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Thirteenth Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC
Lyon, France; 4 - 15 September 2000

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Highlights from Monday, 4 September

The week of informal meetings preceding the formal thirteenth sessions of the subsidiary bodies (SB-13) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) began on Monday afternoon, 4 September, with an initial briefing by the Chairs of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Executive Secretary of the FCCC Secretariat. Following this, informal meetings were convened to consider: guidelines under Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information); the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms; and land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). [Above] The French, UN and Lyon flags outside the Cité Internationale de Lyon.

Initial Briefing
In the afternoon, delegates met for an initial briefing to go over logistics and the schedule proposed by the SBI and SBSTA Presidents for the week of informals. SBSTA President Harold Dovland reported on intersessional activities and the status of negotiations

[Above] The dias from left to right: Richard Kinley, Secretary of the COP; Michael Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary; (SBSTA Coordinator), Harold Dovland, SBSTA President; John Ashe, SBI President; (SBI Coordinator); Tahar Hadj-Sadok, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary, and Janos Pastor, Coordinator, UNFCCC.

SBSTA President Harold Dovland (Norway), and SBI President John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda).

FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar [right] thanked the French government and city of Lyon for its invitation to host SB-13. He expressed regret at the passing of two prominent figures in climate change negotiations: Jean Ripert of France, who chaired the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee that resulted in the adoption of the FCCC in 1992; and Shukong Zhong, Special Advisor on Environmental Issues in China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

RealAudio of Zammit Cutajar's speech


[Left] Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, expressed concern at the late availability and distribution of documents, which affected developing country preparation and participation. He said all official documents for COP-6 should be available well in advance of the meeting. He stressed the need to achieve a balanced package of agreements that reflects the priorities of all Parties.

[Right] Harold Dovland and John Ashe speak with the delegate of Nigeria, who is representing the G-77/China

Burkina Faso reiterated the complaint made by Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, regarding translation and requested that non-English speaking participants be allowed to re-open matters during the second week of meetings in Lyon.

Informal Meeting on Mechanisms

The Secretariat gave a presentation on the proposed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Reference Manual and Accreditation. His presentation on the Reference Manual included a description of what the Reference Manual is, the project cycle, a draft outline of the Reference Manual and its use. The presentation on Accreditation included discussion on standards and issues regarding accreditation of certification bodies (designation of operational entities) and standards under the CDM. Delegates responded to the Secretariat's proposal. IGOs and NGOs also made general statements on mechanisms, particularly the CDM.

SAUDI ARABIA highlighted the political nature of CDM-related decisions, urged that decisions on baselines be undertaken by the COP/MOP, and expressed reservations about the need for a Reference Manual.

In the corridors...

On an unremarkable opening day, a number of observers suggested that delegates had made a comfortable if slow- paced start, resuming from where they had left-off at SB-12 and subsequent consultations. Several delegates expressed concern at this apparent lack of urgency, given that COP-6 is now close. The strong position taken by the G-77/China over logistical considerations that might impact developing country participation caused some to question how much will be achieved prior to COP-6.

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