Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 5 No. 243
Monday, 5 March 2007

SUMMARY OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE FIFTEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

26 FEBRUARY - 2 MARCH 2007

The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the fifteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) took place from 26 February to 2 March 2007, at UN headquarters in New York. The IPM’s role was to provide a forum to discuss policy options and possible actions to enable the implementation of measures and policies concerning energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change – the thematic issues under consideration during the CSD-14/CSD-15 two-year “implementation cycle.”

Building on CSD-14, which conducted a “review” of these issues, CSD-15 will be a “policy session” and will focus on expediting implementation of commitments in these four thematic areas. The IPM conducted broad-based discussions to help identify relevant policy options and actions. Throughout the week, delegates met in plenary to consider policy options for the four themes, as well as inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues. There was also a session on small island developing states. These deliberations were reflected in a preliminary draft Chair’s negotiating document, which was distributed towards the end of the meeting. Participants provided initial feedback on this text, which was revised and presented at the conclusion of the meeting. The document was developed with the expectation that it could form the basis for further discussions and negotiations during CSD-15, scheduled to meet from 30 April to 11 May 2007, in New York.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CSD

The Commission on Sustainable Development emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development adopted in June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit.” Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. In 1992, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 47/191, which established the CSD’s terms of reference and composition, organization of work, relationship with other UN bodies, Secretariat arrangements, and guidelines for the participation of Major Groups. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. During its first five years, the CSD systematically reviewed the implementation of all chapters of Agenda 21.

UNGASS-19: In June 1997, five years after UNCED, the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-19), also known as “Rio+5,” was held to review the implementation of Agenda 21. Negotiations produced a Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Among the decisions adopted at UNGASS-19 was a new five-year CSD work programme, which identified sectoral, cross-sectoral and economic sector/major group themes for the next four sessions of the Commission. Overriding issues for each year were poverty and consumption and production patterns. In 1998, CSD-6 included industry among the issues on its agenda, and adopted a decision on industry and sustainable development.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The UN Millennium Summit, held from 6-8 September 2000, in New York, adopted the Millennium Declaration, which contains, inter alia, a number of international development goals. The themes contained in the Millennium Declaration were elaborated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as contained in the September 2001 Report of the Secretary-General on the Road Map towards the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The MDGs, which have become commonly accepted as a framework for measuring progress in development, comprise eight overarching goals, 18 targets and 48 indicators.

CSD-9: The ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development took place at UN headquarters in New York from 16-28 April 2001. The session reviewed the sectoral themes of energy and atmosphere, the economic dimension of transport, and the cross-sectoral themes of information for decision-making and participation, and international cooperation for an enabling environment. The decision on energy contained six sections on general considerations, issues and options, overarching issues, regional cooperation and international cooperation, which dealt with diverse matters relating to, inter alia: energy efficiency; renewable energy and advanced fossil fuels; and making markets work for sustainable development and international endeavors. Consensus was not reached on certain issues, including: energy efficiency codes and standards; the phase-out of harmful subsidies in developed countries; reductions in atmospheric pollutants; and references to the development of policies supporting energy for sustainable development.

WSSD: CSD-10 acted as the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which took place from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WSSD adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development. The JPOI addresses energy in the context of sustainable development, and calls for action on access to energy services, recognition of the linkage between energy provision and poverty eradication, alternative energy technologies, and diversity of supply. The JPOI addresses climate change as a “global concern” (paragraph 38), considers industrial development in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource management, and considers the health impacts of air pollution (paragraph 56).

CSD-11: The eleventh session of the CSD took place at UN headquarters in New York from 28 April to 9 May 2003. The session set out the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2004-2017 and decided on the modalities for reporting, partnerships, and enhancing both UN system coordination and Major Groups’ contributions. Delegates also decided to introduce two-year “Implementation Cycles” for the CSD’s future sessions, with each cycle focusing on thematic clusters alongside cross-sectoral issues. Each cycle is comprised of a non-negotiating Review Year and a Policy Year.

CSD-12: CSD-12 was held in April 2004, at UN headquarters. The first three days (14-16 April) served as the preparatory meeting for the International Meeting on the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of small island developing states (SIDS). The following two weeks were devoted to the CSD-12 Review Session. CSD-12 focused on identifying constraints, obstacles, successes and lessons learned with regard to water, sanitation and human settlements.

CSD-13: The thirteenth session of the CSD took place at UN headquarters in April 2005. Building on the outcomes of CSD-12 and an intergovernmental preparatory meeting in February/March 2005, CSD-13 focused on policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements.

CSD-14: CSD-14 took place at UN headquarters from 1-12 May 2006. As this was the first year of the second implementation cycle, CSD-14 was tasked to review progress in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, and climate change, together with cross-cutting issues. Specifically, CSD-14 was tasked with evaluating progress in implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, while focusing on identifying barriers and constraints, lessons learned and best practices in implementation in the thematic cluster.

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, one day was dedicated to discussion on SIDS, with a review of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. The second week also included a high-level segment, with over fifty ministers registered. At the conclusion of CSD-14, delegates adopted the report of the session, including the Chair’s non-negotiated summary, which contained 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 Center.

REPORT OF THE IPM

The opening session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for CSD-15 took place on Monday morning, 26 February. CSD-15 Chair Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, opened the IPM. He highlighted the urgency of the issues under consideration, noting that one-third of the world’s population lacks access to modern energy services. He encouraged participants to use CSD-15 as a platform for launching specific initiatives and projects.

Delegates then adopted the agenda and proposed programme of work (E/CN.17/IPM/2007/1). Regarding the CSD-15 Bureau, delegates provisionally approved Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado (Brazil) as Vice-Chair for Latin America and the Caribbean, pending formal approval at CSD-15. Vice-Chair Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso) was named rapporteur for the IPM. The other members of the Bureau, who were elected during the first meeting of CSD-15 on 12 May 2006, are: Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic), from the Eastern and Central European Group; and Frances Lisson (Australia), from the Western European and Others Group.

JoAnne DiSano, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Secretary-General’s reports on the four thematic issues and on linkages and cross-cutting issues (E/CN.17/2007/2-6).

OPENING REMARKS: Several country representatives said the Secretary-General’s reports were a good basis for discussion. Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), reaffirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. He urged implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, highlighted the huge challenge of indoor air pollution, and said CSD-15 should agree on action-based and development-oriented policy options with a follow-up mechanism.

Germany, speaking for the European Union (EU), stressed the EU’s commitment to achieving an action-oriented outcome of CSD-15, to be complemented by voluntary actions and partnerships. On energy, he proposed a “basket” of voluntary commitments as a non-negotiated outcome of CSD-15, with states submitting their national objectives on energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies. He suggested that the CSD devote time to follow up on energy issues during its 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 cycles. He said CSD-15 could consider additional policy recommendations that might complement UNFCCC policies; target indoor air pollution; and promote the Economic Commission for Europe’s (ECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution as a model for others.

The US drew attention to the Matrix, a web-based tool for sharing solutions and the development of partnerships, and supported the idea of a basket of voluntary commitments by governments and other stakeholders. Noting that there was already a considerable amount of agreed text on these topics that had been negotiated multilaterally, he cautioned against repeating earlier discussions.

Iceland highlighted the results of the International Seminar on the Hydrogen Economy for Sustainable Development held in September 2006, in Reykjavik.

REGIONAL PRESENTATIONS: The UN Regional Commissions then provided input on policy options and possible actions, and informed participants on key regional activities and meetings. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05239e.html.

INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION WITH MAJOR GROUPS

Interactive discussions with Major Groups took place on Monday morning, informed by a Secretariat paper on Major Group priorities on the four current CSD themes (E/CN.17/2007/7).

Women called for mainstreaming gender considerations in the energy area, especially regarding access to affordable energy services, and highlighted the impact of indoor pollution on women, alternative energy sources, and enhancing the role of women as agents of change, with representation on CSD bodies and delegations.

Children and Youth emphasized renewables as the key to a sustainable future, called for a clear definition of sustainable energy, and for phasing out nuclear energy. He called for responsible industrial development and for measurable targets and timelines, and recalled UN commitments to include youth in government delegations.

Indigenous Peoples highlighted the daily effects of climate change on traditional ways of life, and suggested that policy options prioritize social and ecological balance and respect for human rights. He called for sustainable energy development, phasing out nuclear energy and dissemination of clean and renewable energy technologies.

NGOs called for a new paradigm, including: equitable and full access to energy services; time-bound targets and commitments integrated with poverty strategies; phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear energy; a comprehensive strategy on financing; policies on indoor air pollution; agreement to restrict climate change to below 2oC; and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects that meet “gold standards.”

Local Authorities outlined a wide range of activities being undertaken at the municipal level, supported strengthened early warning systems, and funding not only for pilot projects but for replication.

Workers and Trade Unions noted the critical role of industrial policy, and said the CSD should emphasize industrial relations as a tool for implementation. He urged delegates to avoid any obsession with privatization, and described climate change as the “biggest market failure in history.”

Business and Industry said market forces should be encouraged, with a focus on improving access, enabling investment, supporting research and technological innovation, and strengthening and building partnerships.

Scientific and Technological Communities said current technologies are not adequate to meet growing energy needs in an environmentally-friendly manner, and the level of investment is not sufficient. He highlighted national circumstances, energy efficiency, renewables, less polluting fossil fuel systems and nuclear energy.

Farmers stressed the need for increased support to farmers, particularly in developing countries, to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He urged governments to foster partnerships with research communities, mobilize support for farmers, and invite full farmer participation in shaping bioenergy policies.

POLICY OPTIONS AND POSSIBLE ACTIONS TO EXPEDITE IMPLEMENTATION

From Monday afternoon to Thursday morning, the IPM focused on the sole substantive item on its agenda, namely, policy options and possible actions to enable the implementation of measures and policies concerning the four thematic issues under consideration during CSD-14 and CSD-15.

These four thematic issues are energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change. Each of these issues was the subject of a separate plenary session. In addition, there were two other substantive plenary sessions: the first focused specifically on options for addressing barriers and constraints facing small island developing states (SIDS) in the four thematic areas; the second addressed inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues, including enhancing the means of implementation, the role of women, and the role of partnerships, as well as the special needs of Africa and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and integrating the four thematic issues within national sustainable development strategies. Each of these sessions began with panel presentations, followed by input from delegations.

The section below outlines the key discussions in each session, in the order in which they took place, as follows: SIDS, energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, climate change, and inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues.

SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: Held on Monday afternoon, this session was chaired by CSD-15 Vice-Chairs Frances Lisson and Alain Edouard Traore. The session focused on “reducing vulnerabilities and strengthening resilience: innovative policy options for addressing the barriers and constraints facing SIDS in the four thematic areas.”

Key issues discussed included: the importance of energy for SIDS; the urgency of the climate change threat; and the need for substantial increases in financial and technical support. The discussion on energy issues highlighted reliance on imported fossil fuels, and the need to adapt energy efficiency to SIDS’ special needs and to develop renewable sources, like wind and solar energy. On climate change, adaptation and mitigation were both discussed, as were several financing options to support SIDS, and the need for improved disaster planning and early warning systems. Several speakers also referenced the need to implement the Mauritius Strategy.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05239e.html.

ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Delegates addressed this issue on Tuesday morning and afternoon. Discussions were facilitated by CSD-15 Chair Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Vice Chair Frances Lisson. Speakers focused on access to reliable and affordable energy services, energy efficiency, financing and investment, the development and transfer of cleaner and advanced energy technologies, and different energy sources.

On energy access, many speakers stressed this as a critical issue, supported a focus on rural energy and electrification in developing countries, and highlighted the gender dimension to this problem, and the links to poverty eradication. The G-77/China emphasized the special needs of SIDS, LDCs and countries emerging from conflict, and recommended, inter alia, increasing access by improving transparency of energy markets and energy and transport infrastructure. The EU highlighted the immensity of the problem of access to affordable, reliable and sustainable supplies of energy services, and the scale of the resources necessary, and called for increased global efforts to guide investments. The US referred to some of the proven solutions emerging from the 120 cases currently in the Matrix (http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/matrix_cover.htm), and called on the CSD to focus on disseminating, replicating and scaling up the solutions emerging from country implementation experiences.

On energy efficiency, delegates highlighted the need to improve energy efficiency through supportive policy frameworks at the national level, power sector reform, efficiency targets and standards, and the role of the private sector.

On financing and investment, participants discussed the importance of an enabling policy environment, cooperation with the private sector, and ending harmful subsidies.

Regarding technology development and transfer, many countries noted that the initial costs and technology needed for renewables are major obstacles, and urged donor support. Some delegates also raised the question of technology transfer to address carbon sequestration and storage.

In terms of energy sources, many speakers stressed the importance of renewables. Several said fossil fuels will continue to be the dominant energy source for decades to come, and highlighted issues of economic diversification. Nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage, and biofuels were also debated.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05240e.html.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT:: This session was facilitated by CSD Vice-Chairs Jiří Hlaváček and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado. Discussions focused on promoting an enabling environment, capacity building, and consumption and production.

The G-77/China said countries should develop policies to suit their national circumstances, and urged CSD-15 to agree on action-oriented policy options. He identified supply and demand- side challenges, and urged developed countries to eliminate tariff barriers and increase official development assistance to 0.7% of GDP. He also stressed scaling up resource flows for basic infrastructure, strengthening support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and awareness raising to change consumer behavior..

The EU stressed the impact of sustainable industrial development for reaching the MDGs, and said developing countries should be fully integrated into the global trading system. He supported encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, and highlighted the UN Industrial Development Organization’s relevant work, the Marrakesh process on consumption and production, and the International Labor Organization’s vital role in supporting the MDGs. The US urged discussions focused on practical approaches rather than broad or general exchanges, cited examples from the Matrix and suggested looking at scaling up successful ones.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05240e.html.

AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE: This session was facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chairs Frances Lisson and Alain Edouard Traore. Discussions focused on reducing indoor air pollution from traditional biomass fuels, and reducing outdoor air pollution, taking into account its relation to transportation, industry, urban development, and energy production and consumption.

On outdoor pollution, delegates raised issues such as transport and industrial policy, urban planning, transboundary pollution, emissions from aviation and maritime sources, sulphur dioxide, unleaded gasoline, and the Montreal Protocol. The G-77/China called for enhanced international cooperation to enable developing countries to implement national plans and strategies. He suggested a series of policy options, including the transfer of affordable technologies on favorable terms, and capacity building. He also proposed national-level policies, in particular for implementing air quality strategies. The EU offered the European region’s experience, including in the ECE framework, of an integrated approach that could be disseminated at the global level. He invited other countries to consider taking up the EU emissions limit values for mobile and stationary sources, and called for stronger synergies among international and regional actors to improve the governance of air and atmospheric pollution. The US highlighted examples from the Matrix that had already succeeded in translating the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation agreement on outdoor and indoor air pollution (paragraph 56) into action, such as the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles.

Regarding indoor pollution, many participants noted the gender dimension, the need to scale-up successful approaches relating to home stoves and cooking and to switch from traditional biomass to other options, and the importance of capacity building, technology transfer, financing, and the role of international financial institutions.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05241e.html.

CLIMATE CHANGE: This session was facilitated by CSD Vice-Chair Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado. Delegates reflected on a wide range of issues, including climate change science, the varied and serious impacts of climate change, policies relating to mitigation and adaptation, the role of the CSD, and UNFCCC discussions on a regime for post-2012, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends.

The G-77/China highlighted the Kyoto Protocol and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. She identified various policy options, including: designing effective mitigation and adaptation policies; donors’ financial support and new and additional resources for mitigation and adaptation actions; easier access to financing; capacity building; strengthening observation systems; supporting North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation; transferring appropriate technology; and developing insurance markets..

The EU emphasized the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol as the main instruments to address climate change, noting that the CSD should complement efforts at national, regional and international levels. He called for an urgent political solution that defines a post-2012 international climate change regime by 2009 at the latest. He said the EU would commit to a 30% emissions reduction by 2020 compared with 1990, if other developed countries commit to comparable reductions and the more economically-advanced developing countries contribute “according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.” Regardless of a post-2012 agreement, he said the EU was committed to a 20% reduction by 2020.

Tuvalu, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), urged the international community to implement commitments in the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy. He said negotiations on the post-2012 period should be concluded by December 2008 and lead to substantial reductions in the shortest possible time.

The US said the CSD should not duplicate the work undertaken in other fora, but could add value by highlighting implementation challenges and proven solutions. Costa Rica said it had launched an initiative to become the first carbon neutral country.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05241e.html and http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05242e.html.

INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This session, which took place on Thursday morning, was facilitated by CSD Vice-Chairs Jiří Hlaváček and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado. Delegates focused on enhancing the means of implementation, the role of women, and the role of partnerships, as well as the special needs of Africa and LDCs, and integrating the four thematic issues within national sustainable development strategies.

The G-77/China stressed the critical nature of means of implementation for sustainable development, and recalled the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as underlying the full implementation of the four thematic areas. He noted slow progress on the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and requested CSD-15 to address the special concerns of developing countries, particularly Africa, SIDS and LDCs. He suggested several policy options, including an enabling international environment with greater participation of the private sector, eliminating trade barriers, debt relief measures, new and additional financial resources, establishing new centers of excellence, technology transfer, and South-South cooperation.

The EU, while noting that all CSD-15 themes are interrelated, said climate change is the key interlinking issue. He recognized the need to integrate the themes into sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies, and stressed exchanging national experiences and building capacities of developing countries. The US said partnerships are powerful primary tools to link stakeholders and address the cross-cutting nature of the sustainable development challenges.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of these discussions can be found at:  http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05242e.html.

CHAIR’S DRAFT NEGOTIATING DOCUMENT

On Thursday afternoon, a preliminary “Chairman’s draft negotiating document” was distributed to delegates. The document was intended to build on discussions during CSD-14 and the IPM, and set out “policy options and possible actions to expedite implementation in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change.” Seven pages long, the document was in six sections, covering the four thematic areas, inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues, and review and follow up. Each section included a brief introduction and a series of options or actions set out as bullet points. (For an outline of this text, see, http://www.iisd.ca/vol05/enb05242e.htm.)

DISCUSSION ON THE ORIGINAL DRAFT:: This document was discussed during a plenary session on Friday morning. In light of this discussion, a revised document was issued later in the day. During the Friday morning plenary, many delegates made concrete suggestions on the draft’s format, and on its substance.

Pakistan, for the G-77/China, referred to elements he said were lacking in the draft. He proposed identifying actors at the international and national levels, taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the three pillars of sustainable development, and building on Agenda 21, the JPOI, and outcomes of other relevant summits. He also suggested that the set of development-oriented actions and policies should have a built-in mechanism for implementation. He asked for reference to sub-categories of developing countries (Africa, LDCs and SIDS), and to the needs of countries emerging from conflict and disaster-prone countries. He also noted the lack of balance in the treatment of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. Finally, he noted that other critical elements of the G-77/China’s position would be submitted to the Chair in writing.

Germany, for the EU, said the document did not reflect the richness of the IPM discussions, and urged a more inclusive text with “more ambition and accuracy.” He singled out climate change, said specific proposals should be included relating to energy for sustainable development, in particular increasing the global share of renewables, energy efficiency, and that CSD-15 should invite contributions for inclusion in the “basket” of voluntary commitments he had proposed earlier in the week.

The US proposed that the text should focus on areas where value can be added, avoiding renegotiating previous agreements or duplication..

Cape Verde, speaking for AOSIS, called for more emphasis on the special concerns of SIDS, more urgency on climate change, and referred to the environmental consequences of carbon storage. Brazil suggested strengthening references to renewables, including biofuels. The Russian Federation emphasized advanced and cleaner sources of energy. Mexico referred to biofuels, and asked to add conservation of forest ecosystems.

Canada said this session was an improvement over the previous IPM, stressed that previous agreements should not be renegotiated or restated but simply reaffirmed, cautioned against spending time on issues being discussed elsewhere, and asked to add language on public-private partnerships and the role of government regulatory tools, not just market incentives.

China said the need for policy coordination required more emphasis, especially in better monitoring and response capacity in energy markets, and in efforts to promote political environments that stabilize global supply..

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia recommended keeping the current document as is, just adding a chapeau on the continuing dominance of fossil fuels, and inserting language on assessing the negative impacts of climate action and on carbon capture and storage.

Switzerland noted many comments during IPM highlighting the need for investor-friendly environments as essential for mobilizing adequate resources, along with good government and corporate responsibility. He disagreed with the view that intellectual property rights are restrictive, but agreed with those who want an effective review of CSD-15 decisions.

Japan suggested reference to integrated water management and the “3R” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) Initiative, questioned why there was no mention of post-2012 issues, and agreed on the need to avoid overlap with UNFCCC, especially on financing mechanisms that are currently being negotiated. South Africa noted a lack of linkages with the opportunities and constraints identified at CSD-14, called for reaffirmation of previously-agreed principles, and said the text should assign responsibilities.

Iceland noted the role of renewables. Argentina said the document should be more inclusive, and nuclear should be included as an option. Norway said the structure and scope of the text were adequate, but requested greater integration of health and climate. Costa Rica, supported by Guatemala, said the document was more a list of topics, and not very ambitious. She said the text on renewables was weaker than existing agreements, and noted the absence of references to market barriers, climate commitments or protecting existing forests.

Nigeria highlighted the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and continued dominance of fossil fuels. Venezuela said references to the private sector should reflect the need for it to serve the public good. Kenya said the text was a useful basis for discussion, but too much had been left out and it should be restructured into a UN-style resolution..

India said there should be no renegotiation of previous agreements. Egypt called for identifying responsibilities for implementation, and Jordan said the document lacked reference to a strong and transparent review of renewable energy. Tuvalu said the CSD can contribute politically to climate change negotiations. Viet Nam supported a mechanism for monitoring internationally-agreed commitments.

Vice-Chair Machado said the Bureau would review the comments made and distribute a revised text in the afternoon. 

DISCUSSION ON THE REVISED DRAFT: Late on Friday afternoon, the plenary reconvened. CSD Vice-Chair Frances Lisson reported that the Bureau had spent some time reflecting on delegates’ comments and had worked on a revised Chair’s negotiating document. The document now includes a preamble, strengthened section chapeaus, some changes to the text that sought to inject a greater sense of urgency into the options and actions listed, and 20 additional options/actions, based on delegates’ feedback. Delegates requested a short time to review the text before making their comments.

Following a short break, plenary reconvened. The G-77/China expressed hope that the document would provide a basis for negotiation at CSD-15, with an understanding that the document would remain unchanged until CSD-15, even if it still had shortcomings and room for improvement. Thanking the Bureau, the Secretariat and delegates, she said the IPM had provided a useful opportunity to exchange ideas, and she hoped that the process is now better placed to move forward.

The EU welcomed the Bureau’s efforts to improve the text. However, he added that the changes had still not led to an all-inclusive, balanced document that reflects the Rio and Johannesburg outcomes. He expressed the view that the text does not reflect the “richness of discussions” at the IPM, and expressed concern that it would slow down CSD-15, as negotiators will certainly ask for the insertion of additional text. He said this could affect the prospects for a positive outcome for CSD-15. He added that, with the approach taken at this IPM, “we are putting at risk the legitimacy and reputation of the CSD, which is already under question since the last implementation cycle.” He looked forward to pursuing discussions and a more productive discussion at CSD-15.

Barbados, speaking for AOSIS, agreed with the G-77/China’s comment that the text should not be further amended until CSD-15. He stressed that the issues under discussion are critical to SIDS’ sustainable development and even some SIDS’ existence.

NGOs said the CSD should not conclude that fossil fuels will remain the main contributor to the energy mix for “decades to come.” Local Authorities expressed concern at minimal reference in the text to local authorities, key implementers on the ground. Farmers expressed disappointment at the revised text, which lacked key references to farmers, the role of agriculture and civil society. Scientific and Technological Communities expressed concern that the CSD might miss the opportunity to act on these critical thematic issues. Workers and Trade Unions said issues of work, workers and workplaces were missing from the text, and the document was unbalanced. Along with other speakers, he said he was committed to working with others to improve the document and implement what is agreed.

Indigenous Peoples expressed concerns at the references to fossil fuels, and stressed the need for equal participation of indigenous peoples. Children and Youth said the text still reads “like a shopping list” and urged CSD-15 to address youth issues. Women said the document would be strengthened with concrete policy actions for mainstreaming women into processes and decision making.

At Vice Chair Lisson’s suggestion, delegates took note of the document for transmittal to CSD-15.

CLOSING PLENARY

Late on Friday afternoon, the IPM adopted its report of the session (E/CN.17/IPM/2007/L.2). Vice-Chair Lisson said this report would also include the Chair’s negotiating document, which would be transmitted to CSD-15. She thanked participants for their input during the IPM, and looked forward to continuing this work at CSD-15. She declared the IPM closed at 6:07 pm.

CHAIR’S REVISED NEGOTIATING DOCUMENT

This section outlines the revised version of the Chair’s negotiating document that was distributed at the conclusion of the IPM and will be transmitted directly to CSD-15.

PREAMBLE: The preamble reaffirms: the Rio Declaration principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, Agenda 21, the JPOI and the outcomes of other relevant major conferences; the balance among economic and social development and environmental protection; and eradicating poverty and changing patterns of unsustainable production and consumption as overarching objectives. It emphasizes inter-linkages among the four CSD-15 themes, and the vital nature of cross-cutting issues, and notes previously agreed provisions and decisions in relation to the thematic cluster.   

ENERGY:: This section states that fossil fuels will continue to play a dominant role in the energy mix in the decades to come and highlights the development of cleaner and advanced technologies. It emphasizes, “with a sense of urgency,” substantially increasing the global share of the renewable energy supply. The 40 policy options and possible actions listed in this section include the following:

  • integrate energy access, which is crucial, into national sustainable development strategies;

  • expand energy services to the poor;

  • expand the use of renewable sources and of cleaner fuels for heating and cooking;

  • support partnerships in energy research and development;

  • transfer cleaner technologies;

  • deploy carbon capture and storage technologies;

  • support transition to liquefied natural gas (LNG);

  • improve energy efficiency;

  • support energy markets;

  • strengthen South-South cooperation; and

  • mobilize additional financial resources and create a positive investment climate.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: This section states that industrial development is crucial for eradicating poverty, stresses the mutually-reinforcing relationship between industrial development, social advancement and environmental protection, and lists 17 policies and actions by national governments, including technology and capacity upgrading and creating enabling policy frameworks for investment by creating incentives for improved environmental management practices such as pollution reduction and waste minimization. On the issue of further integration in international trade, recommendations include capacity building in simplifying customs procedures, trade promotion, product certification and quality control, and the successful completion of the Doha trade round..

AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE: This section recommends 33 different options/actions. At the national level, options include integrating reduction of indoor air pollution into planning, accessing clean cooking technologies, improving knowledge of health effects and sources of indoor air pollution, and education and awareness raising to change consumer behavior toward more sustainable lifestyles. At the regional level, options include promoting air quality standards to control emissions from industry and transport, and building capacity for monitoring, measuring and assessing the impacts of air pollution, including health impacts. At the international level, text refers to increasing cooperation on current scientific knowledge, reducing air pollution from aviation and maritime sources, and developing early warning systems’ capacity for dust and sand storms.

CLIMATE CHANGE: The introduction to this section emphasizes that climate change requires urgent attention. It notes that CSD decisions should complement, not duplicate, the work of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. The 28 policy options or actions listed cover a range of issues, including technology cooperation, strengthening North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, and supporting low carbon energy technologies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and “cleaner and advanced fossil fuel technologies.” Other text refers to poverty eradication, common but differentiated responsibilities, carbon sinks, partnerships, the private sector, involving women in all aspects of decision making, mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation into development activities, capacity building, and systematic observation. There are also options on identifying new and additional financial initiatives specifically dedicated to climate change in the context of the UNFCCC, strengthening national institutional capacities for participating in the CDM, and strengthening existing funding mechanisms for adaptation, including for “economic diversification to minimize adverse impacts of response measures.”

INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This section notes the benefits of an integrated approach to the four thematic issues, the value of mainstreaming, and the importance of the means of implementation in turning commitments into actions. The 25 options/actions address issues such as:

  • reinforcing efforts to implement the Monterrey Consensus and the 0.7% official development assistance (ODA) target;

  • providing better access to funds and simplified reporting procedures for SIDS and LDCs;

  • strengthening arrangements and incentives for technology transfer on favorable terms to developing countries;

  • enhancing implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan; and

  • using the knowledge and experience of women, indigenous peoples and other major groups effectively.

REVIEW AND FOLLOW UP: This brief section states that the review and follow up on progress in implementing CSD-15 decisions would occur during one or two days in CSD sessions in 2010/2011 and 2014/2015.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE IPM

As the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the Commission on Sustainable Development’s fifteenth session drew to a close late on Friday afternoon, 2 March, there was a sense of disappointment among many delegates. A draft Chair’s “negotiating document” that had been distributed at the end of the meeting and touted as the basis for discussions at CSD-15 had not generated widespread approval. Some participants filing out of Conference Room 4 in the UN basement wondered openly whether the IPM had achieved anything at all, and what this might mean for CSD-15.

The IPM faced three difficult challenges, in the areas of process, substance, and expectations. Taken together, these three challenges did not make the IPM’s task of paving the way for a successful CSD-15 any easier.  This analysis examines these three challenges, how they were addressed by the IPM, and the implications for CSD-15.

PROBLEMS WITH PROCESS AND PROCEDURE

One major challenge for the IPM – and the CSD in general – is the successful adjustment to the “new” process for conducting its work. The current process was adopted at CSD-11, which decided to move away from the previous approach of changing the issues the CSD discusses every year, in favor of a cluster of themes discussed in more depth over a two-year period. To help improve the quality of discussion and outcomes, the CSD decided that each cycle would be split into two parts. In the first, “review” year, substantive discussions would be held on challenges, constraints and obstacles, and ideas would be shared without the pressure of having to formulate a negotiated outcome. In the second, “policy” year, these substantive ideas would be translated into policy options and possible actions that would form the outcome of the cycle.

At the time, many delegates felt this process offered something new and innovative. Unfortunately, what sounded good in theory has not yet worked in practice. During the first two-year cycle, in 2004-2005, many delegates detected a disconnect between the review and policy years. While CSD-12, the review year, was widely hailed as a success, many experts argue that it did not translate into success at CSD-13, which was generally viewed as a fractious and difficult meeting. Some criticism for this was leveled at the handling of the IPM held shortly before CSD-13. According to some, the IPM did not provide the link that was needed between the review and policy years. The IPM is supposed to bring forward the issues raised during the review year and help translate and “focus” these into policies and actions that can be agreed on during the policy year. The general view of the CSD-13 IPM is that it did not do this well. In addition, many felt the discussions during the CSD-13 IPM resembled and largely repeated the review year’s talks.

As the only previous IPM held since the two-year implementation cycle was introduced, it clearly did not set a good example for how to make the IPM format effective and useful. Accordingly, many delegates were not sure what to expect when they arrived at the CSD-15 IPM.

Like the last IPM, this one was tasked with providing a link between the review and policy years, serving as a “funnel, to identify and narrow down the range of policy options and possible actions.” However, some IPM participants left with the sense that this meeting had fallen into the same trap as its predecessor in terms of repeating and replicating the review year’s discussions. Also, the discussions were rarely “interactive” with Major Groups and mostly involved presenting prepared, often repetitious, statements.

Additionally, the Chair’s negotiating text was criticized for not being in a standard UN negotiating format, and for being substantively lacking in a number of areas. A revised text hurriedly put together on the final afternoon tackled some of the formatting problems and added some further options and actions requested by delegates.

SUBSTANTIAL CONCERNS

The second major challenge facing the IPM and this implementation cycle was the complexity and sensitivity of the four issues on its agenda. Energy and climate change, in particular, are highly controversial. On energy, there are perennial disagreements over issues such as the role of nuclear power, and the priority given to renewables. A more recent issue is the focus on carbon dioxide capture and storage as a solution offering “clean” fossil fuels. These problems were revisited at the IPM. While they were not resolved, some delegates at least sensed a generally constructive attitude, rather than too much “posturing” or “grandstanding.”

In terms of the climate change debate, many delegates were quick to remind their colleagues that the main place for these discussions is the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol processes, not the CSD. Some pointed out that the CSD does have a role to play in providing a broader sustainable development perspective to this problem, and giving a “political push” to other intergovernmental processes. Also, the discussions on linkages with energy and industrial development in particular were deemed by some to have been productive. With the UNFCCC and Kyoto processes now moving quite rapidly in light of apparent shifts in public opinion and new reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Stern review, the IPM did give a sense of the directions governments were moving.

MANY EXPECTATIONS

The final major challenge facing both the IPM and the CSD process is how to handle the hopes and expectations of both governments and Major Groups. This is particularly problematic because these expectations and perceptions of the process continue to differ widely. While all the key players firmly agree that the CSD should now be in “implementation mode,” the Group of 77 and China, EU and US, all have diverging visions of what this involves in terms of the CSD’s work.

The US appears to believe the implementation mode means focusing on sharing experiences and replicating/scaling up examples of successful projects, partnerships and initiatives. During the IPM, it regularly referred to the web-based “Matrix” of projects, and spoke positively of how to scale-up such experience. The US also expressed strongly the view that, with so many existing agreements, delegates should be focusing on implementing these and “adding value,” rather than negotiating new ones.

The EU also does not seem to expect a grand negotiated outcome at CSD, but still appears to believe that it is possible to identify some specific areas and “action-oriented measures” where useful agreements can be reached. It also pushed a relatively new idea of a “basket” of voluntary commitments that countries could join or add to, at their discretion.

For the G-77 and China, meanwhile, the focus on implementation means looking at what has not happened as much as what has. The G-77 views American talk of success stories and the EU’s idea of voluntary commitments as complementary, but also a potential distraction from the big issue, which is the North’s failure to meet its existing commitments and promises, particularly on financing and technology transfer. To the G-77, the CSD is a mechanism to address this failure by reemphasizing these commitments and pushing for them to be honored and strengthened, with concrete goals and timeframes. Unless there are renewed government commitments and action, “some fruit in the basket could leave a bitter taste,” said one senior developing country delegate.

LOOKING TOWARDS CSD-15

With such different expectations of what the CSD can and should do, as well as the substantive complexity of the issues and problems with process, the IPM’s task was never expected to be easy. This does not mean, though, that CSD-15 will inevitably be a disappointment. As several speakers noted during the IPM opening, CSD-15 will provide an unprecedented opportunity to address some critical issues from a broader perspective. Energy has no institutional home within the UN, and climate change, energy, industrial development and air pollution are inextricably linked, including with the broader goals of poverty reduction and changing consumption patterns.

As the IPM drew to a close, the comments were not just of concern. Almost every speaker during the closing plenary restated their commitment to making the CSD work. If such commitment and leadership is demonstrated, there is every reason to believe that CSD-15 can deliver.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

CLIMATE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE JOINT SEMINAR: SUCCESSFUL CASES OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN ASIAN COUNTRIES: This event, which is taking place from 7-8 March 2007, in New Delhi, India, is organized in cooperation with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and supported by the International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT). For more information, contact: Jain Shashank, TERI; fax: +91-11-2468-2144; e-mail: sjain@teri.res.in; internet: http://www.climatetech.net/events/index_old.cfm?Page=1&EventsID=4841

CARBON MARKET INSIGHTS 2007: Point Carbon’s annual event on the carbon market is taking place from 13-15 March 2007, in Copenhagen. For more information, contact: Point Carbon; tel: +47-2240-5340; fax: +47-2240-5341; e-mail: conference@pointcarbon.com; internet: http://www.pointcarbon.com/Events/Carbon Market Insights/category401.html

CTI/UNIDO JOINT SEMINAR: SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS IN CDM AND JI: This seminar is taking place from 19-20 March 2007, in Vienna, Austria. The event will bring together experts from OECD and Central and Eastern European/Commonwealth of Independent States countries to examine issues relevant to the transfer of climate-friendly industrial technology and contribute to global discussions carried out by the climate-change community and institutions on key issues relevant to energy efficiency projects, methodological issues and barriers for their development and implementation. For more information, contact: Zalfa Sheety, UNIDO Energy and Cleaner Production Branch; tel: +43-1-26026-3511; fax: +43-1-26026-6855; e-mail: z.sheety@unido.org; internet: http://www.climatetech.org/events/index_old.cfm?Page=1&EventsID=4843

OSLO CONFERENCE ON GOOD GOVERNANCE, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: The Oslo Conference is taking place from 28-30 March 2007, in Oslo, Norway. The event aims to take the ongoing debate about business and sustainability beyond corporate and social responsibility by providing a platform for an integrated approach comprising key players from government, business, academia, trade-unions and non-governmental organizations. The conference is hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and the City of Oslo. For more information, contact Jostein Mykletun, Deputy Director General; e-mail: jmy@mfa.no; internet: http://www.csr-oslo.org/

MEETING ON TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE: AN APPRAISAL OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL AND OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE: This event, which is taking place from 30-31 March 2007, in The Hague, the Netherlands, will focus on legal and institutional aspects of the Kyoto Protocol and the post-2012 period. For more information, contact: T.M.C. Asser Instituut; tel: +31-70-3420310; e-mail: l.de.vries@asser.nl; internet: http://www.eel.nl/events/EventShowPublished.asp?event_id=263

ECOSOC ANNUAL MINISTERIAL REVIEW GLOBAL PREPARATORY MEETING: This preparatory meeting is taking place in New York on 2 April 2007. In July 2007, the Economic and Social Council will hold its first annual ministerial-level substantive review (AMR). The half-day preparatory event will bring together representatives of governments, academia, the private sector and civil society to identify obstacles and challenges to progress in the implementation of the United Nations Development Agenda and to identify innovative solutions. For more information, contact: ECOSOC; e-mail: ecosocinfo@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/2007/

IPCC WORKING GROUP II: The Eighth Session of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is taking place in Brussels, Belgium, from 2-5 April 2007. Working Group II, which focuses on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, is expected to adopt its contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report. For more information, contact: Rudie Bourgeois, IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-7-30-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/

SECOND IBERO-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Taking place in S�o Paulo, Brazil, from 24-26 April 2007, the Second Ibero-American Congress on Sustainable Development is organized by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and its Brazilian affiliate (CEBDS) with the support of UNESCO, United Nations University and UNEP. The event gathers businesses, academic and NGOs from Latin America to share experiences on sustainable practices and the path to sustainable development in the region. For more information, contact: CEBDS; tel: +55-21-3139-1250; fax: +55-21-3139-1254; internet: http://www.sustentavel.org.br 

CSD-15 GRASSROOTS ACADEMY: ENSURING EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION AND AMPLIFIED VOICES OF GRASSROOTS WOMEN: From 26-27 April 2007, in New York, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, in collaboration with the Huairou Commission, CSD Secretariat, Women�s Network for a Sustainable Future, Women�s Radio, and Circle the Earth, will host this �Academy.� The aim of the event is to: create strong networks and partners, develop unified strategies, exchange knowledge, engage with CSD experts, and learn to navigate the UN system in the lead up to CSD-15. For more information, contact: Lower East Side Ecology Center; tel: +1-212-477-4022; e-mail: tara@lesecologycenter.org; internet: http://www.lesecun.org/

IPCC 26TH SESSION AND WORKING GROUP III: IPCC-26 is scheduled for 4 May 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand, immediately following the 9th session of Working Group III, to be held from 30 April - 3 May 2007. Working Group III focuses on climate change mitigation, and is expected to adopt its contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report. The Fourth Assessment Report�s Synthesis Report will be adopted in November at IPCC-27, which is convening in Valencia, Spain. For more information, contact: Rudie Bourgeois, IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-7-30-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/

FIFTEENTH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-15): CSD-15 is taking place at UN headquarters in New York, from 30 April to 11 May 2007. This session will seek to build on the �review year� discussions at CSD-14 and the IPM, focusing on �policy� options for energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, and climate change. For more information, contact: Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; tel: +1-212-963-8102; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/policy.htm.

This issue of of theee Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Twig Johnson, Ph.D., Chris Spence and Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development � DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory General Directorate for Nature Protection. General Support for the Bulletin during 2007 is provided by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Funding for the translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA. The ENB Team at the CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting can be contacted by e-mail at <chris@iisd.org>.