COMMUNICATIONS FROM ANNEX I PARTIES: Delegates considered the following documents: Part One: Elements of the second compilation and synthesis report (FCCC/SB/1996/1); Part Two: Tables of inventories and anthropogenic emissions and removals in 1990 and projected anthropogenic emissions in 2000 (FCCC/SB/1996/1/Add.1); Progress report on in-depth reviews (FCCC/SB/1996/2); and Report on the guidelines for the preparation of first communications by Annex I Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/3).
The US recommended that the SBSTA should improve instructions for subsequent national communications by: eliminating ambiguity from GHG inventories; including implementation status and expected effect in the descriptions of policies and measures; and including all GHGs in emission projects. The US also expressed disappointment at the brevity of the status report and urged the Secretariat to provide a more substantive assessment. NEW ZEALAND supported the US and stated that the revised measures should be adopted at COP-2 to be applied to second national communications.
INDIA noted the projected values for emissions of all GHGs are substantially higher than 1990 levels, and fall far short of the Convention's goals. He suggested that if 1994 is the base-year for non-Annex I Parties, then there should be a set of values for 1994 for Annex I countries to ensure comparability. JAPAN highlighted the need to clearly define the time frame for prospective steps in the guidelines, which should review the performance of policies and measures and should be more comparable. POLAND said that economies in transition may have trouble submitting national inventory data by 15 April 1996. CANADA supported the further development of guidelines to improve transparency, consistency, descriptions of policies and measures, and reporting on technology cooperation. The MARSHALL ISLANDS, on behalf of AOSIS, expressed concern about the number of Annex I countries failing to meet the relatively soft targets for emissions reductions and supported Japan's proposal to include a performance review on policies and measures.
The EU supported the proposed 1 April 1996 deadline for submissions on the approach for the second compilation and encouraged Annex I Parties with economies in transition to use 1990 as the base-year as soon their capabilities permit. He said the underlying assumptions used in preparing national communications should be reflected in tables to increase comparability. AUSTRALIA supported the Secretariat's proposal to include examples of national circumstances in the second compilation. URUGUAY expressed concern about the lack of comparability between Annex I national communications. He proposed that Annex I countries include a projection for developing cleaner alternative technology as part of their growth perspectives.
The Chair noted that many delegates referred to the original deadline of 15 April and reiterated the importance of moving the deadline up to 1 April, as proposed by the Secretariat. The US said there is not adequate time to accommodate the request and the extra two weeks is important for providing thoughtful comments.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES: The Secretariat said the document FCCC/SB/1996/3 deals with guidelines to be dealt with by SBSTA and other matters.
COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, summarized workshops held 25 and 26 February 1996, on guidelines and the initial communications of non-Annex I Parties. The workshops reviewed a possible format and FCCC principles that should shape the communications. He emphasized the need to accelerate the provision of financial resources by the GEF so that lack of resources do not affect the initial communications.
The G-77/China position paper notes relevant FCCC Articles on commitments, obligations, national circumstances, vulnerability and timing, with the latter emphasizing that non-Annex I Parties' communications are due either within three years of entry into force for a Party or upon availability of financial resources. Regarding inventories, the paper calls for adequate financial resources, technical support and technology transfer. It also suggests a flexible methodology and 1994 as the base year. Reports may include adaptation measures, information on emissions by sources and removals by sinks, financial resources and technical support given and required, capacity building and training needs, and requirements for technology transfer. A format for communications, included as an annex, contains sections and guidelines on general circumstances, special circumstances, inventories of various gases, a summary, general description of steps, financial and technological needs and constraints. The paper expresses disappointment that developed country Parties have not met commitments on provision of financial resources. It says there should be no individual country reviews of non-Annex I communications, only an aggregate assessment. It requests necessary assistance for compilation and communication of information, particularly for a follow-up workshop at the next SBSTA session.
CHINA, supported by the PHILIPPINES, said no one other than the G-77/China could change the group's position paper. He underscored that timing of communications is tied either to ratification or financial resource availability. Developing countries need funds to support measurement, analysis, monitoring and evaluation teams. INDIA said financial support would also be needed for institutional capacity building, including monitoring and research and development for measurement systems. NIGERIA emphasized the importance of technical capacity building through training and other necessary financial assistance.
During informal negotiations, the US and others questioned whether the G-77/China proposal could be improved in consistency, transparency and comparability. ITALY, on behalf of the EU, said the description of policies and measures should include a section on mitigation. He said the reference to use of IPCC or other comparable methodology needed clarification. FRANCE asked whether the 1994 base year should be different than Annex I Parties' base year of 1990, and also suggested that aggregation of reports from non-Annex I Parties did not preclude the need to collect or analyze individual countries' reports. JAPAN said the variety of conditions in developing countries requires flexibility without compromising other values. He proposed that report guidelines classify those elements that are mandatory for inclusion. Projections of GHG emissions should be included. CANADA said guidelines should be finalized for recommendation to COP-2 and for early application by some Parties. IPCC guidelines are preferable and 1990 should be used as a base year where possible.
COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, said transparency and comparability are seen as fundamental. The G-77/China position paper is the most non-Annex I countries can do now. The degree of flexibility permits countries wishing to provide more information to do so while those with more difficulties will report what they can. INDIA said transparency, comparability and consistency are requirements of science and of all Parties, but are not totally apparent even in Annex I Parties' communications. CHINA said no Party had achieved transparency, comparability, and consistency, and asked whether is it fair to hold developing countries to standards others have not met. The MARSHALL ISLANDS said there is a diversity of situations that require flexibility. Supported by SRI LANKA, he said developing country Parties will do what they can to use technology and report, but will not undertake mitigation measures until they have taken adequate adaptation measures.
The PHILIPPINES said flexibility does not mean that Parties pick and choose obligations, but the goal is to deal with difficulties. MALAYSIA said delegates should not prejudge transparency, comparability and consistency until the SBSTA can evaluate the communications.
At the final SBSTA plenary, delegates agreed that the G-77/China position paper (FCCC/SB/1996/MISC.1/Add.1) would serve as the basis for the adoption of guidelines and format for preparation of initial communications for non-Annex I Parties.
[Return to start of article]