Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 229
Thursday, 11 December 2003
UNFCCC COP-9 HIGHLIGHTS:
WEDNESDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2003
On Wednesday, the high-level segment of COP-9
opened. Delegates heard statements from heads of UN bodies and
specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. In
the afternoon, the first high-level round-table took place, focusing
on "climate change, adaptation, mitigation and sustainable
development." In the evening, the SBI met to adopt conclusions and
agree draft COP decisions and to complete its work. Contact groups
on implementation of activities under decision 5/CP.7
(implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects)
and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) were also held.
Opening the segment, COP-9 President Persányi
commended delegates’ commitment to action and leadership. He noted
that the UNFCCC and its Protocol are the only viable options for
preventing dangerous interference with the global climate. Speaking
on behalf of Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Altero
Matteoli, Italy’s Minister for the Environment and Territory, said
the Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe provides for
EU Member States to fulfill their obligations to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, José Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic
and Social Affairs, encouraged Annex I Parties who have not yet
ratified the Protocol to do so as soon as possible and emphasized
the importance of the Millennium Development Goals. Joke
Waller-Hunter, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said COP-9 has
demonstrated that, in the presence of commitment and political will,
it is possible to establish sound institutional frameworks for
STATEMENTS FROM HEADS OF UN AGENCIES: UNEP
Executive Director Klaus Töpfer called for financial and technical
support to address this "ethical challenge," which affects mostly
poor people in developing countries. José Antonio Ocampo emphasized
the role of financial mechanisms and trade in diversifying
economies. Len Good, CEO and Chair of the GEF, announced that pilot
projects on adaptation planning and measures are a new strategic
priority for the GEF, and called for clear guidance to mobilize
resources for the SCCF.
World Bank Vice-President Ian Johnson noted that
both public funding and private finance are needed to address
climate change. IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri expressed hope that
participants will find the IPCC TAR useful in their work on the
UNFCCC. Hama Arba Diallo, CCD Executive Secretary, stressed the
importance of effective implementation of the UNFCCC and CCD at the
local level to avoid duplication of work and maximize resources.
Alvaro Silva Calderon, OPEC Executive Secretary, said that the
concerns of OPEC countries over adverse effects continue to be
inadequately addressed. Kiyotaka Akasaka, OECD Deputy
Secretary-General, said OECD works with its member States to
strengthen the use of market-based mechanisms to limit climate
change while contributing to sustainable economic development.
STATEMENTS FROM INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
AND NGOS: The INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY stressed the
importance of energy efficiency policies and measures. The
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF REFRIGERATION presented targets to halve
fluorocarbon emissions by 2020. CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK called on the
Russian Federation to ratify the Protocol. The BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY urged the CDM EB to develop standardized
baselines for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. A
representative of the sixth INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS FORUM ON
CLIMATE CHANGE underscored the need for prior informed consent and
increased participation of indigenous peoples in CDM projects.
CLIMATE ALLIANCE called on COP-9 to address the scope, role,
complementarity and coherence of local, regional and national
WWF SOUTH PACIFIC underscored the "devastating"
effects of climate change on SIDS. The INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE called for rules promoting innovation and stimulating
business involvement. The GLOBAL UNIONS AND INTERNATIONAL
CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS urged including employment
considerations in the IPCC reports. The LOMBARDY FOUNDATION FOR THE
ENVIRONMENT said governments should rely more on local groups and
associations to undertake concrete action. The RESEARCH AND
INDEPENDENT NGOs called for global collaboration, political will,
creative thinking, and avoidance of political rhetoric. The WORLD
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES said environmental degradation is a matter of
justice and spirituality, and stressed that reducing emissions
should be a moral goal.
ROUND-TABLE I – "CLIMATE CHANGE, ADAPTATION,
MITIGATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:" This round-table was
co-chaired by Yuriko Koike, Minister of Environment, Japan, and
Tadashi Lometo, Minister of Health and Environment, Marshall
Islands. Co-Chair Koike stressed the need to analyze the current
state of progress and identify further actions. Co-Chair Lometo
emphasized the vulnerability of SIDS.
In the first part of the round-table, Parties
discussed poverty eradication, economic growth and food security.
Several Parties called for entry into force of the Protocol and
sufficient financial support for developing countries to respond to
climate change. MOROCCO, for the G-77/CHINA, said adaptation and
mitigation measures will be unsuccessful if developed countries
ignore the concerns and situation of vulnerable States. BENIN
stressed the importance of integrating poverty reduction and
adaptation measures. On reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ITALY,
for the EU, said developed countries must make a greater effort and
developing countries must also take steps towards this end. NEW
ZEALAND underlined the vulnerability of SIDS and noted threats to
island cultures. SLOVENIA, with others, said it would fulfill its
Protocol commitments in the absence of the Protocol’s entry into
force. MOZAMBIQUE, with BELGUIM, called for "more action and less
talk." MICRONESIA called on developed countries to meet their UNFCCC
commitments relating to financing adaptation projects in SIDS.
PANAMA said adaptation should be given the same status as mitigation
under the UNFCCC.
In the second part of the round-table, Parties
addressed vulnerability, climate-related disasters, impacts and
adaptation. ARGENTINA called for a mechanism to facilitate
adaptation projects. SAMOA expressed hope that the SCCF would fund
community-based adaptation projects. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said
that remaining uncertainties regarding whether mitigation efforts
will be effective for reducing climate change justify pursuing
adaptation. BURKINA FASO questioned the purpose of NAPAs if
mechanisms for their implementation are not in place. CHINA said
once developed countries have taken the lead in mitigating
emissions, developing countries will be able to make a contribution.
AUSTRIA noted that nuclear power is not an option for combating
climate change. NEPAL said that despite his country’s insignificant
contribution to climate change, efforts toward mitigating emissions
In the third part of the round-table, delegates
discussed adaptation and mitigation in national development. FRANCE
emphasized that this century will either be recorded as the century
of climate change suffering and collective irresponsibility or the
century of climate control and the maturing of humanity. DENMARK
stressed increasing the use of renewable energy. SAUDI ARABIA said
that mitigation and adaptation measures must not lead to new
commitments for developing countries.
In closing, ARGENTINA announced its offer to host
COP-10 in Buenos Aires.
IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISION 5/CP.7: Following
informal consultations on the draft conclusions late Tuesday night,
delegates agreed to invite Parties and relevant international
organizations to report on activities to meet the needs of
developing countries arising from the adverse effects of climate
change. Changing its earlier support, SAUDI ARABIA, opposed by the
G-77/ CHINA, MICRONESIA, US, EU, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN and
CANADA, proposed adding bracketed text on reporting on actions to
address the adverse affects of response measures. Following informal
consultations, the group agreed to the draft conclusions, without
amendment, and to include Saudi Arabia’s proposal in the draft
negotiating text included in the annex to the draft conclusions.
SCCF: Following informal consultations and
bilateral meetings throughout the day, Co-Chair Rawleston Moore
presented the Co-Chairs’ draft decision, noting that it was a "take
it or leave it" text. The EU, CANADA and JAPAN, opposed by the G-77/
CHINA, said they could accept the Co-Chairs’ text. The G-77/ CHINA
opposed the option of a "take it or leave it" approach, and proposed
alternative text regarding the prioritization of, and funding for,
economic diversification activities. Following a break for informal
consultations, Co-Chair Moore reported that the Co-Chairs were
unable to take the consultations further, and said the draft
decision would be forwarded to the SBI with bracketed text.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Election of officers
other than the Chair: The SBI elected Fadhel Lari (Kuwait) as
SBI Vice-Chair for a second term. The SBI Rapporteur will be elected
NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS:
Consideration of the fifth compilation and synthesis of initial
national communications: SBI agreed to forward the draft
decision to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.23).
Work of the CGE: SBI adopted the conclusions
on the work of the Consultative Group of Experts on non-Annex I
national communications (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.24).
Provision of financial and technical support:
SBI adopted conclusions on this item (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.25).
Submission of second, and where appropriate,
third national communications: Chair Stoycheva said that no
substantial conclusions had been reached, and SBI adopted
conclusions agreeing to continue consideration of this item at
SBI-20 (FCCC/ SBI/2003/L.30).
FINANCIAL MECHANISMS: SCCF: Rawleston Moore
and Frode Neergaard reported on the contact group. SBI agreed to
forward the draft decision to the COP President for further action
(FCCC/SBI/2003/L.31). The G-77/CHINA, with ARGENTINA, CHINA and
SAUDI ARABIA, expressed concern over lack of progress on this issue
and said developed countries are failing to meet their COP-7
obligations. The EU expressed its commitment to conclude work on the
Report of the GEF: SBI agreed to forward the
draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.27).
Additional guidance to the GEF: SBI agreed to
forward the draft decision to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.28).
IMPLEMENTATION OF UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9:
Progress on the implementation of activities under decision 5/CP.7:
Rob Mason (UK) reported on the contact group discussions. SBI
adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.26).
Matters related to LDCs: Josï¿½ Romero
(Switzerland) reported on informal consultations. SBI agreed to
forward draft decisions to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.29/Add.1-2).
Regarding draft conclusions on assessing the status of
implementation of Article 4.9 (LDCs), TANZANIA, for the LDCs,
objected to reference that the SBI expressed satisfaction at the
progress achieved so far in implementing the LDC work programme.
Following deliberations in Plenary, SBI agreed to forward draft
conclusions to the COP (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.29/Add.3), amending them to
note that progress on the implementation of Article 4.9 will be
assessed at COP-10. Regarding the provision of further
guidance for the operation of the LDC Fund, TANZANIA, for the LDCs,
stressed the need to reach agreement at COP-9 on this issue. SBI
agreed to forward the draft conclusions to the COP President for
CACAM REQUEST: Chair Stoycheva said no
conclusions had been reached.
REPORT ON THE SESSION: SBI Rapporteur Emily
Ojoo-Massawa presented the report of the session, which was adopted
by the SBI (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.15).
In closing, Chair Stoycheva said she had
consulted informally with Parties on the Secretariatï¿½s practice of
withholding funding for participation of Parties in arrears, and
proposed that the SBI take note of the concern and recommend that
the practice be suspended through COP-10. She also said the SBI
would request the Secretariat to review the implications of this on
developing countries and EITs and report to SBI-20 on this matter.
Chair Stoycheva closed SBI-19 at 01:16 am.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the
Kyoto Protocol, frustration over lack of progress was clear.
Convening in a late night Plenary to adopt SBI conclusions, Parties
continued to deliberate on issues not agreed to during the contact
groups and informal consultations. Observers noted that while the
sinks in the CDM issue, which was generally expected to cause the
greatest troubles at COP-9, had been resolved, the controversy of
the developing country issues had been underestimated. This was
evident both in the heated debates around the SCCF, referred to by
one delegate as "opening Pandoraï¿½s Box," and in consideration of
non-Annex I national communications. Several shaken delegates said
the EUï¿½s lack of resistance over deferring consideration of
submission of second and, where appropriate, third national
communications to SB-20 was wholly out of line with the EUï¿½s
negotiating mandate. The surprise was equally evident among some
developing country delegates, who met this give-away of bargaining
power with concealed laughter of disbelief.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT: The second round-table
discussion will be held at 10:00 am, and the third round-table
discussion will convene at 3:00 pm, in Plenary I.