The Chair commenced by summarizing previous discussion on Agenda Item 5 (possible features of a protocol or other instrument), stating that: the form of the legal instrument should flow from its substance; the new instrument should be served by existing institutions; and many Parties supported a simple protocol which was open to all FCCC Parties and was flexible. Chairs of the Round Table discussions on Policies and Measures, and on QELROs, then gave their summaries.
Following this, Ian Pickard (UK), chair of the Annex I Expert Group, presented a summary (FCCC/AGBM/1996/Misc.1/ Add.2) of a study entitled Policies and Measures for Possible Common Action. The report differentiates between Annex I developed countries and those with economies in transition.
The Chair then invited general comments on policies and measures and QELROs. ROMANIA agreed with the concept of differentiated commitments but cautioned against using 1990 data for his country because GHG emissions decreased 20-40% due to major political changes. BANGLADESH emphasized developed countries obligations to reduce GHG emissions.
The EU described previous work on policies and measures for a protocol, including impacts on international competitiveness. He called the SAR of the IPCC the principal reference report for global emissions reduction objectives. The EU prefers to see GHG emissions levels below 550 ppmv, and it is essential for Parties to bring specific proposals for a legally binding instrument to the table at AGBM-5.
AUSTRALIA cautioned that the potential to limit GHG emissions without seriously undermining economic growth is limited. She stated that flat emissions reductions are not environmentally- or cost-effective or equitable. Calling differentiation central, she suggested three illustrative approaches to differentiation, with emissions reductions based on: projected emissions trends; factors such as population growth; and considerations embodied in trade.
NORWAY favored binding commitments that are differentiated, cost-effective, equitable and verifiable. The US said proposals will have to be concluded early in 1997 for adoption at COP-3. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA and KUWAIT called for equity and fair burden sharing. NEW ZEALAND said flexibility will be a key factor in AGBM process and outcomes. JAPAN said it is essential to allow each Party to choose policies and measures.
SWITZERLAND, supported by MALI, called for a dynamic approach and proposed three categories of commitment. CANADA said policies and measures should reinforce a positive relationship between the economy and the environment. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said policies and measures must acknowledge a right to sustainable development. AOSIS, supported by the PHILIPPINES and the MALDIVES, said the SAR is sufficient to allow agreement on QELROs.
URUGUAY said measures must be incumbent on Parties beyond their contamination threshold. The NETHERLANDS underscored support for policies based on a view that a temperature increase exceeding 2 degrees is not tolerable. The PHILIPPINES stated that QELROs should be legally binding.
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