AGENDA ITEM 7(b) " ADEQUACY OF COMMITMENTS: Following the introduction of the AOSIS protocol and German elements paper in the Plenary, Working Group I resumed its discussion of Agenda Item 7(b), Adequacy of Commitments. New Zealand, Hungary, France (on behalf of the EU), Japan, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Sweden and Mexico said commitments under Article 4.2(a) and (b) are not sufficient. New Zealand, supported by Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and others, called for a consultative mechanism to create a dialogue with business interests. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait did not support this proposal since it would impose new conditionalities on developing countries. Hungary said that COP-1 should begin negotiations, and that Annex I countries could make commitments beyond 2000. France, on behalf of the EU, supported a comprehensive protocol on all GHGs. He said that COP-1 must at least initiate negotiations on a protocol and that negotiations should occur in an ad hoc working group. He also called for agreements on coordinated policies and measures where competitiveness concerns exist. Japan said that there is an emerging consensus that a new international framework should be considered. He suggested completing protocol negotiations by COP-3, under the SBI. Switzerland said an ad hoc working group should prepare a protocol for adoption by 1998. Norway said launching negotiations on new and binding commitments should be COP-1"s top priority.
The Russian Federation said it would be premature to take on new commitments, and that the German proposal does not provide for countries with economies in transition. The Netherlands said it is absolutely necessary to develop new agreements beyond 2000, and called for Annex I Parties to promise not to increase emissions even if no agreement is in place. Australia said negotiations should take place in a body established under SBI authority and conclude by 1998 to leave time for ratification by 2000. Sweden suggested setting a joint target under which countries would reduce emissions as a percentage of total global emissions.
The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, noted that one of the cardinal principles of the Convention is "common but differentiated responsibilities." He said that repair for damage to the environment should be borne by those principally responsible for the damage. Any attempt to reassign responsibilities could be interpreted as transferring the burden to the victims rather than the perpetrators of climate change. He added that the necessary improvements could be made at a more opportune time. Argentina, Fiji, Colombia, Mauritius, Chile, Malaysia and Bolivia supported the AOSIS protocol, while expressing concern that Annex I Parties were not able to meet current commitments. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait urged caution in accepting new commitments, given scientific uncertainty and the inability of Annex I Parties to meet existing commitments. China said protocol negotiations were premature and noted that neither the best available scientific information nor the national communications provided a sufficient basis for renegotiating. Germany reiterated the need for a protocol on greenhouse gas reduction in all countries and a consensus at COP-1 by Annex I Parties to stabilize emissions at 1990 level by the year 2000. The US highlighted the need for new aims, including a common menu of action, review of national communications by the SBSTA and strengthening the process of negotiations through the SBI to anchor the post-2000 era. France called for cost-benefit analysis of targets and timetables. Some developing countries, including Iran, Uganda, Kenya, Mali and Algeria, urged Annex I Parties to meet their commitments.
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