Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 205
Tuesday, 29 October 2002
UNFCCC COP-8 HIGHLIGHTS
26–28 OCTOBER 2002
On Saturday, 26 October and Monday, 28 October,
Parties to UNFCCC’s COP-8 met in contact groups to continue their
work. On Saturday, Parties considered: Protocol Articles 5
(methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8
(review of information); registries; research and systematic
observation (R&SO); land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)
under the CDM; policies and measures (P&Ms); and guidelines on
non-Annex I national communications.
On Monday, Parties met to discuss: Articles 5, 7
and 8; LULUCF under the CDM; P&Ms; UNFCCC Article 6 (education,
training and public awareness); non-Annex I national communications;
the financial mechanism; and R&SO. Several formal contact groups
agreed on draft SBSTA conclusions, to be adopted in plenary sessions
on Tuesday. A number of informal contact groups were also convened
throughout the two days.
REGISTRIES: This contact group, chaired by
Murray Ward (New Zealand), met on Saturday to discuss outstanding
issues on Protocol Article 7.4 (registries). Delegates discussed
text regarding the liability of Parties terminating transactions
under the registries. The group reached agreement in informal
consultations on the outstanding draft text, and draft conclusions
were forwarded to SBSTA.
ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8: Chaired by Helen Plume
(New Zealand) and Festus Luboyera (South Africa), the contact group
met Saturday morning to agree draft SBSTA conclusions on guidelines
for reporting and review of Annex I inventories and on Articles 5, 7
and 8. They agreed on a draft COP/MOP-1 decision on the terms of
reference for lead reviewers, and addressed the section of the draft
guidelines on reporting under Article 7.1 and 7.2 (supplementary
information), and on review of information on assigned amounts and
national registries under Article 8. Informal discussions continued
throughout the day.
The group met Monday morning to consider and
approve a new draft of the pending parts of the guidelines under
Article 7. The modified sections referred to: information on
emission reduction units (ERUs), certified emissions reductions (CERs),
assigned amount units (AAUs) and removal units (RMUs), and national
registries. Pending sections of the guidelines under Article 8 were
also considered, including: review of information on assigned
amounts pursuant to Article 7.3 (frequency of submissions) and 7.4,
ERUs, CERs, AAUs and RMUs; review of national registries; and an
expedited procedure for the review of the reinstatement of
eligibility to use the mechanisms. The EU, G-77/ CHINA and NEW
ZEALAND introduced minor changes. After informal consultations, a
formal contact group was convened and the entire text was agreed.
R&SO: Co-chaired by Sue Barrell (Australia)
and S.K. Srivastav (India), the contact group met in three sessions
on Saturday to discuss draft conclusions. CHINA, supported by JAPAN,
INDIA, MALAYSIA and BOTSWANA, highlighted the importance of building
endogenous capacity in developing countries. CANADA, with the EU and
US, opposed text inviting the SBI to provide guidance to the
financial mechanism in relation to decision 5/CP.5 (research and
systematic observation) and 5/CP.7 (adverse effects). Delegates
agreed on most remaining SBSTA conclusions in an evening session,
failing to agree, however, on a sub-paragraph proposed by the
Russian Federation referencing research priorities in support of the
ultimate objective of the UNFCCC. The EU, NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, CHINA
and AOSIS, opposed by the US, JAPAN and INDIA, supported retaining
the sub-paragraph, amended to refer to exploring the scientific,
technological and socioeconomic aspects needed to achieve the
UNFCCC’s ultimate objective.
The group met Monday evening to consider revised
draft conclusions, including new paragraphs. These highlighted key
issues emerging from a special side event on research earlier in the
day, which consisted of an exchange between SBSTA, the IPCC and
several international research programmes. Following minor
revisions, Parties agreed on key issues in the dialogue on research.
On a new paragraph noting the need for a more coordinated research
approach to address cross-cutting issues, INDIA, MALAYSIA and CHINA,
opposed by the EU, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, NORWAY and SWITZERLAND,
proposed deleting reference to the stabilization of greenhouse gas
concentrations. Discussions continued into the night.
LULUCF AND CDM: In a Saturday meeting of the
contact group, Co-Chair Thelma Krug (Brazil) invited Parties to
consider the definition of additionality as set out in the Marrakesh
Accords. BRAZIL, for the G-77/CHINA, supported the EU’s principles
on additionality and said additionality should be considered on a
project-by-project basis. The EU stressed the importance of "true"
additionality. CANADA, with NORWAY, supported maintaining the
existing definition of additionality. On leakage, the EU expressed
concern about measuring leakage from activity displacement. The
G-77/CHINA said that leakage had both positive and negative impacts.
TUVALU and INDIA stressed the importance of impact assessments.
On Monday, Parties continued discussions on
socioeconomic and environmental impacts. SWITZERLAND highlighted
biodiversity concerns and promoted the inclusion of local
stakeholders in decision-making. NEW ZEALAND drew attention to
displacement and associated environmental risks from other types of
CDM activities. TUVALU proposed developing a checklist of
socioeconomic and environmental project criteria. Several Parties
stressed that host countries should define such criteria. The EU
said impact assessments should be considered in the modalities. The
CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK expressed concern about sinks under the CDM.
On uncertainties, CANADA, the EU and URUGUAY supported the
provisions laid out in the Marrakesh Accords. TUVALU outlined three
areas of uncertainty: measurement; additionality; and risk. URUGUAY
noted the need to separate uncertainty from risk. INDIA noted the
need to look beyond IPCC good practice guidance on LULUCF.
On crediting and project lifetime, the EU,
supported by a number of Parties, urged for long-term crediting.
COLOMBIA, PARAGUAY, and CHILE said projects should be considered on
a case-by-case basis. TUVALU noted the problem of project crediting
beyond the first commitment period. BRAZIL urged for limiting
crediting to up to twenty years. CHINA indicated the crossover with
non-permanence. COLOMBIA, with URUGUAY, BOLIVIA and CHILE, called
for small-scale sinks projects. The EU said it was premature to
consider simplified procedures for these projects. BRAZIL, CHINA,
MALAYSIA, and TUVALU stressed that the Marrakesh Accords catered to
small-scale energy projects. The group forwarded draft conclusions
P&MS: Co-Chair Peer Stiansen (Norway)
introduced a draft decision on Saturday. Several Parties advocated
using it as a basis for discussion. SAUDI ARABIA said that the
G-77/China had not had enough time to consider the text fully. He
said the G-77/China could not accept it as a basis for discussion
because it failed to address sufficiently issues relating to
Protocol Article 2.3 (adverse effects of P&Ms) and it opened the
door to new commitments for non-Annex I countries. Co-Chair Stiansen
said he would hold informal consultations.
On Monday morning, SAUDI ARABIA, for the
G-77/CHINA, said that there could be no progress on P&Ms until there
was progress on other issues. Co-Chair Stiansen said SBSTA Chair
Thorgeirsson would hold informal consultations on a range of issues,
ARTICLE 6: Co-Chairs Fatu Gaye (Gambia) and
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium) convened this contact group
Monday afternoon to discuss the Co-Chairs’ conclusions and the draft
decision on the work programme. The group bracketed all text related
to financial resources and requests to the SBI to provide additional
guidance to the financial mechanisms. Delegates could not agree to
language making reference to "developing countries" or "non-Annex I
Parties." Co-Chair van Ypersele requested Parties to continue
meeting informally on the remaining elements of the work programme.
GUIDELINES FOR NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL
COMMUNICATIONS: José Romero (Switzerland) chaired this contact
group. After informal consultations, Parties discussed a working
text on improved guidelines for the preparation of non-Annex I
national communications on Saturday evening. Delegates removed a
number of brackets, but continued to disagree on text in the
On Monday, delegates met informally throughout
the day to continue deliberations on a revised text on the improved
guidelines. In the evening, Parties removed a number of brackets.
The group agreed to continue their work in informal consultations on
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: SBI Chair Estrada
convened this contact group on Monday evening. On the report of the
GEF, the EU, supported by NORWAY, SWITZERLAND and the US, requested
text highlighting the importance of the third GEF replenishment.
Parties could not agree on a process to provide additional guidance
to the financial mechanism for the operation of the Special Climate
Change Fund. Instead of entering negotiations on the draft decision,
NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, CANADA, JAPAN and the EU, opposed by INDIA,
BRAZIL, BARBADOS and CHINA, requested the option to provide further
submissions on the operational priorities of the Fund. CHINA,
supported by INDIA, underscored the urgency of providing guidance in
order to operationalize the Fund.
Delegates discussed the Least Developed Country (LDC)
Fund without reaching agreement. CANADA noted that the chairs of the
LDCs and the LDC Expert Group (LEG) were not present. He provided
views on the draft decision to the GEF on the operation of the LDC
Fund. Supported by NORWAY, the EU and SWITZERLAND, he stressed the
importance of a clear focus on NAPAs and policy level, rather than
operational level, guidance to the GEF.
On the review of the financial mechanism,
SWITZERLAND called for this review to address the function and role
of GEF, the accountability and quality control of GEF resources and
an evaluation of enabling activities. NORWAY, supported by the US,
SWITZERLAND, NORWAY, JAPAN, CANADA, AUSTRALIA and the EU, and
opposed by INDIA, MALAYSIA, CHINA, called for the deletion of text
initiating a process to aggregate GEF funding requirements for the
UNFCCC, as well as a request to the Secretariat to produce a paper
for SBI-18 outlining procedures for joint determination of necessary
and available funding for UNFCCC implementation.
The contact group will meet on Tuesday to
continue their deliberations.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The release of the much-anticipated first draft
of the Delhi Declaration hardly caused a stir. Several delegates
were disappointed that the draft did not call for any follow-up
action, and suggested that the focus of the negotiations would soon
shift away from the Declaration as a result. This prediction came
true in the early afternoon when COP President Baalu summoned heads
of delegation to meet informally to break deadlock on a range of
issues, reportedly including Article 2.3, cleaner energy and the
financial mechanism. Given the atmosphere of mistrust apparent in
Vigyan Bhawan, some delegates are speculating on whether a fruitful
outcome of COP-8 is possible.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBSTA: The SBSTA will meet at 3:00 pm in the
Main Plenary Hall to take up a range of issues, including: election
of officers other than the Chair; the IPCC TAR; methodological
issues; issues relating to hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons;
cooperation with relevant international organizations; and Article
6. The SBSTA will convene again at 8:00 pm in Hall 5 to consider
technology transfer, P&Ms, R&SO, cleaner or less greenhouse
gas-emitting energy; and Article 2.3.
SBI: The SBI will convene at 3:00 pm in Hall
5 to consider: Annex I and non-Annex I national communications; the
financial mechanism; capacity building; adverse effects; the CACAM
request; arrangements for intergovernmental meetings; administrative
and financial matters; and the proposal by Croatia on LULUCF.
NON-ANNEX I ISSUES: This contact group is
scheduled to convene at 10:00 am, and again at 6:00 pm in Hall 2.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: This contact group will meet at 10:00 am
in Hall 5.