Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 225
Friday, 4 December 2003
UNFCCC COP-9 HIGHLIGHTS:
THURSDAY, 4 DECEMBER 2003
Parties to COP-9
continued their deliberations in COP and SBI Plenary meetings, and
in several contact groups and informal meetings. The COP considered
national communications from Annex I Parties, and the report of the
CDM Executive Board (EB). The SBI met in the afternoon to take up
organizational matters related to its agenda, non-Annex I national
communications and progress on the implementation of decision 5/CP.7
(implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects).
SBI contact groups met on the programme budget for 2004-5 and the
Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). SBSTA contact groups were held
on LULUCF good practice guidance, the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR),
methodological work and development and transfer of technology.
IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENTS AND OF OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE UNFCCC:
National communications from Annex I Parties: The EU and JAPAN
reported on activities to reduce emissions and noted progress in
meeting their Protocol targets. CANADA, AUSTRALIA and the US
highlighted domestic measures. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, BELARUS and
SLOVENIA said the decline in emissions in their countries is due to
the decoupling of GDP and emissions, and not due to economic
decline. The G-77/ CHINA expressed concern over the increase in
Annex I emissions and appealed for political commitment. ARGENTINA,
opposed by the US, questioned the appropriateness of the emissions
intensity measurement. SAUDI ARABIA, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, ALGERIA,
and OMAN noted concern over the impact of response measures on
AOSIS, with BANGLADESH,
said that failure to mitigate emissions has resulted in the need to
increase adaptation measures. ICELAND called for the application and
transfer of existing technologies, and SOUTH AFRICA called for
demonstrable leadership by Annex I Parties. Opposing US climate
policy, CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK called for the entry into force of
the Protocol. The CLIMATE ALLIANCE stressed the need to include
local and regional government P&Ms in national communications.
COP President Persányi
said José Manuel Ovalle (Chile) and Michael Zammit-Cutajar (Malta)
would co-chair a contact group on this issue.
REPORT OF THE CDM EB:
CDM EB Chair Hans Jürgen Stehr presented a report on the activities
of the EB. He noted that nine proposals have been approved, and
stressed the importance of sustaining funding for activities of the
EB. The G-77/CHINA highlighted the need for equitable geographic
distribution of designated operational entities (DOE) and financial
and technical assistance to promote the emergence of such entities
in developing countries. With GHANA, he underscored the importance
of the sustainable development objectives of CDM projects.
SWITZERLAND supported the continuation of creative proposals and
ideas for approaching the EB’s tasks. JAPAN and the EU called for
accelerated project registration. ARGENTINA expressed concern at the
lengthy process for evaluating methodologies.
and attendance at EB meetings, the US noted that the EB’s Rules of
Procedure provide for attendance by all interested Parties,
observers and stakeholders. He said this implies physical presence
in the room, and urged the EB to reconsider its interpretation of
the Rules. A BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY representative called for
large-scale CDM projects, and CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK urged equitable
distribution of CDM projects, DOEs and experts. Stressing the
importance of forests for indigenous peoples, an INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’
ORGANIZATIONS representative called for greater involvement by
indigenous peoples in negotiations on sinks in the CDM.
President Persányi said
Enele Sopoaga (Tuvalu) would conduct informal consultations on this
on behalf of itself, Canada, the EU, Iceland, New Zealand and Norway,
reaffirmed the political commitment made during COP-6 part II to
provide US$410 million to developing countries on an annual basis,
beginning in 2005. He noted that steps are being taken toward
fulfilling this commitment.
Adoption of the agenda: Chair Stoycheva opened the session, noting
that, following informal consultations, Parties had reached
agreement on the two agenda items held in abeyance. The SBI adopted
the agenda items, as amended.
Submission of second, and where appropriate, third national
communications: The EU emphasized the importance of an efficient
process for the preparation of non-Annex I national communications.
The US said that non-Annex I national communications should be
submitted no more than four years after the submission of their
initial communications. In the case of communications from LDCs,
she said these should be submitted every five years. Regarding the
submission of greenhouse gas inventories, she proposed that
non-Annex I Parties should submit these every two years, and that
LDCs should submit inventories every five years as part of their
national communications. Chair Stoycheva requested non-Annex I
national communications contact group Chair Sok Appadu to also
consider this sub-item and prepare a draft COP decision.
Progress on the implementation of activities under decision 5/CP.7:
The EU, US and AUSTRALIA noted activities that have taken place to
implement decision 5/CP.7, including workshops and the third GEF
replenishment, and welcomed an exchange of views on this issue
during COP-9. Chair Stoycheva said that Rob Mason (UK) and Al Waleed
Al-Malik (United Arab Emirates) would co-chair a contact group to
prepare a draft COP decision on the matter.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS
PROGAMME BUDGET FOR 2004-5: Chair John Ashe provided an overview
of previous discussions and options on the budget. NEW ZEALAND
emphasized the need for a budget that can sustain high-priority work
and encourages the Secretariat to provide services that are
innovative and efficient. Supported by the G-77/CHINA and UGANDA, he
favored the budget option of a 9% increase. He also expressed
support for the inclusion of Kyoto Protocol development activities
in the core budget. The meeting was adjourned to allow further
consultations within the G-77/ China.
SCCF: Co-Chairs Rawleston Moore and Frode Neergaard presented
the Co-Chairs’ draft COP decision for consideration. NIGERIA, for
the G-77/China, said the decision could not be used as the basis of
negotiation, emphasizing that it did not contain sufficient
guidance on operational procedures, including a review process, and
that it lacked reference to the additionality of the funds. He
requested the Co-Chairs to prepare a new draft decision and adjourn
the meeting to allow the G-77/China time to consult internally.
While noting minor concerns over the draft decision, the EU, CANADA
and NORWAY said the draft decision provides a good basis for
negotiations. Following a break for informal consultations by the
G-77/China, the Co-Chairs adjourned the meeting.
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS
IPCC TAR: Chair Thorgeirsson introduced the draft decision and
SBSTA conclusions on the IPCC TAR. Noting the need to further
discuss the themes and issues to be considered by SBSTA under the
two new agenda items, the G-77/CHINA objected to forwarding the
draft decision to the COP. Opposing the G-77/ China, AUSTRALIA, the
EU, SWITZERLAND, NORWAY, RUSSIAN FEDERATION and JAPAN emphasized the
need to begin work on the new agenda items, and noted the importance
for the COP to consider them. The EU said that work on substance can
be initiated, while further considering specific themes and issues.
CANADA emphasized the need to avoid duplication of work, and to
ensure a Party-driven process. The EU highlighted that work under
the new agenda items will contribute to meeting the UNFCCC’s
PRACTICE GUIDANCE ON LULUCF:
Co-Chair Audun Rosland reported progress on the common reporting
format and announced that the EU, with the help of Canada, would
present reporting tables on sectoral background data for LULUCF
based on IPCC Good Practice Guidance (GPG). On harvested wood
prodï¿½ucts, delegates discussed the Co-Chairsï¿½ draft conclusions,
which invite submissions from Parties by 15 April 2004 in order to
review the matter at SBSTA-21. Text remains bracketed on the
reference to taking the GPG into consideration when making
METHODOLOGICAL WORK: This group discussed the Co-Chairï¿½s
proposed elements for further discussion of a possible SBSTA work
programme, distinguishing new items from those that are already
being addressed under the UNFCCC or elsewhere. The EU and NEW
ZEALAND said discussions should focus on core elements or themes.
SAUDI ARABIA said discussions must focus on methodological work for
EU, CANADA, and JAPAN, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA and the G-77/CHINA,
supported the exchange of information on, inter alia, methods,
models, and assumptions regarding projecï¿½tions. SAUDI ARABIA said
win-win aspects of good practices in P&Ms in Annex I Parties and
implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects)
should be addressed. CANADA, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, said
discussions on information, methods and tools for socioeconomic
scenario-building should be included, while NEW ZEALAND suggested
that the issue should be discussed with ï¿½projectionsï¿½ matters. The
US and NEW ZEALAND, opposed by the EU, said the Co-Chairsï¿½ proposal
to include discussions on information exchange regarding
methodolï¿½ogies for assessing mitigation and adaptation technologies
overlaps with SBSTAï¿½s ongoing work.
Recommending a focus beyond trade issues, CANADA, opposed by SAUDI
ARABIA and the EU, suggested that discusï¿½sions on cleaner or
less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy should be included. NEW ZEALAND,
opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, said discussions on methodologies on the
impact of implementation of the Protocol should be included under
the ï¿½projectionsï¿½ topic. The EU, opposed by JAPAN, the US, CANADA,
CHINA, and NEW ZEALAND, urged discussions on methodologies to
determine Partiesï¿½ contributions.
Regarding current and planned activities, NEW ZEALAND said work on
the exchange of information regarding the implemenï¿½tation of
national systems should be elaborated. The Co-Chairs agreed to
prepare draft conclusions.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: This group considered the Co-Chairsï¿½ draft
conclusions. The EU suggested forwarding the proposal on guidance to
the GEF to the SBI for consideration under the agenda item on the
SCCF, rather than to the SBI under the agenda item on additional
guidance to the GEF. Following clarifcation by the Secretariat on
the procedure devised by SBI Chair Stoycheva for addressing relevant
information on guidance to the GEF arising in other contact groups,
Parties agreed to forward the proposal to the SBI, for consideration
under the agenda item on the SCCF.
suggested, and Parties agreed, to note that work on technology
transfer undertaken by SBSTA complements work in other fora.
THAILAND stressed the need to invite relevant organizations to
provide information on technology needs.
SINKS IN THE CDM: Delegates discussed the option of accounting
for both positive and negative leakage, and whether the crediting
period should be limited to a specific amount of time or allowed for
renewal. Negotiations continued throughout the day.
IN THE CORRIDORS
a cordial exchange of views in Wednesdayï¿½s SCCF contact group, what
was meant to be a general round of comments on the draft decision on
Thursday ended in an abrupt halt, with delegations expressing
divergent views on the next steps needed to operationalize the Fund,
in particular regarding the inclusion of obligations on technology
transfer in a voluntary fund. In a session that mirrored discussions
held at COP-8, it was clear that much work remains to be done in
order to deliver on the Delhi decision to conclude the negotiations
on the Fund during COP-9, and thus initiate work on mobilizing
resources to deliver the Fundï¿½s ambiï¿½tious scope of activities.
Interestingly, this comes ï¿½hot on the heelsï¿½ of the COP Plenary
announcement by Parties to the Bonn Declaraï¿½tion on funding, that
finance will be made available starting in 2005.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
Contact groups will convene on non-Annex I and Annex I national
communications, the programme budget for 2004-5, capacity building,
the SCCF, and implementation of decision 5/CP.7.
Contact groups will meet to discuss R&SO, the IPCC TAR,
methodological issues, sinks in the CDM, and good practice guidance