Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 12 No. 121
Thursday, 4 November 1999
FCCC COP-5 HIGHLIGHTS
WEDNESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 1999
Delegates to COP-5 convened in a high-level
segment to exchange views on progress made so far in addressing
climate change and on the way forward. The Joint Working Group (JWG)
on compliance adopted the Co-Chair’s draft conclusions relating to
compliance under the Kyoto Protocol. The Subsidiary Body for
Implementation (SBI) adopted a decision on non-Annex I communications
and its report on the session. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and
Technological Advice (SBSTA) adopted its report on the session and
draft conclusions on, inter alia, “best practices,” land use,
land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and emissions from fuel used in
international transportation. A joint SBI/SBSTA session adopted draft
conclusions on adverse effects, activities implemented jointly (AIJ),
mechanisms, capacity building and compliance.
PROGRESS MADE: During the morning session,
delegates exchanged views on progress made in dealing with climate
change and on lessons and challenges.
Several developing country Parties stressed the
need for technology transfer, capacity building, financial resources
and adaptation to address climate change. Some Parties urged an
increased focus on renewable energy. BHUTAN and BANGLADESH called for
special attention to LDCs’ needs. NEW ZEALAND underscored the need
for greater attention to greenhouse gases (GHGs) other than CO2.
INDONESIA emphasized the importance of making
benefit assessments, not just cost assessments, of the Protocol. He
called for the Protocol’s entry into force by 2002. SWITZERLAND,
JAPAN and the NETHERLANDS urged Parties not to wait for ratification
before starting to implement actions to address climate change.
On lessons learned, FINLAND, with CANADA,
underscored good working relationships between all partners and
stakeholders in implementing climate change policies. He added that
there is a need to set the framework and rules for market operations.
Some Parties stressed the involvement of the private sector. The
EUROPEAN COMMISSION said experience has shown that reducing emissions
has been less costly than expected and has led to greater benefits.
With SWITZERLAND and HUNGARY, she emphasized the need for increased
domestic action and called for continuation of AIJ and a smooth
transition in the future to the clean development mechanism (CDM) and
joint implementation (JI).
The PHILIPPINES and CANADA recommended the use of
no-regrets policies. MALAYSIA and MEXICO sought consistency in
policies between different environmental fora. BULGARIA called for a
meeting to address the specific features of countries with economies
in transition (EITs) before COP-6.
SWEDEN highlighted sector integration, sector
responsibility and economic instruments as being central to FCCC
implementation. GERMANY said addressing climate change could create
NIGERIA said Annex I countries were unsympathetic
to its concerns about the effects of response measures on its economy.
IRAN highlighted the need for confidence-building between developed
and developing countries through concrete practical cooperation. CHINA
said attempts by some Parties to get developing countries to
“meaningfully participate” were destroying confidence-building
efforts between developing and developed countries.
THE WAY FORWARD: During the afternoon
session, delegates exchanged views on the way forward in relation to
promoting implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) and
the early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.
On outcomes from COP-5, the UK, supported by
KAZAKHSTAN and the US, and opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, proposed a Bonn
Declaration reaffirming the political will to complete the BAPA by
COP-6. KUWAIT said the proposal for a Bonn Declaration was premature.
On preparations for COP-6, many Parties called
for intensified efforts and for the role of the President to be
strengthened in order to achieve success on the BAPA at COP-6.
ARGENTINA, supported by FINLAND and BENIN, said innovative approaches
were needed and called for the establishment of small task forces in
the run-up to COP-6. She said traditional groupings among countries to
develop common positions may no longer be appropriate.
JAPAN, supported by KAZAKHSTAN, BOTSWANA, the US,
CANADA, BENIN, ICELAND, HONDURAS and SOUTH AFRICA, suggested that
COP-5 President Szyszko (Poland) be empowered to appoint a special
facilitator to assist negotiations and help Parties realize the BAPA
AUSTRALIA proposed the establishment of a
Committee of the Whole (COW) chaired by a facilitator vested with the
requisite authority by the COP-5 President. The US said it could
support this, but that a COW should not substitute for Japan’s
proposal for a facilitator. BELGIUM supported a flexible approach
focused on achieving successful outcomes and said a COW or another new
structure should be transparent and monitored by all Parties.
CHINA, with SAUDI ARABIA, VENEZUELA, KUWAIT,
INDONESIA, and LIBYA, opposed the proposals to establish new groups or
mechanisms to assist progress toward COP-6, stressing that the
existing FCCC bodies and structures should be employed to this end.
CHINA, supported by KUWAIT and others, said a facilitator would not be
able to visit and confer with all Parties. Several Parties said any
new mechanism or group should operate in a transparent and accountable
manner. NORWAY said ministers should be engaged in the process between
Other issues highlighted by Parties included:
implementation of FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects); the
framework and rules for CDM and other mechanisms; the need for
domestic action; the supplementarity of the mechanisms; capacity
building; voluntary commitments; AIJ; and ratification of the
JOINT WORKING GROUP ON COMPLIANCE
Co-Chair Rønneberg (Marshall Islands) presented
the draft report of the JWG on its work during the 11th session of the
joint SBI/SBSTA as well as the decision on the future work of the JWG
annexed to this report. The JWG discussed the draft decision which
requests the JWG to report to COP-6 to enable it to adopt a decision
on a compliance system under the Protocol at COP-6. The UK, CHILE,
MICRONESIA, COOK ISLANDS, SWITZERLAND, the US, TUVALU, AOSIS, CANADA,
JAPAN, AUSTRIA, KIRIBATI, the EU, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, the GAMBIA,
BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, SLOVENIA, NORWAY, POLAND, BELGIUM and
GERMANY supported the adoption of the Co-Chairs’ draft decision in
its current form. QATAR, KUWAIT, the SUDAN, VENEZUELA, SAUDI ARABIA,
LIBYA, ALGERIA, NIGERIA, SYRIA, OMAN and JORDAN suggested alternative
language whereby the JWG would report to COP-6 “with a view” to
adopting a decision on a compliance system, as this would be more
consistent with the BAPA. The JWG adopted the draft report, taking
note of the views expressed. Rønneberg suggested that the difference
in ambition be taken-up in the joint SBSTA/SBI meeting.
Capacity building: Delegates forwarded a
recommendation for COP-5 to adopt the draft decisions on capacity
building in developing countries (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.9) and on capacity
building in EITs (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.10). The MARSHALL ISLANDS expressed
its opposition to a top-down approach and entered a reservation on the
request to the Secretariat to coordinate with bilateral and
multilateral institutions in preparing the elements of a draft
framework for capacity building activities.
MECHANISMS: Delegates adopted the draft
conclusions, including a draft decision, on mechanisms pursuant to
Protocol Articles 6 (JI), 12 (CDM) and 17 (Emissions Trading) (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.6).
ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY: Delegates
adopted the draft conclusions on AIJ under the pilot phase, including
a draft decision recommended to COP-5 for adoption (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.5).
Minor amendments were made by AIJ contact group Co-Chair de Boer (The
Netherlands) and the paragraph on the eligibility of AIJ for
incorporation under JI and CDM was deleted.
ADVERSE EFFECTS: Delegates adopted the
recommendation for COP-5 to adopt the draft decision on the
implementation of FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (Decision 3/CP.3 and
Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14) and matters relating to Protocol
Article 3.14 (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.8).
COMPLIANCE: Delegates considered the
report of the JWG on compliance on its work during SB-11, as well as
the annexed decision on the future work of the JWG (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.7).
IRAN requested SAUDI ARABIA and the countries on whose behalf it spoke
to join the consensus. SAUDI ARABIA noted that since the joint SBI/SBSTA
had recommended for adoption the draft decision on adverse effects, he
would join the consensus. The report and its annexed decision were
The Chair of the contact group on non-Annex I
communications, Mohamed Ould el Ghaouth (Mauritania), introduced
amendments to the decision on non-Annex I communications (FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.10/Add.1)
including, inter alia: a request to the consultative group of experts
to consider, “as appropriate” the needs for and the availability
of financial resources and technical support; and a request to the
Secretariat to make information on non-Annex I communication experts
available on the FCCC Internet site. The decision was adopted as
Decisions on income and budget performance in the
biennium 1998 - 1999 (FCCC/SBI/1999/L.9) and on the programme budget
for the biennium 2000 - 2001 (FCCC/SBI/1999/L.8) were adopted, on the
understanding that the scale of contributions set therein would not
set a precedent. Delegates then adopted the draft report of SBI-11 (FCCC/SBI/
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM ANNEX I PARTIES:
Delegates adopted by consensus the Chairs’ draft conclusions and
recommended a draft decision to the COP on “best practices for
policies and measures” (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/ CRP.10).
LULUCF: SBSTA Chair Dovland (Norway)
recalled that delegates had already adopted most of the draft
conclusions and said that the new document (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/
CRP.8/Rev.2) includes a decision on the issue whereby the COP endorses
a work programme and elements of a decision-making framework to
address LULUCF. The MARSHALL ISLANDS registered its reservation on
attempts by international financial institutions and the financial
mechanism to influence what should be government decisions. The draft
conclusions and recommendation for a decision were adopted.
EMISSIONS RESULTING FROM FUEL USED IN
INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION: Delegates adopted the draft
conclusions and draft decision (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/ CRP.11) after
deleting two alternative paragraphs, the first calling for ICAO and
IMO to continue efforts to limit GHGs taking into account FCCC
Articles 2 (objectives) and 3 (principles) and, in particular, common
and differentiated responsibilities; and the second taking into
account the goals of the Protocol and the FCCC.
COOPERATION WITH SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS:
On a draft decision urging Parties and IGOs to provide financial
support to the IPCC (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/CRP.9), delegates differed on the
need for a reference to the GEF. The EU, with AUSTRALIA and CANADA,
opposed it as the GEF would not be able to provide the support the
IPCC required. CHINA said the GEF ï¿½cakeï¿½ was barely enough to go
around 130 developing countries. BRAZIL favored the reference as the
GEF was the FCCC financial mechanism and a significant proportion of
the IPCCï¿½s finances are used to finance developing country
participation. Parties adopted a decision deleting the reference to
the GEF but inviting the ï¿½SBI to consider the issue of support to
IPCC at SB -12 in the context of recommending additional guidance to
the GEF.ï¿½ Delegates adopted the draft report of SBSTA-11 (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.11).
IN THE CORRIDORS
Although Ministers at the high-level segment
agreed on the need to intensify efforts in preparing for COP-6, a
proposal by Japan to establish a facilitator to assist the COP-5
President in undertaking consultations and maintaining the necessary
political momentum was met with mixed feelings in the corridors. While
some considered that a full-time facilitator would be indispensable to
accelerating the pace of negotiations in the run-up to COP-6, others
felt this would be detrimental to the open, participatory process that
many believe to be crucial to a successful outcome at COP-6. A number
of observers linked the proposal for a facilitator to the fact that
COP-6 will take place earlier rather than later. Some suggested that
the key to success at COP-6 could lie in combining a
fully-participatory approach, supported by capacity building, with the
political impetus that a facilitator could provide.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: COP-5 will resume its
high-level segment at 10:00 am in Plenary I for an exchange of views
PLENARY: COP-5 will meet in Plenary at
4:00 pm to consider the reports of the subsidiary bodies.