Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 216
Wednesday, 11 June 2003
UNFCCC SB-18 HIGHLIGHTS
TUESDAY, 10 JUNE 2003
Delegates to UNFCCC SB-18 continued their
deliberations in contact groups and informal drafting groups on
Tuesday. Parties discussed: the IPCC TAR; Protocol Articles 5
(methodological issues), 7 (communication of information), and 8
(review of information); "good practices" in policies and measures
(P&Ms); capacity building; UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse
effects); the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF); and the programme
budget for the biennium 2004-2005. A number of informal drafting
groups also convened in an attempt to complete work before the final
SBSTA and SBI plenaries on Thursday, 12 June and Friday, 13 June.
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS
IPCC TAR: This group met in morning and
evening sessions to continue deliberations on the Co-Chairs’ draft
conclusions. Several delegates opposed Co-Chair David Warrilow’s
suggestion that Parties compile a list of provisional work-programme
elements. They stressed that before considering text on a work
programme, agreement was needed on whether to address scientific,
technical and socioeconomic aspects of adaptation and mitigation in
one or two SBSTA agenda items, and on the elements of the proposed
work programme. TUVALU, supported by AOSIS, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION
and SWITZERLAND, suggested deleting reference to a "work programme"
and replacing it with "elements for future SBSTA work." The
G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, JAPAN and US, questioned the utility
of inter-sessional consultations on the TAR prior to SBSTA-19.
AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and the US said adaptation and mitigation
could be considered as separate agenda items. CANADA, the EU, JAPAN
and SWITZERLAND, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, preferred to consider
adaptation and mitigation under one agenda item. Participants then
discussed how adaptation and mitigation would be considered in
practice if these two issues were to be included in one agenda item.
AUSTRALIA, CANADA, the EU, JAPAN and NEW ZEALAND,
opposed by the G-77/CHINA, stressed the importance of considering
cross-cutting elements and the integration of adaptation and
mitigation. CANADA and SWITZERLAND supported a proposal made by New
Zealand requesting SBSTA to explore the scientific, technological
and socioeconomic aspects of how adaptation and mitigation each link
to other issues, such as sustainable development and UNFCCC Article
2 (objective). CANADA, the EU, RUSSIAN FEDERATION and US underscored
the importance of the timing of SBSTA activities.
SAUDI ARABIA noted that elements of future SBSTA
work should exclude adaptive and mitigative capacity, but include
spill-over effects. The EU suggested including, inter alia,
no regrets mitigation options and the stabilization of greenhouse
gas concentrations. The US opposed developing a list of specific
programme elements. Co-Chair David Warrilow said he would hold
informal consultations with several Parties.
PROTOCOL ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8: This contact
group discussed draft COP and COP/MOP decisions and their annexes.
Regarding the draft COP/MOP decision on technical guidance on
methodologies for adjustments under Article 5.2 (adjustments), the
EU noted that lead reviewers should not only recommend how data
sources should be updated, but also how they should be developed. On
the criteria for selecting lead reviewers, Parties discussed whether
knowledge of Annex I Party official languages other than the
official UN languages should be a desirable criteria for lead
reviewers. The G-77/CHINA, opposed by JAPAN, preferred deleting
reference to languages other than UN languages. Co-Chair Newton
Paciornik said informal consultations would continue to address the
draft decisions and conclusions.
POLICIES AND MEASURES: Co-Chair Richard
Muyungi introduced new draft conclusions. SAUDI ARABIA, for the
G-77/ CHINA, objected to text referring to information exchange
among "all Parties," and to text "inviting Annex I Parties and other
interested Parties" to share information during informal
round-tables. He also said that the Co-Chairs’ proposal of holding
informal round-tables during session time seemed unworkable. SAMOA
said it did not share all of the concerns expressed by Saudi Arabia.
Following a short break for consultations, the G-77/CHINA was unable
to agree a united position on the text. Co-Chair Muyungi then asked
for delegates’ general views. The EU and JAPAN requested the
deletion of text calling for information exchange on ways to
minimize adverse effects of response measures. With the US, they
encouraged further discussion on the option of holding round-tables.
Co-Chair Greg Terrill adjourned the meeting to allow the G-77/China
to consult further on these issues.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS
CAPACITY BUILDING: This group met to consider
the Chair’s draft conclusions and the terms of reference (TOR) for
the comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for
capacity building in developing countries. Delegates agreed to a
proposal by the G-77/China to request the Secretariat to prepare a
compilation paper on progress in implementing decision 2/CP.7
(capacity building in developing countries). CANADA suggested
including information from bilateral and multilateral organizations.
The US stressed the importance of taking into account country-driven
approaches. Given the limited time until the review process,
delegates agreed to request COP-9 to adopt a decision extending the
review until COP-10. They also agreed on requesting the COP to adopt
a decision reviewing decision 3/CP.7 (capacity building in EITs). On
the TOR for the review, Parties discussed the period for the review.
The G-77/CHINA preferred focusing on the period after COP-7, while
CANADA and others noted that capacity building was a long-term
process that did not begin at COP-7. Chair Dechen Tsering said that
she would convene informal consultations on the draft conclusions.
UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9: This contact
group met in afternoon and evening sessions. Co-Chair Fadhel Lari
introduced the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions as well as proposals
from the EU and G-77/China. Delegates debated at length which
document to use as the basis for discussion. The G-77/CHINA said its
proposal was an initial one, as not all its members had been
consulted. Opposed by the US and EU, it suggested using the proposal
as the basis for discussion. Delegates agreed to proceed on the
basis of the Co-Chairs’ draft, and began working
There were divergent views over whether to delete
reference to "progress made," with the G-77/CHINA preferring
language indicating that little or no progress has been made in
implementing decision 5/CP.7 (adverse effects). The US and EU
suggested stating that progress has been made through multilateral
and bilateral activities in the areas of information and
methodology, vulnerability and adaptation, as well as in convening
workshops and establishing the SCCF and LDC Fund. On the reports of
the workshops on insurance and risk assessment, delegates could not
agree on whether to address them in separate paragraphs.
Regarding the workshop on economic
diversification, delegates discussed how the TOR should be
elaborated. The G-77/CHINA said the process of submissions could
delay the organization of the workshop, noting that decision 5/CP.7
calls for it to be held prior to COP-9. The Co-Chairs proposed
compromise text requesting the Secretariat to take into account the
views expressed during SB-18 in this regard.
Delegates revisited amendments proposed in the
earlier session. The Secretariat prepared a revised draft
incorporating the Parties’ proposals. After a brief consideration of
the revised text, the group adjourned. The Co-Chairs will conduct
informal consultations and produce another revision for discussion
at the next meeting.
SPECIAL CLIMATE CHANGE FUND: Co-Chair Jaap
Rooimans presented the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions for discussion.
On the SCCF’s guiding principles, the G-77/CHINA said that the Fund
should be complementary to the GEF climate focal areas, the LDC
Fund, and bilateral and multilateral funding, and maximize
adaptation funding opportunities for non-Annex I Parties not
eligible for support from the LDC Fund. He also emphasized that
adaptation projects should be recognized as having global benefits,
and small-scale projects should have expedited access through the
establishment of a small grants programme under the SCCF. ARGENTINA,
with the G-77/CHINA, said text proposing additional submissions by
Parties and an informal inter-sessional consultation prior to SBI-19
would further postpone progress on this matter. Noting its
flexibility on these paragraphs, the EU reiterated its support for a
process to allow for the further submission of Parties’ views.
PROGRAMME BUDGET: This contact group
discussed a revised table, which separates costs of preparatory and
operational activities under the Protocol and UNFCCC, and a revised
draft decision. The US sought clarification on the funding increase
requested for training inventory review experts. JAPAN, supported by
AUSTRALIA, requested specific calculations on funding dedicated to
the working capital reserve. The EU expressed concern about a
possible decision to adopt two indicative scales of assessment, and
said, if adopted, this decision would set a negative precedent for
other MEAs, since it would require Parties to pay for selected
activities related to a MEA and offer a perverse incentive for those
Parties who have not yet ratified the Protocol. Opposed by the US,
the EU then proposed two new options, which request Parties to
decide on only one instead of two indicative scales. Under the first
option, Parties would approve the budget for the UNFCCC, including
the preparatory activities related to the Protocol, at the COP.
Under the second option, Parties would approve the budget for the
UNFCCC at the COP, and adopt the budget for preparatory activities
relating to the Protocol at the COP/MOP. The US proposed that
Parties decide only on the biennial costs of the UNFCCC, and not
preparatory and operational costs associated with the Protocol. The
G-77/CHINA, ARGENTINA, and BRAZIL noted that the new UN General
Assembly scale of assessment should not be applied automatically.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Several observers thought the heat must be
getting to them as they watched the P&Ms contact group undergo what
seemed like its usual last-minute meltdown. Some noted that one
countryï¿½s interventions in the P&Ms contact group appeared to
express "more than a liberal interpretation" of the G-77/China
mandate. Though the contact group will meet again, other observers
suggested that "there was no hope" for agreement. Notwithstanding
the divergence of views within the G-77/China, several Parties to
the Protocol have concerns about exchanging information on ways to
minimize the adverse effects of response measures.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS: Protocol Articles 5, 7 and
8: This contact group will meet in Reger at 10:00 am to continue
consideration of draft conclusions, and draft COP and COP/MOP
Sinks in the CDM: This group will convene at
10:00 am in Schumann to continue discussing the Co-Chairsï¿½ draft
IPCC TAR: This contact group will meet in Haydn
at 3:00 pm and at 8:00 pm to continue deliberating the Co-Chairsï¿½
Policies and measures: This contact group is
scheduled to convene at 8:00 pm in Haber, and will continue to
discuss draft conclusions.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS: Capacity building: This
contact group will convene at noon in Liszt to hear results of the
Chairï¿½s informal consultations on the draft conclusions.
Programme budget: This group will meet in
Reger at 3:00 pm to continue discussing the draft decision on the
programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005.
Special Climate Change Fund: This contact group
is scheduled for 5:00 pm in Schumann to discuss Co-Chairsï¿½ draft
UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9: This group will meet
in Reger at 5:00 pm to address the Co-Chairsï¿½ revised draft