Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 214
Saturday, 7 June 2003
UNFCCC SB-18 HIGHLIGHTS
FRIDAY, 6 JUNE 2003
Delegates to the Eighteenth Sessions of the
UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB-18) continued their deliberations
Friday, convening meetings of the SBI and SBSTA and a number of
contact and informal groups. In the morning, the SBSTA addressed
cooperation with relevant international organizations, and other
matters, including issues relating to cleaner or less-greenhouse
gas-emitting energy, and issues relating to the implementation of
Protocol Article 2.3 (adverse effects of policies and measures). In
the afternoon, the SBI met to discuss several items, including:
non-Annex I financial matters; capacity building; national
communications; and a request by a group of countries of Central
Asia and the Caucasus, Albania and the Republic of Moldova (CACAM)
regarding their status under the UNFCCC. Contact groups were also
held on: the programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005;
implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects);
Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of
information) and 8 (review of information); the IPCC TAR; research
and systematic observation (R&SO); policies and measures (P&Ms); and
COOPERATION WITH RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS: The CCD Secretariat recommended that synergies
between conventions take place at field level. The RAMSAR
Secretariat noted that governments may face challenges in
simultaneously meeting their commitments under the UNFCCC and Ramsar
Convention. The IPCC provided an update on its activities. The FAO
reviewed its capacity-building work on forests and climate change,
and the IUCN noted its technical and legal support to several
developing countries on definitions and modalities for sinks in the
CDM. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION announced its ratification of the CCD.
SWITZERLAND, with the EU, proposed that the UNFCCC Secretariat
regularly report on relevant WTO activities. CANADA, COLOMBIA and
the US supported Chair Thorgeirsson’s suggestion that such reporting
activities be undertaken at national level instead. COLOMBIA,
opposed by KUWAIT and SAUDI ARABIA, suggested using the
Secretariat’s Note on the WTO for future discussion on this issue.
OTHER MATTERS: Issues relating to cleaner or
less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy: CANADA, supported by the
RUSSIAN FEDERATION, and opposed by the EU and G-77/ CHINA, requested
that SBSTA conclusions take note of Canada’s proposal for a study on
the role of trade in cleaner energy in meeting the objectives of the
UNFCCC and the Protocol. Chair Thorgeirsson said he would hold
informal consultations and prepare draft conclusions on this issue.
Issues relating to the implementation of Protocol
Article 2.3: The G-77/CHINA requested, inter alia, that
this issue be made a regular agenda item, and that SBSTA consider a
draft decision on initial actions. CANADA and the EU argued that
this issue is adequately addressed by previous decisions. Chair
Thorgeirsson said he would hold informal consultations and prepare
draft conclusions on this issue.
Any other matters: The RUSSIAN FEDERATION,
with AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN and the US, suggested SBSTA express
support for the World Conference on Climate Change, to be held in
Moscow from 29 September to 3 October 2003.
Chair Stoycheva announced that Rawleston Moore
(Barbados) and Jaap Rooimans (the Netherlands) would co-chair the
contact group on the Special Climate Change Fund, and that Mamadou
Honadia (Burkina Faso) and José Romero (Switzerland) would co-chair
the informal consultation on the LDC Fund. ESTONIA, for the CENTRAL
GROUP ELEVEN, announced that the group had decided to terminate its
activities. CROATIA, for BULGARIA and ROMANIA, said that they would
cooperate in a new group called the Central Group.
NON-ANNEX I FINANCIAL MATTERS: The GEF
reported on the outcomes of its Council meeting in May 2003, and
highlighted several decisions regarding support for national
communications. The G-77/CHINA urged Parties to complete their
national communications as soon as possible. With BOLIVIA, COLOMBIA,
PAKISTAN and AOSIS, he called for the timely disbursement of
financial resources, and for holding regional and subregional
workshops on the guidelines for the second national communications.
Chair Stoycheva said she would prepare draft conclusions on this
CAPACITY BUILDING: The Secretariat noted the
comprehensive review of the framework for capacity building at
COP-9. The G-77/CHINA stressed that the review process should
contain an analysis of current project and programme implementation
in response to decision 2/CP.7 (capacity building in developing
countries), identify gaps and possible areas for further improvement
in implementation, and outline steps to be undertaken by SBI in
monitoring capacity-building activities. CANADA said that the review
should also include activities undertaken prior to the COP-7
decision. JAPAN cautioned against adopting standardized elements and
guidelines for the review. Chair Stoycheva announced that a contact
group chaired by Dechen Tsering (Bhutan) would consider this issue.
UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele
(Belgium) reported on the UNECE regional workshop. During the
workshop, participants made recommendations on aspects of the
national and international-level implementation of Article 6,
including formal and non-formal education and the need for public
awareness. Several Parties, UNEP, UNESCO and ISDR, supported the
development of an information-network clearing house. BOTSWANA and
THAILAND offered to host regional workshops.
ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: The US
reaffirmed its commitment to reduce its emissions intensity and
opposed the creation of new bodies to review the communications.
AUSTRALIA said that while it did not intend to ratify the Protocol,
it was still committed to achieving its emission target under the
Protocol. The G-77/CHINA and AOSIS expressed concern that emissions
could continue to rise, despite mitigation measures, and urged Annex
I Parties to implement more rigorous policies and measures. Chair
Stoycheva said that she would prepare draft conclusions on this
CACAM REQUEST: On the status of the CACAM
group of countries under the UNFCCC, Chair Stoycheva said she would
continue to consult informally and prepare draft conclusions.
OTHER MATTERS: The use of guidelines for the
preparation of non-Annex I national communications: CUBA, with
BURKINA FASO, the G-77/CHINA and TUVALU, said the implementation of
the guidelines will require additional financial resources and
capacity building, and, with the EU, emphasized the need to focus on
vulnerability and adaptation, and greenhouse gas inventories. Chair
Stoycheva said she would prepare draft conclusions on this issue.
Proposal by Croatia on LULUCF and Special
Circumstances of Croatia under UNFCCC Article 4.6: Chair
Stoycheva said these items were considered jointly. The Secretariat
introduced documents containing Croatia’s submission on its proposed
forest management value and emissions inventory adjustments. The EU
encouraged Croatia to submit a consistent time series of emissions
data using consistent methodologies for 1990-2001. BOSNIA and
HERZEGOVINA, and SERBIA and MONTENEGRO indicated it could not
support Croatia’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory adjustments for
the 1990 base year. Jim Penman (UK) will facilitate informal
consultations on the Croatian proposals.
PROGRAMME BUDGET: Contact group Chair John
Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) presented a draft COP-9 decision
containing three options on the draft budget and indicative scales
that separate financing for UNFCCC and Protocol activities to
differing degrees. The US stressed the importance of accounting
methods, especially under the UNFCCC Trust Fund for Supplementary
Activities, and, with JAPAN and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, requested
indication of those activities directly related to the Protocol.
CANADA, the US and the EU said budget decisions taken while the
UNFCCC is in a "transition period" could set a precedent for future
decisions, and, with AUSTRALIA and JAPAN, requested a breakdown of
costs associated with the three options in the Chair’s paper.
IMPLEMENTATION OF UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9:
This contact group, co-chaired by Robert Mason (UK) and Fadhel Lari
(Kuwait), met to consider progress on the implementation of
activities under decision 5/CP.7 (implementation of UNFCCC Article
4.8 and 4.9). The EU, US and CANADA highlighted progress made,
including the GEF’s third replenishment, the establishment of the
LDC Fund, and development of guidelines for NAPAs. The G-77/CHINA,
supported by SAUDI ARABIA, AOSIS, KUWAIT and LIBYA, said that
progress to date was insufficient and urged Parties to begin by
examining the recommendations of the recent risk assessment and
insurance workshops. The US, EU and AUSTRALIA objected to this
suggestion. Following requests by NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, the US and
EU, informal consultations were held on the agenda of the workshop
on synergies scheduled for 2-4 July 2003, in Espoo, Finland.
PROTOCOL ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8: Delegates
discussed means to improve the professionalism and performance of
the expert review teams (ERTs), and training. On improving ERT
performance, Parties addressed proposed elements for inclusion in
the Agreement for Expert Review Services. The EU, supported by
ARGENTINA and BOLIVIA, said information provided by Parties for the
inventory review could be used by the experts in preparing their
countries’ inventories, but should not be disclosed to a third
party. Addressing disclosure of information during the review
process, Parties questioned whether the Party being reviewed would
be privy to information on the review. Delegates also discussed
whether information and observations can be shared with lead
reviewers not on the review team. The US asked how conflicts of
interest of ERT members might be addressed.
On training, delegates discussed courses for
experts, including the status of those who fail examinations, and
whether examinations should be mandatory and courses should have
final seminars. Co-Chair Newton Paciornik said the Co-Chairs would
draft conclusions on this issue.
IPCC TAR: Co-Chair David Warrilow provided an
overview of draft conclusions and elements of a draft decision.
Following discussion, delegates agreed that they needed more time to
consider the text.
RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION: After
making minor amendments to the Co-Chairsï¿½ text, the contact group
finalized consideration of draft conclusions and a draft decision on
POLICIES AND MEASURES: The EU, supported by
the US, suggested holding workshops to share information on sector
or sub-sector specific activities. The G-77/CHINA said information
sharing should focus on the adverse effects of P&Ms on developing
countries. The US, supported by SAMOA, suggested that the
Secretariat develop terms of reference (TORs) for future workshops
in accordance with decision 13/CP.7 (P&Ms), which refers to adverse
effects. The G-77/CHINA opposed additional workshops, regardless of
their TORs, citing budgetary constraints and the need for "a total
discussion" on the implementation of decision 13/CP.7. JAPAN,
supported by the EU, suggested further enhancing web-based
information exchange. Co-Chair Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) said he
would prepare draft conclusions for discussion.
CAPACITY BUILDING: In this contact group,
chaired by Dechen Tsering, delegates exchanged views on their
expectations and on the process of the comprehensive review of
capacity-building activities in developing countries. Chair Tsering
said she would prepare a draft decision for consideration in the
IN THE CORRIDORS
Expressing concern that their indicative
contribution to the UNFCCC budget could rise "dramatically," some
delegates wondered how to enforce budget discipline. Others welcomed
a larger budget as an indication that the Secretariat is enhancing
its ability to meet the ever-increasing needs of Parties. Some
observers noted that while there was a legal and procedural
justification to separate the work programmes of the UNFCCC and the
Protocol, the financial consequences of the separation could
constrain the work of the COP/MOP.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
Special Climate Change Fund: This contact group
will meet at 10:00 am in Schumann.
Articles 5, 7 and 8: This contact group will
convene at 11:00 am in Reger.
Capacity building: This contact group will meet
in Liszt at noon, and again at 3:00 pm.
IPCC TAR: This contact group will meet at 5:00
pm in Haydn.
Sinks in the CDM: This contact group will
convene at 7:00 pm in Schumann.