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DRAFTING GROUP I

A meeting of Drafting Group I (oceans) convened in the morning to consider draft decisions on Chapters 9 (atmosphere) and 17 (oceans). On a paragraph concerning atmosphere-related problems, delegates agreed to note the “risk” of exacerbating other environmental problems through actions to address an individual atmosphere-related issue. Delegates debated a proposal to refer to “reduction of emissions particularly of developed countries,” which was supported by a number of developing-country delegations. The Chair proposed inserting a reference to “common but differentiated responsibility” at the level of international action to protect the atmosphere.

COLOMBIA proposed a reference to deforestation, forest degradation and all land degradation. NORWAY, supported by INDIA, said the paragraph covers general atmospheric pollution and should not address climate change. The EU proposed a reference to the “precautionary principle approach.” SAUDI ARABIA proposed referring to Article 3 of the UNFCCC, but AOSIS, supported by AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and the MARSHALL ISLANDS, said the article is specific to climate change and refers only to “measures.” The MARSHALL ISLANDS proposed including Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration.

The paragraph on the scientific basis for response was amended to include reference to the precautionary principle and to text from the Ad Hoc Working Group’s intersessional report “welcoming” the second assessment report of the IPCC as “the most important and reliable to date.” Delegates added a footnote referring to uncertainties in the IPCC report. The paragraph linking energy use to economic growth and environment was amended to state that energy “has been and will continue to be” a fundamental requirement for economic growth.

A sentence stressing the need for a “holistic and coordinated approach” to energy issues was deleted at the request of SAUDI ARABIA in the paragraph calling for an inventory of energy programs in the UN system. The paragraph on policy instruments was amended to include “environmental cost internalization and removal of environmentally damaging subsidies” and the “use of energy sources with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all sectors.” The paragraph referring to increasing energy efficiency through education was amended to read “energy and other natural resources.”

The paragraph referring to the role of MFIs in promoting ESTs was amended to “develop and diffuse ESTs provided that such considerations do not constitute barriers” to accessing financial resources. The paragraph urging governments and the private sector to address EST research and technology transfer was amended to include: “improved GHG sequestration technologies;” “countries with economies in transition;” and environmentally sound and “cost-effective” technologies. The Group adjourned, and met in an informal- informal session to consider the remainder of the revised decision.

Drafting Group I resumed consideration of the Programme of Action (POA) on SIDS. On overall considerations, delegates deleted a reference to the adverse impacts of declining ODA on sustainable development. On climate change and sea level rise, delegates deleted a paragraph on the second assessment report of the IPCC pending a decision on “Protection of the Atmosphere.” On energy resources, delegates replaced “imported petroleum products” with “conventional sources of energy” and accepted a new paragraph on the role of the private sector. The Group also considered draft decisions on oceans (Chapter 17). Delegates adopted a decision on international cooperation and the Global Plan of Action from the Washington Conference. The Group accepted amended text on protection of the oceans, including new paragraphs on support for addressing POPs and radioactive contaminants.

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