The Chair reviewed the language of BM on establishing quantified emission reduction targets with specific time-frames such as 2005, 2010 and 2020.
The US urged alternate proposals to those already tabled, all of which present a common target met by individual countries on an annual basis. Approaches could vary in level, timing and emissions, and as binding or aspirational. Along with the annual targets for individual Parties, the AGBM should consider cumulative targets for individuals, who could vary the timing and approach to reductions, or multi-Party objectives either as annual or cumulative reductions. Cumulative targets could include incentives for early reductions. Multi-Party objectives coupled with Joint Implementation (JI) or burden sharing could save costs in places where reductions are expensive. He said delegates should consider giving flexibility in the timing and location of reductions. He requested a formal presentation of the IPCC's recent results to AGBM 3, an informal session to address new analyses, cost effectiveness, burden sharing and equity, and to assess the impact of technological change and diffusion. He encouraged a quantitative analysis of a base case (no action) and the environmental and economic impacts of fixed annual and cumulative paths in sample scenarios.
The EU said the objective and time-frame should result in absolute reductions but consider relative efficiency. The EU does not yet have a position on gas-by-gas or Greenhouse Warming Potential approaches to various greenhouse gases. He supported time-frames to 2005 and 2010, possibly with longer term targets for 2020. The AGBM should explore incentives for early action. "No regrets" actions should be taken but other policies are necessary and should be applied to achieve equitable and appropriate contributions by all Annex I Parties. The objectives must be quantified and binding.
SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said Annex I countries should adopt the Toronto Target of 20 percent CO2 reductions below 1990 levels by 2005 and require non-CO2 targets at an appropriate time. The AOSIS proposal on a comprehensive approach to GHGs is consistent with BM language.
MALAYSIA said the AGBM cannot lose sight of the fact that the majority of emissions is produced by developed countries and developing countries have relatively low per capita emissions. Annex I Parties' failure to meet original targets cannot be an excuse not to set future targets. He recommended a study on emissions projections through 2010 to review Annex I Parties' emissions and the effectiveness of policies and measures. Any proposal on cumulative emissions limits should be accompanied by an insurance scheme paying compensation to affected countries if climate change occurs before delayed reductions take place.
CHINA expressed dismay that Parties were suggesting more policies and measures at this stage. He said that policies are relevant only when they contribute to the reduction objectives, and their impact on developing countries must be assessed. He expressed concern over statements regarding "global trends and policies," and reminded delegates that the BM specifies that policies and measures are to be undertaken by Annex I Parties. Emissions should not be confused with concentrations in the atmosphere and the cumulative effect of GHGs is important.
SAUDI ARABIA stressed the need for assessment and analysis of each option for quantified reductions, particularly to weigh the economic costs against the environmental benefits. The AGBM should carefully interpret the BM, which does not call for joint commitments after 2000. Commitments for developing countries are unacceptable.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stated that indicators and reductions should be based on concrete results and realistic analyses and assessments. The current call for quantitative measures does not have a realistic basis. He said that concrete parameters based on BM timetables must be the result of the AGBM's analysis and assessment. The obligations must be flexible and account for differences among Annex I Parties.
The UK said that new quantified objectives are essential, but noted that legally-binding targets pose a practical problem. He said that emissions related to economic efforts cannot be "turned off like a faucet," and suggested that the legal requirement should be to create a national programme that would measure a Party's efforts against its own historic emissions. He added that a "basket approach," rather than gas-by-gas approach, would allow for flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
BRAZIL said that the establishment of numerical objectives is a prerequisite to the consideration of policies and measures. He said that Annex I Parties will have to consider their responsibilities for climate change, with an emphasis on the cumulative effect.
AUSTRALIA considers emission objectives and policies and measures to be interdependent, and said that a key benchmark will be the extent to which there will be a convergence of the two. She suggested criteria for selecting policies and measures, and emphasized that analysis and assessment should examine political feasibility, assessment of costs and barriers to implementation. She also supported equitable burden sharing.
CANADA supported the US proposal for a special session on quantitative reductions, and differentiated or regional targets among Annex I Parties. He said that regional targets should consider climate, resources base and economic circumstances, and would require complex negotiations. He also expressed interest in exploring collective emission reductions, which could take a variety of forms.
The NETHERLANDS said that the IPCC assessment highlights the need for global emissions to be lowered. Industrialized countries must shoulder the largest share of reductions because developing countries need economic growth. He said the AGBM cannot postpone negotiations on quantitative reductions and suggested providing incentives for early reductions, such as credits for Parties that are ahead of schedule.
DENMARK stated that the IPCC reports recognize the technical capacity for lowering emissions, such as high-efficiency power plants. He said the AGBM must make decisions on immediate, aggressive reduction objectives today to achieve maximum benefits in the future.
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