Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 12 No. 228
Wednesday, 10 December 2003

UNFCCC COP-9 HIGHLIGHTS:

TUESDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2003

Delegates to COP-9 met Tuesday to adopt SBI and SBSTA conclusions and approve draft COP decisions. In the morning and afternoon, contact groups met to discuss non-Annex I national communications, implementation of decision 5/CP.7 (implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects), methodological work and sinks in the CDM. In the afternoon and evening, Parties convened in SBSTA and SBI Plenaries to adopt draft conclusions, with SBSTA completing its work. Informal consultations also took place throughout the day.

CONTACT GROUPS

NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Parties continued consideration of draft conclusions and draft COP decisions throughout the day. On a draft decision on submission of national communications, the G-77/CHINA suggested text stating that submissions shall be dependent on the availability of funding. The EU, US and AUSTRALIA favored text requiring that second national communications be submitted within three years of the availability of financial resources. The G-77/CHINA underlined that it would not discuss the issue of frequency of submissions. The US, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, recommended text requiring non-Annex I Parties to submit national inventories every two years. Informal consultations continued throughout the day.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Co-Chair Jim Penman (UK) presented revised draft conclusions. On holding a workshop on emissions projections, the US stressed that follow-up activities should not be decided until the workshop has been completed. Opposed by JAPAN, he said that there must be a focus solely on fourth national communications. SAUDI ARABIA, opposed by JAPAN, insisted that the workshop should focus only on Annex I Parties’ projections. CANADA proposed text requesting the Secretariat to prepare a report on the workshop for consideration at SBSTA-21.

Regarding the preparation of national greenhouse gas inventories, the US, opposed by NORWAY, urged that a reference to Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information) should be included. SAUDI ARABIA expressed concern about the possibility of creating new commitments. CANADA suggested an additional reference to Protocol Article 5.1 (national systems). Parties agreed to delete a paragraph noting existing and potential work. Delegates agreed to forward the draft conclusions to SBSTA.

IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISION 5/CP.7: Following morning informal consultations, Parties considered a revised Co-Chairs’ draft decision in the afternoon. Addressing the initial operative paragraphs of the text, delegates deliberated how to address views on insurance, with the G-77/CHINA preferring to discuss "possible elements of a work programme on insurance," and the US preferring to discuss insurance and risk assessment. Parties also debated the nature of a document containing submissions on activities in support of the provisions of decision 5/CP.7. Discussions continued informally throughout the day.

SINKS IN THE CDM: In the final contact group on sinks in the CDM, Co-Chair Thelma Krug (Brazil) presented a revised draft COP decision resulting from informal consultations held throughout Monday, 8 December, and into Tuesday morning, 9 December. She welcomed technical amendments, but, with several other Parties, urged delegates not to re-open debate and risk the "delicate balance" finally achieved. CANADA proposed deleting reference in the draft decision to recognition of international "environmental" agreements and leaving only "international agreements." SWITZERLAND, with the EU, opposed the proposal but accepted it in the spirit of compromise. SOUTH AFRICA said he had hoped for more stringent stakeholder involvement but appreciated the balance. Several Parties welcomed the compromise and congratulated the Co-Chairs. The draft decision was agreed and forwarded to SBSTA for approval.

SBSTA PLENARY

SBSTA Chair Thorgeirsson announced that Margaret Martin (Canada) and Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago), were elected as EGTT Chair and Vice-Chair, for 2004. TUNISIA presented the Djerba Declaration on Tourism and Climate Change, which, inter alia, calls for the IPCC to include tourism in its Fourth Assessment Report.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of officers other than the Chair: SBSTA elected Arthur Rolle (Bahamas) as Vice-Chair of SBSTA, and Ibrahim Bin Ahmed Al-Ajami (Oman) as SBSTA Rapporteur.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Good Practice Guidance on LULUCF: Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe (Zimbabwe) reported on successful conclusions in the contact group, which include recommending a common reporting format and tables for reporting greenhouse gases inventories under the UNFCCC. The SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.22) and agreed to forward a draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.22/Add.1).

Harvested wood products: SBSTA adopted conclusions without amendment (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.21).

Issues relating to registry systems under Protocol Article 7.4: Murray Ward (New Zealand) reported on informal consultations on Protocol Article 7.4 (registries). He outlined the scope of the draft conclusions, stressing the need for the Secretariat to focus on developing the transaction log, urging Annex II Parties to make "exceptional" efforts to contribute to the UNFCCC supplemental Trust Fund, and encouraging Annex I Parties to designate their registry administrator. SBSTA adopted the conclusions (FCCC/ SBSTA/2003/L.20).

Review of methodological work under the UNFCCC and Protocol: Jim Penman reported on the contact group’s work, and Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.25).

Greenhouse gas inventories: Helen Plume (New Zealand) reported on the informal consultations. She said Parties had been unable to remove all of the brackets from the draft conclusions on emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transportation. Following discussions in Plenary, Parties agreed to remove the brackts. SBSTA then adopted the conclusions, as amended (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.28).

Sinks in the CDM: Thelma Krug reported that agreement had been reached on a draft COP decision. Parties agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.27). AUSTRALIA expressed concern regarding the singling out of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and invasive alien species (IAS), while NORWAY expressed preference for stronger text on excluding GMOs and IAS. CANADA underlined the need to build confidence in carbon sinks and increase private-sector participation. NEW ZEALAND expressed concern that the crediting period will not promote sustainable forest management, and urged reconsideration of the issue after 2012. The EU underlined that the text is balanced and reflects progress toward implementing the Protocol.

POLICIES AND MEASURES (P&Ms): Greg Terrill (Australia) reported on the informal consultations and introduced the draft conclusions, noting that the consultations were unable to facilitate agreement. SBSTA adopted the conclusions reflecting this (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.29).

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Terry Carrington (UK) reported on the contact group’s work and presented draft conclusions, which SBSTA adopted (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.18).

R&SO: Sue Barrell (Australia) presented the draft conclusions and a draft COP decision discussed in the contact group. SBSTA adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.17), and agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP with a minor textual amendment (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.17/Add.1).

COOPERATION WITH RELEVANT ORGANIZATIONS: Outi Berghäll (Finland) reported on informal consultations. The EU said a workshop co-organized by the CCD and CBD on identifying and promoting synergies through forest and forest ecosystems will be held in March 2004, in Viterbo, Italy. SBSTA adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.19).

IPCC TAR: Chair Thorgeirsson said completing work on this issue marks a transition to work on the two new agenda items. SBSTA adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.26), and decided to forward the draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBSTA/ 2003/L.26/Add.1). The RUSSIAN FEDERATION emphasized that the TAR provides a "scientific basis of a global nature" applicable to all Parties.

OTHER MATTERS: Issues relating to cleaner or less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy: Chair Thorgeirsson noted that no consensus had been reached on issues relating to cleaner or less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy. CANADA expressed hope that progress would be made in the future. SBSTA adopted conclusions that note that no progress was made (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.23).

Issues relating to the implementation of Protocol Article 2.3: Regarding implementation of Protocol Article 2.3 (adverse effects of P&Ms), Chair Thorgeirsson said there was no agreement. SBSTA adopted the conclusions, noting lack of agreement (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.24).

Any other matters: Chair Thorgeirsson noted discussions on activities implemented jointly underlining that the deadline for submission of reports for inclusion in the seventh synthesis report is 1 June 2004, and reviewed discussions regarding the outcomes of a workshop held in September 2003 on the Brazilian Proposal.

REPORT ON THE SESSION: SBSTA-19 Rapporteur, Tatyana Ososkova (Uzbekistan), presented the report of SBSTA-19 which was adopted (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.16). Delegates thanked Chair Thorgeirsson for his "outstanding contribution," focus on transparency, and leadership during his term as SBSTA Chair.

Chair Thorgeirsson then closed SBSTA-19 at 10:36 pm.

SBI PLENARY

CAPACITY BUILDING: Dechen Tsering (Bhutan) presented a report of the contact group�s work and the SBI agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.19). JAPAN provided an overview of its capacity-building programmes relevant to the decision.

UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: Fatou Ndeye Gaye (the Gambia) reported on informal consultations and the SBI adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.3).

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: Interim financial performance for the biennium 2002-3: Chair Stoycheva introduced a draft decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.16), which the SBI agreed to forward to the COP.

Programme budget for the biennium 2004-5: John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) introduced the draft COP decision. He noted an amendment to the table on estimated costs in 2004-5 for the preparatory activities relating to the Protocol to include a line item on programme support and the working capital reserve. ARGENTINA expressed a reservation on the percentages applied for the indicative scale of assessment for the programme budget for 2004-5 and for the interim allocation for the Protocol. SBI agreed to forward the decision to the COP, as amended (FCCC/SBI/2003/ L.22).

Following a clarification by the Secretariat and the EU, Chair Stoycheva said Argentina�s reservation would be noted in the SBI-19 report. ARGENTINA and BRAZIL opposed the Secretariat�s practice of withholding financial support for the participation in UNFCCC-related meetings by Parties in arrears for more than three years, and called for SBI conclusions correcting this practice. Noting the importance of this issue, the US, opposed by ARGENTINA, suggested that the SBI take this up at a future session. Chair Stoycheva said she would undertake informal consultations on this matter and report to the SBI on Wednesday, 10 December.

OTHER MATTERS: Proposal by Croatia on LULUCF: Jim Penman reported on the informal consultations and introduced draft conclusions and a draft COP decision. ARGENTINA requested clarification of the data used to determine the forest management value and noted concern that this decision had taken two years to conclude. The SBI adopted the conclusions (FCCC/ SBI/2003/L.17) and agreed to forward a draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.17/Add.1).

Special circumstances of Croatia under Article 4.6: Chair Stoycheva introduced the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/ L.18), which the SBI adopted.

ANY OTHER MATTERS: Chair Stoycheva introduced draft conclusions on the intention of Belarus to use 1990 as its base year under the UNFCCC. ARGENTINA requested clarification on whether Belarus was applying UNFCCC Article 4.6 (flexibility for EITs), and Chair Stoycheva said this was not the case. The SBI then adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.21).

SAUDI ARABIA, for the G-77/China, requested that, pursuant to Rule 10 of the Rules of Procedure, the provisional agenda for SBI-20 and subsequent sessions should include an item on the "continuing review of the function and operations of the Secretariat," and requested that this proposal be officially noted in the report of SBI-19. The SBI took note of the request.

IN THE CORRIDORS

With Parties scrambling to complete their work before the arrival of ministers on Wednesday, informal consultations and contact groups continued late into the night on Tuesday. Despite an intense work programme, a large crowd managed to gather for the climate-symbol fashion show in the early evening.

On another note, following years of arduous negotiations, and a final night of intense discussion until early morning hours, Parties finally agreed to the details of sinks projects in the CDM. This completes one of the last outstanding issues relating to the BAPA.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The high-level segment opens at 10:00 am in Plenary I to hear statements from UN bodies, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs.

HIGH-LEVEL ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSIONS: The high-level round-table on climate change, adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development will begin at 3:00 pm in Plenary I.

CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will meet on the implementation of decision 5/CP.7 at 10:00 am in Florence, and on the Special Climate Change Fund at 12:00 pm in Venice.

SBI: The closing Plenary of SBI is expected to take place at a time to be announced.     

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � enb@iisd.org is written and edited by Mar�a Guti�rrez maria@iisd.org, Dagmar Lohan, Ph.D. dagmar@iisd.org, Lisa Schipper lisa@iisd.org, Richard Sherman rsherman@iisd.org, and Hugh Wilkins hugh@iisd.org. The Digital Editor is Leslie Paas leslie@iisd.org. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. pam@iisd.org and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA, DFAIT and Environment Canada), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during 2003 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-212-644-0217 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.  

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