UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies SBI-10 and SBSTA-10
31 May - 11 June 1999

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Briefings for 1 June

The European Union and partners accused of "double standards" over proposal for a quantified cap on the use of Kyoto Mechanisms
A number of countries lined up to oppose a European Union call for a concrete ceiling on the use of the Kyoto Mechanisms. Germany, speaking for the EU and associated countries, proposed that a ceiling, defined in quantitative and qualitative terms and based on equitable criteria, would encourage Annex B Parties to develop strong domestic policies and measures to modify long term emission trends, the technological structure and production and consumption patterns. She offered a definition for a ceiling on both net acquisitions and net transfers by an Annex B Party for all three Kyoto mechanisms.

The United States representative said his country recognised the need for domestic action against climate change and the strength of feeling many Parties hold in this regard. He outlined existing domestic programs in the US and defended the ‘ambitiousness’ of his country’s Kyoto commitments. He added: "In Kyoto, there was a recognition that the targets agreed to in Annex B would require the full and timely availability of all the Kyoto mechanisms. This is as true today as it was in Kyoto. In this regard the U.S. regrets the proposal of the EU to place a quantitative and qualitative cap on those mechanisms…In our view, the EU proposal would reopen and unbalance the package of ambitious commitments and flexible implementation that we all agreed to in Kyoto:

1. By placing artificial ceilings on how much "assigned amount" Parties may acquire through the mechanisms, and
2. By effectively reopening and diminishing the targets of other Parties."

The U.S. went on to suggest that the EU proposal reflects a "clear double standard" in how it applies to the EU and others. If the cap proposals were to go forward, they would hurt all Parties and they would hurt the environment. Developing countries would be particular losers due to restrictions placed on new private sector resources for investments through the CDM.

The EU position was also challenged by New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, the Russian Federation and Norway. New Zealand "squarely rejected" the proposition. Australia repeated the view that a ceiling on the use of the Kyoto Mechanisms could stifle CDM investment. The Russian Federation described the EU proposal as a "bad gift" for COP-5. Uganda, for the African group, and India, for the G-77/China, supported the EU.

No comfort from the NGOs
At a meeting with NGO representatives Tuesday, EU representatives expressed disappointment at NGO criticism that the European formula for a ceiling on the use of Kyoto Mechanisms could result in the EU itself achieving at least 65% of its own Kyoto commitment through flexibility mechanisms.

Core issues emerging at the subsidiary bodies
A number of core issues are emerging in the negotiations at the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies in Bonn. The Joint Working Group on compliance will commence work Wednesday. There are signs of some resistance to any compliance procedure that would "put any one country" in the dock, raising questions about the effectiveness. On the Kyoto Mechanisms, one observer has contrasted the proliferation of information and proposals on their operation with the dearth of trust that exists among the key interest groups who seem ill prepared to make the leap of faith prepared to move to substantive discussion and agreement. A third issue is the treatment of National Communications from non-Annex I Parties who continue to demonstrate a nervousness about any suggestion that the Convention's consideration of the Communications could amount to a "review".

Alliance of Small Island States calls for formal response to Annex I Parties’ failure to honor Convention commitments
During a debate on compliance at a joint session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice Tuesday, the Alliance of Small Island States expressed "profound disappointment" at Annex I Parties’ GHG emissions trends. Most are expected to continue to overshoot the Convention commitment. AOSIS called for a formal response from the Convention institutions, to avoid sending a signal of complacency in the face of inaction. The Alliance formally requested that COP-5 undertake a review of the UNFCCC paragraphs 4.2 (a) and (b).

Preliminary photo and RealAudio from 1 June
Joint SBSTA and SBI session on procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol
Chair Bakary Kante opens the session (SBSTA agenda item 10 and SBI item 6):
Part one
       Part two
Secretariat introduces documents for the delegates' consideration.
Alison Drayton (Guyana), on behalf of the G77/China advocated balance between the present- effective implementation of the Convention, and the future- the work needed for the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol

Germany, for the EU, spoke on the Kyoto Protocol, mechanisms, compliance, policies and measures. She noted the urgent need by parties to mitigate climate change.

Germany on behalf of the EU said that the experience gained during the pilot phase is helpful in creating a framework for project based mechanisms under article 6 and 12 of the Kyoto protocol.

Uganda, on behalf of the African Group, highlighted 4 issues of importance for the group
Ambassador Slade (Samoa) spoke on behalf of AOSIS concerning the convention and the Kyoto protocol. He expressed profound disappointment with progress made so far by the Annex 1 countries in meeting the Convention's commitments.
Kok Kee Chow, Chair of SBSTA, smiles prior to the joint evening session of SBSTA and SBI.
The delegation of Mali
Mohamed al Sabban, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia, in discussion with Prof. Zhong (China).
Saudi Arabia stressed importance of giving equal weight to all issues

India, on behalf of the G-77/China: "the (Kyoto) mechanisms should be supplementals to domestic actions". He also emphasied following the work programme defined in Decision 7 of COP-4

Chad Carpenter, ENB, in discussion with Alison Drayton (Guyana, spokesperson for the G77/China).

Side events

Dr. Marcia Gowan, Project Manager, ICF, spoke at the World Bank "AIJ project evaluations and verification / certification" workshop.

Johannes Heister, Economist at the World Bank, discusses a recent AIJ completed project in Mexico. Interview by Jeff Anderson, ENB.

For more information: http://www-esd.worldbank.org/cc


Sergio Trindade, after the "IPCC Special Report on Technology Transfer" special event.

Peter Doran, ENB, talks with Ogunlade Davidson, Co-Chair of Working Group III, IPCC, about the IPCC's forthoming report on technology transfer

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