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

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Pre-conference briefing

To Bonn and Back Again � UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies Convene in Bonn
The tenth sessions of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies commence at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn Monday afternoon, 31 May. Negotiators return to Bonn in October for the fifth Conference of the Parties (COP-5, 25 October � 5 November).

The tenth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice will open at 3 p.m. The tenth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation will begin at 4 p.m. The subsidiary bodies are expected to meet in joint session on Tuesday morning when they will convene a joint working group on procedures and mechanisms for compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, which was established at COP-4 in Buenos Aires. The joint working group is expected to meet for the first time Wednesday afternoon. Compliance issues and how they are to be addressed are expected to be among the most hotly contested issues in Bonn. Tuesday�s joint session of the SBI and SBSTA will also begin further consideration to the pilot phase of the Activities Implemented Jointly and the Kyoto Mechanisms.

The Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Michael Zammit Cutajar, will point out to delegations that the deadlines set by the Buenos Aires Action Plan compel the negotiators to reach a number of decisions. The two year Action Plan establishes deadlines for finalizing the outstanding details of the Kyoto Protocol so that the agreement will be fully operational when it enters into force sometime after the year 2000. The plan also addresses work on compliance issues and on policies and measures, boosts work on transferring climate-friendly technologies to developing countries, and pays special consideration to the needs and concerns of countries affected by global warming and by the economic implications of response measures.

A Bubble Scorned
Pre-negotiation signals traveled back and forth across the Atlantic this month after European Union (EU) governments finalized agreement on a common position on the Kyoto Mechanisms. They agreed a complex formula guaranteeing that at least half of the EU�s greenhouse gas emissions reductions commitment (8 % reduction from 1990 levels) will come from domestic measures. The United States�s Frank Loy, the undersecretary for global affairs at the State Department, immediately questioned the EU�s motives for the decision given that the EU�s member states will have unlimited trading among themselves within the Union�s "Bubble" arrangements. The US continues to seize on the EU�s internal burden sharing arrangements as a means of undermining the credibility of the EU�s calls for strict capping arrangements under the Kyoto Protocol.

Photos highlights
The empty Bethoven Hall awaits the arrival of delegates

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Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1999. All rights reserved.