Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 12 No. 122
Friday, 5 November 1999
FCCC COP-5 HIGHLIGHTS
THURSDAY, 4 NOVEMBER 1999
Delegates to COP-5 convened in the morning for
the final session of the high-level segment. In afternoon and evening
Plenary sessions, the COP adopted 22 decisions relating to, inter alia:
organizational matters; review of the implementation of commitments
and other provisions of the FCCC; and preparations for the first
session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP-1)
to the Kyoto Protocol.
COP-5 President Jan Szyszko (Poland) offered his
personal impressions of the high-level segment. He stated that the
discussions had been frank and open, and said he sensed a strong
willingness to move the process forward. Highlighting some of the
views raised in the discussions, he noted that Annex I and non-Annex I
Parties had emphasized their domestic actions and cooperation with
others Parties in terms of meeting the FCCC’s objectives. He
indicated that participants were concerned about the adverse effects
of climate change and noted that recent extreme weather events had
generated a sense of urgency. He observed that some participants were
seriously concerned about the impact of response measures. On the
negotiating process, he said a new spirit marked by political
commitment was evident. He noted unanimity on the need to intensify
negotiations in the lead-up to COP-6, and said there was broad support
for the entry into force of the Protocol at the soonest possible time.
Regarding options for the intensification of the process, he drew
attention to a variety of proposals, including calls for a
facilitator, a Committee of the Whole, or both, while noting that
other participants considered that the existing structures were
sufficient to undertake the process. He concluded by saying he would
consult extensively on the best way to proceed and make progress.
On the review of the implementation of
commitments and other FCCC provisions, and on preparations for
COP/MOP-1, President Szyszko proposed a decision for adoption by COP-5
(FCCC/CP/1999/L.14). He said his proposal expressed the will of the
COP to engage in intensified negotiation to implement the Buenos Aires
Plan of Action (BAPA) and added that in implementing the decision he
would take into account all the views expressed. The decision was
adopted. SAUDI ARABIA said he could not accept negotiations taking
place outside the FCCC bodies, and opposed the appointment of
President Szyszko reported that he was still
conducting consultations on proposals from Turkey and Kazakhstan to
amend the lists in Annexes I and II of the FCCC.
The Chairs of SBSTA and SBI reported on their
work, expressed satisfaction in having dealt with all the matters on
their agenda and listed the decisions they had arrived at. The COP
took note of their reports.
On the date and venue of COP-6 (FCCC/CP/1999/L.9),
the COP decided to accept the invitation of the Netherlands to host
the COP. The NETHERLANDS noted the high expectations set for COP-6 and
said that its success will lie in producing a package addressing the
concerns of all Parties.
The COP also adopted the calendar of meetings (FCCC/CP/1999/L.12)
for 2000 - 2003. On the Multilateral Consultative Committee, Neroni
Slade (Samoa) reported on informal consultations he had conducted. He
said this issue needed to be seen in the broader context of the
consideration and resolution of other issues. He stated that COP-5 was
not the appropriate moment to advance the outstanding issues relating
to FCCC Article 13 (resolution of questions regarding implementation).
Delegates agreed to defer consideration of the matter to COP-6.
On the Rules of Procedure, President Szyszko
reported that, despite informal consultations, there was no consensus
on the rules. Delegates agreed to defer the issue to COP-6.
The COP adopted the conclusions reached by SBSTA
on the impact of single project emissions in the commitment period (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.17)
that call for further consideration of the issue with a view to
adopting a decision by COP-6.
On national systems, adjustments and guidelines,
the COP endorsed the SBSTA conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.14) and
encouraged SBSTA to complete by COP-6 its work on guidelines under
Protocol Articles 5 (methodology), 7 (communication) and 8 (review of
On the development and transfer of technologies,
the COP adopted the draft decision (FCCC/CP/1999/L.5) that extends the
consultative process through to COP-6, when a decision on a framework
for meaningful and effective actions to enhance the implementation of
technology transfer under the FCCC will be taken.
Delegates adopted a draft decision approving the
programme budget for the biennium 2000 - 2001 (FCCC/CP/1999/L.7). They
also adopted the draft decision on income and budget performance in
the biennium 1998 - 1999 (FCCC/CP/1999/L.8), which also contains
arrangements for administrative support.
On the institutional linkage of the FCCC
Secretariat to the UN (FCCC/SBI/1999/L.11), President Szyszko recalled
that a decision was adopted earlier that defers consideration of
international juridical personality of the Secretariat to 2001, in
conjunction with the review of the institutional linkage of the FCCC
Secretariat to the UN which will be completed by 31 December of that
On Annex I communications, the COP adopted a
draft decision on Part I of the FCCC reporting guidelines on annual
inventories (FCCC/CP/1999/L.2), together with an addendum containing
the guidelines (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/6/Add.1). It also adopted a draft
decision on Part II of the guidelines (FCCC/CP/1999/L.3) and the
addendum containing the guidelines (FCCC/CP/1999/L.3/Add.1). COP-5
then adopted the draft decision on guidelines for the technical review
of GHG inventories from Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1999/L.11). The
guidelines, attached as an addendum (FCCC/CP/1999/L.11/Add.1), were
adopted after CHINA amended the text to state that the purpose of the
technical review is to assist “Annex I Parties” instead of “all
Parties” in gaining experience relevant to the preparation of
guidelines related to Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8.
COP-5 adopted a draft decision on the first
compilation and synthesis of initial communications from non-Annex I
Parties (FCCC/CP/1999/L.10), as well as a draft decision on other
matters related to non-Annex I communications (FCCC/CP/1999/L.10/Add.1/Rev.1).
The COP noted with appreciation the Report of the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) contained in the draft report of SBI-11 (FCCC/SBI/1999/L.11).
The COP adopted draft decisions on capacity
building for developing countries (FCCC/CP/1999/L.19) and economies in
transition (FCCC/CP/1999/L.20). The decisions, inter alia, provide for
financial and technical support for capacity building and assessment
of existing capacity-building activities.
The COP adopted a draft decision on FCCC Articles
4.8 and 4.9 and Protocol Article 3.14 (adverse effects) (FCCC/CP/1999/L.22)
that, inter alia: continues the process of implementation of FCCC
Articles 4.8 and 4.9; requires the process to identify actions
necessary to meet the specific needs of developing and least developed
countries; and decides to organize a workshop on the consideration of
On activities implemented jointly (AIJ) under the
pilot phase (FCCC/CP/1999/L.13), the COP decided to conclude the
review process and extend the AIJ pilot phase beyond the end of the
The COP adopted the draft decision on matters
relating to LULUCF (FCCC/CP/1999/L.16). The decision endorses a work
programme and elements of a decision-making framework to address
LULUCF with a view to COP-6 recommending that COP/MOP-1 adopt draft
decisions on Protocol Articles 3.3 (net changes in emissions and
removals) and 3.4 ( additional human-induced activities relating to
changes in emissions and removals).
On mechanisms, the COP adopted the draft decision
on the work programme on mechanisms (FCCC/CP/1999/L.15). The decision
requests the SBI and SBSTA Chairs to revise their Synthesis of
Parties’ proposals on mechanisms and consolidate a text to be used
as a basis for further negotiation. On principles, modalities, rules
and guidelines, the draft decision requests the SBI and SBSTA Chairs
to convene inter-sessional meetings and workshops to assist in
undertaking preparatory work for COP-6. Contact group Chair Chow
(Malaysia) suggested that a working paper prepared by him and with no
official status could assist Parties in making further proposals. He
said he would send an electronic version of this working paper to
interested delegates, and provided his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On procedures and mechanisms relating to
compliance under the Protocol, the COP took note of the report of the
Joint Working Group on compliance (JWG) (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.7) and
adopted a draft decision (FCCC/CP/1999/L.21) requesting the JWG to
continue its work beyond COP-5 and make substantial progress toward
completing its work and fulfilling its mandate by COP-6.
Delegates then considered other matters referred
to the COP by SB-11. On research and systematic observation, the COP
adopted a draft decision (FCCC/CP/1999/L.4) aimed at improving global
climate observation systems. The draft decision also adopts the FCCC
reporting guidelines on global climate observing systems (FCCC/CP/1999/L.4/Add.1).
The COP adopted a draft decision on the
relationship between efforts to protect the stratospheric ozone layer
and efforts to safeguard the global climate system (FCCC/CP/1999/L.6).
The decision, inter alia: invites each Party to give consideration to
information on available and potential ways and means of limiting
emissions of hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons and associated
emissions in CO2 equivalent; and requests the IPCC to take into
account this information in the elaboration of its Third Assessment
COP-5 took note of the draft conclusions on the
scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal by Brazil (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.13/Rev.1),
which states that SBSTA, inter alia, takes note of a revised version
of the proposal by Brazil and decides to consider any new information
on this issue at subsequent sessions, as appropriate. A draft decision
on cooperation with the IPCC was also adopted (FCCC/CP/1999/L.18), as
was a draft decision on emissions based on fuel sold to ships and
aircraft engaged in international transport (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.17).
IN THE CORRIDORS
Participants were expressing a sense of pleasant
surprise at the prospect of an early finish to COP-5. Many observers
felt that the frank exchange of views in the high-level segment had
acted as a catalyst by providing the political impetus needed to
complete negotiations and ignite intensified efforts in the lead-up to
COP-6. However, while many felt satisfied with technical progress made
in Bonn, others were concerned that discussions on substantive and
complex issues lagged behind and would require intensified
intersessional work if COP-6 was to be a success and the Protocol was
to come into force in time for Rio+10 in 2002.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: COP-5 will meet in Plenary at
10:00 am to conclude its outstanding business and adopt its report.