During the third session of the SBI, which was chaired by Mohamed Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania), little discussion of difficult issues took place during open sessions. Delegates noted their objections to several draft decisions, which were referred immediately to contact groups by the Chair. Differences were ironed out in closed sessions by Parties, and were considered for adoption by the open SBI session only after consensus had been reached. Contact group issues included: technology transfer; the operating budget of the Secretariat; legal issues concerning relocation of the Secretariat to Bonn and the possibility of setting up a liaison office with the Secretariat at UN Headquarters in New York; guidance to the GEF Council; the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GEF Council and the COP; and national communications from non- Annex I Parties. The contact groups were able to resolve all outstanding issues with the exception of the Annex to the MOU. The SBIs decisions, as well as an explanation of the unresolved MOU issue, are contained in the report of SBI-3 (FCCC/SBI/1996/L.3).
COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES: The decision on communications from non-Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.12) was drafted with input from the SBSTA. During the SBI regular session, several developing country delegations objected to language in the Secretariats draft that called on non-Annex I countries to include information on GHG mitigation measures in their national communications. This matter was resolved in a contact group.
The decision adopted by the Plenary requests the Secretariat to facilitate assistance to non-Annex I Parties in the preparation of their first national communications through regional workshops and other fora. The decision incorporates an annex with guidelines for preparation of initial communications, and determines that national and regional development priorities should be taken into account by the COP in considering initial communications. Parties wishing to volunteer more information are to use national reporting guidelines for Annex I Parties.
Guidelines for communications from non-Annex I Parties require the following: a national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHGs; a general description of steps to implement the FCCC; and other information relevant to calculation of global emission trends.
GUIDANCE TO THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY: During the SBI regular session, several developing country delegations objected to conditionalities placed on GEF project approvals by the GEF Council, stating that all guidelines on GEF projects should come from the COP, not the GEF Council. Among the GEF Council guidelines that delegates objected to were requirements that projects be cost-effective and not duplicative. Delegates also called for accelerating the project approval process. This matter was resolved in a contact group that discussed COP guidance to the GEF Council.
The decision adopted by the Plenary (FCCC/CP/1996/L.9) calls on the GEF, as the interim operating financial mechanism of the FCCC, to: implement enabling activities that facilitate capacity building in data collection, consistent with policy guidance, programme priorities and eligibility criteria provided by the COP; provide agreed full incremental costs to implement measures covered by Article 4.1 (commitments under common but differentiated responsibility) in accordance with Article 4.3 (new and additional resources), and to enhance transparency and flexibility; finance full incremental costs only upon request of the interested Party; expedite approval of full agreed costs for preparation of national communications by non-Annex I Parties; and report on these activities at COP-3.
ANNEX TO THE MOU BETWEEN THE COP AND THE GEF COUNCIL: During the SBI regular session, several developing country delegations objected to language in the Secretariats draft that contained text of a draft Annex already approved by the GEF Council. The purpose of the Annex is to define funding requirements for implementation of the FCCC, to be used by the GEF Council during GEF replenishment negotiations. Developing country Parties called for specific reference to funding full agreed costs of national communications, as well as full incremental costs of other measures in support of FCCC implementation. This matter was referred to a contact group.
By the Closing Plenary, Parties had still not reached consensus on this issue. The draft Annex to the MOU (FCCC/CP/1996/9) had already been approved by the GEF Council. It asks the COP to define the funding requirements from the GEF for implementation of the FCCC as follows: taking into account information communicated under Article 12 (national communications); national programmes formulated under Article 4.1(b) (mitigation measures); information communicated to the COP from the GEF regarding project proposals submitted; and other sources of funding available for implementation.
The G-77/CHINA tabled its own draft decision that asks the COP to define funding requirements from the GEF for implementation of the FCCC as follows: agreed full costs incurred by developing country Parties to prepare national communications; agreed incremental costs to implement measures under Article 4.1 (commitments under common but differentiated responsibility); and costs of adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change. The draft also states that: GEF replenishment will be based on the COPs assessment; the GEF shall clearly indicate how funds designated as new and additional are so defined; and the COP shall review necessary funding for implementation at each replenishment of the financial mechanism.The Parties will consider this draft, along with the one approved by the GEF Council, as well as other proposals if submitted, at the fourth meeting of the SBI in December 1996.
SECRETARIAT ACTIVITIES RELATING TO FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO PARTIES: The decision (FCCC/CP/1996/L.5) takes note of the technical and financial support provided by the Secretariat to developing country Parties, including a World Wide Web site on national implementation measures. It urges all Parties to contribute to the trust fund for supplementary activities and requests the Secretariat to prepare a progress report on these activities.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGIES: During the SBI regular session, several developing country delegations called for language in the draft decision to urge developed countries to accelerate the pace of technology transfer. This matter was resolved in a contact group.
The decision adopted by the Plenary (FCCC/CP/1996/L.16) expresses concern over the slow pace of technology transfer, and requests the Secretariat to: enhance progress reports on transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) based on information in national communications; give high priority to development of a survey of initial technology needs of non-Annex I Parties, to be presented at SBSTA-4; initiate action, taking account of the Climate Technology Initiative of the OECD to develop databases on ESTs; and prepare reports on adaptation technology and on know-how conducive to mitigating and adapting to climate change and to prepare a roster of experts.
The decision also urges Parties to: include information on technology transfer in their national communications and improve the enabling environment for technology transfer.
ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY: The decision (FCCC/CP/1996/L.7), which takes note of the Secretariats progress report on AIJ (FCCC/CP/1996/14 and Add.1), decides to continue the pilot phase, invites Parties to report on their activities and requests the Secretariat to support the work on AIJ as agreed by the SBI and SBSTA. The progress report on AIJ includes submissions by Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands (including a joint report with Hungary), Norway (including a joint report with Mexico), and the US, for a total of 32 ongoing or planned projects. The projects are classified as follows: five in energy efficiency; twelve in renewable energy; five in fuel switching; five in forest preservation, restoration or reforestation; four in afforestation; and one in fugitive gas capture.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT: Decisions FCCC/CP/1996/L.2 and L.14 take note of the Convention Secretariats impending move to Bonn and requests Parties to communicate to the Secretariat their designation of focal points, to enable the Secretariat to explore the cost and need to establish liaison arrangements in New York and Geneva.
INCOME AND BUDGET PERFORMANCE FOR 1997: Decisions FCCC/CP/1996/L.3 and L.8 note that the net total requirement for the 1996-1997 core budget fund is currently estimated as US$13,573,500 and that the level of the working capital reserve will remain at 8.3% of estimated expenditure for 1997. The Secretariat is called on to consider options for reducing the cost of documentation.
PROGRAMME OF WORK, 1996-1997: The decision (FCCC/CP/1996/L.4) takes note of the 1996-1997 programme of work developed by the SBI (FCCC/SBI/1996/11). The programme of work covers the following elements: communications from Annex I as well as non-Annex I Parties; allocation and control of emissions from international bunker fuels; matters relating to the financial mechanism; transfer of technology; activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase; technical and financial support by the Secretariat; and institutional and budgetary matters.
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