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Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Hague, The Netherlands; 13 - 24 November 2000

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Highlights from Friday, 17 November:

Delegates convened in contact groups to discuss text on: “best practices” in policies and measures; guidelines under Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of informa­tion) and 8 (review of information); land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); development and transfer of technologies; financial issues; capacity building; and the financial mechanism. The Joint Working Group on Compliance (JWG) also met to continue its work. In addition, negotiators met in closed “informal informal” consultations and drafting group meetings to advance negotiations on issues such as mechanisms, compliance, develop­ment and transfer of technologies, adverse effects and LULUCF.

Above photo (L-R): Michael Zammit Cutajar (UNFCCC Executive Secretary)  and Jan Pronk (COP-6 President) during a press conference yesterday morning.

 Contact Group: LULUCF

In an afternoon meeting of the contact group, SWITZERLAND, on behalf of the ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY GROUP, introduced their proposed changes to the Co-Chairs’ text, that would limit credits for carbon sequestration due to windfall effects caused by, inter alia, carbon dioxide fertilization, nitrogen deposition, age structure effects of forests, and climate change. He said the proposal involves the subtraction of a biome-specific threshold value for windfall effects as well as a threshold value to account for other uncertainties from any measured and verified sink credits, and applies to all sinks under all relevant Protocol Articles in all commitment periods. Right Photo: Andreas Fischlin (Switzerland)

Contact Group: Mechanisms

Closed “informal informal” discussions on mechanisms were held throughout the day and late into the night with the aim of seeking further convergence on the text. By late evening, it is understood that while there had been steady progress in “cleaning up the text,” key decisions on many of the core issues have yet to be taken. The contact group on mechanisms will meet on Saturday morning to receive feedback on the informal discussions.

Left photo : Mechanisms Chair Kok Kee Chow (Malaysia) confers with John Drexhage (Canada) while a member of the Secretariat looks on.

 Contact Group: Articles 5, 7, 8

The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, said inventory estimates of a year during the commitment period that had been adjusted should not be revised and that consequently, adjustments of estimates of both the base year inventory and the inventory during the commit­ment period could not be revised.

Right photo: G77/CHINA member delegates from Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India

On the draft COP/ MOP-1 decision related to Article 5.2 (adjustments), the US suggested that adjustments applying to a Party’s base-year inven­tory estimates could not be replaced by revised estimates subse­quent to the establishment of a Party’s initial assigned amounts.

Right photo: Member of the US delegation making an intervention during a contact group session on Articles 5, 7, 8

Contact Group: Policies and Measures
Delegates discussed the draft decision on P&Ms in two sessions of the contact group, and also during informal consultations held throughout the day. In the first contact group in the morning, discussions focused primarily on revised text relating to the deci­sion that future work on P&Ms should facilitate an assessment of “demonstrable progress” of Annex I Parties in achieving their Protocol commitments. CANADA argued that this issue is being examined in the contact group on Articles 5, 7 and 8. With the support of JAPAN, AUSTRALIA and the US, and opposed by the G-77/CHINA and the EU, he proposed replacing the decision and its associated initiatives with alternative text stating that consider­ation of demonstrable progress cannot take place until the SBSTA has considered the issue pursuant to the guidelines that may be elaborated under Article 7.

Right photo: Member of the EU delegation making an intervention at the Policies and Measures contact group

On the preamble, the US, JAPAN and CANADA, opposed by the EU, SAUDI ARABIA and SAMOA, again urged deleting reference to specific UNFCCC and Protocol provisions.

Above photo: Delegate from Canada attending the Policies and Measures contact group

Right photo: Members of the Japanese delegation at the P&M contact group
Although opposing retention of the listed initiatives, JAPAN, the US and AUSTRALIA, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, also provided amendments to the existing text in case it should be retained, including: replacing text on the assess�ment of demonstrable progress by 2005 with a request to Parties to �continue sharing information�; replacing the requirement to assess and minimize the adverse effects of P&Ms with a require�ment to facilitate information sharing on this issue; and bracketing reference to the use of �quantitative criteria� in reporting on P&Ms in national communications

Contact Group: Financial Mechanism

Co-Chair Kerry Groves (Australia), welcomed delegates to the first meeting of this group, which he said was mandated by COP-6 President Pronk. He explained that the group had been established in the light of the various funding proposals being discussed in contact groups, and said this group would provide input that would assist President Pronk in preparing elements of a framework to integrate the various proposals.

Left photo (L-R): SBI Chair John Ashe and
Co-Chair Kerry Groves (Australia) 

Delegates also discussed outstanding text requesting the GEF to continue to provide financing, where appro�priate, and consistent with both the guidance of the COP and the GEF�s mandate, to support the implementation of the capacity building framework, and to further support, enhance and imple�ment the GEF�s capacity building activities in accordance with the framework. However, the text remains bracketed.

Right photo:
Alan Miller (GEF) confers with a delegate during a break in the contact group   

Press Conference: 

During a press conference Jan Pronk (COP-6 President) reported on progress made during the week's negotiations, identified outstanding issues left to be negotiated by the ministers. He briefed the press on the planned schedule for next week with the ministers. 
RealAudio of Jan Pronk's mid-COP assessment

RealAudio Questions on:

1. Availability on working draft for the Ministers

2. Composition of the Ministers in the GROUP of 6

3. Absence of the US in the GROUP of 6 

4. Status of NGO and IGO participation

5. Transitions in the negotiation process

6. Areas of difficulty in contact groups

7. Page limit of the agreement


Extended Photo Coverage of COP-6

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