The Plenary met Wednesday morning so that AOSIS could introduce its draft protocol and Germany could introduce its proposal for further elements of a protocol. Afterwards, the Plenary addressed Agenda Item 4, Review of Annexes to the Convention, and Agenda Item 5(c), Location of the Permanent Secretariat. The Secretariat also announced that Kiribati has deposited its instrument of ratification, bringing the number to 120.
AGENDA ITEM 1(b) " INTRODUCTION OF THE AOSIS DRAFT PROTOCOL: Amb. Annette des Iles (Trinidad and Tobago) introduced A/AC.237/L.23, the draft protocol submitted on behalf of AOSIS in September 1994, in accordance with Article 17 of the Convention. She noted that the protocol does not impose any additional obligations on developing country Parties. Its specific provisions include the following:The Preamble emphasizes that the burden of achieving the Convention"s objectives rests with the developed States. In Article 1 (Definitions) Sections (1), (7) and (8) differentiate between "Parties" to the Protocol and "Parties to the Convention." Article 2 (Basic Commitment) restates the core of the commitment contained in Article 4(1)(b) of the Convention. Article 3 (Targets for greenhouse gas reductions)is based on the "Toronto target." It requires developed country Parties to the Protocol who are included in Annex I to reduce their CO2 emissions by 2005 to a level at least 20% below that of 1990 and to establish timetables for controlling emissions of other greenhouse gases. Article 3(1)(b) requires that Annex I Parties adopt specific targets on other greenhouse gases. Article 3(2) (Review and revision of targets) authorizes the Meeting of the Parties to "review and revise" both the CO2 targets and timetable and the controls for other greenhouse gases. Article 3(3) (Accession of non-Annex I Parties to the specific commitments) says the commitments are binding only on the Annex I Parties. Article 4 (Coordination Mechanism) creates a subsidiary body to provide advice to the Meeting of the Parties. Article 5 (Reporting Requirements) includes a new reporting requirement in Article 5(2) that Annex I Parties provide a cost/benefit analysis of measures undertaken. Article 6 (Institutional Arrangements) uses institutions established under the Convention. Article 7 (Technology transfer) requires that the "best available technologies...are expeditiously transferred to developing countries" under "fair and most favourable conditions." Article 8 establishes a Meeting of the Parties with powers to review the Protocol"s implementation. Article 9 (Dispute settlement) states that disputes are to be settled in accordance with the Convention. Article 10 establishes the same procedure for amendments to the Protocol as amendments to the Convention.
Dr. Michael von Websky (Germany) introduced A/AC.237/L.23/Add.1 and noted that the proposal addresses targets and timetables, as well as policies and measures. He said ambitious reduction targets for CO2 and other greenhouse gases, such as methane and N2 O, would make it possible to formulate clear political objectives. He suggested the broader application of economic instruments, increasing energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy sources, the preservation, sustainable management and improvement of existing forests, and afforestation. He said a consensus was required at the COP on a commitment by Annex I Parties to stabilize their CO2 emissions, individually or jointly, at 1990 levels by 2000.
AGENDA ITEM 4 " REVIEW OF ANNEXES TO THE CONVENTION: The Czech Republic announced that his Government should be prepared to amend Annex I at COP-2. In response to a question from Japan, the Chair said Czechoslovakia was an Annex I country and since it has been succeeded by two countries, the annex has to be amended accordingly.
AGENDA ITEM 5(c) " PHYSICAL LOCATION OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT: The Chair reminded delegates that a contact group was established to advise the Committee on the location of the Secretariat. He then gave the floor to the representatives of the countries offering to host the Secretariat. The information about each offer is contained in A/AC.237/79/Add.4. Canada explained how Toronto is a leader in environmental protection and a multicultural city that is well suited to host the Secretariat. Germany outlined its proposal to host the Secretariat in Bonn, which has excellent communications and transportation facilities and is a major academic, scientific and cultural center. Switzerland said that the choice for the Secretariat"s location should be based on effectiveness, not finance or prestige, and that Geneva, as a UN centre, would be the most effective. While Uruguay could not offer monetary subsidies or financial assistance to developing countries, the low cost of living and services in Montevideo would amply offset the absence of generous subsidies. Kenya announced that it has withdrawn its offer to host the Secretariat. Further discussion will take place on Friday.
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