Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 12 No. 134
Wednesday, 14 June 2000

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FCCC SB-12
TUESDAY, 13 JUNE 2000

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) convened in morning and afternoon sessions to consider the development and transfer of technologies, cooperation with relevant international organizations, policies and measures and methodological issues. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) addressed arrangements for intergovernmental meetings and administrative and financial matters. The Joint Working Group on Compliance (JWG) discussed the Co-Chairs’ text. Contact groups met to consider: administrative and financial matters; land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); adverse effects; capacity building in countries with economies in transition; and guidelines under Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information). The Friends of the Chair group on the technology transfer consultative process also convened.

SBSTA

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Bert Metz, IPCC, outlined key conclusions of the IPCC Special Report on Technology Transfer. Chair Dovland said the Friends of the Chair group had begun to identify priority areas for a COP-6 decision.

Several delegates underscored the importance of capacity building for technology transfer. The EU and JAPAN stressed co-ordination of existing sources of funding. The EU, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA and CANADA underlined the CDM’s role in advancing technology transfer to developing countries. CHINA, supported by several delegates, opposed any suggestion that the CDM could replace technology transfer under the FCCC. MAURITIUS suggested using specialized and professional bodies to monitor technology transfer projects.

Several developing countries supported the G-77/CHINA’s call for the formation of a contact group at this session, while the US, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND and CANADA preferred forming it at SB-13. The US, MALAYSIA and SWITZERLAND said the Special Report could provide guidance in continuing the work on implementing FCCC Article 4.5 (technology transfer).

On other matters, John Houghton, IPCC, presented a paper on the applicability of regional climate models at the scale of small island states, highlighting that despite progress in regional modeling, much uncertainty remains.

COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Delegates heard reports from the FCCC Secretariat, IPCC, Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), WHO, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and UNDP. SWITZERLAND invited governments to contribute to funding the IPCC. A number of delegates underlined the capacity building aspects of the GCOS regional workshops, and the need to maintain the political independence of the IPCC.

"BEST PRACTICE" IN POLICIES AND MEASURES: Delegates emphasized the importance of policies and measures (P&Ms) in ensuring implementation of Protocol commitments, and supported proposals for future workshops. The EU highlighted the importance of, inter alia, considering different national and sectoral circumstances when evaluating P&Ms, and quantifying the effectiveness of Annex I Parties’ domestic action. SWITZERLAND, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, proposed that a contact group be established using the Chair’s consolidated text as a basis for discussion.

METHODS AND TOOLS TO EVALUATE IMPACTS AND ADAPTATION: The PHILIPPINES and the GAMBIA stressed focusing attention on new and effective adaptation technologies. The EU, and others, suggested organizing the workshop proposed by the Secretariat with IPCC, preferably after COP-6 and after the completion of the work of the IPCC Third Assessment Report. CHINA and AOSIS called for COP-6 resolutions supporting capacity building in developing countries.

On other methodological issues, the Secretariat reviewed recent meetings with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, on GHG emissions from international transportation, noting that SBSTA-13 will address this issue.

On implementation of FCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), the Secretariat reported that it had received only five national submissions. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, with others, advocated that Article 6 be a separate SBSTA agenda item.

SBI

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: Many delegates thanked the French Government for its offer to host SB-13. The SBI endorsed MOROCCO’s offer to host COP-7 in Marrakesh.

On COP-6, the NETHERLANDS called for progress on all aspects of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. Relaying a message from the incoming COP-6 President, he said the outcome of COP-6 must be environmentally credible and based on common but differentiated responsibilities. On the provisional agenda for COP-6, the US, RUSSIAN FEDERATION and SAUDI ARABIA said the proposed new sub-item on P&Ms should await SBSTA’s consideration. SAUDI ARABIA urged full transparency and participation at COP-6, and INDONESIA called for full participation of developing countries before and during COP-6.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: On Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement, FCCC Executive Secretary Cutajar raised several issues with regard to integration with the host country, including work/residency status and lack of office space. The G-77/CHINA expressed concern over this situation. GERMANY said it would do its utmost to improve the situation. MEXICO and COSTA RICA suggested a draft decision for COP-6 consideration urging GERMANY to strengthen cooperation with the Secretariat.

JOINT WORKING GROUP ON COMPLIANCE

Many delegates supported the Co-Chairs’ text as the basis for the JWG’s work. The EU, US, SWITZERLAND and SAMOA said some elements in the Annexes might need to be included in the text. On the title, the US favored a reference to "procedures and mechanisms related to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol," since there are other provisions in the Protocol dealing with compliance. The EU preferred "a compliance system for the Kyoto Protocol" in order to reflect a comprehensive approach to addressing compliance.

On Objective, a number of delegates supported inclusion of "enforcing" compliance. The G-77/CHINA favored simpler text referring to "compliance with the Kyoto Protocol." The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, opposed by the US, suggested referring to promoting achievement of the FCCC’s ultimate objective. SAUDI ARABIA sought a reference to compliance with obligations contained in Protocol Articles 2 (P&Ms) and 3 (targets). AUSTRALIA suggested the compliance system focus on both Articles 3.1 and 4.1 (joint fulfillment). The EU favored a general reference to the Party’s "obligations under the Kyoto Protocol." On Principles, AUSTRALIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, the US, JAPAN and NEW ZEALAND preferred that these not be expressly provided for in the text.

CONTACT GROUPS

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: Chair Mahmoud Ould el Ghaouth (Mauritania) proposed a draft "Late Payment of Contributions: Response Options" to be transmitted to SB-13 as an initial draft text. IRAN, with GERMANY, BELGIUM and AUSTRALIA, called for in-depth consideration of the issue. IRAN opposed transmitting the text to SB-13. He said the cornerstone of the approach to late payment should be persuasion, not punishment, and that the matter should be addressed in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibilities. The NETHERLANDS, with CANADA, favored applying the same approach to all Parties, including an incentive scheme. He said the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities applied only in assessing the level of contribution.

LULUCF: Delegates discussed draft conclusions that, inter alia: included the format for 1 August submissions; requested Parties to address how their proposed additional activities relate to suggested criteria and guiding principles; and invited SBSTA to convene an additional inter-sessional meeting prior to COP-6. On the Special Report, delegates expressed diverging views on whether to add a phrase on the IPCC lead authors’ input during the pre-sessional week and on the potential to continue this practice. On criteria and guiding principles, the EU suggested reference to the objectives, principles and relevant provisions of the FCCC and Protocol. The US and AUSTRALIA opposed inclusion of "relevant provisions," noting that this would imply requirements rather than guidance. On the proposed additional meeting, BOLIVIA stressed the need to ensure sufficient participation of non-Annex I Parties, and the G-77/CHINA called for regional workshops. AOSIS cautioned against progressing with draft decisions during the inter-sessional meeting/workshop.

ADVERSE EFFECTS: Stressing that this was simply a discussion to identify and develop further ideas and key elements as a basis for negotiation, Co-Chair Salamat sought substantive comments on the consolidated text.

On the adverse effects of climate change, many delegates endorsed the need to improve data and information gathering, and systematic observation and monitoring. Several Annex I Parties supported an integrated and priority-based approach and emphasized the need for a set of guiding principles. The UK stressed the need to avoid maladaptation. The G-77/CHINA proposed adding, inter alia: the need for training in specialized fields; establishment of regional centers to facilitate a rapid response to natural disasters; and improved monitoring and forecasting of disease vectors. The US and CANADA stressed the needs of least developed countries.

On impacts of response measures, BRAZIL proposed a workshop to help further develop economic models. SAUDI ARABIA said the text should refer to actions by Annex I, not Annex II Parties. LIBYA proposed a reference to support for economic diversification in developing countries dependent on fossil fuel production. The US proposed text based on an iterative process, drawing on experiences. On text relating specifically to Protocol Article 3.14, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES added reference to compensation, funding and insurance.

CAPACITY BUILDING: The countries with economies in transition (EITs) submitted amendments to the section on principles in the Chair�s paper on capacity building in EITs, and noted that discussions on other section were ongoing. Participants sought the Chair�s guidance on: how the contact group�s work would proceed; whether discussions would proceed on the basis of the EIT submission or the Chair�s paper; and how capacity needs emerging from other discussions would be included in the framework elaborated by the group. They discussed the submission, including: the principle that all needs are addressed in a coordinated manner, and the EITs� immediate needs.

ARTICLES 5, 7 & 8: Delegates discussed the revised Chairs� draft conclusions on Guidelines under Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8. SAUDI ARABIA, for the G-77/CHINA, disagreed with the draft conclusions that propose forwarding guidelines for national systems under Article 5.1 (national systems) for consideration by SBI-13. He requested more time for consideration of the guidelines. Several delegates underscored the need to move forward as planned, noting that the guidelines have been under consideration for several months. In response to a request by Co-Chair Paciornik, the G-77/CHINA agreed to discuss, consult and provide feedback. Delegates then discussed minor changes to the remaining conclusions. The Secretariat highlighted the structure of a draft COP-6 decision, which would recommend the adoption of guidelines for national systems under Article 5.1 by COP/MOP-1.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The Friends of the Chair group agreed on five themes for action emerging from the consultative process: technology needs and needs assessment; technology information; enabling environments; capacity building; and mechanisms for technology transfer. They also began identifying the main areas for action under these themes.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

SBI: SBI will convene at 11:00 am in Plenary I to consider Annex I and non-Annex I communications, and the financial mechanism.

COMPLIANCE: The JWG will convene at 10:00 am and at 7:00 pm in Plenary II to continue discussing the Co-Chairs� text.

LULUCF: This contact group will meet at 12:00 pm and at 8:00 pm to consider the Co-Chairs� draft conclusions.

ADVERSE EFFECTS: This contact group will meet at 3:00 pm in the Schumann Room to continue consideration of the Co-Chairs� consolidated text.

ARTICLES 5, 7& 8: This contact group will convene at 3:00 pm in the Reger Room and is expected to reconsider the revised Chairs� draft conclusions on guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8, as well as to consider Co-Chairs� text on proposed elements of draft guidelines under Article 8.

MECHANISMS: This meeting will take place in Plenary II from 5:00 pm to consider the Chairs� draft consolidated text.

FRIENDS OF THE CHAIR: This will meet to discuss the draft SBSTA conclusions on technology transfer and development.

  • This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Angela Churie <angela@iisd.org>, Jon Hanks <jon.hanks@iiiee.lu.se>, Lavanya Rajamani <lavanya@iisd.org>, Malena Sell <malena@iisd.org>, Chris Spence <chris@iisd.org> and Juliette Voinov <cedrickohler@email.msn.com>. The Digital Editors are Andrei Henry <andrei@iisd.org> and Ken Tong <ken@iisd.org>. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Director is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA and DFAIT), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-ENV). General Support for the Bulletin during 2000 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, and BP Amoco. Logistical support has been provided at this meeting by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at <enb@iisd.org> and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <info@iisd.ca> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/. The satellite image was taken above Bonn �2000 The Living Earth, Inc. http:// livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to the Managing Director at <kimo@iisd.org>.

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