Delegates discussed strengthening the commitments of Annex I Parties. On Tuesday, 5 March, they heard a report from subsidiary bodies. Quantified emissions reduction objectives (QUELROs) were considered Wednesday, 6 March. Delegates discussed policies and measures on Wednesday and Thursday, 6-7 March.
INPUTS FROM SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The Chair recalled the AGBMs request for specialized inputs from subsidiary bodies related to relevant portions of the IPCC Second Assessment Report (SAR), national communications of Annex I Parties, in- depth reviews, and the SBSTA report on technologies. He said the AGBM would seek guidance from the SAR on strengthening commitments.
SBSTA Chair Tibor Farago said it was complicated to reach consensus on the IPCC SAR but that it was time to arrive at some basic conclusions. The SBSTA decided to: note that it held only an initial exchange of views; commend the entire SAR to all FCCC bodies; invite Parties to submit views for a full consideration of the SAR at SBSTA-3; consider the SAR an important science-based, comprehensive analysis; recommend that the IPCC provide further inputs; and agree that findings and projections should be made available to different audiences with special attention to the national and regional levels. The SBSTA proceedings indicate that some delegations said that the findings of the SAR should be communicated to all FCCC bodies, especially the AGBM, and that the findings underlined the necessity of urgent action. The SBSTA Chair highlighted two elements: that atmospheric concentrations are increasing largely because of human activities and that the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the global climate system. Other delegations expressed the view that it is premature for the SBSTA to highlight specific SAR findings. These delegations said the list of items was highly selective, reflecting a limited and biased view because other IPCC findings should be equally important, including that many uncertainties and factors limit the ability to detect and project future climate change. On cooperation with the IPCC, the SBSTA noted the conclusions of the IPCC meeting in Rome in December and those of the SBSTA/IPCC joint working group, and it requested a list of subjects for further IPCC reports and workshops.
On national communications, six in-depth reviews of Annex I Parties communications are available. These identify successful approaches to meeting commitments as well as difficulties. While the compilation and synthesis is not finished, basic information indicates that most Parties will not be able to stabilize GHGs at 1990 level by 2000. Regarding non-Annex I Parties communications, the SBSTA considered a G-77/China document as the basis for adoption of guidelines and a format.
Under technological inventory and assessment, the SBSTA considered the Secretariat document (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4 and FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4/Add.1) and noted information available in other fora. The Secretariat was asked to plan for technology information centres, survey Parties information needs, set up a catalogue of adaptation technologies, and draft a paper on terms of technology transfer.
The Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), Mahmoud Ould El Gaouth (Mauritania), reported on the conclusions of the SBI meeting. He said the SBI unanimously adopted a conclusion on Annex I national communications, which gives projected emissions to the year 2000 and is unambiguous that current activities will not reduce GHG emissions unless additional measures are taken by those Parties. A decision on non-Annex I communications is still pending.
IPCC Chair Bert Bolin then reviewed the conclusions of the SAR. He said the IPCCs aim is to make objective statements and point out uncertainties, but also to emphasize robust findings. He said the most important finding is that the balance of evidence suggests discernible human influence on climate. The .5 increase of global mean surface air temperature in the last century is not by itself sufficient to draw conclusions because of natural variability. But there is evidence that: increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to increasing temperature in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the stratosphere; the greater warming in the southern than the northern hemisphere in the past 50 years shows the shielding effect of aerosols; and spatial patterns of climate change in the northern hemisphere are similar to model predictions with the only possible explanation being human influence on global climate. Natural variability does not negate this conclusion about human influence, but makes it difficult to isolate a figure of sensitivity in the 1.5-4.5 increase above pre-industrial temperatures predicted by 2100. Considerable uncertainty remains, but uncertainty does not eliminate risk. He also emphasized that no regrets measures are available in most countries, and that the precautionary principle provides a rationale for action beyond no regrets. The challenge is to select a prudent strategy of adaptation, mitigation and research for adjustments over time. The SAR does not recommend specific measures, but many options are identified that can achieve 10-30% emissions reductions at little or no cost.
SAUDI ARABIA said the IPCC is an objective scientific body that does not engage in policy and never will in the future. He said it is difficult to indicate the amount of human influence because of remaining uncertainties, including the magnitude and pattern of long-term natural variability. The IPCC should provide a view of whether existing proposals, including the AOSIS draft protocol, will really avert climate change and whether an effort with real economic costs will have real environmental benefits.
Bolin said that the stabilization exercises show that a major change of emissions must take place over the next century. Ultimately there will be a need for deep cuts that require effort of all countries. NIGERIA recalled that Bolin had said, during SBSTA, that there were uncertainties inherent in the SAR. The models need to be evaluated, the risk analysis has not been properly pursued and the proposed policies and measures (P&M) must be examined.
SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said the first set of conclusions highlighted in the SBSTA report best capture the weight of the science and the urgency for action. He said a dangerous interference has already occurred and the implications for small islands are extremely serious. The AGBM must negotiate emissions reductions and their timetable for implementation and make progress toward establishing a protocol or other legal instrument. CANADA supported the findings in the first set of SBSTA conclusions and noted that they seemed to have the support of most Parties. JAPAN supported the SAR findings and said specific P&M should be clarified. He focused on national communications and emphasized the need for more systematic and comparable in-depth reviews. The EU commended the IPCC report and highlighted several specific findings. He said the risk of aggregate damage warranted action beyond no regrets measures and that the policies proposed in the report can serve as a basis for future action. SAUDI ARABIA recalled that two sets of opinions were included in the SBSTA report on key findings.
POLICIES AND MEASURES: Chow Kok Kee (Malaysia) summarized an informal workshop on policies and measures (P&M) held on 4-5 March 1996. He noted a presentation by IPCC Chair Bolin that stressed there is no optimum set of measures but each country needs to develop those best suited to its situation. Many feasible measures have not been instituted, so there is a need to bridge the gap between feasibility and decision making. The workshop considered measures in renewable energy, transport, industry, including voluntary agreements, sustainable agriculture and economic instruments. The need for reduced dependence on material consumption, decoupling energy and growth, and de-carbonization the use of non-fossil fuels and nuclear energy were highlighted, as were national experiences. Lessons included: the need for a package of measures combining market-based and government action; measures must be tailored to national circumstances, but energy and transport sectors are vital; and much can be done with little cost, but the focus needs be on policy to overcome barriers. A lack of a socioeconomic analysis of non-Annex I Parties was a problem. He suggested that the AGBM consider holding another workshop for further exchange of views.
The Secretariat introduced the document on policies and measures (FCCC/AGBM/1996/2), explaining that it was compiled from Annex I national communications and in-depth reviews, as well as the SAR and Parties submissions. The compilation: is structured by sectoral classifications, based on IPCC methodologies; considers the relative contribution of each sector to proportional emissions; and gives an overview of Annex I Party responses. The Secretariat tried to estimate the potential for emission reductions in each sector using IPCC information, and then identify areas for further analysis and assessment by the AGBM in line with the AGBM 2 objective to narrow the range of policies and measures.
CANADA reported on the Annex I experts group project on P&M for common action, which is developing a methodology for evaluating their effectiveness. The groups report (FCCC/AGBM/ 1995/MISC.1) has a framework for common action and analysis, which includes: policies and objectives; assessment approaches; a description of actions; the rationale for common actions and ways to implement them; the potential to reduce emissions or improve sinks; economic costs and benefits; political feasibility; barriers and how to address them; time required for implementation and for achieving expected GHG reductions; and the impacts, including social and environmental ones, on countries including non-Annex I Parties. The project does not suggest Parties preferences for measures in a protocol, and recognizes that there are a range of definitions for common action. The first tranche of the project covers sustainable transport; energy market reform; economic and fiscal instruments; demand side efficiency; sustainable agriculture and forestry; and energy efficiency finance for economies in transition. An analysis will be ready for COP-3.
The Chair noted that to produce a result for COP-3, delegates need to narrow down P&M. A final document should have flexibility to enlarge or reduce possible annexes to a protocol, but to include some identified P&M in a protocol would not exclude others.
SAUDI ARABIA said delegates should consider all GHGs, not only CO2. The Secretariats documents sectoral analysis overlooks some sectors, such as measures to reduce deforestation under land-use change and forestry. Extensive analysis of removing market distortions could provide good starting points. ITALY, on behalf of the EU, said the EU has begun investigating 11 areas of P&M, identifying indicators, evaluating targets, and assessing emission reductions toward a study for AGBM 4. Papers will be produced on renewable energy and energy efficiency, labeling, transport, and economic instruments. Priorities include: energy policies; industrial measures, including voluntary agreements; agriculture; forests; waste management; HFCs and CFCs; and actions in the local environment. The US said the flexibility of a full range of policy options should be retained because narrowing could run roughshod over differences in national circumstances. Criteria to select P&M could be: actions with great commonality; those with broad support; areas where only a few Parties are acting but with significant potential; and cost-effectiveness. Noting examples in refrigerators, power outlets and fuel taxes, he said harmonized standards may push a lowest common denominator and discourage innovation. It is desirable to look for common actions, but those would not necessarily promote national flexibility or environmental effectiveness.
CHILE supported Germanys proposed approach for a flat rate emissions reduction, noting it contained clear measures and was aimed at CO2 emissions without precluding other instruments. He suggested adding emphasis to hydroelectric and nuclear energy, energy marketing, and industrial processes. AUSTRALIA said P&M in a legal instrument should complement national programmes. Economic and social analysis cannot follow the narrowing process. An evaluation methodology should be defined before culling out measures. A sectoral selection process should not focus only on CO2. A comprehensive approach demonstrated in the workshop showed that differences between Annex I Parties need to be taken into account. GDP welfare costs should be covered in the analysis.
CANADA said the IPCC SAR suggests that significant opportunities are available for Parties to take actions, so it is important to identify P&M that reinforce the positive relationship between economics and the environment, such as energy efficiency and pollution controls. He highlighted areas for action: energy; heavy industry; residential buildings; transportation; non-combustion industries; agriculture; forestry; waste management and sewage treatment; and cross-sectoral economic instruments. Guidelines on P&M could help in narrowing options, but the narrowing should not exclude sectors or GHGs and should include sinks. P&M should: benefit from international coordination; have potential for emission reductions; produce multiple dividends consistent with other policies; make positive socioeconomic contributions; be flexible, practical and innovative, permitting implementation in different national circumstances; be transparent and comprehensive; facilitate abatement technology development and diffusion; and facilitate wide participation in mitigation.
SWITZERLAND said fluorocarbons and HFCs should be included as a sector, as a possible growing source of emissions that are persistent in atmosphere compared to other gases. NEW ZEALAND suggested criteria to focus on: specific policies; cost effectiveness and efficacy; producing significant abatement at least cost; durability with flexibility to adapt to new information on the timing and magnitude of climate change; transparency in environmental and economic effects; and effectiveness across national circumstances. Cross-sectoral measures, including taxes, should be covered, and subsidy reductions and market reforms are promising economic instruments.
The NETHERLANDS said there are reasons for harmonizing P&M because some measures cannot be taken at the national level without distorting the global market. Also global trade rules limit what individual nations can do, requiring international coordination to overcome the limitations. As examples, energy efficiency could be addressed, and international action would be required for agreement between automobile producers to encourage more fuel efficient cars. IRAN said the AGBM should cooperate with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Energy Agency (IEA), OPEC, UNIDO and others to assess which P&M are effective and efficient. Some measures could transfer capital from developing to developed countries and would adversely affect terms of trade. ICELAND said differentiated commitments can imply a more complicated agreement, but reduction targets are possible in a more cost-effective manner if different national circumstances are recognized. He cited Icelands situation: nearly 100% of its energy is renewable, but two-thirds of emissions come from transport, which will not be a priority in an agreement.
SRI LANKA said a protocol like AOSISs can be adopted. There is a need for urgency even if Northern countries are not obviously affected. Everyone stands to lose if no action is taken. UGANDA said Annex I countries must take seriously their commitment to transfer technology and financial resources to developing countries. The EU proposals contain concrete and useful measures. Clear P&M in technology and technical know-how can play an important role.
The REPUBLIC of KOREA said cross-sectoral economic instruments and energy efficiency measures based on high technology have significant trade impacts. He expressed concern about market and labeling measures. If measures have negative impacts on some countries, coordination is necessary to make the measures most effective and put them in conformity with international agreements. P&M should be designed and selected to avoid negative impacts on non-Annex I countries market access and should not be disguised discriminatory trade measures.
MALAYSIA said it is hard to see the need for differentiation between countries. Differentiation should not be an excuse not to advance policies. The AGBM should prioritize P&M based on aggregate effectiveness within and between sectors. P&M should not lead to emissions leakage, the transfer of polluting industry to developing countries. Harmonizing cross-sectoral economic instruments should not be discouraged. P&M could lead to trade barriers, so impacts must be considered.
JAPAN said work on CO2 emissions will be required as the ultimate solution. Existing technology will not be sufficient, so research and development on innovative technologies should begin now. The US agreed with the Netherlands that markets can benefit from coordination of standards, but harmonization can be over-emphasized. It often tends toward a lowest common denominator and can dampen innovation. Delegates need to ask whether harmonization and coordination of measures is the best use of available time.
KUWAIT said several delegations had referred to the SAR and selective portions and attempted to related them to QELROs. As in the SBSTA, some statements were highly selective, reflected a limited and biased view of what was important and were taken out of context. The SAR does not provide adequate guidance on timetables or targets and an informed decision will require much more information. He said there is a request for technical papers that examine economic impacts and noted that no interventions had squared their suggestions with the social and economic impacts. He said he was puzzled over the Annex I countries interpretations of words such as equity and differentiated approach.
The MARSHALL ISLANDS stressed the need for urgent action and said the socioeconomic effects of actions should be considered against the baseline of no action at all. He said the premise that P&M will have an immediate and adverse effect is entirely false. He noted it has taken a year to get to this stage in the AGBM process, largely due to the anthropogenic interference of some delegations who are intent on undermining this process. He said a lengthy debate on socioeconomic concerns will lead to delays.
INDIA echoed the Republic of Koreas apprehensions on the implications of P&M on trade. The P&M that must be integrated into Annex I Parties policies must be examined very carefully and may require accompanying measures to prevent adverse impacts on developing countries. Any versions of prior informed consent and labeling must not become disguised trade barriers. KENYA stressed availability cost and the potential for strengthening renewable technology. He said tropical countries would be good markets for solar power, but the technology must be affordable. Public education should grow along with these measures, particularly where new products are marketed. ARGENTINA said that subsidies for agriculture that affect GHGs must be reduced. He noted that many interventions referred to P&M that have an impact on trade and said the current debate in the WTO suggests there are many measures that could affect trade. He agreed with India and the Republic of Korea on the need to know the economic implications of P&M adopted by Annex I Parties. While they should be applied, equality and equity should not be undermined. He called for flexibility and disagreed with narrowing the list of P&M. EGYPT said that QELROs are the real yardstick for measuring the Conventions success. She placed high priority on P&M regarding renewable energy sources, but said the possible adverse effects of trade measures must be examined. MOROCCO said that measures must respect country sovereignty and account for the impact on developing countries. He said he cannot accept proposals on labeling because they are a way of avoiding international trade rules. He recalled a UNIDO eco-labeling decision that calls for cooperation and taking developing countries into account.
QUANTIFIED EMISSION LIMITATION REDUCTION OBJECTIVES WITHIN SPECIFIC TIMEFRAMES: The Secretariat presented a report by Dr. Pascale Morand Francis (Switzerland) on an informal workshop on QELROs held 28 February 1996. The workshop was organized by the Secretariat to help the AGBM accomplish its task of setting quantified objective within specific timeframes. Experts from five Parties, two IGOs and three other organizations made presentations. IPCC Chair Bert Bolin presented the Panels most recent findings relevant to QELROs. Participants also discussed the definition of dangerous, as referred to in Article 2 of the Convention. Bolin said that the Parties should decide for themselves, while others said the IPCC could develop criteria or indicators to help set a threshold. The workshop also heard a number of technical presentations on modeling, the design of cost-effective mitigation strategies, the cost of emission reductions, and near-term strategies for long-term climate protection.
Economic models were seen as tools to help understand the way forward, although they do not adequately reflect the complexity and dynamic nature of technological development and do not account for feedbacks. The workshop succeeded in raising issues related to the concepts of equity and differentiation among Annex I Parties. The workshop recommended that the AGBM address the following: appropriate levels of emissions limitation and reduction; timing of the implementation of QELROs; whether equity principles will be reflected in a protocol or another legal instrument through a differentiation regime; and how new ideas such as the possibility of drawing a distinction between production- and consumption-related emission budgets and safe emission corridors help in setting QELROs.
The Chair noted the great emphasis placed on analysis and assessment at previous meetings, but said very little had been done on the substance of the issues. He said the workshop helped in that regard. He also reflected on external debt as another cost to developing countries and said perhaps it is time for developed countries to pay their debt, which was incurred as a result of the industrial revolution. In addition to possible country objectives, group objectives for reductions could be considered.
SAUDI ARABIA said that setting QELROs is not only the business of Annex I countries and expressed surprise at the low level of participation of developing countries in the workshop. Regarding energy modeling and the energy-related discussions, he reminded delegates that the AGBM mandate calls for consideration of other gases and other sectors that would contribute to reduction of the foreseen costs. He also called for consideration of equity issues from an international perspective, not simply among the Annex I Parties, because the issues affect non-Annex I countries. He requested examination of the issues to avoid having losers among the group.
The Chair responded that preparations for the workshop included invitations for all possible participants and that OPEC was invited but declined to attend. He said the analysis must end and actions must begin at some point. He also said he did not recall anyone talking about the effect of measures on developing countries when OPEC raised oil prices twenty years ago.
BRAZIL stated that it may be appropriate to initially establish an overall aggregate quantitative objective and then negotiate the relative participation of countries or the sharing among countries. The group would have a priori an idea of the effect of the objectives on the climate. They would be negotiated so that the overall emissions of Annex I countries would be within quantitative objectives. He also said the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities could justify estimating the relevant contributions of each country to the relative climate change.
COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, said that the AGBM must move forward on emission targets. The G-77/China has insisted that overall emissions are the important issue and that emissions should be reduced to 1990 levels. He recalled the COP decision that there would be no new commitments for developing countries and that the extent to which developing country Parties can implement the Convention depends on the developed countries. He reminded developed countries of their obligation to provide for full agreed costs through the interim financial mechanism, but said putting the resources in the GEF is not the same thing as making them available directly to developing countries.
The Chair said that this final point must be made with the utmost clarity to the SBI and called upon Costa Rica, as Chair of the G-77/China, to raise it. TURKEY cited its GDP per capita, anthropogenic emissions per capita and unit of territory and levels of production and consumption of energy per capita. He said it was evident that Turkeys contribution to global warming was a fraction of the average of the Annex I countries.
JAPAN said commitments should be strengthened by combining policies and measures and QELROs, using short-term and medium- or long-term time scales with both legally- binding and target commitments. New commitments need to be flexible to heighten agreement and acceptance. He emphasized development of differential criteria and indicators to ensure equity in commitments based on variable marginal emission reduction costs and different past efforts at mitigation and limitation among parties. ITALY, on behalf of the EU, said based on IPCC projections of atmospheric CO2 stabilization levels and temperature increase, a level of 550 parts per million should guide limitation and reduction efforts. Collective objectives for Annex I Parties could group emissions for all Annex I Parties or group emissions of OECD and non-OECD countries. Either arrangement would require equitable sharing within each group. Individual objectives could be uniform or differentiated by limitations and reductions. Economic and demographic indicators, equity criteria and flexibility to reduce economic impact and mitigation costs are among considerations to establish equitable and timely differentiation. Longer timeframes would be useful for planning and investment decisions, but shorter timeframes, such as 2005 and 2010, are also important for accountability and monitoring. ROMANIA called for flexibility and cost effective reductions. She said Romania has used bottom-up approaches that permit reductions without supplementary costs.
SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said the AOSIS draft protocol addresses gases other than CO2, calling for targets and timetables at the first meeting of protocol Parties. He said there is a need to strengthen commitments beyond 20% below 1990 CO2 emissions by 2005. Discussions on flexibility in time scales are compromising or are likely to compromise the urgent need for GHG emission reductions. He reiterated the need for urgent reductions to occur within a safe emissions corridor to prevent irreversible or dangerous interference with the climate system.
NIGERIA said stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels will be costly for the world economy and will not lead to significant abatement compared with business as usual scenarios. Some countries, mainly developing ones, would be worse off, so there is a need to analyze economic impacts, not as a delaying tactic but to allay genuine fears. CHINA said reduction objectives and policies and measures are integrated, with policies and measures as means to achieve targets.
GERMANY proposed CO2 reduction objectives of 10% by 2005 and 15-20% by 2010, both against a base year of 1990. She said it is an ambitious and necessary approach that would also devise targets and timetables for non-CO2 emissions. An additional target for 2020 is possible, but uncertainties mean it is too far into the future to reliably guide efforts now. The objectives should be binding, with some flexibility for economies in transition, and would fit into the protocol structure proposed by the EU. She said the single gas approach has greater precision, avoiding CO2 equivalent calculations of greenhouse warming potentials that could make a combined gas approach difficult. The flat rate reduction has proven worth, simplicity and practicality, and accounts for different starting points by measuring efforts against historical emissions. There are other equity approaches, such as differential targets, but there are practical difficulties in generating indicators. The proposal does not affect Germanys commitment to a 25% emissions reduction by 2005. She requested that the Secretariat compile proposals submitted so far and submissions received by 15 April 1996 into a single document for AGBM 4 and COP-2.
AUSTRALIA said success will be enhanced by recognizing country circumstances. Flexibility can create opportunities for wider and more effective action and will deliver the most effective environmental result. He supported differentiation between Parties for equity, using possible criteria and indicators for equitable burden sharing. He proposed rules for determining equitable effort based on the ability to pay principle; mitigation action should be proportional to capacity to pay; countries of comparable income should face comparable per capita costs; and mitigation should be proportional to emissions, current or projected.
The US said the QELROs workshop and a US analysis showed: different views on how to implement targets and timetables and on an environmentally and cost-effective structure; the need for work on possible differentiation between Parties; and that level, timing, location and sharing of action affect costs and environmental impacts and benefits. The next steps must be environmentally sustainable and cost effective and provide flexibility in the implementation of obligations. Flexibility of emissions timing and location allows countries to choose cost-effective paths. Consensus does not yet exist on next steps. MALAYSIA said the AOSIS draft protocol should form a basis to elaborate on quantified targets. Flexibility in time and place of reductions could allow countries to delay and transfer their commitment to others. Because of opportunities and technology available, he suggested a quantified CO2 target rather than a comprehensive approach. For equitable burden sharing, and differences between starting points and economic structure among Annex I countries, a methodology is needed including indicators to facilitate a quantitative target. AUSTRIA is committed to the Toronto Target as a national target and will increase efforts in the face of evidence it may not reach the target. He supported a gas-by-gas approach and comprehensive monitoring. A flat rate has merit, and binding reduction objectives give incentive for early action.
CANADA restated its support for the conclusions contained in the SAR. She supported further examination of concepts such as collective emission objectives (bubble concept) to determine how such a programme would be implemented. She stressed the importance of ensuring equitable burden-sharing and said a differentiated approach must take into account different national circumstances. On timeframes, Canada suggested establishing an objective for the medium- to long-term to avoid preclusion of any options.
The MARSHALL ISLANDS said the workshop last week showed that emissions reduction was not a matter of if, but when and how much more. A possible 80% loss of land in the Marshall Islands makes this issue more than dangerous. He said it is misleading to look at the economic costs of reducing oil revenues, because we cannot put a cost on the total cultural and physical obliteration of the Marshall Islands.
IRAN reminded delegates that the Convention contains provisions on sources and sinks and calls for balanced action. He said that enhancement of sinks is as vital as emission reductions and stressed the importance of aforestation and reforestation in Annex I countries. For setting QELROs, analysis of socioeconomic impacts must be integral. P&M should not create any disguised barriers to trade, particularly for developing countries, and should address all gases in a quantified manner.
The NETHERLANDS said the IPCC report presents the best available science and, although the information is incomplete, the AGBM must make initial judgments now. He supported the Marshall Islands in noting that the scenario presented by the IPCC threatens the continuing existence of many countries. The question is not whether the world can afford to save small island States, but how to lower emissions at the lowest possible cost. He said the concept of safe emission corridors warrants further examination and proposed a follow-up workshop. He highlighted emission budgets as a good tool to minimize the costs and create incentives for early action, and suggested compiling a document on applying this concept.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stated that new requests for reductions by his country were premature. The Russian Federation has already reduced its emissions and is currently restructuring its economic potential. The preconditions for raising the question of additional obligations will occur when Russias GDP per capita is comparable to the OECD countries. He emphasized that P&M should not prevent sustainable development and should account for specific social and economic situations. Recommendations from the workshop were obviously written by experts from OECD countries. POLAND said that quantification of targets is the most important issue for the AGBM. On criteria, timetables and commitments, there must be more specific proposals. He proposed establishing an ad hoc group of technical experts to elaborate specific proposals. NEW ZEALAND stated that consideration of the SAR last week should clarify the importance of the AGBM. This group faces real world threats of catastrophic proportions. He stressed that equity and efficiency both may be served by international economic instruments. While such instruments raise difficult issues, the options should be left open.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO said Brazils proposal on QELROs provided a logical way forward and Germanys proposal provided impetus to the work of the AGBM. He said the gas-by-gas approach is the simplest and most effective, and expressed surprise at Australias idea of equity. Each country could propose an idea of equity that suits its own needs. SLOVENIA agreed that equity was an important consideration and supported the flat rate approach. He said work should start now if an agreement is expected by COP-3 and drew attention to the need to examine how economic development will affect GHG reduction. KENYA said that statements by Annex I Parties show their willingness to support new targets. She noted that the EU is on track to lower its levels and hoped that all Annex I Parties could follow suit. NORWAY called for differentiated commitments for individual Parties. This will require sophisticated approaches, but the workshop revealed several suggestions. He said the flat-rate approach is not cost-effective and noted that a cost-effective approach will facilitate agreement on more ambitious commitments.
THAILAND said the IPCC report stresses the need to immediately reduce emissions. He said developed countries should strive for legally-binding targets before flexibility should be allowed. He called for narrowing the range of options to accelerate the process. VENEZUELA said the impact of implementation must be addressed. Venezuela, like others, is toiling under a burden of foreign debt and needs foreign assistance to carry out social programmes. He said developed countries have promised to stabilize their emissions, but even if projected increases are reduced, they will still be far from reaching the target. SAUDI ARABIA noted that many Parties had referred to IPPC measures and findings, and said it is premature to have conclusions on this issue. The SBSTA report shows that different points of view were voiced and that delegates agreed to leave the issue to another session. The two lists should be on an equal footing when referred to at the AGBM. The Chair said the Group would not re-open that discussion now.
SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, noted that the proposals provide a range of useful policies and measures, but such proposals alone, without QELROs, cannot significantly advance this process. The approach laid out by the EU can be strengthened by placing these policies and measures within a legally-binding target and by development of specific performance targets. NORWAY noted that the removal of subsidies is particularly pertinent to creating market incentives for environmentally sound behavior. The IPCC also reports that there are several no regrets measures, including replacement of biased taxation. The risk of aggregate damage provides rationale beyond these measures. JAPAN said the AGBM must not focus solely on quantified objectives, but also on P&M. He proposed establishing mechanisms that review P&M and enhance them step-by-step. He did not favor compelling all Annex I Parties to take specific measures and said Parties must retain flexibility. In order to integrate differences, the AGBM should introduce CO2 efficiency in a protocol.
Delegates agreed to continue discussions on QELROs and policies and measures. They requested that the Secretariat prepare a compilation of propsals relating to the treatment of QELROs and P&M in a protocol or another legal instrument and that the IPCC prepare a technical paper on possible P&M.
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