Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 15 No. 29
Tuesday, 21 March 2000
POPS INC-4 HIGHLIGHTS:
TUESDAY, 21 MARCH 2000
After a brief morning Plenary to hear updates from working groups,
the IAG continued consideration of technical assistance (Article
J) and financial resources and mechanisms (Article K), and the
NG discussed national implementation plans (Article E) opened
debate on measures to reduce or eliminate releases (Article D).
Following briefings on working groups progress, Jim Willis,
UNEP Chemicals, presented POPs Club certificates to the Netherlands,
France, the European Commission, Germany, Japan and Thailand in
recognition of their financial contributions.
IMPLEMENTATION ASPECTS GROUP
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (ARTICLE J): Delegates considered a revised
text incorporating the previous day's discussion. On the paragraph
calling on parties to provide technical assistance, CAMEROON stressed
including language on developing and strengthening infrastructure.
The EU expressed difficulty with the imprecision of infrastructure
and specified institutional infrastructure. CAMEROON
opposed, noting a broader need for infrastructure. In response
to a Canadian proposal for streamlined text, INDIA stressed the
importance of retaining text recognizing that timely and appropriate
technical assistance is essential to successful implementation
of the convention. CAMEROON suggested revisiting the text after
finalizing the preamble. All contested text remains bracketed.
The IAG agreed on broad chapeau language introducing a list of
types of technical assistance but did not agree on references
to assistance being provided by developed countries
or as mutually agreed. On assistance to review available
infrastructure, capacity and institutions at different levels,
and to examine options for strengthening them, NEW ZEALAND specified
needs and options. The IAG bracketed text on assistance
to compile inventories and release registers due to the related
negotiations in the NG on by-products. It agreed on assistance
to develop and implement national implementation plans (NIPs)
taking into account national priorities.
On assistance for training decision makers, managers and personnel
responsible for collection and analysis of data regarding POPs
effects, the IAG retained brackets on text extending this to collection
and analysis required by the proposed harmonized global monitoring
Regarding assistance to develop and strengthen training and research
capacity for monitoring POPs releases, continuously reducing the
use of POPs, and identifying, developing and introducing environmentally
sound alternatives such as IPM, the IAG agreed to omit reference
to IPM. The US said continuously reducing is not appropriate.
AUSTRALIA proposed maintain efforts to reduce. The
PHILIPPINES, with PAKISTAN, preferred language referring to elimination.
CANADA, supported by the US, proposed maintaining efforts
to reduce or eliminate use. The EU supported retention of
continuously. CANADA proposed maintaining efforts
to continuously reduce or eliminate. Delegates agreed to
keep the Canadian proposal with brackets.
On assistance to develop, implement, and enforce regulatory controls
and incentives, SAMOA requested clarification on the type of incentives.
INDIA suggested less prescriptive language. Delegates agreed to
language for technical assistance to assist in implementing
and enforcing regulatory controls, including all appropriate techniques
for enforcing those controls.
Regarding assistance to destroy existing stockpiles of obsolete
POPs, the US, supported by the EU, called to bracket text in order
to allow consideration of related initiatives and agreements,
including the Basel Convention. Noting that not all developing
countries are Parties to Basel, CAMEROON opposed bracketing the
text and underscored that technical assistance be provided to
identify and destroy existing stockpiles. AUSTRIA
observed that the provision requires correlation with outcomes
on Article D. The IAG accepted adding identify and
but bracketed the provision, as well as a provision on assistance
to identify and decontaminate sites affected by POPs, pending
outcomes on Article D.
BRAZIL, INDIA and CHINA bracketed reference to assistance to facilitate
private sector involvement. CAMEROON supported such assistance
but agreed clarification of the intent is necessary. The EU said
the private sector has a role to play and stressed the obligation
is to facilitate. The text remains bracketed.
Regarding assistance to promote access to, and transfer of, clean
and environmentally sound technologies, as mutually agreed and
in accordance with national legislation, MICRONESIA supported
deleting the reference to national legislation. The PHILIPPINES
proposed referring to assistance to promote access to and the
transfer of cleaner and/or ESTs appropriate or suitable under
local conditions. The IAG agreed to this, excluded the reference
to national legislation and retained as mutually agreed
in brackets. A drafting group was established to integrate text
on this and assistance to transfer best available technologies
and related matters.
On arrangements for providing technical assistance, CANADA proposed
draft text for a capacity assistance network to coordinate
available resources and demand for POPs activities. She clarified
that the proposed network would not disperse resources. AUSTRALIA,
SWITZERLAND and NEW ZEALAND supported the proposal. INDIA called
to bracket text within the proposal referring to private sector
involvement. MICRONESIA preferred a clearing-house mechanism (CHM)
capable of providing funds and, with CAMEROON, suggested a new
article on a CHM. A drafting group was established to further
On including technical assistance information in national reports,
the EU opposed text regarding the Secretariat submitting reports
on technical assistance to the COP, and CANADA questioned whether
information to be included in NIPs would be better addressed under
FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS (ARTICLE K): The EU cautioned
that establishing a new financial mechanism would be costly and
time consuming, and suggested the GEF act as the mechanism. AUSTRALIA
supported a role for the GEF as part of bilateral, multilateral
and regional funding. PAKISTAN and MICRONESIA opposed using the
GEF, expressing concern that the GEF would consider POPs a peripheral
issue. The US supported development of a framework for providing
assistance, and the US cautioned that a new fund could impede
ratification. CANADA said using existing mechanisms would facilitate
immediate funding and optimize synergies. CHINA stressed the value
of the Montreal Protocol as a model.
CAMEROON expressed caution over use of existing mechanisms, noting
many of them have a history of dictating how developing countries
use funds. WWF INTERNATIONAL drew attention to a WWF options paper
for financial mechanisms and stressed, inter alia, equitable governance,
a streamlined project cycle, transparency and flexibility to address
NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PLANS (ARTICLE E): COLOMBIA, supported
by CANADA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, the US, ICELAND and VENEZUELA,
called for consistency between NIPs and the action plans relating
to reduction of by-products. Many delegations, including TANZANIA,
IRAN, LESOTHO, CHINA, ECUADOR, MALAYSIA and CHILE, supported retaining
language on developing NIPs consistent with capabilities, and
subject to the accessibility of financial and technical assistance.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said assistance should also be sufficient,
and VENEZUELA added timely. CANADA and the US called
to delete the text.
Regarding reference to developing regional plans, CANADA said
NIPs are mandatory and regional plans supplementary, and regional
remains bracketed. The GAMBIA proposed reference to subregional
plans. SOUTH AFRICA, supported by JAMAICA, called for inclusion
of a subarticle noting all areas of the convention that require
technical and financial assistance.
Following the suggestions of a number of delegates, the NG agreed
that the plans should be developed for the implementation
of the convention' s provisions. The EU suggested removing the
requirement for regional economic integration organizations to
develop regional implementation plans.
Many countries, including JAPAN, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, MALI,
the GAMBIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SOUTH AFRICA, COLOMBIA, ICELAND
and IRAN suggested that the plan should be developed within one
year of the convention entering into force. CANADA withdrew its
earlier preference for a six-month timeframe. POLAND, supported
by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVIA and LESOTHO,
supported a two-year period. Both proposed timeframes remain bracketed.
Delegates agreed that the COP should not determine the plans
schedule or format, and deleted reference to this. INDIA, supported
by ARGENTINA, suggested a possible guidance document instead.
JAPAN, the EU, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA,
ICELAND, URUGUAY, ECUADOR and CHINA suggested removing a clause
referring to the content of updated plans. NIGERIA, INDONESIA
and KUWAIT opposed. JAPAN, CANADA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, ICELAND
and TANZANIA suggested that parties may cooperate
with competent international, regional and subregional organizations
in developing, updating and implementing plans. The GAMBIA, MALAYSIA,
LESOTHO and ECUADOR preferred shall. Delegates agreed
to delete the qualifier competent, following request
for clarification of the term by IRAN and VENEZUELA. JAMAICA,
supported by the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, added reference to
cooperating with national stakeholders.
MEASURES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE RELEASES (ARTICLE D): By-products:
Chair Buccini invited delegates to consider the text on by-products
as amended by the LDG. The EU emphasized that the text should
reflect a long-term political commitment to the elimination
of by-products, arguing that elimination is not the same as reduction
to zero. NIGERIA, the GAMBIA, CHAD, the PHILIPPINES, ZAMBIA, MALAYSIA
and ALGERIA advocated retaining reference to the ultimate elimination
of by-products. The US said it understood elimination to mean
reduction to zero, and, with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, CANADA, JAPAN,
THAILAND, AUSTRALIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and NEW ZEALAND, opposed
reference to ultimate elimination, noting that elimination is
technically impossible and an unrealistic goal. The US and CANADA
noted that inclusion of elimination language might limit addition
of other by-products to the related Annex C on chemicals subject
to release reporting and release reduction or elimination measures.
The US proposed including reference to elimination in the preamble
and objective. The SEYCHELLES said they would support removing
reference to elimination if the text relating to capacity and
technical and financial assistance is retained. JAMAICA, supported
by SOUTH AFRICA and NEPAL, proposed the ultimate elimination of
by-products, where realizable. GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL
urged delegates to appreciate that the future of the planet
is in your hands. He expressed alarm at those delegates
who opposed elimination, and suggested that the comments, mainly
from JUSCANZ, were based on political rather than technical considerations.
Expressing concern with the limited value-added of the Secretariats
paper on best available technologies, ICELAND proposed reference
to best available prevention strategies for by-products
and provided a detailed definition. NORWAY stressed that best
available technologies be obligatory for all new major sources.
AUSTRALIA, with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, supported reference to
releases derived from anthropogenic sources. NORWAY, supported
by the EU, ICELAND, SOUTH AFRICA and MALAYSIA, proposed text promoting
the use of available substitute materials, products and techniques.
NIGERIA proposed a separate obligatory provision on substitute
materials, products and technologies.
Noting that more aggressive action could be taken on new sources,
CANADA urged differentiating between new and existing sources.
JAPAN supported establishing major source inventories, which the
COP could possibly identify. AUSTRALIA supported identifying sources
in the convention. THAILAND emphasized difficulties in promoting
control measures without financial commitments, techniques and
SOUTH AFRICA called for clarity on the definition of by-product.
URUGUAY, ARGENTINA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and BRAZIL called for
clarification that the provision was addressing unintentionally
produced by-products. NEW ZEALAND made the distinction between
unintentional and unwanted by-products.
JAMAICA emphasized that the provision addresses by-products from
Chair Buccini established a contact group, chaired by Halldor
Thorgeirsson (Iceland), to address, inter alia: bracketed chapeau
language regarding elimination; proposals by the EU, Norway and
Nigeria on substitute materials; the provision related to national
action plans; the concept of anthropogenic sources; and Annex
IN THE CORRIDORS
As delegates began tackling the contentious issue of by-products
and reaffirming their positions on elimination, some hinted at
a growing sense of frustration among opposing developed country
groups resulting from perceived intransigence on the part of one
group. Some suspect an important player may step forward with
a more conciliatory approach on elimination.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Plenary will meet at 3:00 pm.
WORKING GROUPS: The IAG will meet at 10:00 am to address Article
K, and may meet again in the evening to finalize the report of
its work. The NG will meet at 10:00 am to consider provisions
on waste and stockpiles under Article D.
This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin �
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