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

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Final briefing for 2 June

All eyes on COP-6
Negotiations at the tenth session of the subsidiary bodies continued to move at a glacial pace Wednesday, with some observers attributing the plodding nature of the process to the focus placed on COP-6 by the Buenos Aires Plan of Action deadlines for work on issues such as the Kyoto Mechanisms. Typical of Wednesday’s exchanges were those on land-use, land use change and forestry where discussion at SBSTA barely moved beyond the question of whether negotiators should move to substantive debate ahead of an IPCC report on the issue, and the Joint Working Group’s failure to move beyond the discussion of its approach to its agenda on compliance.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice took up the issues of land-use, land-use change and forestry, emissions resulting from fuel used for international transport and technology transfer. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation considered financial and administrative issues. In the afternoon, the Joint Working Group on compliance conducted its first meeting. Issues now before contact groups or under consideration in informal consultations include: guidelines for Annex I Party national communications; the work programme on methodological issues related to Articles 5, 7 and 8 of the Protocol; research and systematic observation; implementation of Convention Articles 4.8 and 4.9 and related elements from Kyoto on adverse effects and compensation; the review of progress under the AIJ pilot phase; and the Kyoto Mechanisms; and non-Annex I Party communications and the timing of second communications.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports on Aviation and the Global Atmosphere
At a special event to coincide with SBSTA’s consideration of emissions from fuel used for international transportation, the IPCC has outlined the results of a special report on Aviation and the Global Atmosphere. The report assesses the effects of aircraft on climate and atmospheric ozone in response to a request by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) because of the potential impact of aviation emissions.

The effects of current aviation and of a range of unconstrained growth projections for aviation are examined in the report, including the possible effects of a fleet of second generation, commercial supersonic aircraft. One of the new findings concerns aircraft contrails. Contrails are triggered from the water vapour emitted by aircraft. In 1992, aircraft line-shaped contrails are estimated to cover 0.1% of the Earth’s surface. Contrails tend to warm the Earth’s surface, similar to thin high clouds. The contrail cover is projected to grow to 0.5% by 2050, at a rate which is faster than the rate of growth in aviation fuel consumption.

UNFCCC Convention budget increase challenged
Mohamed Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth of Mauritania is to conduct private consultations on proposed increases in the budget for the United Nations Convention Secretariat for the period 2000-2001. A number of G-77 countries challenged an attempt by the SBI Chair, Bakary Kante (Senegal) to prevent an open discussion of suggested increases in secretariat resources. A number of G-77 countries expressed concerns that proposed increases in budgetary resources for the UNFCCC Secretariat appeared to pre-empt decisions to be taken by the Parties, including those on the future of the Kyoto Mechanisms.
Photos and RealAudio from 2 June

Morning SBSTA Plenary discussion on land use, land-use change and forestry

Jeff Miotke (US, on the left) expressed US willingness to work in a contact group

Jeffrey Frankel (USA) welcomes the report from ICAO to SBSTA that highlights the recent action taken by its assembly in support of actions to limit or reduce greenhouse gases.

Michael Ernst, (Germany) on behalf of the EU, highlighted the importance of clear definitions

The representative of Greenpeace spoke on the process for
considering policies and procedural issues, the inputs required for the IPCC to produce a
relevant output for COP 6 and on paragraph 4(3) of the Kyoto Protocol

Joanna Depledge, UNFCCC Secretariat, looks out over the conference room

Dr. S.A Adejuwon, Chief environmental scientist (Nigeria), making an intervention at the SBSTA meeting on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULCF).

Adalberto Gorbitz, OCIC (Costa Rica), at the 5th meeting of SBSTA

China underlined the importance of a positive and careful approach to the LULCF issue

Joint Working Group (JWG) on Compliance


Chair Espen Rønnenberg (Marshall Islands, center) outlined the elements of JWG’s provisional agenda, including identification of compliance-related elements, objectives and nature of a comprehensive compliance system, design of a compliance system and consequences of non-compliance.

The Republic of Korea said the facilitative and punitive aspects of taking measures against non-compliance should be incorporated in a balanced way.

The delegate from the Russian Federation called for a well-defined legal interpretation of compliance.

Canada called for stock taking to enhance the efficiency of the JWG's approach to compliance.

Samoa, for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said compliance must serve the purpose, principles and objectives of the Protocol.

The US welcomed open negotiations at the Joint Working Group and reserved the option to evaluate and discuss compliance issues before agreeing to a proposed questionnaire.

China states that his priority is to open the door for rapid ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

South Africa, for the G-77/China, said compliance is directly related to the objective of the Kyoto Protocol and is thus a central element in the negotiations.

Germany, speaking for EU, calls on delegations to make the best use of the limited time available.

Special events


Christine Zumkeller (Germany, second from left), chair of the CC:Forum event on the CDM (Kyoto Protocol Article 6), comments on the need for feedback and critical inputs.

Jayant A. Sathaye, Senior Staff Scientist Environmental Energy Technologies Division,
Berkeley National Laboratory (far right on the above photo), spoke on the Monitoring, Evaluating, Reporting
, Verifying, and Certifying (MERVC) guidelines for energy efficiency projects for climate change mitigation.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ccm/ccPubs.html

Miscellanous photos


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