The sixth session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM-6) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met from 3-7 March 1997 in Bonn, Germany. AGBM-6 focused its deliberations on the Framework Compilation, which incorporated the textual proposal from Parties as well as other proposals for elements of a protocol or other legal instrument. AGBM-6 also convened informal roundtables on new proposals from Parties and differentiation, as well as "non-groups" to exchange views and merge different proposals.
Delegates "streamlined" the compilation text by merging or eliminating some overlapping provisions within the myriad of proposals contained in the Framework Compilation and brought the process one step, albeit a small one, closer to fulfilling its mandate. Much of the discussion centered on a proposal from the EU for a 15% cut in a "basket" of greenhouse gases by the year 2010 compared to 1990 levels. Nonetheless, other proposals emerged at in the eleventh hour, signaling that AGBM-6, despite the hopes of many observers, has yet to foster much progress on several fundamental points. As one participant noted, this meeting did not necessarily eliminate the number of proposals on the table, it simply straightened and sorted them. Another commented while discussing differentiation that indicators can be read two ways and indeed indicators of progress at AGBM-6 are equally equivocal. Whether these indicators signal that the AGBM is making slow, solid progress or slouching toward Kyoto seems a matter of ones expectations.