Working Group I first addressed Agenda Item 7, Questions for the IPCC Chair. France, on behalf of the EU, asked Dr. Bolin whether substantial reductions in emissions would be necessary and if Annex I countries" actions would be insufficient to prevent greenhouse warming. New Zealand inquired about the inclusion of short- lived gases in warming estimates and how uncertainties regarding Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) could be reduced. Bolin responded that the IPCC believes GWPs are a useful approach even though short-lived gases cannot be included. Japan called for greater mitigation by all parties.
Benin inquired whether the IPCC had developed methodologies for analyzing regional effects on precipitation. Bolin said that current models could not produce consistent regional results. The Netherlands said it was obvious that commitments need to be strengthened and that action should be taken at COP-1. He also recommended continued funding for the IPCC. The US asked what the IPCC recommended for next steps in its work and how the IPCC relates to the SBSTA. He recommended that support for the IPCC budget could be part of INC discussions, but should also be taken up by the COP. Bolin suggested three areas for joint work with the SBSTA: sources and sinks, recent changes and methodologies. China questioned the effects of solar activity, the role of clouds, forests and the biosphere, and long-term cycles of natural climatic variation. Bolin noted that it is possible to distinguish between natural variations and those from fossil fuels, and the issue in long-term cycles is whether adjustments can be made if the rate of change is accelerating. Saudi Arabia, supported by Kuwait, suggested that increasing uncertainties in emissions scenarios with longer time scales, downward revisions in estimates of sea level rise, and differences in social costs of mitigation options require a cautious approach on adequacy of commitments.
AGENDA ITEM 7(D) - METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: The Secretariat invited discussion of document A/AC/237/84, on methodological issues. France, on behalf of the EU, recommended continued use of draft guidelines for national communication, and collaboration between subsidiary bodies of the Convention and the IPCC on revisions of the guidelines. He said additional effort should be made to reduce uncertainty in GWPs but that parties should use them if they wish. Japan supported the GWP position and said that the inventory methodologies could be used by Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 Parties. Australia said Parties should continue to have the flexibility to use country-specific approaches that are comparable to IPCC guidelines and also supported continued use of GWPs. Poland said revisions of guidelines should follow periodicity of national communications. The US supported use of GWPs and IPCC vulnerability assessment methodologies. He suggested future work on inventory guidelines, impacts and mitigation methodologies and others will ultimately be the responsibility of SBSTA and the Convention Parties, not the IPCC or other multilateral organizations, and that COP-1 could remand the issue to SBSTA. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) asked whether the Convention will be actively involved in controlling aircraft emissions, suggesting that this would duplicate ICAO"s activities. Romania said inventories may be difficult based on available data, and that the COP should take this into consideration. China said IPCC guidelines are difficult to apply, especially for developing countries. He suggested calculating emissions per capita as an alternative methodology. The Chair said she would develop a revised draft based on delegates" comments.
AGENDA ITEM 7(A) " FIRST REVIEW OF NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: The Secretariat presented a summary of A/AC.237/81, a compilation and synthesis of national communications from Annex I Parties, and A/AC.237/82, an overview of issues related to national communications. He noted that the 15 Parties submitting national communications included in the synthesis represented 41% of global emissions. Since compiling the synthesis report, the Secretariat has received five more communications and two preliminary ones.
Compared to 1990 levels and excluding land use change and forestry, nine parties projected increased CO2 emissions for 2000 in the absence of additional measures, five parties projected stabilization or a decrease, and one Party projected a decrease by 2005. The report shows CO2 accounts for 75% of emissions reported, aggregated by fuel consumption, with energy and transformation industries the largest sector and transport second. For CH4, all but two parties projected a decrease compared to 1990 emissions. No clear picture emerged for NO2. Parties reported approximately 700 policies and measures with the largest percentage directed at residential, commercial, and institutional and transportation sectors.
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