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Volume 12 Number 465 - Friday, 4 June 2010
SB 32 AND AWG HIGHLIGHTS
Thursday, 3 June 2010

In the morning and afternoon, contact groups and informal consultations took place on issues including decision 1/CP.10 (Buenos Aires programme of work), review of the Adaptation Fund, arrangements for intergovernmental meetings and capacity building under the SBI, item 3 (preparation of an outcome to be presented to COP 16) under the AWG-LCA and Annex I emission reductions under the AWG-KP. In the morning and afternoon, the SBSTA research dialogue also convened.

SBSTA RESEARCH DIALOGUE

SBSTA Chair Mama Konaté (Mali) opened the SBSTA dialogue on developments in research activities, recalling the SBSTA decision inviting research programmes to inform the SBSTA of scientific developments relevant to the Convention (FCCC/SBSTA/2007/4).

Rik Leemans, Earth System Science Partnership, highlighted impacts of climate change on ecosystems and socio-economic systems and called for policy makers to search for “win-win” solutions addressing multiple challenges.

Ghassem Asrar, World Climate Research Programme, spoke on planned activities that will use climate information for science-based decision-making, noting challenges in developing seasonal and regional climate prediction capabilities, and sea-level change and variability predictions.

Sybil Seitzinger, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, stressed that ocean acidification is occurring and described the importance of biological life for absorbing carbon in the ocean, highlighting potential disruptions to fisheries.

Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC, discussed the outlines of the contributions by the three IPCC working groups to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), including bridges between the working groups.

IPCC Vice-Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele emphasized that the IPCC is making maximum effort to reduce the potential for errors in the AR5. He also noted that the InterAcademy’s review of IPCC policies and practices will be discussed by the IPCC in October 2010 to ensure that the AR5 is as policy relevant as possible without being prescriptive.

Andrew Matthews, Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, outlined new programmes on REDD and pathways for sustainable development, as well as continuing activities on impact and vulnerability, data management and work relevant to the AR5.

Elisabeth Lipiatou, Seventh Framework Programme, described the organization’s regional work on climate change support in developing countries.  She presented work on aerosols, sea ice and ocean acidification, as well as new research priorities on MRV methodologies and projected adaptation costs.

John Padgham, Global Change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START), discussed science policy dialogues aiming to foster better communication between scientists and policy makers in developing countries, stressing the importance, inter alia, of: addressing capacity and knowledge gaps; improving access to data; using integrated inter-sectoral planning; and enhancing communication pathways.

Ann Gordon, National Meteorological Service of Belize, said priority needs for the Caribbean Region include studies on: the relationship between melting ice sheets and sea-level rise; the impacts of 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C temperature rise on sea levels, as well as on maritime and terrestrial life; integrated assessments of the interplay between ecosystems; and social impacts of climate change.

David Warrilow, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK, identified key challenges, such as: describing the impacts of different levels of temperature rise; identifying critical tipping points; clarifying risks and damages; and considering negative effects on human security.

Hiroki Kondo, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology of Japan, focused on modeling efforts, including, inter alia: satellite observation to provide global data; climate risk assessment; simulation of physical and geochemical processes; and addressing uncertainties in climate model projections.

Birama Diarra, Direction Nationale de la Météorologie, Mali, identified research needs and challenges for Africa: the insufficiency of data and data networks; high costs of equipment; and a lack of studies on the frequency and intensity of extreme events. He called for enhancing knowledge on the needs of the agriculture sector.

Benjamin Zaitchik, Office of Global Change, Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, US, called for making better use of available information and identified the need to: reorganize science around scientific-societal issues; strengthen stakeholder participation in research; and move towards a flexible, comprehensive, integrated and cross-cutting scientific approach.

CONTACT GROUPS AND INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

DECISION 1/CP.10 (SBI): In the contact group on progress on the implementation of decision 1/CP.10 (Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures), SBI Chair Robert Owen-Jones (Australia) introduced the new draft decision text. SAUDI ARABIA noted that “quite a few” elements of the G-77/China’s position seemed to be “conspicuously absent.” The Cook Islands, for AOSIS, emphasized that the document should be oriented towards “implementation on the ground.” With AUSTRALIA and BURKINA FASO, she also requested reference to particularly vulnerable states, including SIDS and LDCs. AUSTRALIA and Spain, for the EU, emphasized that the document should acknowledge that implementation is already occurring.

REVIEW OF THE ADAPTATION FUND (SBI): During the contact group, Co-Chair Ruleta Camacho (Antigua and Barbuda) recalled the mandate to agree on the terms of reference (TORs) for the review of the Adaptation Fund (AF) to be undertaken by COP/MOP 6 and highlighted the proposed TORs prepared by the Secretariat (FCCC/SBI/2010/7).

The Philippines, for the G-77/CHINA, submitted a proposal for the TORs and parties agreed to consult on the basis of the G-77/China’s proposal. Several parties, including the EU and Antigua and Barbuda, for AOSIS, requested information on the performance reviews of the interim secretariat and trustee servicing the AF, and on the annual report by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB). Co-Chair Camacho clarified that the report by the AFB will have to be presented by September. NORWAY, supported by the EU, AOSIS and AUSTRALIA, urged also including the review of the AFB in the TORs. AOSIS proposed including reference to the CDM project cycle regarding a potential bottleneck in funding for the AF and BANGLADESH stressed the importance of ensuring funding.

ITEM 3 (AWG-LCA): Shared Vision: During the AWG-LCA contact group in the morning, parties focused on a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, based on questions by the AWG-LCA Chair (http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/application/pdf/indicative_questions_for_cg_shared_vision.pdf).

The Philippines, for the G-77/CHINA, stated that the preamble of the text on a shared vision should set out the “bigger picture,” including concepts such as historical responsibility, justice, equity and burden sharing, as well as the effective implementation of developed countries’ commitments. He called for articulation of, inter alia, the rights of Mother Earth, indigenous and local community rights, and the avoidance of climate change-related trade measures. He also highlighted the need for a shared vision for all the building blocks and the articulation of the maximum global temperature increase goal and global emission reduction goal. On the review process, he highlighted the need to review the adequacy and effectiveness of developed country commitments.

Emphasizing that the “issue of vulnerability is not a matter for negotiation,” Uganda, for the LDCs, lamented that some elements important to the LDCs were missing from the text. He explained that the shared vision should be underpinned by concrete action in the operative part with equal importance given to adaptation and mitigation, taking into account national circumstances, especially of the LDCs and SIDS. SOUTH AFRICA said the preamble should cover a shared vision for each building block. She highlighted the long-term global goal as “more than just a number, but also nothing without a number.”

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA supported the articulation of a shared vision for each of the building blocks. On the global goal, she highlighted, inter alia: limiting temperature increase to well below 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels; peaking emissions by 2015; stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at well below 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent; and a global long-term goal for emission reductions of 85% from 1990 levels by 2050. She observed that the review should assess the adequacy of the long-term global goal and emission reductions, and that the first review should be initiated by the COP in 2013 and concluded by 2015, with subsequent reviews every five years.

NEW ZEALAND opposed articulating a shared vision for each of the building blocks, noting that the shared vision should encapsulate “what we want to achieve.” He observed that the review should be conducted thoroughly and periodically. The US highlighted high-level guidance from Copenhagen and noted that the application of the Convention’s principles evolves as the world changes. He supported retaining structural linkages and including a review provision, and said the 2°C goal, to which the political leaders have committed, should guide the vision.

INDIA called for a balanced treatment of the building blocks and stressed that the global long-term goal must be linked to an equitable burden-sharing paradigm and challenges that developing countries face in terms of poverty eradication. CHINA and INDIA stressed the need to avoid protectionist trade measures in the name of climate change action. SINGAPORE and BRAZIL called for including text on an open international economic system and on parties not using trade measures that lead to arbitrary discrimination or constitute disguised trade restrictions.

Panama, for the CENTRAL AMERICAN INTEGRATION SYSTEM, stressed the urgent need for a legally-binding agreement and underscored that their region is among the most vulnerable in the world. He called for stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations to below 350 ppm of CO2 equivalent and ensuring that the global average temperature increase does not exceed 1.5°C.

JAPAN called for a clear and concise vision and reiterated support for a fair and effective single legal framework. He highlighted the 2°C target, identified the need to review the level of ambition based on rigorous science and supported a 50% global emission reduction target by 2050. AUSTRALIA supported a clear and concise roadmap, saying the detailed tools to implement it should be placed under thematic decisions. She said the Copenhagen Accord  provides “excellent guidance,” and called for reflecting agreement on the 2°C target with the possibility of strengthening it and on peaking global emissions as soon as possible. She said the text should guide parties towards a legally-binding framework and called for a common section on mitigation.

The EU stressed the need to operationalize the 2°C target that was agreed in Copenhagen, saying global emissions should peak by 2020 and be reduced by at least 50% by 2050. He also said developed countries should reduce their emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

BOLIVIA called for limiting the temperature increase to 1°C and stabilization at as close to 300 ppm as possible. He urged developed countries to reduce emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2017 without the use of market mechanisms. He also called for recognition of developed countries’ climate debt, decolonization of the atmospheric space and addressing unsustainable production and consumption in developed countries. BOLIVIA also supported the establishment of an international court of climate and environmental justice and democratic participation with world referenda on climate issues.

CHINA said the text on a shared vision should provide guidance on action on the building blocks and not be operational text. He also emphasized that a shared vision should not be narrowed down to only a global goal on emission reductions and explained that the global long-term goal should be expressed in a balanced way, with a link to ambitious mid-term emission reductions by developed countries and support for developing countries. He said the review should be consistent with the Convention and focus on Annex I emission reductions as well as their support for developing countries.

PAKISTAN supported the articulation of a shared vision for all the building blocks and emphasized that peaking periods for developing countries were conditional on the development threshold. 

INDONESIA supported a review process every five years. NORWAY emphasized the need for global emissions to peak at the earliest possible time and proposed that a review process be conducted regularly. Switzerland, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP, stated that a shared vision should articulate thematic areas of the Bali Action Plan towards the achievement of a long-term global goal and that the global goal for emission reductions should be expressed in such a way as to guide actions in a political and technical way. He highlighted the role of national greenhouse gas inventories in a periodic review process.

Mitigation: During the AWG-LCA contact group in the afternoon, parties focused on mitigation commitments or actions by developed country parties and associated monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) based on questions by the AWG-LCA Chair (http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/application/pdf/1b(i)_questions_for_web_final.pdf).

Brazil, for the G-77/CHINA, identified the need for stronger language on using the Kyoto Protocol as the basis for Annex I MRV and compliance, and recalled the G-77/China’s proposal for a technical panel on comparability of developed countries’ mitigation efforts. He explained that “comparability of efforts” is not a principle, but that it relates to magnitude of emission reductions, compliance, legal form and MRV. The G-77/CHINA stressed that commitments should be defined top down, reflect science, and be part of the formal outcome of the negotiations. He said the Protocol should also guide LULUCF accounting rules and identified the need to strengthen these rules.

Barbados, for AOSIS, urged agreement on Annex I aggregate emission reductions of at least 45% from 1990 levels by 2020. He noted relevant discussions under the AWG-KP and expressed willingness to explore the possibility of a “common space” to discuss this issue. He stressed that discussions should be limited to the scale of ambition of Annex I aggregate emission reductions and that the two-track process should be maintained. COLOMBIA, also speaking for Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, expressed “great interest” in the proposal by AOSIS.

The US emphasized that Annex I countries put forward their targets before and after Copenhagen. On the need to set a collective goal for emission reductions, he highlighted the goal of limiting temperature increase to 2°C, which may be strengthened by 2015. He said all credible mitigation actions, including LULUCF, should count for commitments. The US stressed the need for provisions on MRV and on international consultation and analysis, indicating that reaching agreement on a fully operational system is essential this year.  He emphasized that MRV for Annex I countries must be considered in tandem with international consultation and analysis for non-Annex I countries and, with CANADA, proposed a separate chapter on this.

Switzerland, for the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP, requested a discussion on the legal nature of the work and a compilation of pledges of all developed country parties. With many other developed countries, he noted the importance of LULUCF and market based instruments. South Africa, for the AFRICAN GROUP, offered a proposal to insert a collective mid-term goal and then agree on a process to negotiate pledges leading to at least a 40% reduction by 2020.

JAPAN stressed the need to coordinate work with the AWG-KP and to revise the MRV system to include both Annex I and non-Annex I parties, taking into account differences between them. AUSTRALIA expressed support for devoting a portion of the meeting to discussing MRV. The EU said MRV under the Protocol needs to be linked to discussions under the AWG-LCA.

NEW ZEALAND stressed consideration of MRV for all countries through a common but different framework. CHINA highlighted comparability as the core of sub-paragraph 1(b)(i) of the BAP, and said the same provisions on third party review, LULUCF and offsets should apply to Protocol parties and non-parties. SOUTH AFRICA requested a new chapter in the text on how Annex I countries will implement their targets for 2020, what the compliance system will look like, and how MRV will be ensured.

BOLIVIA emphasized that the Protocol must be maintained, and that the Protocol compliance mechanism should be applied and strengthened. INDONESIA stressed MRV as a key element in the achievement of developed countries reduction objectives. The PHILIPPINES supported a top-down approach to setting science-based targets, with the objective of not exceeding a 1.5°C temperature increase.

NORWAY stressed economy-wide targets as an important way of ensuring comparability, and highlighted the role of market mechanisms. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said a collective emission reduction goal might be a useful tool for indicating the aspiration of countries, while saying it should not be used for defining individual targets.

INDIA emphasized that MRV of developed country support must be more rigorous than that of MRV of developing country mitigation actions. NICARAGUA highlighted the importance of domestic reductions.

Chair Mukahanana-Sangarwe said that as parties had reiterated their known positions, she did not have a basis to revise the text. Responding to Grenada on how she intents to proceed with the proposal by AOSIS, Chair Mukahanana-Sangarwe said she would consult with the AWG-KP Chair on the potential for joint discussions.

CONVENTION ARTICLE 6 (SBI): The contact group on Convention Article 6 (education, training and public awareness) focused on the intermediate review of the implementation of the New Delhi work programme, as mandated by decision 9/CP.13 (amended New Delhi work programme on Article 6 of the Convention). Chair Liana Bratasida (Indonesia) proposed preparing draft text containing the TORs for the intermediate review for parties’ consideration at the next meeting of the group. Many parties supported the Chair’s proposal. JAPAN, supported by many parties, suggested inviting submissions from parties on good practices and lessons learned, as input for the interim review. Spain, for the EU, proposed extending the invitation to intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

YOUTH urged parties to adopt a proper review process and proposed: extending the work programme beyond 2010; giving the Secretariat a broad mandate to conduct the review in an inclusive manner; including young people in national work programmes, and also inviting submissions from civil society; and providing sufficient financing for the Secretariat to organize regional workshops in Africa and the LDCs. The Gambia, for the G-77/CHINA, suggested requesting the Secretariat to compile and synthesize the outcomes and recommendations from the regional workshops held so far, together with the implementation of these outcomes and recommendations. The EU suggested including an invitation to parties to provide funding for the regional workshops yet to be held.

UKRAINE urged for the implementation of Convention Article 6(b)(ii) (development and implementation of education and training programmes) to be extended to countries with economies in transition. NEPAL called for extending the work programme for at least five years. Responding to a request by the US, the Secretariat provided an update of the implementation of the Climate Change Information Network (CC:iNet). He explained that the Secretariat is in the process of developing its full-scale implementation and expects to launch additional functionalities before Cancún. The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC highlighted the proposal to establish a financial mechanism to support projects and programmes in relation to the implementation of Article 6. MALAWI questioned why no regional workshop had been organized in Africa and the Secretariat responded that this was due to lack of funds. The Chair will prepare draft conclusions and informal consultations will continue.

OTHER ISSUES (AWG-KP) In informal consultations on LULUCF, delegates discussed a proposal from developing countries on constructing reference levels.

ANNEX I EMISSION REDUCTIONS (AWG-KP): In the afternoon, parties addressed the need to reconstitute the legal issues contact group in order to analyze the entry into force of Protocol amendments to avoid a gap between commitment periods. Parties agreed to request the AWG-KP Chair to reconstitute the legal issues contact group.

The Secretariat presented a paper compiling pledges, related assumptions and associated emission reductions (FCCC/KP/AWG/2010/INF.1). CHINA emphasized that the current pledges are not sufficient. The Federated States of Micronesia, for AOSIS, stressed the need for more specific information from parties to “chisel down into what the numbers actually mean.”

COLOMBIA, supported by GRENADA, the PHILIPPINES and BARBADOS, called for a joint discussion of emission reductions by all Annex I countries. AUSTRALIA, supported by JAPAN and NORWAY, called for a broader discussion of what is happening globally, saying it is important to analyze the level of ambition of the “flood of international pledges” in the wake of Copenhagen. CHINA opposed any attempt to merge the two AWGs but said they could go along with the proposal by Colombia if the discussion was strictly limited to discussion of Annex I emission reductions and was compatible with the respective mandates of the AWGs. BOLIVIA, VENEZUELA, SINGAPORE, SUDAN and BRAZIL opposed “broader discussions.” AUSTRALIA emphasized that no single group of countries is able to deliver the level of ambition necessary to address climate change and that if ambitions were to be hardened down to specific numbers, a broader discussion would be the next step. ARGENTINA said that a joint discussion is premature. INDIA opposed discussions of developing countries' emission reductions. SAUDI ARABIA stressed that they would not accept a joint discussion.

Intervening on a point of order, the US emphasized that they would oppose any effort to discuss their emission reductions in the context of Annex I emission reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.

CAPACITY BUILDING UNDER THE CONVENTION (SBI): Co-Chair Jaudet introduced new draft text containing draft SBI conclusions and a draft COP decision. JAPAN, AUSTRALIA and the US noted that, although there are portions of the text that could be acceptable as a basis for discussions, the text contains some elements that will take parties back to previous discussions and disagreements. JAPAN, supported by the US and others, but opposed by Tanzania, for the G-77/CHINA, proposed inviting presentations from the UN Development Programme and from any other interested party or organization, on experiences of monitoring and evaluation within countries.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS (SBI): In the contact group, parties discussed observer organizations in the intergovernmental process. Highlighting lessons from Copenhagen, UNFCCC Executive Secretary de Boer outlined plans for pre-meeting online registration and said two projects would be initiated, one on streamlining and improving stakeholder participation and another to draw together best practices on stakeholder involvement from the UN system.

The International Trade Union Confederation, for ENGOs, YOUTH, WOMEN and GENDER, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS and INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS, underscored that the full and effective participation of civil society provides legitimacy to the UNFCCC process and called for guidelines on civil society participation to be revised before COP 16. She highlighted access to informal consultations and called for equal treatment of side events by parties and by civil society, as well as for the right for observers to vocally demonstrate. On the issue of stunts, the CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK emphasized the need to be able to express frustration and to participate in vocal demonstrations.

Many parties acknowledged the role of stakeholders and supported their active engagement. Bangladesh, for the G-77/CHINA, noted the need to strike an appropriate balance bearing in mind that the process is party-driven. AUSTRALIA, with BOLIVIA, highlighted unnecessary burdens such as observers being required to register significantly in advance without the ability to change names on delegations. The US called for guidelines to ensure a more predictable process, especially for the high-level segment. The PHILIPPINES called for a differentiation between observers, particularly NGOs and IGOs.

IN THE CORRIDORS

In contrast to the “déjà vu” feeling expressed by many delegates at the end of Wednesday, on Thursday evening, many delegates said they were “positively surprised” by what they saw as signs of “possible movement” concerning an issue that has remained a sticking point for a long time. They referred to the proposal by AOSIS, supported by some other developing countries, for joint discussions by the two AWGs of Annex I emission reductions. As one developed country delegate put it: “We’ve been calling for cooperation between the two AWGs for a very long time - which is why I was pleasantly surprised by the proposal and that it did not receive quite as much opposition as I would have expected.” Other developed country delegates remarked, however, that there was still “strong” opposition to the idea of broader joint discussions on mitigation. 

Although some developing country delegates seemed very positive about this idea of joint discussions - limited to Annex I parties - some were wondering if it would be possible to get all developing countries to agree on the proposal. “And then there is obviously the US - I am not sure whether they are willing to accept such discussions,” commented one delegate, continuing: “We have to see what happens when groups have had time to coordinate.”

Some also made positive remarks on the agreement to reconstitute the legal issues group under the AWG-KP and on the LULUCF submission by developing countries: “Things are suddenly picking up and discussions are becoming more animated and constructive!”

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Tomilola “Tomi” Akanle, Asheline Appleton, Kati Kulovesi, Ph.D., Anna Schulz, Matt Sommerville and Simon Wolf. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), 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), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 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 Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the 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>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA. The ENB Team at the Bonn Climate Change Talks - May/June 2010 can be contacted by e-mail at <kati@iisd.org>.

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