Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 12 No. 231
Monday, 15 December 2003

SUMMARY OF THE NINTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE:

1-12 DECEMBER 2003

The ninth Conference of the Parties (COP-9) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the nineteenth sessions of the COP’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) were held at the Fiera Milan Congress Center in Milan, Italy, from 1-12 December 2003. Over 5000 participants from 166 governments, four observer States, 312 intergovernmental, non-governmental and other observer organizations, and 191 media outlets were in attendance. Throughout the meeting, Parties convened in several contact groups and informal consultations, as well as in plenary sessions of the SBSTA, SBI and COP. At COP-9, Parties adopted numerous decisions and conclusions on various issues, including: definitions and modalities for including afforestation and reforestation activities under the Clean Development Mechanism; good practice guidance on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF); and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund. Three ministerial high-level round-table discussions were held on Wednesday and Thursday, 10-11 December.

The two faces of the UNFCCC, the negotiators and the constituency faces, were clearly visible at COP-9. The official negotiations, while remaining deadlocked on several issues, reached consensus on some decisions, particularly concerning sinks in the CDM for which the COP will be remembered as the "forest COP." Running parallel to the contact groups and informal consultations, where fine details were being discussed, COP-9 proved that climate change issues remain high on the political agendas of many NGOs, business groups, and the academic community. It is these constituencies who continue to prove that, regardless of lack of significant progress, vigorous efforts to address the adverse effects of climate change are already underway, and are gaining momentum.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNFCCC AND THE KYOTO PROTOCOL

Climate change is considered one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with negative impacts expected on human health, food security, economic activity, water and other natural resources, and physical infrastructure. Global climate varies naturally, but scientists agree that rising concentrations of anthropogenically emitted greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are leading to changes in the climate. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the effects of climate change have already been observed, and a majority of scientists believe that precautionary and prompt action is necessary.

The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992. The UNFCCC sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in order to avoid "dangerous anthropogenic interference" with the climate system. Controlled gases include methane, nitrous oxide, and, in particular, carbon dioxide. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994, it now has 188 Parties.

THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: In 1995, the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-1) established the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate, and charged it with reaching agreement on strengthening efforts to combat climate change. Following intense negotiations culminating at COP-3 in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, delegates agreed to a Protocol to the UNFCCC that commits developed countries and countries making the transition to a market economy to achieve quantified emission reduction targets. These countries, known under the UNFCCC as Annex I Parties, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by at least 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 (the first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Protocol also established three mechanisms to assist Annex I Parties in meeting their national targets cost-effectively: an emissions trading system; joint implementation (JI) of emissions-reduction projects between Annex I Parties; and a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that encourages projects in non-Annex I (developing country) Parties.

At subsequent meetings, Parties negotiated most of the rules and operational details determining how countries will cut emissions and measure and assess emissions reductions. To enter into force, the Protocol must be ratified by 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, and by Annex I Parties representing at least 55% of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990. To date, 120 Parties have ratified the Protocol, including 32 Annex I Parties, representing 44.2% of the emissions.

THE BUENOS AIRES PLAN OF ACTION: In November 1998, Parties met at COP-4 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and agreed to a set of decisions known as the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The BAPA set COP-6 as the deadline for reaching agreement on the operational details of the Protocol and on strengthening implementation of the UNFCCC. Issues to be addressed included rules relating to the mechanisms, a regime for assessing Parties’ compliance, accounting methods for national emissions and emissions reductions, and rules on crediting countries for carbon sinks. Issues under the UNFCCC requiring resolution included questions of capacity building, the development and transfer of technology, and assistance to those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and/or to actions taken by industrialized countries to combat climate change.

COP-6 PART I: COP-6 and the resumed SB-13 were held in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 13-25 November 2000. During the second week of negotiations, COP-6 President Jan Pronk (the Netherlands) attempted to facilitate negotiations on the many disputed political and technical issues by convening high-level informal Plenary sessions. After almost 36 hours of intense talks in the final two days of COP-6, negotiators could not agree on a range of topics, particularly financial issues, supplementarity in the use of the mechanisms, compliance, and LULUCF. On Saturday afternoon, 25 November, President Pronk announced that delegates had failed to reach agreement. Delegates then agreed to suspend COP-6 and resume negotiations in 2001.

COP-6 PART II: In March 2001, the US administration repudiated the agreement reached in Kyoto, stating that it considered the Protocol to be "fatally flawed," as it would damage its economy and exempt key developing countries from emissions reduction targets. Parties reconvened at COP-6 Part II and SB-14 from 16-27 July 2001, in Bonn, Germany. After protracted consultations, President Pronk presented his proposal for a draft political decision. Despite support from several Parties, disagreements surfaced over the nature of the compliance regime. After several days of high-level consultations, ministers agreed to adopt President Pronk’s political decision, with a revised section on compliance on 25 July 2001. The political decision – or "Bonn Agreements" – needed to be operationalized through COP decisions. These decisions were considered a "package," and since no agreement was reached on the mechanisms, compliance and LULUCF, all draft decisions were forwarded to COP-7.

COP-7: Delegates continued discussions on the "Bonn Agreements" at COP-7 and SB-15 in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 29 October to 10 November 2001. After lengthy negotiations, a package deal on LULUCF, mechanisms, Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information), and input to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was proposed. Although the deal was accepted by most regional groups, some Annex I Parties, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the Russian Federation, did not join the consensus, disputing, among other things, eligibility requirements and credit banking under the mechanisms. However, following extensive negotiations, the "Marrakesh Accords" were agreed.

SB-16: Parties met at SB-16 in Bonn from 5-14 June 2002. Delegates considered several issues previously left off the agenda due to the pressing BAPA negotiations. Views on the direction of the climate process differed, with some Parties looking back to recent debates and others looking ahead toward the second commitment period. Many hoped the Protocol could enter into force by the WSSD in August 2002, with the EU and Japan announcing their Protocol ratifications prior to the Summit.

COP-8: Delegates to COP-8 and SB-17 met from 23 October to 1 November 2002, in New Delhi, India. On the final day of COP-8, they adopted the Delhi Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The Declaration reaffirms development and poverty eradication as overriding priorities in developing counties, and recognizes Parties’ common but differentiated responsibilities and national development priorities and circumstances in the implementation of UNFCCC commitments. Parties at COP-8 considered institutional and procedural issues under the Protocol and adopted several decisions, including the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board of the CDM.

SB-18: Delegates to SB-18 met in Bonn from 4-13 June 2003, and continued to address issues under negotiation since COP-8 and prepare for the Protocol’s entry into force. Conclusions were agreed on a number of issues, but the issue of the Secretariat’s programme budget for 2004-5 and the Special Climate Change Fund proved to be particularly difficult.

COP-9 REPORT

Opening the session on Monday morning, 1 December, COP-8 Vice-President Enele Sopoaga (Tuvalu) welcomed participants.

On behalf of COP-8 President T.R. Baalu, India’s Joint Secretary for Environment and Forests C. Viswanath called on Annex I Parties to take the lead in addressing the impacts of climate change and to provide developing countries with financial and technological assistance. He rejected the introduction of commitments for developing countries.

Vice-President Sopoaga then introduced Miklós Persányi, Minister of Environment and Water, Hungary, who was elected as COP-9 President by acclamation. In his opening statement, President Persányi highlighted efforts in developing countries to implement climate-friendly production patterns. He stressed that although the Protocol has not yet entered into force, its ratification by numerous Parties demonstrates its importance.

Altero Matteoli, Italy’s Minister for the Environment and Territory, said COP-9 provided an opportunity to identify new and stronger initiatives for combating climate change. Roberto Formigoni, President of the Region of Lombardy, stressed the importance of regional action on climate change, while Gabriel Albertini, Mayor of Milan, said delegates must take long-term views of climate change, its impacts, and the well-being of future generations. Luigi Cocchiaro, for the President of the Province of Milan, called for increased implementation in the areas of transport and renewable energy.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Joke Waller-Hunter said that, while the date of the Protocol’s entry into force remained uncertain, it was encouraging that this had not slowed the momentum for action. She emphasized the need to ensure that adequate resources were provided to meet programme delivery and implementation of COP decisions.

Morocco, speaking for the G-77/China, called on the Russian Federation to ratify the Protocol and on the US to "come back on board," and expressed concern about the low level of Parties’ contributions to the Secretariat. Zimbabwe, on behalf of the Africa Group, said Annex I Parties have failed to assume leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and lack political will to do so.

Italy, speaking for the EU, urged the US to take actions comparable to those that would have been expected from them under the Protocol. Tuvalu, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said the discussion on sinks in the CDM must maintain the social, environmental and economic integrity of the mechanism. Pakistan said work at COP-9 must focus on capacity building, technology transfer, and the Special Climate Change Fund.

Highlighting the vulnerability of LDCs, Tanzania, for the LDCs, stressed the need for entry into force of the Protocol and constructive work on matters relating to technology transfer, capacity building and LDCs.

The COP met in plenary sessions on Monday, 1 December, Thursday, 4 December and twice on Friday, 12 December. A high-level segment took place on Wednesday and Thursday, 10-11 December, and included three round-table discussions. The SBI and SBSTA opened on Monday, 1 December. The SBSTA met from Monday to Wednesday, 1-3 December, and closed on Tuesday, 9 December. The SBI met from Monday to Thursday, 1-4 December, Tuesday, 9 December, and closed on Wednesday, 10 December. Numerous contact group meetings and informal consultations were also held. This report summarizes the issues discussed at this meeting, organized in accordance with the agendas of the SBSTA, SBI and COP.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

SBSTA was chaired by Halldór Thorgeirsson (Iceland) and convened in four plenary meetings between Monday, 1 December and Tuesday, 9 December.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Adoption of the agenda: Delegates adopted the SBSTA’s agenda on Monday, 1 December (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/11).

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 on Tuesday, 9 December.

IPCC THIRD ASSESSMENT REPORT: Scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change, and scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation: On Monday, 1 December, Chair Thorgeirsson introduced his summary of the pre-sessional consultations, held from 27-28 November 2003, in Milan. Malaysia, speaking for the G-77/China, expressed hope that the new agenda items would not introduce new commitments for developing country Parties.

The EU said SBSTA should use a wide range of approaches and methodologies, including case-studies, technical papers, and workshops, and should draw on activities being developed by stakeholders. Japan said the process should be based on a step-wise, practical approach.

Delegates agreed to convene a contact group chaired by SBSTA Chair Thorgeirsson on this issue.

On Thursday, 4 December, contact group Chair Thorgeirsson introduced the draft decision and draft SBSTA conclusions on this issue. 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 a draft decision to the COP. Opposing the G-77/China, several Parties emphasized the need to begin work on the new agenda items. Chair Thorgeirsson said he would consult informally with Parties.

In the contact group meeting held on Friday, 5 December, Chair Thorgeirsson reported on informal consultations, noting that Parties highlighted the need to: build upon existing agreement; advance work without creating boundaries; encourage broad participation, including from experts, while keeping the process under Party control; and ensure participation by all Parties. Parties considered a future workshop, with Saudi Arabia urging work to focus on determining the terms of reference of the workshop. The G-77/China, New Zealand and Thailand stressed the need to determine the workshop’s scope. China, India, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia proposed structured submissions on priority themes for consideration at the workshop, while the EU and Norway said there was no need for further submissions. The G-77/China, Saudi Arabia and Oman objected to drafting a COP decision, while the EU, Norway, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and Canada expressed support for it.

In the contact group on Saturday, 6 December, Chair Thorgeirsson introduced a revised draft COP decision and draft conclusions, and invited Parties to meet in informal consultations.

Following agreement in the informal consultations, Parties met in the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December. The Russian Federation emphasized that the TAR provides a "scientific basis of a global nature" applicable to all Parties. SBSTA adopted conclusions and agreed to forward a draft decision to the COP. The COP adopted the decision on Friday, 12 December.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.26), SBSTA notes that exchanges with experts as held during the pre-sessional consultations may be useful for the future work of SBSTA under the new agenda items. SBSTA also notes that the themes of, inter alia, sustainable development, opportunities and solutions, and vulnerability and risk, are relevant for consideration under the two new agenda items. SBSTA invites Parties to submit their views on these themes, and other information relating to these agenda items.

In the conclusions, SBSTA also: requests the Secretariat, under the guidance of the SBSTA Chair, to organize a workshop on each of the new agenda items during SBSTA-20; requests the SBSTA Chair to take into account the views and information provided by Parties when organizing the workshops; and agrees to determine next steps on each of the new agenda items at SBSTA-20 in light of the outcomes of the workshops.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.26/ Add.1), the COP requests SBSTA-20 to initiate its work on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change, and on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation, and to focus on exchanging information and sharing experiences and view among Parties on practical opportunities and solutions to facilitate the UNFCCC’s implementation. The COP also requests SBSTA to report on its work to COP-11.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Review of methodological work under the UNFCCC and Protocol: In the SBSTA Plenary on Monday, 1 December, several Parties noted the value of the Secretariat’s synthesis of views on a future work programme on methodological work and stressed the need for a data interface. Chair Thorgeirsson requested Jim Penman (UK) and Brian Challenger (Antigua and Barbuda) to co-chair a contact group to discuss these issues.

In the contact group on Tuesday, 2 December, Parties disagreed over the approach and content of the activities to be discussed, but agreed to rationalize the proposals, avoid the duplication of work, and move forward with the commencement of a scoping phase for a data interface.

In the contact group meeting held on Thursday, 4 December, the Co-Chairs presented proposed elements for further discussion, distinguishing new items from those that are already being addressed under the UNFCCC or elsewhere. Several Parties recommended a focus on methodological work for UNFCCC implementation and good practices in policies and measures (P&Ms) in Annex I Parties. Parties disagreed over the inclusion of text on cleaner or less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy, methodologies on the impact of implementation of the Protocol, and methodologies to determine Parties’ contributions.

On Friday, 5 December, concerns were raised in the contact group regarding: cost implications; whether work on the agenda item had been completed; linking text on capacity building and collaborative efforts to the elements of methodological work; and text on periodic overviews.

In the contact group on Monday, 8 December, some delegates expressed concern that provisions on background information and on future methodological work should await completion of IPCC TAR discussions. Parties agreed to provisions on a data-interface scoping phase and to delete text on: periodic overviews of the status of methodological work; collaboration with relevant organizations; and capacity building relating to the development and dissemination of methodologies. Parties debated whether to remove provisions on the exchange of information regarding the implementation of national systems for the preparation of national greenhouse gas inventories, and on the exchange of information to increase common understanding of proposals for determining Parties’ contributions to controlling emissions.

In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, delegates disagreed over whether a proposed workshop should focus solely on fourth national communications, on Annex I Parties’ projections, or whether it should be more general. Agreeing to focus a workshop on emissions projections of Annex I Parties as a contribution to their fourth national communications, SBSTA adopted the conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.25), SBSTA recognizes that the Secretariat’s Greenhouse Gas Information System is the authoritative repository of greenhouse gas data reported by Parties to the UNFCCC. It requests the Secretariat, subject to the availability of funding, to: initiate a scoping phase for consideration of a data interface and invite Parties to submit views on this to be synthesized by the Secretariat; invite Parties’ submissions and organize a workshop on emissions projections of Annex I Parties, as a contribution to their fourth national communications; and invite Party submissions and organize a workshop on national systems under Protocol Article 5.1 for the preparation of national greenhouse gas inventories.

Greenhouse gas inventories: In the SBSTA Plenary on Monday, 1 December, Parties called for the identification of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from civil aviation. They also proposed that SBSTA work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to achieve further progress, urged a more proactive role than information gathering on emissions from aviation and maritime transportation, and encouraged SBSTA to support programmes for improving maritime and aviation emissions estimates.

Chair Thorgeirsson requested Helen Plume (New Zealand) to conduct informal consultations on the matter. In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, Plume 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 brackets. SBSTA adopted the conclusions, as amended.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.28), SBSTA addresses methodological issues, emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transportation, and the report on national greenhouse gas inventory data from Annex I Parties for the period of 1990-2001. SBSTA requests the Secretariat to continue to cooperate with the IPCC and provide more detailed information, based on the latest available greenhouse gas inventories submitted by Parties, and the result of the technical review of the greenhouse gas inventories. SBSTA also notes the substantial improvement in quality and timing of greenhouse gas inventory submissions, by most Annex I Parties.

Afforestation and Reforestation under the CDM: On Tuesday, 2 December, SBSTA Chair Thorgeirsson noted progress on definitions and modalities on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) projects under the CDM during pre-sessional consultations undertaken Friday and Saturday, 29-30 November. He said delegates had addressed, inter alia: baselines, additionality and leakage; crediting options; and socioeconomic and environmental criteria. Chair Thorgeirsson said a contact group would be formed, co-chaired by Karsten Sach (Germany) and Thelma Krug (Brazil).

In a meeting of the contact group held on Wednesday, 3 December, Co-Chair Sach presented a revised negotiating text, to be annexed to the draft COP decision. The text incorporated several submissions by Parties, particularly on permanence and on socioeconomic and environmental criteria. Other proposals tabled included provisions on invasive alien species (IAS), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and small-scale projects.

On Thursday, 5 December, delegates met in informal consultations and discussed the viability of positive leakage and the various options for establishing a crediting period.

In the contact group on Saturday, 6 December, Co-Chair Krug presented a revised annex to the draft COP decision. Detailing the modalities and procedures of afforestation and reforestation project activities, the annex maintains agreed definitions of forest, afforestation and reforestation. It also includes an option for both temporary and long-term credits, which may be renewed or taken for a fixed crediting period; allows for negative leakage only; provides a definition for small-scale projects with modalities to be decided at COP-10; incorporates socioeconomic and environmental criteria into project design document requirements; and includes a general reference to the IPCC Good Practice Guidance.

On Monday, 8 December, informal consultations continued throughout the day and into the night. Discussions centered, inter alia, on the size and modalities governing small-scale projects, and the inclusion of IAS and GMOs.

On Tuesday, 9 December, Co-Chair Krug presented the contact group with a revised annex to the draft COP decision resulting from informal consultations held throughout Monday, 8 December, and into Tuesday morning, 9 December. Several Parties congratulated the Co-Chairs on the "balanced package" and urged others to avoid re-opening the debate. Canada, opposed by Switzerland and the EU, proposed deleting reference in the draft COP decision on awareness of international "environmental" agreements and leaving only "international agreements." The amendment was accepted in the spirit of compromise, and the contact group decided to forward the draft COP decision to SBSTA for approval.

In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, contact group Co-Chair Krug reported that agreement had been reached on the draft COP decision. While Australia expressed concern regarding the singling out of GMOs and IAS, Norway regretted the lack of stronger language excluding them from project activities. The EU stressed that the text was balanced and reflected progress toward implementing the Protocol. On Tuesday, 9 December, SBSTA agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP. On Friday, 12 December, the COP adopted the decision.

COP Decision: The decision on afforestation and reforestation under the CDM (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.27) contains a draft COP/ MOP decision and an annex detailing the modalities and procedures of the project activities decision. In the decision, the COP declares an awareness of relevant provisions in international agreements applying to afforestation and reforestation under the CDM, and recognizes that host Parties evaluate risks associated with GMOs and IAS according to their national laws. The COP also invites Parties’ submissions on simplified modalities and procedures for small-scale projects and their implementation, and requests the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the matter based on Parties’ submissions, to be considered by SBSTA-20 and COP-10.

Good practice guidance and other information on LULUCF: SBSTA decided to address the IPCC report on good practice guidance for LULUCF, together with the IPCC’s work on factoring out direct human-induced changes in carbon stocks from indirect human-induced and natural effects, as well as with the IPCC report on degradation of forests and devegetation of other vegetation types.

On Tuesday, 2 December, the IPCC presented its report on Good Practice Guidance (GPG) for LULUCF to SBSTA. The IPCC also reported on its work on factoring out, and noted difficulties in providing a practical methodology for factoring out for a broad range of LULUCF activities. Chair Thorgeirsson said Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe (Zimbabwe) and Audun Rosland (Norway) would co-chair a contact group to develop conclusions on the GPG.

On Wednesday, 3 December, during a meeting of the contact group, several Parties suggested adopting the IPCC’s GPG. They noted the need to retain links in the common reporting format with the Revised 1996 IPCC Reporting Guidelines, and said that the sectoral tables should be simplified and consistent. Co-Chair Rosland established a small group to continue informal discussions on this issue.

The G-77/China and the EU highlighted the importance of factoring out, saying it reflected principles agreed in the Marrakesh Accords, and therefore needed to be addressed before the second commitment period. On degradation of forests and devegetation of other types, the contact group agreed that submissions by Parties should be requested for further discussion at COP-10.

In the contact group on Thursday, 4 December, Co-Chair 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 GPG.

On Friday, 5 December, the contact group discussed draft conclusions recommending the use of the IPCC GPG under the UNFCCC, while considering the GPG further at SBSTA-20, before recommending its use under the Protocol. AOSIS raised concerns over adopting the GPG without sufficient time for its examination, and also over the practicality of considering the GPG for the UNFCCC and Protocol separately. Others urged the adoption of the GPG for both the UNFCCC and the Protocol in order to prepare national inventories in time for entry into force of the Protocol. The EU recommended recording Tuvalu’s concerns in the meeting’s minutes instead of amending the draft conclusions. Tuvalu opposed this suggestion.

On degradation of forests and devegetation of other vegetation types, Parties debated whether the SBSTA should invite Parties to submit their views on possible definitions and methodologies to the Secretariat.

On Saturday, 6 December, the contact group continued discussions on the revised draft conclusions and a draft COP decision, centered on whether to recommend the GPG for reporting under the UNFCCC as well as under the Protocol. Delegates also discussed how to refer to the IPCC report on factoring out when taking note of it in the decisions, and accounting of LULUCF activities.

In the contact group on Monday, 8 December, Co-Chair Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe announced that Parties had agreed to recommend the IPCC GPG for reporting under the UNFCCC, and to continue considering reporting requirements under the Protocol at SBSTA-20, with a view to making a decision by COP-10. On factoring out, Parties agreed to note the IPCC report submitted to SBSTA by the IPCC in response to a COP invitation.

On Tuesday, 9 December, the SBSTA adopted draft conclusions and agreed to a decision to be forwarded to the COP, which adopted the decision on Friday, 12 December.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions on good practice guidance and other information on LULUCF (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.22), SBSTA, inter alia, requests submissions from Parties on degradation and devegetation and on factoring out, in order to further review both at SBSTA-20, and takes note of the IPCC expert meeting on current scientific understanding of the processes affecting terrestrial carbon stocks and human influences upon them.

COP Decision: In its decision on the use of GPG for preparing national greenhouse gas inventories under the UNFCCC (FCCC/ SBSTA/2003/L.22/Add.1), the COP decides to further consider the common reporting format tables for reporting under the Protocol at SBSTA-20. The COP also invites Parties to submit their views on the draft common reporting format tables and on reporting requirements under the Protocol, and requests the Secretariat to update the draft tables to facilitate their consideration. The decision includes sectoral tables in Annexes I-III that will be integrated into the inventory reporting software under development by the Secretariat.

Harvested wood products: This issue was taken up together with GPG on LULUCF in the contact group co-chaired by Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe and Audun Rosland. On Tuesday, 2 December, Chair Thorgeirsson introduced to SBSTA a technical paper prepared by the Secretariat on estimation, harvesting and accounting of harvested wood products. The US proposed accounting for exports and imports separately, and Tuvalu noted the need to account for wood products harvested in developing countries and transferred to developed countries. Parties agreed that this was an issue for the second commitment period, and decided to forward it for further consideration at SBSTA-20. In the contact group meeting on Wednesday, 3 December, discussion centered around whether to hold a workshop to build capacity, or whether to simply request Parties’ submissions on the issue. In the contact group on Thursday, 4 December, delegates discussed the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions. Text was bracketed on the reference to taking the IPCC GPG into consideration when making submissions. On Tuesday, 9 December, SBSTA adopted the conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: The SBSTA conclusions (FCCC/ SBSTA/2003/L.21), inter alia, invite Parties to submit their views on the issue, in order to consider the matter further at SBSTA-20 and SBSTA-21, and to hold a workshop before SBSTA-21, subject to the availability of funds.

Issues relating to registry systems under Protocol Article 7.4: Reporting to SBSTA on pre-sessional consultations on registries on Tuesday, 2 December, Murray Ward (New Zealand) emphasized the importance of cooperation between administrators of registries and of the transaction log. In the SBSTA Plenary held on Tuesday, 9 December, Ward outlined the scope of the draft conclusions, which were then adopted by SBSTA.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/ SBSTA/ 2003/L.20), SBSTA: takes note of the report on the development of the data exchange standards and the transaction log; stresses the need for the Secretariat to focus attention on the transaction log, and to continue pursuing means to reduce the funding requirements associated with the development of the transaction log; and urges Annex II Parties to make exceptional efforts to contribute to the supplemental Trust Fund to allow the necessary work on the development of the transaction log to start at the beginning of 2004 and be completed before COP-10. SBSTA also urged each Party listed in Protocol Annex B, which has not already designated its registry administrator to maintain its national registry, to do so as soon as possible, with a view to facilitating early cooperation on the development of registries and the transaction log.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: In the Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December, the Secretariat presented the UNFCCC technology information clearing house (TT:CLEAR). William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu (Ghana), Chair of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT), then presented the EGTT’s proposed work programme for 2004. Chair Thorgeirsson requested Terry Carrington (UK) and Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad & Tobago) to co-chair a contact group on the EGTT’s programme of work and related issues.

In the contact group on Wednesday, 3 December, Parties disagreed on whether the draft text should be expanded, or whether it was already "ambitious" enough. Disagreement also arose regarding the frequency of meetings proposed, with some developed countries noting that the availability of EGTT members and budgetary restrictions must be considered.

On Thursday, 4 December, the contact group agreed to forward a proposal to SBI on guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for consideration under the agenda item on the SCCF, and agreed to note that work on technology transfer undertaken by SBSTA complements work in other fora.

In the contact group on Saturday, 6 December, Parties recommended amending text on support from international and other organizations. Text was introduced on enhancing the "push factor" in developed countries to transfer technologies to developing countries, assessments on technology transfer, joint research on environmentally-sound technologies, and reporting on capacity-building activities relating to technology transfer in national communications. Deliberations continued in informal discussions on Saturday afternoon, 6 December, and Monday, 8 December.

Conclusions were adopted by SBSTA on Tuesday, 9 December.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.18), SBSTA, inter alia:

  • endorses the programme of work of the EGTT for 2004;
     

  • notes that full implementation of the EGTT programme of work for 2004 would require additional supplementary resources;
     

  • encourages Parties to include more specific reporting on capacity-building activities relating to technology transfer in their national communications and promote and support technology networks and partnerships that complement technology transfer, training, and capacity-building activities; and
     

  • invites UNDP and others to provide information to the EGTT on implementation of technology needs assessments and technology transfer capacity-building activities.

SBSTA also requests the Secretariat, subject to the availability of resources, to organize a workshop on innovative options for financing the development and transfer of technology.

"GOOD PRACTICES" IN POLICIES AND MEASURES: This issue was addressed by SBSTA on Tuesday, 2 December, and in informal consultations led by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania) and Greg Terrill (Australia). On Tuesday, 2 December, the EU urged Parties to submit reports to the Secretariat on demonstrable progress, and asked SBSTA to identify priority activities and develop a work programme on good practices. In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, Terrill introduced the draft conclusions, noting that Parties had been unable to reach agreement. SBSTA adopted conclusions reflecting this.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.29), SBSTA agrees to consider the matter further at SBSTA-20.

RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION: On Tuesday, 2 December, the Cook Islands, for AOSIS, underscored the need for financial and technical resources. The EU and Switzerland emphasized the importance of historical data sets. Chair Thorgeirsson said Sue Barrell (Australia) and Philip Gwage (Uganda) would co-chair a contact group.

In the contact group meeting on Wednesday, 3 December, Parties discussed a draft COP decision and draft conclusions. Chile stressed the need to call on national governments to provide financial resources to national meteorological authorities.

In the contact group on Friday, 5 December, Parties considered a revised draft COP decision and draft conclusions. Stressing the importance of sustained funding for regional action plans, the G-77/China suggested that guidance on this issue should be given to the GEF. Referring to SBSTA-17 conclusions containing a provision on this matter, Co-Chair Barrell asked the G-77/China whether a new provision on this was necessary. The G-77/China said they would consult internally. Co-Chair Barrell then indicated that she would hold informal consultations with Parties on this matter.

In the contact group on Saturday, 6 December, Co-Chair Barrell reported on informal consultations and proposed compromise text. Parties discussed to which operational entity the SBI should provide guidance.

In the contact group on Monday, 7 December, Parties agreed to invite the SBI to give appropriate consideration to addressing the priority needs identified in regional action plans on global climate observing systems when considering funding options, including in the SBI’s additional guidance to the GEF.

In Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, SBSTA adopted the conclusions and agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.17), SBSTA requests the Secretariat to organize, at SBSTA-20, a side event on ongoing and planned research initiatives to address the research recommendations of the IPCC TAR. Recalling the conclusions of SBSTA-17, SBSTA also invites the SBI when considering additional guidance to the GEF to give appropriate consideration to addressing priority needs identified in the regional action plans in relation to global observing systems for climate.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.17/Add.1), the COP requests Parties to review the second adequacy report within the context of their national capabilities and to consider what actions they can take to address the findings, noting inter alia, the wealth of information that can be provided through the digitization, analysis and exchange of historical information, and the importance of adhering to applicable adopted principles of free and unrestricted exchange of data and products. The COP requests the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Secretariat to coordinate the development of a phased 5-10 year implementation plan for the integrated global observing systems for climate. The COP also invites the GCOS Secretariat and the Ad Hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to collaborate closely in developing their respective implementation plans, and the Ad Hoc Group on Earth Observations to treat global climate monitoring as a priority. The COP urges Parties in a position to do so to support the priority needs in developing countries.

COOPERATION WITH RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: On Tuesday, 2 December, a representative of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) outlined relevant outcomes of the ninth meeting of its Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, and presented key findings of the report of its Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on biological diversity and climate change. The Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) stated that its recent COP-6 had adopted a decision encouraging the Joint Liaison Group to identify further areas for joint activities.

The UN Inter-Agency Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction outlined its work on mainstreaming climate change adaptation into disaster reduction strategies.

Several Parties stressed the need to promote capacity building, technology transfer and reporting as measures to support synergies. FAO reported on its activities relating to agriculture, energy, and rural development, and IUCN highlighted the need to integrate climate change measures into the management of protected areas. Chair Thorgeirsson said Outi Berghäll (Finland) and Marcela Maim (Chile) would conduct informal consultations on draft SBSTA conclusions.

In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, Co-Chair Berghäll reported on the informal consultations. The EU said a workshop co-organized by the CCD and CBD on identifying and promoting synergies through forest and forest ecosystems would be held in March 2004, in Viterbo, Italy. SBSTA adopted the conclusions.

SBSTA Conclusions: The conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.19) address cooperation with other conventions, and cooperation with scientific organizations and UN bodies. On cooperation with other conventions, SBSTA notes the distinct mandates and independent status of each convention, reiterates the importance of promoting synergies at the national and local levels where implementation occurs, and encourages Parties to strive for coherence in the implementation of the conventions.

OTHER MATTERS: Issues relating to cleaner or less-greenhouse gas-emitting energy: This issue was addressed in SBSTA Plenary on Wednesday, 3 December. Delegates disagreed on whether SBSTA should invite Parties to submit views on the issue, and Chair Thorgeirsson said he would consult informally on the matter.

In the SBSTA Plenary, on Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Thorgeirsson noted that no consensus had been reached on the issue. Canada expressed hope that progress would be made in the future. SBSTA adopted the conclusions, which note that no progress was made.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.23), SBSTA notes that it did not complete its consideration of issues under this agenda sub-item at SBSTA-19 and agrees to continue its consideration of these issues at SBSTA-20.

Issues relating to the implementation of Protocol Article 2.3: This issue was addressed by SBSTA on Wednesday, 3 December. Parties disagreed regarding further work on the implementation of Article 2.3 (adverse effects of P&Ms). Chair Thorgeirsson said he would conduct informal consultations on the issue.

In the SBSTA Plenary, on Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Thorgeirsson said there was still no agreement. SBSTA adopted the conclusions, which note this lack of agreement.

SBSTA Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/ L.24), SBSTA notes that it did not complete its consideration of issues under this agenda sub-item and agrees to continue its consideration of these issues at SBSTA-20.

Other matters: In the SBSTA Plenary on Wednesday, 3 December, Chair Thorgeirsson reviewed the change in frequency of activities implemented jointly synthesis reports and noted that 1 June 2004 is the deadline for the submission of reports for inclusion in the seventh synthesis report. In the SBSTA Plenary, on Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Thorgeirsson noted these discussions.

In the SBSTA Plenary held on Wednesday, 3 December, delegates discussed the review of the scientific and methodological aspects of the Brazilian proposal for differentiated emissions reduction targets according to the impact of their historic emissions on temperature rise. The UK outlined the background and outcomes of the third expert meeting, held in Berlin, Germany, in September 2003. Chair Thorgeirsson said he would hold consultations on this issue.

In the SBSTA Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Thorgeirsson said SBSTA took note of the discussions.

REPORT OF THE SESSION: The report of SBSTA-19 was presented by Tatyana Ososkova (Uzbekistan) on Tuesday, 9 December. SBSTA adopted the report (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.26). Delegates thanked Chair Thorgeirsson for his "outstanding contribution," focus on transparency and leadership defining his term as SBSTA Chair. Chair Thorgeirsson closed SBSTA-19 at 10:36 pm.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION

SBI was chaired by Daniela Stoycheva (Bulgaria) and convened six times from Monday, 1 December, to Wednesday, 10 December.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Adoption of the agenda: On Monday, 1 December, Chair Stoycheva opened the session, and introduced the agenda for adoption (FCCC/SBI/2003/9 and Corr.1). Regarding the sub-item on submission of second and third national communications, the G-77/China objected to the reference to the "frequency of" submissions and, with Saudi Arabia, stressed the importance of financial and technical support for preparing national communications before addressing the issue of their timing. Supporting the inclusion of this reference, the EU, with Australia, noted that decision 17/CP.8 (guidelines for the preparation on non-Annex I national communications) refers to the "frequency of" submissions.

On the sub-item dealing with the consideration of the fifth compilation and synthesis of initial national communications, the G-77/China, opposed by the US, objected to a document tabled by the Secretariat on steps taken by non-Annex I Parties to reduce emissions.

On the agenda item addressing the implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse affects), the EU and US emphasized the need to discuss the implementation of decision 5/ CP.7 (implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects) as a sub-item. The G-77/China and others proposed that the agenda sub-item not be restricted to decision 5/CP.7, but address all matters related to Article 4.8. Following discussion, the agenda was adopted with these two sub-items held in abeyance.

On Thursday, 4 December, Chair Stoycheva noted that, following informal consultations, Parties had reached agreement on the two agenda sub-items. Regarding submission of second and, where appropriate, third national communications, Parties had agreed to remove reference to "frequency of." On adverse effects, Parties had agreed to consider the implementation of decision 5/ CP.7, rather than the implementation of Article 4.8. SBI adopted the agenda as amended.

Election of officers other than the Chair: On Wednesday, 10 December, Chair Stoycheva indicated that Fadhel Lari (Kuwait) has been elected as SBI Vice-Chair for a second term. She noted that the SBI Rapporteur will be elected at SBI-20.

NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: On Monday, 1 December, the SBI addressed the consideration of the fifth compilation and synthesis of initial national communications, the work of the Consultative Group of Experts on non-Annex I national communications (CGE), and provision of financial and technical support in SBI, agreeing to convene a contact group, chaired by Sok Appadu (Mauritius) to further consider non-Annex I national communications.

On Thursday, 4 December, SBI addressed the issue of submission of second, and where appropriate, third national communications. The US suggested that non-Annex I national communica-tions should be submitted no more than four years after the submission of their initial communications, and that LDCs should submit their communications 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.

In the contact group on Friday, 5 December, Parties addressed the fifth compilation and synthesis report and work of the CGE. Parties addressed how CGE workshops should be organized, with the EU, opposed by the G-77/China, suggesting that workshops could address all thematic areas in a combined approach, rather than addressing one theme only.

On Saturday, 6 December, the contact group considered provision of financial and technical support, and the timing of submissions of second and, where appropriate, third national communications. The G-77/China noted that the preparation of national communications is a continuous process, but that the frequency of submissions is a "non-issue." Chair Appadu requested submissions from Parties on their views, for inclusion in the draft conclusions and COP decision.

In the contact group on Monday, 8 December, the G-77/China suggested deleting text recognizing that the submission of national communications would ensure that the COP has sufficient information to assess the UNFCCC’s implementation in a timely manner. The EU proposed text that national communications assist the COP to review the UNFCCC’s implementation.

On Tuesday, 9 December, delegates met twice in the contact group. The G-77/China suggested text stating that frequency of submissions of national communications 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.

On Wednesday, 10 December, SBI adopted its conclusions, and agreed to forward a draft decision to the COP.

SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions on the work of the CGE (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.24), SBI takes note of the work programme of the CGE for 2003-7. It requests the CGE and the Secretariat to invite experts working on the different areas of national communications, taking into account other relevant activities and programmes, such as national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the workshops. SBI also acknowledges that existing financial and technical resource allocations may be insufficient to fulfill the CGE’s work needs, and invites Annex II Parties to contribute financial resources. SBI also encourages the CGE to take into account activities of the GEF/UNDP/UNEP’s National Communications Support Programme.

In the conclusions on provision of financial and technical support (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.25), SBI invites Parties to continue to submit views on their experiences with the GEF and its implementing agencies in relation to the preparation of national communications, and requests the GEF secretariat to compile this information and make it available to the SBI.

In the conclusions on submission of second and, where appropriate, third national communications (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.30), SBI agrees to continue consideration of this matter at SBI-20.

COP Decision: In its decision on the consideration of the fifth compilation and synthesis of initial national communications (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.23), the COP concludes, inter alia, that: many non-Annex I Parties have submitted projects for funding; the enhancement of capacity and support is necessary for the maintenance of capacity built during the preparation of national communications; and there continues to be a need for financial and technical support to enhance national capacities in non-Annex I Parties to prepare second and, where appropriate, third national communications. The COP requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation and synthesis of information contained in initial national communications submitted up to 1 April 2005, and a document on possible means to facilitate the implementation of projects proposed for funding by non-Annex I Parties.

FINANCIAL MECHANISM OF THE UNFCCC: Special Climate Change Fund: In the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December, the EU said the SCCF should be used as a catalyst for leveraging additional resources from bilateral and multilateral sources. China urged the establishment of a procedure for the replenishment of the SCCF. Chair Stoycheva established a contact group, co-chaired by Rawleston Moore (Barbados) and Frode Neergaard (Denmark), to prepare a draft COP decision.

In the contact group meeting on Wednesday, 3 December, several countries underlined the priority of financing projects in line with agreed decisions on adaptation and technology transfer. Colombia, supported by Peru, proposed categorizing projects as small, medium or large scale. The G-77/China underscored the importance of addressing sources of finance and mechanisms for dispersal. Micronesia stressed the need for expedited access, and South Africa said the level of funding to ensure the sustainability of the SCCF needed to be addressed.

In the contact group on Thursday, 4 December, the Co-Chairs presented a draft COP decision. Nigeria, for the G-77/China, said the draft decision could not be used as the basis of negotiation, emphasizing that it did not contain sufficient guidance on operational procedures. The EU, Canada and Norway said the draft decision provided a good basis for negotiations.

On Friday, 5 December, the contact group undertook a paragraph-by-paragraph reading of the text. The G-77/China said that the SCCF should be financed from new and additional funds, and that the funding level of the SCCF should match that of the GEF’s climate change focal area. The G-77/China, opposed by the EU and Norway, stressed the need for text supporting predictable and adequate funding levels. On the inclusion of activities in decision 7/CP.7 (funding under the UNFCCC), particularly on economic diversification, the EU, with Norway, opposed by the G-77/ China, called for the deletion of the reference.

In the contact group meeting on Saturday, 6 December, the Co-Chairs presented a revised draft COP decision. The G-77/China expressed concerns that the draft decision had not incorporated elements regarding the predictability and the new and additional nature of the funding, and had excluded references to technology transfer as it relates to adaptation. The Co-Chairs suspended the contact group to allow for informal consultations.

In the contact group on Monday, 9 December, discussion focused on operative paragraphs dealing with SCCF principles and the definition of adaptation projects. Opposing a proposal by the EU to include references to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the G-77/China insisted that such references should only be addressed in the preambular text. Delegates could not agree to a Canadian proposal to use non-Annex I national communications as the basis for defining adaptation and technology transfer priorities.

In the contact group on Wednesday, 10 December, Co-Chair Moore presented a second revision of the Co-Chairs’ draft COP 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 proposed alternative text regarding the prioritization of, and funding for, economic diversification activities. Following further informal consultations, Co-Chair Moore said the draft COP decision would be forwarded to SBI with bracketed text. In the SBI Plenary on Wednesday, 10 December, SBI agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP President for further action. The G-77/China, Argentina, China, and Saudi Arabia expressed concern over lack of progress on this issue and suggested that developed countries were failing to meet their COP-7 obligations.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/CP/2003/L.8), the COP notes that the SCCF supports the implementation of the UNFCCC, contributes to the achievement of the WSSD and the MDGs, and contributes to the integration of climate change considerations into development activities. The COP decides to support the implementation of adaptation activities, taking into account national communications or NAPAs, and other relevant information provided by the applicant Party. Regarding the use of resources from the SCCF, the COP decides that resources shall be used to fund technology transfer activities, programmes and measures that are complementary to those currently funded by the GEF in the following priority areas: implementation of the results of technology needs assessments; technology information; capacity building for technology transfer; and enabling environments. The COP also decides that activities relating to economic diversification are to be funded, and invites Parties to submit to the Secretariat, by 15 September 2004, further views on activities, programmes and measures in these areas for further consideration by SBI-21 and COP-10.

Report of the GEF to the COP: This issue was addressed by SBI on Tuesday, 2 December, and in informal consultations conducted by SBI Chair Stoycheva. On Tuesday, 2 December, the GEF highlighted its initiatives on climate change. Tanzania, for the LDCs, stressed the need for expedited procedures for the approval of NAPAs. China and Brazil urged accelerated funding for second national communications, and Algeria expressed concern about lack of progress and funding. On Wednesday, 10 December, SBI agreed to forward the decision to the COP, which adopted it on Friday, 12 December. The COP also took note of the Report of the GEF (FCCC/CP/2003/3).

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.27), the COP decides to request the GEF to report to COP-10 on the implementation of the strategic approach to enhancing capacity building, and the framework for meaningful and effective actions to enhance the implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.5 (development and transfer of technologies).

Additional guidance to the GEF: This issue was addressed in the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December. Chair Stoycheva requested Andrea Albán (Colombia) to conduct informal consultations with the relevant contact group chairs, and prepare a draft omnibus COP decision. On Wednesday, 10 December, SBI agreed to forward the decision to the COP, which adopted it on Friday, 12 December.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.28), the COP requests the GEF to monitor the performance of the "global project" to support the preparation of national communications, and provide finance in a timely manner for the preparation of national communications by non-Annex I Parties not covered by the "global project." Regarding capacity building, the COP decides to request the GEF to provide support for the implementation of the capacity-building frameworks annexed to decision 2/CP.7 (capacity building in developing countries) and decision 3/CP.7 (capacity building in countries with economies in transition (EITs)). On matters relating to technology transfer, the COP decides to request the GEF to continue to support enabling activities relating to technology needs assessments. It also requests the GEF to continue support for education, training and public awareness, and to operationalize as soon as possible the new strategic priority in the climate change focal area on adaptation.

CAPACITY BUILDING: On Tuesday, 2 December, several Parties highlighted the need to document best practice and lessons learned. Chair Stoycheva said that a contact group, chaired by Dechen Tsering (Bhutan), would prepare a draft COP decision.

On Wednesday, 3 December, the contact group considered actions and steps to complete the comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries. Parties discussed a request to the Secretariat to produce a technical paper on lessons learned. The G-77/China, supported by the EU, stressed the importance of the Secretariat also considering gaps and shortfalls in implementing the framework. Chair Tsering said informal consultations would be held to prepare a draft COP decision.

On Friday, 5 December, the contact group discussed the Chair’s draft decision. Parties decided that submissions requested from Parties would be incorporated into a text on the effectiveness of capacity building in developing countries to be prepared by the Secretariat by SBI-20. On guidance to the GEF, Croatia proposed that the GEF’s approach to enhancing capacity building should be to respond to the framework for capacity building in EITs. Parties decided to forward bracketed text on further guidance to the GEF for consideration under the relevant agenda item.

On Saturday, 6 December, the contact group considered the Chair’s revised draft COP decision. Delegates were unable to agree on whether to hold a workshop to facilitate an exchange of views and experience on the implementation of decision 2/CP.7. Chair Tsering said she would consult informally with Parties.

On Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Tsering presented a report of the contact group’s work and SBI agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP, which adopted it on Friday, 12 December.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.19), the COP decides to: complete the first comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity building in developing countries by COP-10; conduct further comprehensive reviews every five years thereafter; request the Secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the range and effectiveness of capacity-building activities in developing countries for consideration by SBI-20; and invite Parties to submit to the Secretariat, by 15 February 2004, additional information as an input to the technical paper. The COP also encourages EITs, in preparing their national communications, to provide information on the implementation of the framework for capacity building in their countries. The COP requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation and synthesis report on capacity-building activities in EITs based on, inter alia, information provided by the GEF, for consideration by SBI-20.

UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: In the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December, delegates suggested that national communications include information on obstacles to implementing Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), highlighted the need for a country-driven focus, and called for technical and financial assistance. Several Parties emphasized the importance of regional workshops. Chair Stoycheva requested Markus Nauser (Switzerland) to conduct informal consultations and prepare draft conclusions. In the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, SBI adopted the conclusions. Fatou Ndeye Gaye (the Gambia) reported on the informal consultations, and the Secretariat clarified the nature, role and method of work of the temporary advisory committee working on the prompt start of the Article 6 clearing house.

SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.20), SBI urges: the provision of guidance to the Secretariat for the implementation of the clearing house; the further exploration of possible institutions that could house the clearing house; work to contribute to a small-scale version of the clearing house; and the organization of a pre-sessional workshop to receive feedback on the further development of the clearing house. SBI requests the Secretariat, subject to the availability of resources, to set up an interim informal advisory group to facilitate the prompt start of the preparation phase of the clearing house

SBI encourages Parties to report on the six key areas of Article 6 in their national communications, notes, inter alia, that additional and/or separate interim reports on the implementation of the New Delhi Work Programme on Article 6 will remain a voluntary initiative by Parties.

IMPLEMENTATION OF UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9: Progress on the implementation of activities under decision 5/CP.7: In SBI on Thursday, 4 December, Chair Stoycheva indicated 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 this matter.

In the contact group on Friday, 5 December, the G-77/China called for substantive discussions on implementation of decision 5/ CP.7, with a view to building on existing work. Stating that, in terms of the UNFCCC, adaptation is the priority, AOSIS underlined, inter alia, the need for building capacity, addressing insurance challenges, and improving access to funding. Saudi Arabia underscored the need to take immediate action, support developing countries in the technical development of non-energy uses of fossil fuels, and exchange information on win-win P&Ms that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while minimizing adverse impacts on developing countries.

In the contact group on Monday, 8 December, delegates considered how to reflect the level of progress made on the implementation of decision 5/CP.7. Opposed by the G-77/China, Australia suggested welcoming "significant" progress in the implementation of 5/CP.7. Parties also discussed how to address views on insurance.

Following informal consultations on the draft conclusions late Tuesday night, 9 December, Saudi Arabia, opposed by the G-77/ China, Micronesia, US, EU, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Canada, reversed its earlier support for text on reporting on actions to address the adverse affects of response measures, and proposed adding brackets. Following informal consultations, the group agreed to the draft conclusions, without amendment, and to include Saudi Arabia’s proposal in the draft negotiating text to be included in the annex to the draft conclusions.

On Wednesday, 10 December, contact group Co-Chair Mason reported to SBI, noting that the conclusions contain a bracketed COP decision. The SBI adopted the conclusions.

SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.26), SBI invites Parties and relevant international organizations to submit information on current and/or planned activities including support programmes to meet the specific needs and circumstances of developing country Parties arising from the adverse effects of climate change under decision 5/CP.7. SBI also decides to continue its consideration of the agenda item at SBI-20 on the basis of the draft text contained in the conclusions.

Matters relating to the LDCs: The matter of UNFCCC Article 4.9 (LDCs) was taken up by SBI on Tuesday, 2 December. La’avasa Malua (Samoa), Chair of the LDC Expert Group (LEG), outlined outcomes of the LEG’s activities, noting that many LDC stakeholders had expressed the need for longer-term support. Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), Chair of the LDCs, said implementation of numerous elements of the LDC work programme remain incomplete. Bangladesh, with the EU and Canada, supported the extension of the LEG’s mandate, and highlighted complementarity between the LDC Fund and the SCCF. Chair Stoycheva reported that Mamadou Honadia (Burkina Faso) and José Romero (Switzerland) would facilitate informal consultations on this matter and prepare a draft COP decision.

In Plenary on Wednesday, 10 December, Co-Chair Romero reported to SBI on the informal consultations, noting lack of agreement on further guidance to the LDC Fund. SBI agreed to forward draft decisions to the COP on review of the guidelines for the preparation of NAPAs, and extension of the mandate of the LEG. Regarding draft conclusions on assessing the status of implementation of Article 4.9 (LDCs), Tanzania, for the LDCs, objected to references stating that SBI expressed its satisfaction at the progress achieved so far in implementing the LDC work programme.

Following deliberations in Plenary, SBI agreed to forward the draft conclusions on assessing the status of implementation of Article 4.9 to the COP, amending them to note that progress on the implementation of Article 4.9 will be assessed at COP-10. Regarding draft SBI conclusions noting that the SBI had been unable to complete discussions on guidance for the operation of the LDC Fund, Tanzania, for the LDCs, stressed the need to reach agreement on this issue at COP-9. SBI agreed to forward the issue to the President Persányi for continued consultations.

Following informal consultations facilitated by President Persányi and Roger Cornforth (New Zealand), the COP adopted the conclusions on assessing the status of implementation of Article 4.9, and a decision on further guidance for the operation of the LDC Fund on Friday, 12 December.

COP Conclusions: In the conclusions on assessing the status of implementation of Article 4.9 (FCCC/CP/2003/L.7), the COP notes progress made so far in implementing one of the elements of the LDC work programme adopted by decision 5/CP.7. It also notes the responses by Annex II Parties relating to the provision of resources to the LDC Fund for the preparation of NAPAs, as well as the effective support and guidance provided by the LEG. The COP emphasizes the need to begin work on the remaining elements of the LDC work programme, and notes that it will assess the status of implementation of Article 4.9 at COP-10, with a view to considering further action.

COP Decisions: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.29/ Add.2), the COP decides to extend the LEG’s mandate. The COP invites Annex II Parties to contribute to funding that supports the activities of the LEG. It also decides to review the progress, need for continuation, and terms of reference of the LEG at COP-11.

In the decision on review of the guidelines for the preparation of NAPAs (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.29/Add.1), the COP decides that no revision of the guidelines is necessary at this time.

In the decision on further guidance on the operation of the LDC Fund (FCCC/CP/2003/L.9), the COP decides to adopt the further guidance to an entity entrusted with the operation of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC for the operation of the LDC Fund. The COP requests the entity to take into account various elements when developing operational guidelines for funding the implementation of NAPAs, including:

  • the need to ensure a country-driven approach, in line with national priorities, which ensures cost-effectiveness and complementarity with other funding sources;
     

  • equitable access by LDCs to funding for the implementation of NAPAs;
     

  • criteria for supporting activities on an agreed full-cost basis, taking account of the level of funds available;
     

  • guidelines for expedited support;
     

  • urgency and immediacy of adapting to the adverse effects of climate change; and
     

  • prioritization of activities.

The COP also decides to assess progress made in implementing the decision and to consider the adoption of further guidance at COP-10.

REQUEST FROM A GROUP OF COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS, ALBANIA AND MOLDOVA ON THEIR STATUS UNDER THE UNFCCC: The request from a group of countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, Albania and Moldova (CACAM) regarding their status under the UNFCCC was considered by SBI on Tuesday, 2 December. Uzbekistan requested a COP decision to enable CACAM to receive financial support and its experts to be nominated and participate in expert groups. Chair Stoycheva said she would conduct informal consultations on the issue. In the SBI Plenary on Wednesday, 10 December, SBI Chair Stoycheva said no agreement had been reached on the matter. In the COP Plenary on Friday, 12 December, President Persányi proposed, and the COP agreed, that the matter would be dealt with at future COP sessions.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: Interim financial performance for the biennium 2002-3: This issue was discussed in the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December, and in informal consultations conducted by Chair Stoycheva. Switzerland noted concern over the high reliance on voluntary contributions to priority activities in the core budget. On Wednesday, 11 December, the SBI Plenary agreed to forward the decision to the COP, which adopted it on Friday, 12 December.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.16), the COP encourages all Parties that have not yet paid their contributions to do so without further delay, and expresses concern at the continuing trend of late payments of contributions.

Programme budget for the biennium 2004-5: In the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 2 December, Japan stressed its support for a nominal zero-growth budget. The EU underlined the importance of adequate and secure resources, and proposed that the COP consider the adoption of the Euro as the currency for future budgets. The US opposed the inclusion of the development costs of the Protocol in the Secretariat’s core budget, and with Australia, called for separate UNFCCC and Protocol budgets. Chair Stoycheva said John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) would chair a contact group on this issue.

In the contact group on Wednesday, 3 December, the G-77/ China called for a geographical and gender balance in the Secretariat, supported the inclusion of Protocol-related activities in the Secretariat’s core budget, and urged more resources to support developing country participation in UNFCCC-related processes. In the contact group on Thursday, 4 December, New Zealand, the G-77/China and Uganda, supported a 9% budget increase. In the contact group on Saturday, 6 December, the EU and New Zealand said Protocol development activities should remain in the core budget. Chair Ashe said he would develop separate scales and budgets for the Protocol and UNFCCC. On Monday, 8 December, Chair Ashe distributed a revised draft COP decision, which was approved by Parties.

In the SBI Plenary on Wednesday, 10 December, the SBI agreed to forward the draft decision to the COP, with a minor amendment. SBI also took note of a concern by Argentina on the scales of assessment.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/CP/2003/L.4), the COP approves the programme budget amounting to US$34,807,326, and adopts the indicative scale of contributions for 2004 and 2005 for the programme budget, and the indicative scale of contributions for 2005 to determine contributions by Parties to the Protocol. The COP also notes: that the programme budget contains elements relating to the UNFCCC, and elements relating to preparatory activities under the Protocol; and that Protocol-related elements expressly reflected in the core budget, the interim allocation and the supplemental Trust Fund together constitute the portion of the overall resource requirements relating to the Protocol. The COP also approves an interim allocation amounting to US$ 5,455,793 to carry out activities relating to the Protocol.

Participation of Parties in Arrears: In the SBI Plenary on Tuesday, 9 December, Argentina and Brazil opposed the Secretariat’s practice of withholding financial support for the participation in UNFCCC-related meetings by Parties in arrears. Chair Stoycheva said she would undertake informal consultations on this matter. On Wednesday, 10 December, Chair Stoycheva reported on informal consultations and proposed that the SBI take note of the concern and recommend that the practice be suspended through to COP-10. She also said SBI would request the Secretariat to review the implications of this on developing countries and EITs and report to SBI-20 on this matter.

OTHER MATTERS: Proposal by Croatia on LULUCF and special circumstances of Croatia under UNFCCC Article 4.6: These issues were presented to the SBI on Tuesday, 2 December. After informal consultations undertaken by Jim Penman (UK), SBI adopted conclusions and agreed to forward to the COP a draft decision, which was adopted on Friday, 12 December.

SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions on the special circumstances of Croatia under Article 4.6 (special circumstances of EITs) (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.18), the SBI notes the information provided by Croatia on anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks, as well as projections of its greenhouse gas emissions.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.17/Add.1), the COP decides that, for the first commitment period, additions to and subtractions from the assigned amount of Croatia resulting from forest management, and forest-management project activities, shall not exceed 0.265 megatonnes of carbon per year, times five.

Status report on the review of third Annex I national communications: On Tuesday, 2 December, the Secretariat said 36 Annex I Parties had submitted national communications.

Any other matters: SBI addressed two issues under this agenda item. On Tuesday, 2 December, Parties discussed a proposal by Belarus to use 1990 as its base-year. The EU said only the COP/MOP has authority to decide on the issue. Chair Stoycheva said she would prepare draft conclusions on the issue. On Tuesday, 9 December, Chair Stoycheva introduced draft conclusions on this matter, which were adopted.

SBI Conclusions: In the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.21), SBI notes the submission by Belarus to use 1990 as its base year and requests the Secretariat to make available the report on the in-depth review of Belarus’ first national communication before SBI-20.

REPORT OF THE SESSION: On Tuesday, 9 December, 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. SBI took note of the request.

On Wednesday, 10 December, SBI Rapporteur Emily Ojoo-Massawa (Kenya) presented the report of the session, which was adopted (FCCC/SBI/2003/L.15). Chair Stoycheva closed SBI-19 at 1:16 am on Thursday, 11 December.

COP PLENARY

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Organizational matters were taken up on Monday, 1 December. The COP agreed to apply the draft Rules of Procedure, except for Rule 42 (voting). President Persányi noted that he would consult with Parties and report to COP-10 on adopting the Rules of Procedure in their entirety.

President Persányi presented the agenda for adoption (FCCC/ CP/2003/1 and Add.1), noting that the COP-8 Bureau had recommended that the item on the second review of the adequacy of commitments under UNFCCC Article 4.2(a) and (b) be held in abeyance. Saudi Arabia, supported by Oman and the EU, and opposed by Canada, requested the exclusion of a Canadian proposal on modalities for the accounting of assigned amounts in relation to cleaner energy exports.

Parties adopted the agenda, with the items on the second review of adequacy of commitments, the proposal by Canada on cleaner energy exports, and matters relating to Protocol Article 2.3 held in abeyance. President Persányi agreed to consult with Parties on these items.

Election of officers other than the President: On Friday, 12 December, President Persányi said the following Vice-Presidents had been elected: Mamdou Honadia (Burkina Faso); José Ovalle (Chile); Outi Berghäll (Finland); Helen Plume (New Zealand); Jawed Ali Khan (Pakistan); Enele Sopoaga (Tuvalu); and Ahmed Saeed Majid (United Arab Emirates). He said Jeffery Spooner (Jamaica) was elected COP Rapporteur and Abdullaltif Benrageb (Libya) as Chair of SBSTA.

Date and venue of COP-10: On Wednesday, 10 December, Argentina offered to host COP-10 in Buenos Aires. At the high-level segment on Thursday, 11 December, President Persányi noted Argentina’s offer and said several Parties had proposed changing the date of COP-10. He requested Parties to consult on this matter. On Friday, 12 December, President Persányi announced that COP-10 would be held in Argentina from 29 November to 10 December 2004.

REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENTS AND OF OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE UNFCCC: On Thursday, 4 December, delegates presented their views on this item, with the Russian Federation, Belarus and Slovenia reporting that 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. 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. President Persányi said José Ovalle (Chile) and Michael Zammit-Cutajar (Malta) would co-chair a contact group on this issue.

On Friday, 5 December, the contact group discussed a draft COP decision. Argentina noted omissions regarding the extent of delay in submission of documents, problems in the implementation of P&Ms, and increasing emissions levels. The US said references to commitments under the Protocol may be premature, questioned the interpretation of Article 4.2 (a) and (b) (fulfillment of commitments by developed country Parties) and objected to the focus on international aviation. Opposed by the EU, the G-77/China suggested removing reference to Article 4.2 throughout the draft decision, noting that such reference was judgmental.

In the COP Plenary on Friday, 12 December, Co-Chair Ovalle reported on the work of the contact group, and the COP adopted the decision. Argentina stressed that future discussions on this matter should include the need to have comparable methodologies for measuring greenhouse gas emission projections, and Saudi Arabia said the impacts of Annex I P&Ms on developing countries dependent on fossil fuel exports also need to be addressed.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/2003/CP/L.3), the COP notes that: aggregate greenhouse gas emissions of Annex I Parties in 2000 were below their 1990 levels largely because of decreases in EIT emissions; emissions in energy and transport sectors had increased in 2000 above 1990 levels; and emissions from international civil aviation had increased more than 40% in the period 1990-2000. The COP concludes that further action is needed by Annex I Parties to implement P&Ms that will contribute to modifying longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions and urges these Parties to intensify their efforts in this regard. The COP urges those Annex I Parties that have not submitted their national communications or their annual greenhouse gas inventories to do so as a matter of priority.

In addition, the COP stresses the need for Parties included in Annex II to the UNFCCC to provide detailed information on their assistance to developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects. It encourages SBSTA to consider ways of improving the transparency of greenhouse gas projections in time to contribute to the preparation of fourth national communications.

OTHER MATTERS REFERRED TO THE COP BY THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES: Numerous decisions forwarded by SBSTA-18 were adopted by COP-9, (contained in FCCC/SBSTA/ 2003/10/Add.1-2). On issues relating to Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information), the COP adopted a decision on implementation of Article 8, containing a draft COP/MOP decision on the same matter, and a decision on technical guidance on methodologies for adjustments under Protocol Article 5.2 (adjustments), containing a draft COP/MOP decision. On issues relating to reporting and review of Annex I inventories, the COP adopted a decision on issues relating to the technical review of greenhouse gas inventories from Annex I Parties. On research and systematic observation, the COP adopted a decision on global observing systems for climate.

Editor’s Note: For further details about these decisions, please refer to Earth Negotiations Bulletin Vol. 12 No. 219 (html, pdf, text).

SECOND REVIEW OF ADEQUACY OF UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.2(a) and (b): On Monday, 1 December, President Persányi said the agenda item on second review of adequacy of UNFCCC Article 4.2(a) and (b) (fulfillment of commitments by developed country Parties) was held in abeyance, noting that he would consult informally with Parties on this matter. On Friday, 12 December, he noted that no agreement had been reached, and indicated that the item would be forwarded to COP-10.

REPORT OF THE CDM EXECUTIVE BOARD: On Thursday, 4 December, Japan and the EU called for accelerated project registration. Climate Action Network urged equitable distribution of CDM projects, designated operational entities (DOEs) and experts. President Persányi said Enele Sopoaga (Tuvalu) would conduct informal consultations on this matter.

On Friday, 12 December, Enele Sopoaga reported on informal consultations, and the Secretariat informed delegates that the following members had been elected onto the CDM EB: Marina Shvangiradze (Georgia), Georg Børsting (Norway), Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), and José Miguez (Brazil). The COP also adopted a decision on guidance to the EB.

COP Decision: In the decision (FCCC/CP/2003/L.2), the COP decides that a CDM project activity starting between the date of adoption of decision 17/CP.7 (modalities and procedures for the CDM) and the date of the first registration of a CDM project activity may use a crediting period starting before the date of its registration if the project activity is submitted for registration before 31 December 2005. The COP also decides to: request Parties to promote capacity building with a view to obtaining more applications for accreditation as DOEs from entities located in non-Annex I Parties; encourage the EB to intensify work on methodologies; and to invite Parties to urgently make contributions to the UNFCCC supplemental Trust Fund.

OTHER MATTERS: On Thursday, 4 December, Switzerland, speaking for the Parties of the 2001 Bonn Political Declaration on Financing for Developing Countries (Canada, the EU, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland), 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.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

The high-level segment took place on Wednesday and Thursday, 10-11 December. On 10 December, Parties heard statements in the morning, and engaged in the first round-table discussions, in the afternoon. On 11 December, Parties met in the two final round-table discussions.

Opening the segment, 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 MDGs. 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 action.

ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSIONS: Three high-level round-table discussions were held from 10-11 December on "climate change, adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development," "technology, including technology use and development and transfer of technologies," and "assessment of progress at the national, regional and international levels." President Persányi prepared a President’s Summary of the round-table discussions (FCCC/CP/2003/CRP.1).

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 the issue of 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 they would fulfill their Protocol commitments in the absence of the Protocol’s entry into force. Mozambique, with Belgium, called for "more action and less talk." 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 would be able to make a contribution. Austria stated 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 are underway.

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. Saudi Arabia said that mitigation and adaptation measures must not lead to new commitments for developing countries.

Round-Table II – "Technology, including technology use and development and transfer of technologies:" The second round-table discussion was co-chaired by Paula Dobriansky, Under-Secretary for Global Affairs, US, and Mohammed Valli Moosa, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa. Co-Chair Dobriansky raised questions on promoting access to technology in developing countries, and harnessing the private sector in advancing clean technology. Co-Chair Moosa stressed a focus on actions that can already be taken. He proposed drawing up an inventory of existing technologies.

In the first part of the round-table discussions, Parties addressed facilitating technology innovation, development and diffusion for mitigation and adaptation in the context of sustainable development. Ireland, for the EU, stressed the importance of decoupling economic growth and emissions, said renewables are a priority, and noted that technology transfer can occur on South-South and North-South bases. Burundi expressed concern over access to data from developed countries. Iceland called for vision, leadership and partnership, and for engaging the business community. India expressed concern that the only concrete outcome of calls for technology transfer is TT:CLEAR. Rwanda said donors must address the need for poverty reduction when transferring technologies. The Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations called for greater participation and securing indigenous peoples’ prior informed consent when undertaking action.

Suriname underlined the need to transfer sustainable development technologies, building capacity and addressing recipient country needs. Sweden said policy-makers should focus on equity issues and modalities for the adoption of technologies at local levels. Chad requested a list of the technologies that have been transferred to developing countries. Spain urged the establishment of institutional frameworks to facilitate investment by the private sector in projects that promote sustainable development.

In the second part of the discussions, Parties spoke on development assistance, research, technology development cooperation, partnerships, capacity building, financing and enabling environments. Malawi said commitments should be translated into concrete actions, including technology transfer and poverty alleviation. The Republic of Korea, for the Environmental Integrity Group, emphasized the importance of publicly funded technologies and support to the private sector. Cuba stressed the need to consider economic and social contexts when transferring technology. Belgium highlighted the need to focus on clean energy and reducing emissions, not end-of-pipe solutions. In response to Belgium, Saudi Arabia said the UNFCCC’s aim is not to reduce oil dependency. The UK outlined emissions projects and stressed the need for the development of low carbon technologies, immediate use of existing technologies, and clean development trajectories. The G-77/China called for effective support for technology transfer in non-Annex I Parties and research to encourage local-level capacity building. The Ukraine said EITs could reduce emissions through using the latest technologies and renewables.

In the third part of the round-table, Parties discussed private sector involvement, market mechanisms, and public-private partnerships. Malaysia noted the importance of tax incentives. Business and Industry NGOs urged governments to provide enabling frameworks, and said that non-commercial investments are needed for long-term commitment. The US emphasized public-private partnerships and noted national programmes on carbon sequestration, hydrogen and nuclear energy. Ghana said technology transfer must include know-how and human-resource development. Noting that the Protocol is the only viable option, Japan stressed developing common rules to apply to all countries. Chile underscored the role played by market conditions in ensuring cleaner technology. The Gambia underlined the need for appropriate technologies, capacity building, and enhanced international cooperation. Mozambique said LDCs with limited private sectors need capacity building to participate in the technology-transfer process.

Round-Table III – "Assessment of progress at the national, regional and international levels:" The final round-table on "assessment of progress at the national, regional and international levels to fulfill the promise and objective enshrined in the climate change agreements, including the scientific, information, policy and financial aspects" was co-chaired by Fernando Tudela Abad, Chief of Staff of the Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, Mexico, and Jürgen Trittin, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany. Co-Chair Tudela Abad said the CDM faces challenges arising from the delay in the Protocol’s entry into force, limited markets, and "crippling" transaction costs. Co-Chair Trittin said the UNFCCC obliges all Parties to tackle climate change, and questioned the extent to which developed countries have taken the lead in combating climate change and addressing adverse effects.

In the first part of the round-table, Parties discussed lessons learned from local and national climate change measures. The Czech Republic said cooperation should be based on clear rules. Yemen expressed concern at the reluctance of Annex I Parties to take necessary actions to address climate change. The Netherlands said it would continue to implement its Protocol obligations in the absence of the Russian Federation’s ratification. Kazakhstan said it is preparing procedures for the Protocol’s ratification. Iran underscored the benefits of economic diversification and stressed Parties’ common but differentiated responsibilities. Greece stressed the importance of scientific data for sound climate change policies. Costa Rica said future generations will judge the present generation based on whether the Protocol is ratified. Turkey announced its accession to the UNFCCC.

In the second part of the round-table, Parties discussed lessons learned from implementation of regional and international climate change measures. Norway observed recognition in the business and finance communities of the move toward a carbon-constrained world. The Maldives and Mauritius called for technology transfer to address adaptation needs in SIDS. Colombia emphasized the role of regional institutions and the need to strengthen regional development banks. Sweden highlighted the value of the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Bangladesh emphasized the need for regional capacity-building activities. Nigeria said the SCCF negotiations have re-opened agreements reached at previous COP sessions.

In the third part of the round-table, Parties discussed the assessment of progress and practical steps for future actions, focusing in particular on cooperation and cross-sectoral partnerships to promote action on climate change. The Philippines said the current pace of negotiations is "grossly inadequate." The Russian Federation urged clear procedures for the CDM, operationalization of JI, and simplification of existing Protocol procedures. Tuvalu noted that progress made so far does not reflect the seriousness of climate change and emphasized that real action is needed. Bhutan expressed concern that the LDC Fund will be inaccessible to most LDCs. Oman and others urged Annex I Parties to provide greater technical and financial assistance to developing countries. Australia said it will strive to meet its Protocol targets. Kiribati called for a framework that ensures that vulnerable countries have access to financing to address the adverse affects of climate change. Cuba noted the importance of access to technologies and knowledge.

STATEMENTS BY OBSERVER ORGANIZATIONS: Statements by UN bodies and specialized 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, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, 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 to 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.

G.O.P. Obasi, WMO Secretary-General, said 2003 will be the second warmest year on record, and emphasized that the WMO will continue to mobilize efforts to strengthen observation networks.

Statements by intergovernmental organizations: 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.

Statements by NGOs: 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. 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 climate policies.

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 to include employment considerations in the IPCC reports. The Italian Climate NGOs 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.

CLOSING PLENARY

Rapporteur Gonzalo Menéndez (Panama) introduced the report of COP-9 on Friday, 12 December, which the COP adopted (FCCC/ CP/2003/L.1 and Add.1).

Cuba requested that its concerns over being denied visas to attend the GEF Council meetings, despite being the Caribbean countries’representative on the Council, be noted in the COP-9 report. The G-77/China read a statement urging the GEF Secretariat to take the necessary action with the World Bank and host government to grant the representative of the Caribbean constituency a visa to attend the GEF Council meetings. The G-77/China also urged the GEF Secretariat and other international organizations to take the necessary action and make arrangement with host governments and relevant agencies to guarantee the representation of all Parties at relevant meetings. President Persányi said the request would be noted in the COP-9 Report.

The Russian Federation questioned when preparatory work to facilitate the implementation of projects under Protocol Article 6 (joint implementation) would be undertaken. The Executive Secretary responded that this would be done by the Secretariat in 2004-5, subject to the availability of resources from extra-budgetary resources which will be activated in 2005 upon entry into force of the Protocol.

Argentina introduced an expression of gratitude to the Government of Italy and the people of the city of Milan, which the COP adopted (FCCC/CP/2003/L.6).

In closing, the G-77/China said the achievements made at COP-9 provided hope for the future. He noted decisions on sinks in the CDM and the SCCF, as well as the report of the CDM EB as important outcomes, and stressed the need for Annex I Parties to implement their commitments under the UNFCCC. Japan and Australia, for the Umbrella Group, also noted the important nature of the COP-9 outcomes.

President Persányi said the results of the COP would not generate breaking news, but stressed that cooperation in building and reinforcing the UNFCCC had been shown, comparing it to the building of the Milan cathedral. Thanking participants and the Secretariat, he closed COP-9 at 6:47 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP-9

THE TWO FACES OF THE UNFCCC

Two sides of the UNFCCC, two "faces," were clearly visible at COP-9. The first face was that of the ongoing negotiations aimed at strengthening and building on the original treaty and bringing the Kyoto Protocol to fruition. While these official negotiations enjoyed some progress at COP-9, including an agreement on the use of sinks in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), this side of the meeting could hardly be seen as an overwhelming success. While the official intergovernmental negotiations seemed beset by inertia and a lack of leadership, the COP-9 corridors were buzzing with what some saw as the second "face" of the meeting; the "implementing face." This side of COP-9 was reflected in the workshops and other side events that showed the vision and enthusiasm being demonstrated for the Convention by its observer constituencies: environmental NGOs, business and industry groups, local governments, indigenous peoples organizations, and research and independent NGOs (RINGOs). It is these constituencies who continue to prove that, regardless of some Parties’ apparent reluctance to make significant progress, vigorous efforts to address the adverse effects of climate change are already underway, and are gaining momentum. This analysis provides an insight into these two different "faces" of the UNFCCC process.

THE NEGOTIATORS’ FACE

THE "FOREST COP": While COP-8 is already referred to be some as the "adaptation COP" due to the progress made on adaptation issues, for similar reasons negotiators may one day reminisce that COP-9 was the "forest COP." Ever since COP-4 in 1998, the issue of sinks in the CDM has been plagued by complex and time-consuming discussions and often diametrically opposed negotiating positions. The long period of sessional and inter-sessional consultations, which forged good relationships among negotiators and allowed Parties to understand each other's concerns, was the basis for a much more cordial atmosphere at COP-9.

Essentially, the debate could be viewed as one between buyers and sellers of carbon sequestration credits. The buyers, including the EU, Norway and Switzerland, were mostly concerned about the quality of the product and sought conditions that would protect their investments and maintain credibility with environmental NGOs. Some insisted on rigorous criteria for socioeconomic and environmental impacts, non-permanence and leakage. The sellers, including Bolivia, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, on the other hand, strove for favorable market conditions, aimed at avoiding "crippling" transaction costs. They sought more flexible crediting periods, an insurance approach to credits that would add value to what otherwise appears as a mere "rent" of emissions reductions, and environmental and social impact assessments that are not excessively strict and costly.

After years of negotiations, a compromise package was agreed, which in the words of one observer was "masterfully crafted" by Co-Chairs Thelma Krug and Karsten Sach. While the value of the compromise still needs to be tested, for now, all Parties agree that the only way forward is learning by doing.

The negotiations direction: backward, sideways or forward?: Irrespective of the results achieved in the discussions on sinks in the CDM, there was undoubtedly a sense of treading the same waters, if not of pedaling backwards on a range of other issues considered by the SBSTA and SBI. These included negotiations on the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR) and on non-Annex I national communications.

The limited progress in the TAR negotiations becomes evident as soon as one recalls that it was the First Assessment Report (FAR) that led to the negotiation of the UNFCCC itself, while the Second Assessment Report (SAR) helped trigger negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol. In contrast, nearly three years after the TAR’s completion, and following two years of negotiations in SBSTA and COP sessions, delegates only just agreed not to preclude substantive discussion of the TAR under the new agenda items on adaptation and mitigation established to this end. The G-77/China’s strong resistance to adopting a COP decision on the TAR, and in fact to discussing anything beyond procedures for further consideration of this issue, is a clear reflection of the group’s determination not to allow negotiations to head anywhere close to the issue of developing countries’ future commitments. After all, the new mitigation agenda item will be the main place where this could be addressed. With frustration over Annex I Parties’ failures to fulfill their commitments, limited transfer of technologies and insufficient financial support, developing countries held firmly to preventing negotiations turning towards mitigation activities by non-Annex I countries in the future.

On the other hand, some observers commented with surprise on the G-77/China’s prohibitive stance to advancing substantive consideration of the IPCC TAR, as this not only limits work on mitigation, but also on adaptation, a major concern to a large, although not necessarily very powerful, faction of the G-77/China group. Given this shortfall on focusing on substantive discussions, it is unlikely that the TAR will, unlike the SAR and FAR, significantly shape future UNFCCC negotiations. Nevertheless, the window of opportunity for considering the substance of the third, and possibly future, IPCC assessment reports has been created.

On non-Annex I national communications, it would be a stretch to say that great advances have been made. In fact, the general perception seemed to be that Parties had taken a step back in at least one sense: whereas at SBSTA-18, delegates agreed to "urge" Parties that have not yet done so to submit their national communications as soon as possible, this time around, the compromise language ended-up only "encouraging" Parties to do so as soon as possible. Furthermore, lengthy negotiations at COP-8 on revised guidelines for preparing national communications returned to haunt negotiators as developing countries sought to weaken any additional commitments on reporting due to a realization that funding would be insufficient to cover this work.

This, and the G-77/China’s unwavering opposition to refer to the frequency of submissions, was seen by some as yet another illustration of developing countries’ unwillingness to move ahead on anything other than the obligations of the developed countries. As for Parties’ inability to reach agreement on the submission of future national communications, this is on the one hand a reflection of what some saw as the G-77/China’s current "mantra" to avoid indications of future commitments on their part. One the other hand, it illustrates the incoherence between the EU’s negotiating mandate, pushing for a decision on this issue, and its determination to carry this through. Despite many EU Member States’ emphasis on the importance of this issue, it remained unclear to observers, save for incredulous miscommunication or a hidden agenda, why this issue was given up by the EU without any resistance.

On the other hand, outside the box of defensive party positions and regime-focused strategic approaches held in the negotiations, the high-level round-table discussions among ministers provided a refreshing change of pace, allowing an opportunity to step back and take a wider perspective on the UNFCCC process and the issue of climate change itself. Unleashed from common denominator group positions and the confines of negotiations, ministers were forced, within strict time limits, to get to the point and present the issues, which they believe are most pertinent in the broader context of climate change. While many of the issues raised by ministers, such as sustainable development, adaptation and technology transfer are not new, they clearly needed political reinforcement. Statements by several countries on their Kyoto targets and future actions may also provide a better insight into the non-negotiated COP outcomes: ministers and senior officials from Canada, the Netherlands and Australia confirmed their intent to meet their Kyoto targets, even if the Protocol does not enter into force, and Germany, the UK, Philippines and Micronesia supported action on keeping the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius within this century. Re-awakening ministers to the needs to engage, mainstream and prioritize these broader issues may be one of the more significant, non-negotiated outcomes of the COP.

THE CONSTITUENCY FACE

While the official negotiations were taking place, the UNFCCC’s "second face" was also highly visible at COP-9. The Milan COP demonstrated that climate change issues remain high on the political agendas of many NGOs, business groups and the academic community, regardless of what is taking place in the latest round of intergovernmental negotiations. While diplomats were often left agreeing on the lowest common denominator, more than one hundred side events also took place Milan, almost all of which were focused on the highest common denominator: achieving the concrete and necessary steps to meet the UNFCCC’s ultimate objective. To many attending COP-9, the attention and interest generated in these debates overshadowed the impasse and unwillingness of some Parties to engage in substantive negotiations on progress or lack thereof. The side events often stressed the various paths on which negotiators seemed "afraid to travel," – again highlighting the somewhat contradictory nature of the two faces of the UNFCCC most visible at COP-9.

First, a large majority of side events focused on "future actions" and "post first commitment period thinking." This contrasted sharply with the official negotiations, where the issue of the second review of the adequacy of commitment was held in abeyance for the fifth COP running. The last day of COP-9 saw an informal discussion between environmental NGOs and some Annex I and non-Annex I Parties to discuss the urgency of defining future actions.

Secondly, while negotiations on national communications were continuously "blocked" over concerns that the submission of information on inventories and P&Ms will lead to "new obligations," the constituencies active in the side events have already built and solidified the foundations for the successful sharing of experiences, capacity and lessons learned, clearly demonstrating the value and contribution of such information in shaping debates on mainstreaming climate change, adaptation, local action and innovative projects. COP-9 also saw the official recognition of the RINGOs constituency, first created in COP-8, who took its place alongside other recognized observer constituencies. RINGOs form an important new constituency of organizations engaged in independent research and analysis, and their inclusion as a key constituency will inevitably strengthen the research elements of the climate process.

THE ONLY SHOW IN TOWN

While COP-9 had a rocky start, it ended on a positive note. Calling the Protocol "an unrealistic and ever-increasing regulatory straitjacket," US Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky had written in a major financial newspaper that the "only acceptable, cost-effective option" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was the American way. This viewpoint was argued vigorously (albeit unconvincingly, according to most observers), by the 60-strong US delegation in Milan. Days later, an advisor in the Russian presidency, "thought out loud" that Russian ratification was unlikely. Nevertheless, these statements did not detract Parties from keeping the process on track. In fact, the overwhelming message from the high-level segment was that the Protocol is the "only show in town."

COP-9 not only highlighted the division between developed and developing countries, but also the leadership and initiative gaps between negotiators and constituency groups. While resolving differences on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis remains complex, the significant number of side events signals a change towards a more positive outlook for future COP sessions. In that sense the major outcome of COP-9 is a renewed emphasis on the role of the UNFCCC’s constituencies as an important component of the process to deliver an equitable global climate change regime, a point clearly made by their demands for strong climate action, dedicated leadership, information sharing and future thinking.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE COP-10

INTER-REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: An inter-regional preparatory meeting for the Barbados Programme of Action will take place in Nassau, Bahamas, from 26-30 January 2004. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135 fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org.

FOURTH DELHI SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2004: This Summit, organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), will be held from 4-7 February 2004, in New Delhi, India. For more information, contact: Summit Secretariat, TERI; tel: +91-11-2468-2138; fax: +91-11-2468-2144; e-mail: dsds@teri.res.in; Internet: http://www.teriin.org/dsds.

SEVENTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CBD AND FIRST MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL: CBD COP-7 will be held from 9-20 February 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It will be followed by the first Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which will be held from 23-27 February 2004. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org.

FOURTH GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: This meeting will be held from 18-20 February 2004, in Vienna, Austria. For more information, contact: Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl; tel: +1-212-963-6890; fax: +1-212-963-7904; e-mail: freudenschuss-reichl@un.org; Internet: http://www.gfse.at.

EMA SECOND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS CONFERENCE: This conference will be held from 21-24 March 2004, in Brussels, Belgium. For more information, contact: EMA Head Office; tel: +1-414-276-3819; fax: +1-414-276-3349; e-mail: info@emissions.org; Internet: http://www.emissions.org/conferences/brussels04.

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: An extraordinary Meeting of the Parties will take place from 24-26 March 2004, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: Ozone Secretariat; tel: +254-2-62-3850; fax: +254-2-62-3601; e-mail: ozoneinfo@unep.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org/ozone.

FIFTEENTH ANNUAL EARTH TECHNOLOGIES FORUM: This forum will convene from 13-15 April 2004, in Washington DC, US. For more information, contact: Conference Secretariat; tel: +1-703-807-4052; fax: +1-703-528-1734; e-mail: earthforum@alcalde-fay.com; Internet: http://www.earthforum.com.

CSD ACTING AS THE PREPCOM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING TO REVIEW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SIDS: This meeting will take place from 14-16 April 2004, in New York. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.sidsnet.org

TWELFTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-12): CSD-12 is scheduled to meet from 19-30 April 2003, in New York, US. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm.

TWENTY-NINTH INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ON COAL UTILIZATION AND FUEL SYSTEMS: This meeting will convene from 18-22 April 2004, in Clearwater, Florida, US. For more information, contact: Barbara Sakkestad, Coal Technology Association; tel: +1-301-294-6080; fax: +1-301-294-7480; Internet: http://www.coaltechnologies.com/conferences.html.

FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE EUROPEAN GEOSCIENCES UNION: This meeting will convene from 25-30 April 2004, in Nice, France. For more information, contact: EGU Office, Germany; tel: +49-5556-1440; fax: +49-5556-4709; e-mail: egu@copernicus.org; Internet: http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/ga/egu04.

EMA EIGHTH ANNUAL SPRING MEETING: This meeting will be held from 2-5 May 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana, US. For more information, contact: EMA Head Office, USA; tel: +1-414-276-3819; fax: +1-414-276-3349; e-mail: info@emissions.org; Internet: http://www.emissions.org/conferences/springconference04/index.php.

UN FORUM ON FORESTS: UNFF-4 will convene from 3-14 May 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Mia S�derlund, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: unff@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests.htm.

ADVANCED "INSTITUTE" ON VULNERABILITY TO GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: This meeting will be held from 3-21 May 2004, in Laxenberg, Austria. For more information, contact: START; tel: +1-202-462-2213; fax: +1-202-457-5859; e-mail: START@agu.org; Internet: http://www.start.org/links/announce_oppo/P3_Announcement.pdf.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES: This conference will be held from 1-4 June 2004, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: Secretariat of the International Conference for Renewable Energies 2004; tel: +49-6196-794404; fax: +49-6196-794405; e-mail: info@renewables2004.de; Internet: http://www.renewables2004.de.

TWENTIETH SESSIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC: SB-20 will be held from 14-25 June 2004, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int.

CONFERENCE ON GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE:  This conference will take place from 24-26 June 2004, in Paris, France. For more information, contact: Michael Obersteiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); tel: +43-2236-8070; fax: +43-2236-71313; e-mail: oberstei@iiasa.ac.at; Internet: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/~oberstei/ff/index.html?sb=1.

CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND AQUATIC SYSTEMS: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: This conference will take place from 21-23 July 2004, in Plymouth, UK. For more information, contact: University of Plymouth; tel: + 44-1752-233304; fax: + 44-1752-233310; e-mail: climate@plymouth.ac.uk; Internet: http://www.biology.plymouth.ac.uk/climate/climate.htm.

MEETING ON FORESTS UNDER CHANGING CLIMATE, ENHANCED UV AND AIR POLLUTION: This meeting will be held from 27-31 August 2004, in Oulu, Finland. For more information, contact: Satu Huttunen; tel: +358-81-553-1527; fax: +358-81-553-1061; e-mail: satu.huttunen@oulu.fi; Internet: http://iufro.ffp.csiro.au/iufro.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: BPOA+10 will be held from 28 August to 3 September 2004, in St. Louis, Mauritius. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UNDSD, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sids/sids.htm.

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GREENHOUSE GAS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES: This conference will convene from 5-9 September 2004, in Vancouver, Canada. For more information, contact: Ted Morris, Conference Secretariat; tel: +1-306-337-2290; fax: +1-306-337-2301; e-mail: ed.Morris@uregina.ca; Internet: http://www.ghgt7.ca/main.html.

NINETEENTH WORLD ENERGY CONGRESS: This meeting will be held from 5-9 September 2004, in Sydney, Australia. For more information, contact: Nineteenth World Energy Congress Managers; tel: +612-9248-0800; fax: +612-9248-0894; e-mail: energy2004@tourhosts.com.au; Internet: http://www.tourhosts.com.au/energy2004.

CCD CRIC-3: The third meeting of the CCD�s Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention is scheduled for September 2004, in Bonn, Germany. The exact dates will be determined by the Bureau. For more information, contact the UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2802; fax: +49-228-815-2898/99; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; Internet: http://www.unccd.int/.

16TH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL (MOP-16): MOP-16 will be held from 22-26 November 2004, in Prague, the Czech Republic. For more information, contact: Secretariat for the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol; tel: +254-20-62-3850; fax: +254-20-62-3601; e-mail: ozoneinfo@unep.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org/ozone.

TENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC: COP-10 will be held from 29 November to 10 December 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; email: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://www.unfccc.int     

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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