On Agenda Item 3, Cooperation with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Secretariat introduced document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/18, which identifies the following issues for SBSTAs consideration: the need for consultation on the IPCC work programme, long-term emission profiles and harvested wood products. IPCC Chair Bert Bolin reported on the status of the six technical papers that the IPCC had agreed to produce and listed other areas of current IPCC work. He noted that the IPCC has deferred work on harvested wood products to SBSTA because it concerns international trade, which is related to allocation issues.
GUIDELINES FOR NATIONAL GHG INVENTORIES: The Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories were introduced (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/18/Add. 1) for consideration and possible adoption. Revised guidelines have been established for the following sectors: fuel combustion, industrial processes, land-use change and forestry, agricultural soils and waste.
A number of countries expressed their appreciation for the cooperation between the SBSTA and the IPCC. Many countries, including INDIA, JAPAN, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, ZIMBABWE, CANADA, NORWAY, the EU and MALAYSIA, supported the adoption of the Revised 1996 Guidelines for emission inventories. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION called for closer scrutiny of the global warming potential (GWP) of CFC substitutes. A number of Parties made statements on the approach by which emissions related to the consumption of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 are to be reported. The potential approach, as favored by the US and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, would use annual data on production, exports, imports and destruction. The emission estimates so derived do not take into consideration storage and release of chemicals over time.
The actual approach, in contrast, attempts to account for the time lag between consumption and emissions. JAPAN, NORWAY and the EU favored the actual emission approach, but also encouraged the submission of data using the potential approach. The EU stated that Parties should report the best available estimate of actual emissions, to the extent that national circumstances permit. LATVIA supported ROMANIA and POLAND in stressing the need for comparability of methodologies.
Parties then discussed when they should begin using the Revised Guidelines for reporting. JAPAN, INDIA, the EU, NEW ZEALAND and JAPAN stated that the Revised Guidelines should be applied to recalculate 1990 base year GHG inventories and all subsequent years. A number of countries, including LATVIA, stated that their second inventories are being prepared and that it would be too complicated to recalculate them. AOSIS, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, NORWAY, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, GAMBIA and IRAN supported a more flexible approach, by which the revised methods would be applied as a supplement to the 1995 IPCC Guidelines on a voluntary basis for inventories due in April 1997 and on a mandatory basis for 1998 and 1999. Inventories due after 1999 would use only the Revised Guidelines. The US urged to test the revised methods for validity and workability and apply them, where possible, by 1997.
AUSTRALIA, INDIA, the EU, CANADA and NEW ZEALAND supported the use of the Revised Guidelines by both Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Some countries, including CHINA, IRAN and POLAND, did not support this position. MICRONESIA, ROMANIA and the MARSHALL ISLANDS urged flexibility for developing countries to apply the revised guidelines. MAURITIUS suggested a simplified inventory methodology, given the limited expertise of African countries. CANADA agreed with JAPAN and HUNGARY that further distribution of the guidelines and methodology was necessary.
IPCC WORK PROGRAMME: An initial list of items on which the IPCC could provide input to the SBSTA was presented in the annex to document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/18.
Numerous countries, including AUSTRALIA and the US, supported the work programme. ZIMBABWE urged SBSTA to request the IPCC to conduct awareness programmes through workshops at regional levels. CHINA noted the importance of Article 4.8, on the special needs of vulnerable countries for study of regional sectoral impacts of climate change. MAURITIUS, on behalf of the African Group, called for long-term sustained monitoring and projects leading to vulnerability assessment and adaptation methods and for more developing country scientists involvement in the IPCC. MALAYSIA, CHINA, the PHILIPPINES and INDIA favored prioritizing regional scenarios on climate change to facilitate developing countries work on national communications. The US, supported by CANADA, pointed to the need to consider FCCC resources for the work of the IPCC.
The EU asked that the full range of issues covered in the SAR be considered in the Third Assessment Report (TAR). The US urged the IPCC to remain flexible and responsive to SBSTA. CHINA and IRAN proposed that the TAR contain a section on the impact of activities by Annex I on non-Annex I countries. KUWAIT urged that IPCC studies be based on proposals by Parties, adhere to the Berlin Mandate and not refer to commitments of non-Annex I Parties. MAURITIUS asked for computer technology to enhance developing country participation in the IPCC and increase public awareness of the results of the SAR. MICRONESIA requested representation of small island developing States (SIDS) in the IPCC and expert groups.
LONG-TERM EMISSIONS PROFILES: The IPCC sought the SBSTAs views on assumptions concerning economic, social and other goals of Parties between 2000 and 2010 and beyond that were likely to affect GHG emissions from energy and other sectors.
CANADA and the US called for realistic scenarios. The EU suggested using extended and illustrative profiles to represent the proposals, which range from a 0.5 percent reduction per annum after 2000 to a 20 percent reduction by 2005 followed by a two percent reduction per annum thereafter. CHINA called for a focus on the cumulative concentration of GHG emissions. The US proposed a clear distinction between protocol proposals and sensitivity studies, and called for the latter using all combinations of country participation.
HARVESTED WOOD PRODUCTS: The IPCC consulted the SBSTA on the direction of its work on emissions associated with harvested wood products. JAPAN, the EU and the MARSHALL ISLANDS supported the idea of an IPCC expert meeting on harvested products. A number of other countries, including CANADA and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, also urged further work on this issue. MALAYSIA requested the SBSTA to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) on wood products and queried how to take anthropogenic forest fires into account in national reporting. AUSTRALIA asked for work on anthropogenic emissions in the context of land use change and the forestry sector and noted similarities between harvested wood products, traded emissions and bunker fuels.
CONCLUSIONS: During its final session, the SBSTA considered the Chairs draft conclusions on cooperation with the IPCC, based on the results of informal consultations. The draft conclusions took note of the revised schedule of work and urged the IPCC to give high priority to the development of regional scenarios and regional impacts of climate change and, as added by KUWAIT, to economic impact assessments of new commitments by Annex I countries. The conclusions urged the IPCC to develop a flexible work programmme and requested Parties to submit comments on the TAR by 30 May 1997. GERMANY added a reference to the early 1997 IPCC discussion paper on the preparation of the TAR. The SBSTA also requested the Secretariat, with the IPCC and other organizations, to ensure wide dissemination of the Revised Guidelines for National GHG Inventories to all Parties.
The Chairs draft conclusions on emission profiles note divergent views regarding format, timing, content and sensitivity studies to be used in developing profiles, and request Parties to make their submissions on this item by 15 January 1997. The SBSTA also requests the IPCC to make a presentation on the development of emission profiles and possible implications to the climate system at SBSTA-5. Extensive discussion took place on future SBSTA and IPCC work on emission profiles.
The conclusions state that SBSTA-5 would continue to elaborate on profiles, based on proposals submitted by Parties, with a view to giving clear guidance to the IPCC on the development of long-term emission profiles. The EU, supported by TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, ARGENTINA, CANADA, SWITZERLAND, GERMANY and the US, proposed requesting the IPCC to complete this work on the basis of these submissions in consultation with the Joint Working Group of officers of the FCCC and the IPCC. The Chair moved to adopt the conclusions as amended, but SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT and NIGERIA strongly opposed this proposal and called its adoption illegal. BRAZILs suggested text that maintained the EU proposal and added that the SBSTA would continue to work on this issue during its fifth session, which was adopted.
The Chairs draft conclusions on the application of the 1996 Revised IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories note the additional data, information and simplified methodologies they contained. CHINA, the PHILIPPINES and KUWAIT opposed the EUs preference to approve and adopt the Revised Guidelines. The US suggested that the SBSTA take note of the Revised Guidelines adopted by the IPCC and decides that they should be used as follows: Annex I countries should apply them for their 1997 inventories on a voluntary basis and on a mandatory basis for their 1998 inventories. They should also use them to recalculate the base year inventory and submit updated time series data for the years in between. Economies in transition may apply the revised guidelines one year later than other Annex I Parties.
Following comments from the EU and the PHILIPPINES on non-Annex I Parties use of guidelines and methodologies for inventories, ARGENTINA suggested text encouraging non-Annex I Parties to apply the revised 1996 guidelines in communicating their national GHG inventories. SBSTA also encouraged Parties to report actual emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 and figures for potential emissions. CHINA insisted that Parties that are not in a position to report actual figures should be encouraged rather than requested to report potential emissions. The SBSTA requested the Secretariat to prepare a study on methodologies for assessing emissions from harvested wood products.
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