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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 Thursday, 7 September

Delegates to the informal meetings preceding SB-13 met in a Plenary session to take stock of progress. They also met to consider: the mechanisms; FCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 and Protocol Article 3.14 (adverse effects); compliance; capacity building; technology transfer; land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); policies and measures (P&Ms); and guidelines under Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review of information).



Delegates met in Plenary to hear brief progress reports from the Chairs of the informal groups. SBI Chair Ashe thanked delegates and the Chairs of the groups for their positive work. Right to left: UNFCCC Executive Director Michael Zammit Cutajar; (SBSTA Coordinator), SBSTA Chair Harold Dovland, and SBI Chair John Ashe.

Kok Kee Chow, Chair of the Group on Mechanisms, reported that discussion on the nature and scope of Article 6 (SB/2000/4) had started.

Festus Luboyera, Chair of the Contact Group on Articles 5, 7 and 8, told Plenary that he hoped to distribute the Co-Chair's proposals for draft decisions by Saturday.


LULUCF Chair Halldor Thorgeirsson (Iceland), reported that the Group had divided its work into 3 phases: exploration of interlinkages, identification of priorities, and opportunities for streamlining text. To date, the first phase had been completed.

Mark Hambley, head of the US delegation, said he was "somewhat concerned" at the slow pace of progress in some contact groups, and called for concentrated efforts to keep the process on track.

SBI Chair John Ashe reported on progress in discussion on developing draft frameworks on capacity building for countries with economies in transition and for developing countries. He closed the plenary with his thoughts on the work to be accomplished between now and the close of SB-13.

Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China, expressed the hope that more areas of convergence would continue to emerge during SB-13, and stressed the importance of achieving a balanced package of decisions at COP-6. Right: UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar with the representative of Nigeria

Adverse Effects (Convention Articles 4.8 and 4.9 and Protocol Article 3.14)

Participants considered the section of the Co-Chairs' text on the impact of implementation of response measures. On the issue of future workshops, delegates stressed the need for these to be clearly focused. AUSTRALIA, POLAND, the US, EU and other Annex I Parties expressed reservations on a paragraph inviting Annex I Parties to provide information on, inter alia, existing market imperfections and subsidies in the energy sector. SAUDI ARABIA said the paragraph should be retained. Left: Co-Chair Bo Kjellen (Sweden)

Delegates began discussion of the consolidated text on principles, modalities, rules and guidelines regarding mechanisms pursuant to Articles 6, 12 and 17. On Joint Implementation (JI), Parties were unable to reach agreement on whether to retain text relating to equity, comprehensiveness, transparency, climate change effectiveness, fungibility, and sharing of proceeds.
New Zealand (left), opposed the G-77/China, advocated extending the rigors of the CDM to JI.
The G-77/China stressed the need to address the nature and scope of the mechanisms. Canada (right), while accepting the centrality of FCCC Article 3 (Principles), cautioned against going too far into the nature and scope, while the EU (represented by France, left) cautioned against defining new principles

Brazil (left), recommended that reference to sinks be consistent with Protocol language.

Guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8

Delegates continued discussing guidelines under Article 7.1 (inclusion of supplementary information in annual inventories). The US, opposed by the EU and AUSTRALIA, proposed deleting the section on adjustments in accordance with Article 5.2 (adjustments), maintaining that reporting should be the responsibility of the review team, not the Party. SAMOA noted the work on the concept of a true-up period in the compliance group, and said the group on Articles 5,7,and 8 should consider technical constraints on its length. Left: Co-Chairs Festus Luboyera (South Africa) and Helen Plume (New Zealand)

"Guignol" (Puppet Show)

The daily thematic "Guignol" puppet show, presented by the Climate Action Network, illustrated the devastation caused by global warming in the Arctic. Environmental NGOs are also using this as an opportunity to present the "Fossil of the Day" Award. The award goes to countries based on interventions made during the negotiations or on policies of the country, which would negatively impact climate change. On Wednesday, 6 September, France received the Fossil of the Day award. Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister of France (below right), received the award for his reaction to the protests by truckers in France over the high price of gasoline. He offered to lower taxes for truckers, which NGOs claim is in contradiction to his promises of policies aimed at energy efficiency.

Prime Minister Jospin (right) receiving the Fossil of the Day award

In the corridors...

Delegates have been commenting on the irony of the timing of the crippling French transport strike. Attendance at some of the sessions was affected on Thursday, and there was speculation on the possible impact of the strike on the arrival of key delegates, and on the already slow pace of the deliberations. Several observers suggested that the strike begs the question: is the public really prepared to pay for climate policies?

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