adviser of the International Affairs Division of the Federal Office for the Environment of the Swiss Confederation, walked participants through many of the issues at stake in the climate change negotiations and outlined expectations for outcomes on these issues, including: the future of the international climate change regime, adaptation to climate change, assistance to developing countries (technology transfer and funding), and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Edwin Aalders, Director of the International Emissions Trading Association, updated participants on the status of statistics of emissions and CDM implementation. Adam Kirkman, Programme Manager of the Energy and Climate Division of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), presented another perspective from the private sector point of view, and explained what businesses need to go forward and play the role that will take the world to a low carbon economy. Lisa Petrovic, Project Manager of the Climate Change division of the UNEP Finance Initiative, explained that the transition to a low carbon economy needs early action and will only happen if there is significant participation from the private sector and finance institutions. Martin Hiller, Communications Manager of the Climate Change Programme of WWF International, highlighted that climate change affects all countries, COP-12 needs to deliver a clear work plan, and what is needed is a mandate in 2007 and a decision in 2008 to be able to achieve the goals proposed. The discussion focused on issues such as private sector participation and their influence in the policy making process, the effectiveness (or the lack thereof) of the methodology used to discuss these issues at international negotiations and the possibility of re-writing the rules of the game (IISD sources).
CDM WORKSHOP CONVENES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

The “International Workshop on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): opportunities and challenges for the forest sector in Sub-Saharan tropical Africa,” is taking place this week (2-5 October 2006) in Accra, Ghana. Hosted by the International Tropical Timber Organization, the Ghana Forestry Commission and the Forest Research Institute of Ghana, the workshop will cover a wide range of issues related to investment opportunities in natural forest ecosystems and renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. International experts, potential investors and other stakeholders are discussing and developing strategies to assist Sub-Saharan Africa's involvement in forestry-related CDM projects and activities to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Link to further information Conference website
MAJOR POLLUTERS' MEETING IN MEXICO TARGETS CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY

Ministers from the world's 20 major polluters have held talks in Mexico aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The meeting in Monterrey, which took place from 3-4 October, was the “second Gleneagles Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development,” a process established during the UK's recent term as president of the G8 in 2005. The meeting, which involved the major polluting countries from both the industrialized and developing world, considered the economic context of climate change, as well as new technologies and investment issues. The forum is widely seen as a venue to promote North-South cooperation. Conservation group Friends of the Earth expressed concerns prior to the meeting at the lack of civil society participation. Links to further information UK government website on Gleneagles process BBC news report, 2 October 2006 Friends of the Earth press release, 3 October 2006

September 2006

OZONE LAYER DAY MARKED

The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was celebrated on 16 September 2006. The theme for this year's event was “Protect the Ozone Layer: Save Life on Earth.” To mark the occasion, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted the findings of the recently released report of the Scientific Assessment Panel, which highlighted that the Montreal Protocol appears to be working to reduce ozone depleting substances' abundance, but cautioned that countries need to continue to work to implement the agreement to ensure recovery of the ozone layer. Links to further information Ozone Secretariat, 16 September 2006 United Nations, 7 September 2006
JOINT IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE KICK-STARTS “TRACK 2”

The Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee has taken a series of decisions that allow for “Track 2” of this Kyoto mechanism to become operational. According to the UNFCCC Secretariat, “Whilst the JI's Track 1 process may only be applied if the host Party fully meets all eligibility requirements, the Track 2 provision allows Parties to issue and transfer ERUs if only the basic eligibility requirements are met, provided the projects go through the verification procedures under the JISC (Track 2).” The Supervisory Committee met from 13-15 September 2006, in Bonn. Link to further information More information (19 September 2006)
EU, ASIA BACK KYOTO IMPLEMENTATION

A pledge to implement the UN Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol was part of the outcome of a meeting between senior elected officials at the Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting. Held in Helsinki from 10-11 September, the meeting stressed the Convention and Protocol as the “appropriate international framework to develop further actions against climate change,” and committed 38 countries to “work for success in Nairobi and at other forthcoming UNFCCC conferences.” Participants also committed themselves to cooperate to advance the UNFCCC Dialogue on long-term action, as well as the two reviews scheduled to take place in relation to the Kyoto Protocol. Link to further information Meeting Declaration (11 September 2006)
CLIMATE WORKSHOP CONSIDERS WAYS TO SLOW DEFORESTATION

Ways to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries was the focus of a recent workshop held in Rome. The workshop, which took place from 30 August to 1 September 2006, was hosted by the Italian government and UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Deforestation is responsible for more than one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, and has recently been the subject of increasing interest and discussion by parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Link to further information UNFCCC news release (4 September 2006)

August 2006

GEF Assembly and Council Convene: US$3.13 Billion Replenishment Approved

28 August 2006: A Special Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has approved a Fourth GEF replenishment, with 32 governments agreeing to contribute US$3.13 billion to finance environmental projects over the next four years. The Council also agreed on the governance of the climate change funds, specifying, inter alia, that decisions of the Council concerning the operations of the Adaptation Fund be taken by consensus among all Council members representing participants that are parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Council meeting, which concluded many months' negotiations on the replenishment issue, was held on 28 August 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa. Immediately after the Council meeting, the Third GEF Assembly convened, also in Cape Town, from 29-30 August. Representatives of 176 countries that are currently members of the GEF reviewed the Facility's policies and operations, meeting in Plenary and in a series of roundtables and panel discussions. During the opening Plenary, Monique Barbut, GEF's new CEO, highlighted GEF's priorities for each of its focal areas, while GEF partners presented conclusions and results of projects' implementation. Delegates took note of reports on the GEF Trust Fund and the Third Overall Performance Study of the GEF and on enhancing partnerships through NGO engagement. During the subsequent discussion, participants raised concerns over the provision of funding for land degradation and desertification, and the application of the new Resource Allocation Framework (RAF). On the RAF, many delegates noted their concerns about limitations with regard to innovation, inequitable distribution of resources across countries and focal areas, and a lack of a long-term vision. Some donors, however, praised the RAF for allocating resources on a strategic basis, and for increasing transparency of operations and results. The RAF was also addressed in one of the three High-level roundtables; the other two focusing on market-based mechanisms for financing global environmental conventions, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. [IISD RS Coverage of the GEF Assembly] [GEF Press Release, 28 August 2006] [GEF Council Documents] [GEF Assembly Documents]

July 2006

POST-G8 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE FEARS, ENERGY SECURITY AND EFFICIENCY

Delegates attending a meeting to follow up on the G8's 2006 Summit in St. Petersburg have stressed the need to address energy security, access, supply and climate change. At a meeting held at Wilton Park in southern England from 24-28 July 2006, over 70 participants from governments, business, the non-governmental community and intergovernmental community considered how to move forward on the G8's St. Petersburg conclusions and the 2005 G8 Gleneagles dialogue. Access to energy and the “alarming evidence of damaging climate change” were emphasized, as was the need for cleaner technologies for fossil fuels. Energy efficiency and the transfer of technologies to developing countries were also stressed. Link to further information More information (August 2006)
G8 SUPPORTS ENERGY SECURITY, EFFICIENCY; TALKS UP NUCLEAR POWER, CLIMATE ACTION

The G8 annual summit has given prominence to energy issues, with political leaders supporting energy security and energy efficiency, while also referring to “safe and secure” nuclear power and reaffirming commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The 2006 event, which was held in St. Petersburg, ended with an agreement to support open and competitive energy markets, reduce barriers to energy investment and trade, and promote energy saving and efficiency. Referring explicitly to nuclear energy, the Chair's summary stated that, “Those of us who have or are considering plans related to the use of safe and secure nuclear energy underlined its important contribution to global energy security.” On climate change, the text supported an “inclusive dialogue on further action in the future.” However, some environmental groups criticized the G8 for not giving greater prominence to renewable energy. The summit, which took place from 15-17 July, also considered such issues as education, infectious diseases, globalization, terrorism, security issues and international trade. The summit involves leaders from the world's seven largest industrialized economies – the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – as well the Russian Federation. UK Review Opens Nuclear Door The G8 gathering took place just days after a government review in the UK appeared to improve the prospects for a new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK. According to recent news reports, the British government has become increasingly interested in nuclear power since 2004, with advocates arguing that it is a climate friendly option. However, the review was heavily criticized by Greenpeace and some other groups.

Links to further information Official Chair's summary, 17 July 2006 AFP, WBCSD news report, 16 July 2006 Swissinfo/Reuters report, 16 July 2006 Greenpeace news release, 12 July 2006 BBC news report, 16 July 2006
WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE AMENDS SITE LIST

Eighteen new sites have been included in the World Heritage List of humanity's outstanding natural and cultural legacy. During its 30th annual session, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 8-16 July 2006, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee reviewed 27 new cultural sites, eight natural sites, two mixed sites and three transboundary sites presented by 30 countries for inclusion on the list. The 18 new sites include: Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries in China, Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary in Colombia, Stone Circles of Senegambia in the Gambia and Senegal, and the Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila, Mexico, among others. The Committee further examined the 34 sites currently on the List of World Heritage in Danger, which face serious threat from a variety of causes such as pollution, pillaging, war, poorly-managed tourism and poaching. The Committee also adopted a strategy of response to the threat that climate change poses to many World Heritage sites, requesting the World Heritage Centre to prepare a policy document on the impact of climate change on World Heritage properties in consultation with experts, conservation practitioners, international organizations and civil society to be presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008.

Links to further information UN and UNESCO press releases: - 10 July 2006 - 13 July 2006 - 12 July 2006 - 4 July 2006 - 14 July 2006 Information on new World Heritage Sites: - 14 July 2006 - 13 July 2006
MONTREAL PROTOCOL WORKING GROUP PREPARES FOR NEXT MEETING OF THE PARTIES

The twenty-sixth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the parties to the Montreal Protocol concluded in Montreal after crafting seven draft decisions to forward to the eighteenth Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol to be held 30 October to 3 November 2006. Held from 3-6 July 2006, OEWG-26 considered essential-use nominations, case studies on the recovery, transport and disposal of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-containing equipment, the transition to non-CFC metered-dose inhalers in developing countries, the phaseout of production of CFCs in industrialized countries, methyl bromide exemptions, and disclosure of interest guidelines for the Montreal Protocol's technical bodies. The OEWG was preceded by the thirty-sixth meeting of the Implementation Committee under the Non-compliance Procedure for the Montreal Protocol, and was followed by the forty-ninth Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

Links to further information Earth Negotiations Bulletin report, 9 July 2006 Report of the Implementation Committee, 10 July 2006

June 2006

MINISTERIAL MEETING CONSIDERS LONG-TERM CLIMATE ACTION

A meeting of ministers and senior officials from 22 countries has taken place in South Africa with the aim of advancing discussions on future action on climate change. The “Informal Ministerial Indaba on Climate Action” was held Kapama Lodge from 17-21 June 2006, and was designed to follow on from a similar high-level dialogue held in 2005 in Greenland. The Indaba provided ministers with an opportunity to discussions the upcoming UN talks in Nairobi, as well as to discuss options for longer-term action on climate change. Participants reviewed the current status of the climate change regime, as well as the economic case for action, specific policies and measures for sustainable development, funding adaptation, technology transfer, positive incentives, and future steps. There were also discussions on specific ideas such as a Multilateral Technology Acquisition Fund that could buy-out intellectual property rights and disseminate appropriate technologies, policies and measures for sustainable development, and incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation. Sectoral approaches were also discussed. In discussions on the way forward, participants discussed the different tracks/processes agreed in Montreal in late 2005, and the need for these to converge or “bridge” the gaps at some point. Burden sharing between North and South was also discussed. According to the Chair's report of the meeting, key elements of any package could include “national sustainable development policies and programmes, supported through technology, enabled by finance.” Adaptation would also be a key part of any package. Looking towards the next major UN talks in Nairobi in November, progress on the Adaptation Fund, the modalities of the five year programme on adaptation, the Convention and Kyoto tracks of talks on future actions, and addressing “inequitable distribution” of CDM projects were all highlighted. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, chaired the meeting. Further annual informal ministerial meetings may take place in 2007 and 2008.

Links to further information IISD sources, June 2006 South African Government Department of Environment and Touri... (Chair's official summary to be posted online) UK Government pre-meeting announcement, June 2006
EU-US AGREE ON CLIMATE, ENERGY ACTION; CONCERNS RAISED OVER EU EMISSIONS TRADING TARGETS

Senior U.S. and EU officials have agreed to strengthen their cooperation on climate change and on cleaner technologies. The announcement came following high-level meetings in Vienna on 21 June. The meeting's outcome document includes an announcement that an EU-US High Level Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development will be established to build on existing bilateral and multilateral initiatives and advance implementation of the G-8 Gleneagles Plan of Action. The dialogue is expected to meet in the northern fall/autumn of this year in Helsinki, Finland, and to consider such issues as “experience with different market-based mechanisms…., advancing the development and deployment of existing and transformational technologies that are cleaner and more efficient, producing energy with significantly lower emissions, efficiency and conservation, renewable fuels, clean diesel, capture of methane, lower emitting agricultural operations and energy production and distribution systems, as well as other environmental issues.” Meanwhile, the European Commission has released an updated transport policy that reportedly seeks to “balance transport and environmental needs,” while the EU has come in for criticism for allowing greenhouse gas emissions to rise for the second straight year and over news that Germany is about to set “unambitious” targets under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Links to further information EU-US Summit Declaration, 21 June 2006 EurActic news reports, 21-26 June 2006: - EU-US beef up cooperation on energy - Dimas upbeat about EU-US climate change co-operation - Commission attempts to balance transport and environmental n... - EU's climate change leadership loses credibility BBC news report, 27 June 2006 Planet Ark news report, 22 June
CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM WORKING GROUPS CONSIDER FORESTS, SMALL-SCALE PROJECTS

Several proposed methodologies were on the agenda at the ninth meeting of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Afforestation and Reforestation Working Group, which met in Bonn, Germany, from 13-14 June 2006. The group recommended “non-approval” on three methodologies for projects, but agreed to “preliminary recommendations” for two others. The group also discussed issues of carbon “leakage” and consolidation of approved methodologies that are similar - more information. At the same time, the sixth meeting of the Small-Scale Working Group convened to consider small-scale CDM project activities and several revisions relating to approved methodologies - more information. The CDM working groups followed a meeting of the CDM Methodologies Panel, held in Bonn from 6-9 June 2006, which considered a wide range of proposed new methodologies for projects, as well as several clarifications and revisions relating to previously-approved methodologies - more information. These groups are scheduled to meeting again in late August/early September.
GEF Council Appoints New CEO, Makes Progress on Replenishment

9 June 2006: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has elected a new CEO, while progress has also been reported in a GEF Trust Fund meeting on the Fourth Replenishment of its funding. Monique Barbut of France, a former Director of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, was confirmed as the new GEF CEO during the latest Council meeting, which took place from 6-9 June 2006 in Washington DC. Meanwhile, at a GEF Trust Fund meeting on the Fourth Replenishment held on 5 June, donors reportedly made significant advances towards guaranteeing pledges for the fourth replenishment at levels around 10% below current GEF funding. The Council meeting also considered the GEF's annual performance report, the Special Climate Change Fund's status report, a strategy for financing biosafety activities, a private sector strategy and progress in the implementation of the Resource Allocation Framework (RAF). [GEF Council Documents] [Press release; 9 June 2006] [GEF Fourth Replenishment documents]

May 2006

LINKING OF EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEMES DISCUSSED

A conference in Brussels has been held to consider linking the EU Emissions Trading Scheme with others. The conference, “Linking Schemes: Potential Impacts of Linking the EU Emissions Trading System with Emerging Carbon Markets in other Countries”, was held from 29-30 May 2006, and was organized by the Wuppertal Institute with funding from Germany's Ministry for Education and Research. Delegates considered the institutional dimensions of the linking issue, as well as the economic and environmental impacts.

Link to further information More information
BONN CLIMATE TALKS START LONG-TERM PROCESS, PREPARE FOR NAIROBI

The latest round of climate talks in Bonn have started two parallel processes for considering a long-term framework for tackling climate change beyond 2012, while also preparing for the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and second Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Nairobi this November. The long-term process was discussed at a “UNFCCC Dialogue” (15-16 May) and in a new subsidiary body, the Ad Hoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol (17-25 May). The regular 24th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies, which began on 18 May, will conclude on 26 May. Link to further information IISDRS coverage
CONFERENCE PROMOTES ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN CHINA, INDIA, BRAZIL

A conference in Paris has urged significant efforts to cut energy waste from the Brazil, China and India. The International Conference on Financial Intermediation Mechanisms, which took place on 19 and 20 May 2006, was held as part of the “Three Country Energy Efficiency” project, aimed at increasing investments in the three countries. Link to further information The 3 Country Energy Efficiency Project website
CSD-14 LAUNCHES REVIEW OF ENERGY, CLIMATE CHANGE

The 14th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14) is nearing the end of its two-week review of progress in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and the atmosphere, and climate change. Over 1200 major group participants registered along with government and intergovernmental delegates and approximately 80 ministers to attend this meeting in New York from 1-12 May 2006. During the first week, participants reviewed the results of preparatory meetings and held discussions on regional implementation, energy services and energy efficiency, acceleration of industrial development for poverty eradication, air pollution and atmospheric problems, and climate change and sustainable development, among other agenda items. Numerous meetings and events also have convened for the Partnership Fair and Learning Centre, which are official elements of the CSD session. CSD-14 Chair Aleksi Aleksishvili, Georgia's Minister of Finance, sent the Commission a message indicating he was unable to attend the first week of CSD-14 due to a series of shocks to the Georgian economy, including an increase in gas import prices. The final days of CSD-14, from 10-12 May, will include a high-level ministerial segment. Links to further information IISD RS daily coverage Official CSD-14 website
CSD-14 REVIEW FOCUSES ON ENERGY

Discussions at the fourteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14), which convened from 1-12 May 2006, in New York, were dominated by the energy agenda, with discussions focusing on energy security, the impact of oil and gas prices, and the respective roles of renewable energy technologies and fossil fuels, which, as delegates were informed by oil-producing countries, will play a dominant role in the world's energy mix for the foreseeable future. CSD-14 was tasked with reviewing progress in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, and climate change, together with cross-cutting issues. CSD-15 will consist of a “Policy Session,” during which these agenda items will again be discussed and policy options negotiated. The first week of CSD-14 featured a series of thematic discussions, facilitated by expert panels, and meetings to consider reports from the UN Regional Commissions on the status of implementation. One day was also dedicated to a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue. During the second week, a day was devoted to discussion on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with a review of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy organized under the headings of the CSD-14 thematic cluster. The second week also involved a high-level segment, from 10-12 May, with over fifty ministers registered. Most came from environment ministries, and a third from trade, energy-related or other ministries. As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan observed at the opening of the high-level segment, CSD-14 was the first to be chaired by a finance minister. Throughout the official session, a Partnerships Fair hosted presentations and discussions on identifying barriers and constraints, lessons learned and best practices in the context of the Review's thematic cluster. Numerous side events took place, and a Learning Centre hosted teaching and training opportunities on various aspects of sustainable development. At the conclusion of CSD-14, delegates adopted the report of the session, including the Chair's non-negotiated Summary containing an overview of the discussions, the SIDS day, the Multi-Stakeholder dialogue, the high-level segment, as well as the Partnerships Fair and the Learning Centre. Once CSD-14 had ended, CSD-15 briefly convened to elect its Bureau, including its chair: Abdullah Hamad Al-Attiyah, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar. Links to further information IISDRS coverage of CSD-14, including official discussions an..., May 2006 Official CSD-14 website Chairman's summary, Part I

April 2006

IPCC APPROVES INVENTORIES GUIDELINES, OVERVIEW CHAPTER

The twenty-fifth session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-25) has ended with the approval of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and adoption of its Overview Chapter. The meeting (26-28 April 2006, Port Louis, Mauritius) also took action in relation to the IPCC programme and budget for 2007-09, further work on emission scenarios, election procedures and a policy and process for admitting observer organizations. Delegates also considered the future work programme of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, a Special Report on Renewable Energy, and a review of the IPCC's terms of reference, as well as outreach activities, matters related to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and progress toward the Fourth Assessment Report. Link to further information IISD RS report
FOLLOW UP ON RENEWABLES CONFERENCE DISCUSSED AT CSD-14

An interim report on the implementation of the International Action Programme (IAP) adopted at the renewables 2004 conference (REN21) was released during CSD-14. The IAP identifies 197 activities for the expansion of renewable energy, ranging from expanding commitments and changes in policy frameworks to financing, research and development activities. The Paris-based REN21 Secretariat reports that 75% of the actions committed and reported upon are currently being implemented or have been completed, and only 2% have been abandoned. Mohammed El Ashry, the newly elected Chairmen of the REN21 Steering Committee, commented on the release of the interim report that, “This first-ever international monitoring of voluntary renewable energy commitments …makes international policy processes more effective and credible.” Links to further information REN21 website Interim Report on the Implementation of the IAP
WORKSHOP DISCUSSES EFFECTS OF UV RADIATION

Experts have met in Dunedin, New Zealand to consider various aspects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and its effects. The workshop, held from 19-21 April 2006, was the fourth such event, and focused on issues such as linkages between the international treaties and science related to ozone depletion and climate change, UV and ozone variability, the effects of UV on materials and ecosystems, and communicating UV information to the public. Link to further information NIWA Science website, April 2006
Climate Change-Sustainable Development Nexus Considered in Preparation for CSD

April 2006: In preparation for the climate change discussions at the May 2006 session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14), the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Government of India, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) co-organized a meeting entitled “Climate Change and Sustainable Development: An international workshop to strengthen research and understanding.” Participants at the 7-8 April 2006 workshop in New Delhi, India, considered: key elements of the climate change-sustainable development nexus; climate change, adaptation and sustainable development; implications for least developed countries and small island developing States (SIDS); integrating climate change concerns into sustainable development strategies; options for response measures; and options and measures for abating climate change in the context of sustainable development. In his keynote address, the acting head of the UNFCCC secretariat, Richard Kinley, called for urgent measures, arguing that “we have all the policy instruments we need” to act now. TERI is preparing a report of the meeting. [Final programme and presentations, April 2006] [UNFCCC press release, 7 April 2006]
GEF HOSTS CLIMATE FUND MEETINGS IN BANGLADESH

A meeting on the Least Developed Countries Fund to offset the adverse impacts of global climate change was held on 4-6 April 2006 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The meeting reviewed proposed arrangements to support projects identified in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) in light of recent decisions of the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC, as well as NAPA outputs, and began the preparation of projects to address the most urgent and immediate adaptation needs of the Least Developed Countries. Link to further information News release, GEF, 12 April 2006
INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK DISCUSSES CARBON MARKETS, AMAZON AND CLEAN ENERGY

The Inter-American Development Bank has concluded its 2006 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, highlighting its efforts to be carbon neutral and holding several seminars on environment-related issues. The meeting, which took place in Belo Horizonte, is believed to be the first carbon neutral multilateral bank meeting. Alongside the event, which took place in early April, a seminar was held on “Development of the carbon market and the agro-energy sector.” The seminar addressed the Brazilian Carbon Market, a joint initiative between the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange (BM&F) and the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, to develop an efficient trading system for Certified Emission Reductions aligned with the principles underlying the Kyoto Protocol. A second seminar on “Amazonia in the 21st Century: Challenges for Regional Development,” brought together experts from several of the eight countries with territory in the Amazon to examine how innovative approaches can protect the region's vital resources and environmental services, in a period of rapid change. For example, participants considered how the emerging carbon market could be a major force not just in protecting Amazonian forests, but also in financing reforestation, by allowing investors to receive fixed annual returns that anticipate the future forest growth. Finally a seminar on “Financing of clean energy” addressed the need for countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to raise their living standards, while stimulating innovative technologies to produce clean energy from nontraditional sources. The IDB president pledged the Bank's support to create policy and financial environments that will spur investment in environmentally and socially sustainable energy projects through IDB's guarantees. Links to further information Development of the carbon market and the agro-energy sector, IDB Press Release, 2 April 2006 Amazonia in the 21st Century: Challenges for Regional Develo..., IDB Press Release, 31 March 2006 Financing of clean energy, IDB Press Release, 31 March 2006
AFRICAN FORESTRY COMMISSION CONSIDERS LINKS BETWEEN FORESTS AND MDGS, CLIMATE CHANGE

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) that the net rate of forest loss in Africa is the second highest in the world, while the continent leads the world in the frequency of forest fires. This warning came during the AFWC's fifteenth session, which convened in Maputo, Mozambique, from 29 March to 1 April 2006. The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, which is held every two years at a meeting organized by FAO, considered AFWC and other FAO-supported activities and initiatives, implementation of sustainable forest management in Africa, achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through regional cooperation, forest law compliance, and regional issues identified by the Commission for the attention of the Committee on Forestry (COFO), among other issues. The Commission also considered links between climate change and deforestation, a subject on which FAO has warned that action should be taken now to manage the complex relationship in a more holistic manner. Links to further information FAO News Release, 31 March 2006 FAO News Releases, 27 March 2006

March 2006

CONFERENCE ON EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS CALLS FOR FUNDS, TRAINING

The third International Conference on Early Warning Systems has concluded its three-day meeting in Bonn, Germany, with calls for more funds and emphasis on the importance of local communities in readiness training. The 27-29 March 2006 meeting gathered 1,200 participants from 140 countries to consider projects that illustrate the relevance of early warning systems for natural disasters as well as scientific and technical considerations related to early warning. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland also presented a report on a Global Survey of Early Warning Systems called for by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. At the closing session, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) director Salvano Briceño highlighted that “The need to develop a strong people-centered approach to early warning is very clear and must remain a primary focus for the future.” The conference produced a “Compendium of Early Warning Projects,” consisting of project proposals from all parts of the world, and an “Early Warning Checklist,” a tool for practitioners to improve the effectiveness of existing early warning systems. In their final statement, participants reiterated that effective early warning must be an integral part of disaster risk reduction strategies in national development frameworks, welcomed the report on the Global Survey of Early Warning Systems, and called for additional funding. Links to further information UN News Centre, 29 April 2006 UN News Centre, 27 April 2006
EU MINISTERS OUTLINE ENERGY POLICY

EU energy ministers have agreed on recommendations for a new European energy policy in the lead-up to a summit scheduled for 23-24 March. Following a meeting on 14 March to discuss a new Commission Green Paper, ministers approved a statement highlighting issues of supply, competitiveness and environmental sustainability. In reaching an agreement, ministers agreed that Member States' sovereignty over primary energy sources and choice of energy mix must be fully respected. However, some environmental groups criticized the meeting's outcome, alleging that ministers had favored fossil fuels and nuclear technology. Meanwhile, environmentalists have also criticized the EU's emissions trading scheme, arguing that it is resulting in significant profits for the private sector, but only nominal gains for the environment. More information: Conclusions from the EU Transport, Telecommunications and En..., 14 March 2006 WBCSD/EurActiv news report, 15 March 2006 IPS news report, 16 March 2006
SEMINAR CONSIDERS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN ASIA

A seminar has been held to consider successful cases of technology transfer in Asian countries. The “Industry Joint Seminar,” which was organized by the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam, took place from 8-9 March 2006, in Hanoi. The seminar provided an opportunity for government representatives, policymakers, and experts from industry, financial institutions and academia to review best practices for technology transfer in the Asian region, with particular focus on case studies on energy efficiency, renewable energies, and project financing. The objectives of the seminar were to identify key success factors for technology transfer in the region, and explore possibilities for the diffusion of best practices. The seminar also sought to identify financial instruments other than the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for financing climate technology transfer. More information: IISD Reporting Services coverage

February 2006

JOINT IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE HOLDS FIRST MEETING

The supervisory committee for the Joint Implementation mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol has met for the first time, following agreement on its membership in December 2005. The meeting, which took place in Bonn, Germany from 2-3 February 2006, resulted in the elected of Daniela Stoycheva (Bulgaria) as Chair of the committee, with Shailendra Kumar Joshi (India) elected Vice-Chair. Participants also discussed the work plan, rules of procedure, the Joint Implementation project design document, and a variety of other issues. The second meeting is set to take place on 8, 10 and 11 March 2006. Link to further information The official report of the meeting

January 2006

Regional Meetings and Bureau Prepare for CSD 14 Session

January 2006: Regional implementation meetings have now taken place in all UN regions in preparation for the fourteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14). Participants at these meetings considered the thematic cluster of issues to be considered at CSD-14 and identified priority actions based on their regions' experience and needs. The Arab Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) convened in association with the Joint Committee for Environment and Development in the Arab region (JCEDAR) in Cairo from 13-15 November 2005. Priority actions this region will forward to CSD-14 include: the importance of poverty alleviation through enhancing access to modern energy services to foster economic and social development in rural and poor urban areas; improving consumption patterns, upgrading air quality and promoting better governance and Public Participation for Sustainable Development; and mitigating the impact of polices and measures adopted by the industrial countries to comply with climate change convention and Kyoto protocol and to compensate the losses incurred by Arab nations due to these measures. The Second UNECE Regional Implementation Forum on Sustainable Development took place in Geneva on 15-16 December 2005. This forum highlighted the need to improve access to energy services to meet basic human needs and achieve sustainable industrial development, and noted that UNECE countries share a large responsibility in tackling this task through their official development assistance (ODA) and partnerships. This region also called attention to the high importance of energy related environmental issues and the issue of energy security both in the UNECE region and the rest of the world. The Asia-Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting met under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok, Thailand, from 19-20 January 2006. Participants identified adaptation in agriculture, forests and terrestrial ecosystems as high priority measures for most Asian countries, while the key issue for small island developing States is adapting water resources and coping with rising sea levels. Also in preparation for CSD-14, the second meeting of the CSD-14 Bureau took place on 11 December 2005, in Tbilisi, Georgia. Participants discussed a draft organization of work, which proposed holding parallel sessions involving: general statements focused on overview of progress in implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation; and thematic and regional discussions focusing deliberations on identifying barriers and constraints, lessons learned and best practices in relation to the thematic cluster. A Multi-stakeholder dialogue session would discuss the role of major groups in promoting action to implement the thematic cluster and a “SIDS day” would review the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. A High-level Segment would convene from 10-12 May 2006. [UN Division for Sustainable Development: links to all region...] [West Asia/Arab Regional Implementation Meeting Outcome Docum...] [UNECE Regional Implementation Meeting Outcome Document] [UN news release on ESCAP Regional Implementation Meeting] [Notes from the Bureau meeting, December 2005] [Draft Organization of CSD-14 Work]
ASIA-PACIFIC CLIMATE PACT ADOPTS WORK PLAN; CRITICS FIND FAULT

The first high-level gathering of a regional pact on climate change and development has adopted a charter document, but critics say the plan will not do enough to tackle climate change. The first ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate took place from 11-12 January 2006 in Sydney, Australia. The meeting resulted in a communiqué that focuses on energy challenges, fossil fuels, industry and technology development. The communiqué stresses that fossil fuels underpin most economies, and will do for the foreseeable future. However, it argues that cleaner and lower emission technologies can reduce the impact of such fuels. The meeting also resulted in a work plan that support public-private partnerships and established task forces on cleaner fossil fuels, renewable energy, power generation and transmission, steel, aluminum, cement, coal mining, and buildings and appliances. The partnership involves six nations – the US, China, Japan, India, South Korea and Australia – which between them account for more than 40 percent of global emissions. However, critics have argued that the partnership will be ineffective in tackling climate change, with some arguing that a pact that relies on voluntary action is incapable of dealing with such a serious global problem. While members of the partnership agreed that it should “complement, but not replace, the Kyoto Protocol,” some supporters of the Protocol believe it could be used to undermine the UN treaty. Links to further information Asia-Pacific Partnership website and outcome documents Pact “will not reduce emissions,” BBC news report, 12 January 2006 Environmental groups claim climate change conference “farcic... Worldpress report, 20 January 2006