Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 196
Tuesday, 11 June 2002
UNFCCC SB-16 HIGHLIGHTS
MONDAY, 10 JUNE 2002
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)
convened for its opening meeting on Monday morning, followed by a
further session in the afternoon. The SBI addressed organizational
matters, national communications, the financial mechanism,
preparations for the WSSD, arrangements for intergovernmental
meetings, and administrative and financial matters.
In addition, contact groups met to continue their
work on: Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7
(communication of information), and 8 (review of information);
greenhouse gas inventories; UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training
and public awareness); and the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).
OPENING PLENARY AND ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS:
SBI Chair Raúl Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina) opened the first meeting
of SBI-16. In an opening statement, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Joke
Waller-Hunter stressed a focus on implementation and noted the
important role of SBI in this context.
On the adoption of the agenda (FCCC/SBI/2002/1
and Add.1), CANADA raised uncertainties over the status of the
agenda item on implementation of Protocol Article 2.3 (minimization
of adverse effects), as noted in the opening meeting of the SBSTA.
The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU and JAPAN, supported including
this item on the agenda. JAPAN requested that the item be suspended,
and SWITZERLAND noted that work could continue despite disagreement
on some agenda items. The US cautioned against potential overlap
between consideration of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse
effects) by SBI and consideration of the IPCC TAR by SBSTA. He also
proposed an additional agenda item entitled "transparency in the
UNFCCC process." Adoption of the agenda was deferred and Parties
agreed to continue consideration of other agenda items.
ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: On national
communications from Annex I Parties, the Secretariat introduced a
document on consideration of the reviews of communications (FCCC/SBI/2002/3).
The document presents information on trends in greenhouse gas
emissions for Annex I Parties from 1990-99, and suggests options for
improving the process of considering national communications and for
the review process of countries’ communications. Chair Estrada
invited Parties to comment on the document and make suggestions for
using national communications more effectively.
Observing that trends in emissions levels since
1990 left "no grounds for complacency," the EU said the document’s
suggestions merited further consideration, and proposed that draft
conclusions be considered at SB-17. CHINA, for the G-77/CHINA,
highlighted the review of national communications as important work
in which all Parties should be involved. SWITZERLAND said the
Secretariat’s suggestions deserved closer scrutiny. CANADA, the US
and AUSTRALIA stated that the current process works well, and
opposed an additional process or any modifications at this time.
NORWAY suggested linking SBSTA’s work on policies and measures with
SBI’s on national communications.
Regarding the status report on the review of
third national communications, Chair Estrada highlighted the report
(FCCC/SBI/ 2002/INF.4) and remarked that the Secretariat will
prepare a compilation and synthesis report for SB-18, pending the
submission of additional national communications. Chair Estrada will
prepare draft conclusions on the agenda item for consideration by
SBI on Friday.
NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: On the
work of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on national
communications from non-Annex I Parties, Chair Estrada drew
delegates’ attention to reports on an experience-sharing workshop (FCCC/SBI/2002/INF.3)
and on the fourth meeting of the CGE (FCCC/SBI/2002/2). CGE Chair
Isabelle Niang-Diop (Senegal) reported on CGE activities and
stressed the importance of financial and technical support for
preparing national communications. Consideration of the remaining
issues under this agenda item was deferred.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE WSSD: Yahyaoui Abdelaziz
(Morocco) reported on preparations for the World Summit on
Sustainable Development (WSSD), indicating that negotiations on the
means for implementation remain unresolved. PAKISTAN, for the
G-77/CHINA, expressed the Group’s commitment to the WSSD and noted
concerns that Parties were failing to fulfill their Rio commitments.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: On the review of the
financial mechanism, Chair Estrada invited Parties to provide
feedback on the performance of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
THAILAND, for the G-77/CHINA, said he looked forward to the second
review. The EU supported the GEF’s funding of medium-sized projects
and welcomed its effort to streamline the project cycle. CANADA
hoped the review would focus on a small number of practical
recommendations. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed accountability.
Parties agreed to hold informal discussions chaired by Rawleston
ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS:
The Secretariat introduced a document on arrangements for
intergovernmental meetings (FCCC/SBI/2002/4) containing information
on COP-8, arrangements for the first Conference of the Parties
serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
(COP/MOP-1), the programme for future sessions, the budget for
conference services, and COP-9.
On COP-8, the Secretariat suggested replacing the
high-level segment containing national statements with a round-table
discussion. The EU, NEW ZEALAND, SWITZERLAND and SAUDI ARABIA
advocated participation of ministers and heads of delegation. Chair
Estrada requested the COP Bureau to work on the round-table issue,
and consult on a list of items for the ministers to discuss.
On arrangements for COP/MOP-1, the EU supported
work on common issues for the COP and COP/MOP and the definition of
necessary rules and procedures. CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, NORWAY and
AUSTRALIA supported the use of existing UNFCCC rules of procedure,
while noting that one of the key rules has not yet been agreed.
AUSTRALIA opposed consolidated meetings.
On the programme for future sessions, the
Secretariat highlighted its concern about the growing number of
workshops. The EU and JAPAN called for an efficient process, with
NORWAY proposing that workshops be held immediately prior to
sessions of the subsidiary bodies. IRAN expressed concern it would
impose a burden on small delegations. Chair Estrada suggested
prioritizing workshops and improving workshop preparation.
On the budget for conference services, the US,
JAPAN and CANADA said conference expenses should be borne by the
UNFCCC budget and not the budget of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA said the issue of conference financing from the
UNGA remained open.
On the issue of COP-9, Chair Estrada indicated
that its venue has not yet been determined.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: The
Secretariat introduced the report on the interim financial
performance for the biennium 2002-2003 (FCCC/SBI/2002/INF.5). She
drew attention to the fact that there were currently 190
contributions outstanding. Chair Estrada said he would draft SBI
conclusions on this item.
Regarding possible options for responding to late
payment of contributions, the Secretariat stated that
publishing this information encouraged timely payment, and drew
attention to a draft decision forwarded by SB-15 for adoption by
On implementation of the Headquarters Agreement,
Germany gave a progress report, noting that plans for a UN campus
and new conference facilities in Bonn are moving ahead. UNFCCC
Executive Secretary Waller-Hunter welcomed the plans and thanked the
ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8: Delegates considered a
draft COP-8 decision on demonstrable progress under Protocol Article
3.2. The G-77/CHINA and AOSIS stressed concerns regarding evaluation
of progress made, and said they would provide a textual proposal.
Turning to draft SB-16 conclusions on guidelines under Articles 5, 7
and 8, CANADA cautioned that the parts of the guidelines that remain
pending might not be agreed at SB-16, and the conclusion was amended
to suggest forwarding a draft co-chairs’ text that would form the
basis for work on the guidelines. The draft conclusions stating that
Parties would complete the technical guidance for adjustments under
Article 5.2 were amended to leave flexibility for work to continue
during COP-9, if necessary.
Parties considered the draft on Review of
National Registries, to be incorporated in the guidelines for review
under Article 8. NEW ZEALAND explained his proposed amendments,
stressing, inter alia, that the review process, which will be
electronic, should not be prejudged. He noted that the discussion on
technical standards for the exchange of data is ongoing.
GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES: This contact
group met in afternoon and evening sessions, with delegates
considering methodological issues addressed in the report of an
expert meeting to assess experience in the use of the UNFCCC
reporting and review guidelines (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/2 and Add.1).
In the evening, Co-Chair Audun Rosland reported
that technical consultations had resolved issues on the revised
guidelines, including those on source categories, editorial changes
to the appendix, and the CRF tables. Parties then revisited the
reporting guidelines. On the publication of CRFs on the Internet,
the EU said the UNFCCC website should contain CRFs to ensure a more
transparent process and provide efficient access to information. NEW
ZEALAND said the Secretariat should not be burdened with that task.
Parties then resumed discussion on the methodological annex, with
consultations continuing late into the night.
ARTICLE 6: Co-Chair S. N. Sok Appadu
introduced the Co-Chairs’ proposals for draft conclusions and a
draft decision on a work programme on Article 6. Parties discussed
textual changes paragraph-by-paragraph. PERU, opposed by BRAZIL,
suggested linking activities under Article 6 on climate change with
similar activities on local pollution problems. CANADA argued for
postponing debate on the proposed draft decision until SB-17 to give
Parties sufficient time to assess its potential implications. A
representative of the GEF urged careful consideration of language
regarding financial resources. Consultations continued late into the
IPCC TAR: Co-Chair Rawleston Moore introduced
updated draft conclusions, which he said attempted to incorporate
the various views expressed by Parties during previous contact group
meetings. A number of Parties, including the G-77/CHINA, EU, CANADA,
AUSTRALIA, US and JAPAN, said the text was a good basis for their
work, and stressed the need for a balanced approach.
Parties then considered the draft conclusions
paragraph-by-paragraph. On text requesting the Secretariat to
prepare a document on using the TAR to facilitate consideration of
routine agenda items in the future, the G-77/CHINA proposed an
amendment to request submissions from Parties instead. With the
SEYCHELLES, he suggested that an additional six months would allow
for a more careful consideration of the TAR by developing countries.
JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and other Annex I Parties questioned
the necessity of a further round of submissions, and preferred text
supporting action by the Secretariat in time for SB-17.
Following extensive comments by Parties on
several of the remaining paragraphs, Co-Chair Moore said a revised
text taking Partiesï¿½ views into account would be presented on
IN THE CORRIDORS
It was back to the grind as delegates returned to
the Maritim Hotel on Monday morning, among them several newcomers
sporting suntanned faces indicating arrivals from Bali. Participants
were in a festive mood in the evening at a reception to celebrate
the tenth anniversary of the opening for signature of the UNFCCC.
Although a small group of negotiators missed the party due to a
session on the IPCC TAR that one participant described as
"fractious," the buzz of conversation at the reception focused on
the matter of the SBI agenda, whose adoption was deferred earlier in
the day. Two agenda items by now familiar to all delegates proved
unacceptable to some Parties ï¿½ the Canadian proposal on cleaner or
less-greenhouse gas emitting energy and the Saudi Arabian proposal
to include a discussion on Protocol Article 2.3. Some delegates
speculated how these two issues might be played against each other
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBI: SBI will meet at 10:00 am in Plenary I
to consider national communications from non-Annex I Parties, UNFCCC
Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects), LDCs and capacity building.
SBSTA: SBSTA will convene at 3:00 pm in
Plenary I, and is expected to adopt its agenda. It will then
consider technology transfer, the proposal on cleaner or
less-greenhouse gas emitting energy, and the proposal on including
consideration of the implementation of Protocol Article 2.3, as well
as matters referred to it by the SBI. They will also consider
methodological issues on AIJ, and good practice guidance on LULUCF.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will be
convened on Articles 5, 7, and 8, P&Ms, guidelines on greenhouse gas
inventories, Article 6 and the IPCC TAR.