FROM THE FCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES MEETINGS
Thursday, 3 JUNE 1999
The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) discussed
methodological issues and the development and transfer of technology. The Subsidiary Body
for Implementation (SBI) considered administrative and financial matters and Annex I
communications. A Joint Working Group on compliance under the Protocol met in the
afternoon. Contact groups were convened on: guidelines for Annex I communications; land
use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); and, activities implemented jointly (AIJ).
On LULUCF, NORWAY said SBSTA-10 can make progress on policy and procedural issues and
guide IPCC with its preparation of a Special Report on LULUCF. AUSTRALIA called for focus
on key policy and procedural issues relevant to the negotiating process, and for
clarification of the Protocols reference to establishing 1990 carbon stock levels.
The EU called for clear definitions of terms and for work on the eligibility of additional
activities between now and COP-6.
NEW ZEALAND urged SBSTA to adopt a long term approach and further consider treatment of
harvested wood products. The US stressed making timely decisions on LULUCF. NIGERIA said
the Special Report should include definitions of baselines for carbon stocks in sinks and
should ensure that policy options are consistent with other convention requirements. SAUDI
ARABIA, SWITZERLAND, GREENPEACE and others expressed reservations about the proposed
timing for deliberation on some issues, noting the relevance of the Special Report.
On emissions resulting from fuel used for international transportation, the Secretariat
reported that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is currently considering a
study on emissions from ships to develop an internationally accepted policy document. The
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) presented an overview of technology and
standards, operational measures and market-based options aimed at providing a technical
and policy basis for decisions to limit bunker emissions. SWITZERLAND stressed the need to
introduce more stringent regulations, improve air traffic management nationally and
internationally and use economic instruments such as eliminating tax privileges on
aviation fuel. SAUDI ARABIA said the use of market-based mechanisms would burden
On reporting of bunker emissions, the EU proposed that any decision on their inclusion
in national inventories should be applied in the second commitment period. The US
preferred treating bunker emissions separately from national inventories, which the EU
said results in no direct incentives to limit or reduce bunker emissions. The REPUBLIC OF
KOREA called for further clarification in defining international bunker fuels.
On allocation of bunker emissions, AUSTRALIA highlighted the need to establish a policy
framework and adopt the most suitable method of recording emissions. Stating that this is
a complicated process, JAPAN called on ICAO and IMO to provide necessary information to
help identify possible solutions. The EU said it would be practical to include bunker fuel
emissions in inventories of Parties where the fuel is sold. Chair Chow proposed drafting
conclusions on this matter.
Regarding information on impacts, adaptation and mitigation assessment methods, UNEP
reported on its recent work on methodologies, including provision of guidance for national
strategy development and capacity building on GHG abatement. TANZANIA suggested
establishing FCCC collaborating centers in developing countries for information purposes
and capacity building. UGANDA supported regional capacity building and South-South sharing
On other matters, BRAZIL reported on a recent workshop held to consider its proposal on
determining responsibility based on historical emissions. He noted that the proposal will
be on SBSTA-11s agenda. The IPCC reported on the status of the forthcoming Special
Report on Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer that will present
a broad conceptual framework on the complex way technology transfer occurs and reflect the
role of governments and other stakeholders.
On the program budget for the biennium 2000-2001, FCCC Executive Secretary, introduced
the documents FCCC/SBI/1999/4 and FCCC/SBI/1999/4/Add.1. He highlighted its new features,
inter alia, a cross-cutting emphasis on capacity building and strong focus on ensuring
high quality of inventory data. He said the budget also seeks to strengthen capacity
within the Secretariat to enable it to respond effectively to Parties demands. He
informed delegates of a 50% increase in the budget for programme activities. Chair Kante
initially sought to confine discussion to consultations to be led by Mohamed Mahmoud Ould
El Ghaouth (Mauritania) but at the insistence of CHINA, the PHILIPPINES, SAUDI ARABIA and
INDIA, allowed Parties to make general statements in Plenary. The PHILIPPINES stressed
that capacity building was for developing countries not for the Secretariat. IRAN, with
CHINA, BRAZIL, SAUDI ARABIA, INDIA and the PHILIPPINES expressed concern over a steep
increase in the proposed budgets expenditure levels.
On income and budget performance in the biennium 1998-1999, the EU called for timely
payment of contributions. The PHILIPPINES noted that developing countries were penalized
for arrears in their contributions by being denied the benefit of the trust fund for
participation and inquired whether similar penalties existed for Annex I countries. The EU
said options to deal with cash surpluses and carry-over of resources from previous
biennium periods required further consideration. SWITZERLAND asked why there were unspent
reserves. JAPAN said it preferred repayment to the Parties.
On the institutional linkage of the Convention Secretariat to the United Nations, the
FCCC Executive Secretary said the institutional linkage was working well. The G-77/CHINA
accepted the document. The EU said its experiences with the linkage were positive and
welcomed its continuation. The US queried whether maintenance of the institutional linkage
was part of the problem with respect to financing of conference services. The Executive
Secretary suggested that this issue be discussed by the contact group on the budget. Chair
Kante proposed drafting a decision on the issue.
On annual inventories of national greenhouse gas data from Annex I Parties, the EU
called for a single document containing all available data from Annex I Parties and urged
Parties that had not done so to submit their inventories. The US underscored the
importance of good quality reports and questioned the delay in submission of Annex I
On reporting on technology transfer and financial assistance, CANADA, with the US, said
exhaustive reporting on all areas related to climate change, including reporting on
private and public technology transfer, is impractical and beyond the means of most
Parties budgets. On the future review process, the US said the review process under
the FCCC and the review of implementation under Article 8 of the Protocol are
fundamentally different. The EU noted that work should first be undertaken to develop the
review for inventories and then guidelines developed for the review process under the
Convention and the Protocol.
JOINT WORKING GROUP ON COMPLIANCE
The Joint Working Group (JWG) on procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under
the Protocol, co-chaired by Harald Dovland (Norway) and Espen Rønnenberg (Marshall
Islands), considered a compilation of submissions from Parties (FCCC/SB/1999/MISC.4, Adds.
1 and 2, FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.1).
On the proposed agenda, the G-77/CHINA called for a discussion on the basic principles
for a compliance regime. She noted a lack of submissions received from developing
countries and, with KENYA, supported compiling views through a questionnaire. SAUDI ARABIA
emphasized that many countries were not ready for discussion on elements or defining the
programme of work. AOSIS acknowledged the utility of discussing principles, but was ready
to work on the basis of the Secretariats synthesis of submissions. CHINA supported
including a section on basic principles, particularly on common but differentiated
responsibilities. He said the Multilateral Consultative Process (MCP) could play an
The EU said the working group should identify the compliance-related elements under the
Protocol, define the work programme, and identify linkages to other groups. With
SWITZERLAND, he called for a draft negotiating text by COP-5. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said
the facilitative and punitive aspects of taking measures against non-compliance should be
incorporated in a balanced way. CANADA said the first task is stocktaking of the
compliance-related elements and, with NEW ZEALAND and the US, underscored the importance
of tracking other groups work. CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK proposed that Parties request
a synthesis of compliance-related work being done in other groups or request a workshop
that addresses the full range of compliance issues. JAPAN highlighted the importance of
examining other multilateral environmental agreements. RUSSIA called for a well-defined
legal interpretation of compliance. The US cautioned against postponing substantive
discussion until the proposed questionnaire was completed.
Chair Rønnenberg outlined the elements of JWGs 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. CHINA
proposed including a reference to "principles" in the agenda. After extensive
debate, Parties deleted the item on objectives and nature and added a new sub-item on
"other elements as identified in Decision 8/CP.4 and in the progress of work" to
ensure that the Agenda was not "set in stone."
On identification of compliance-related elements and gaps, the US, with CANADA and the
EU, indicated the need to differentiate elements from gaps and proposed three categories
to identify them: substantive rules; procedures for addressing compliance; and
consequences of non-compliance. She noted gaps were identifiable for procedures and
consequences of non-compliance other than for substantive rules. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES said
these were not yet identifiable because mechanisms operation was still under
discussion. AOSIS cautioned against making a "crude" distinction between
substance and procedure. JAPAN noted that although expert review teams were useful in
assessing implementation, determining non-compliance was not within their mandate. On
modalities for inter-linkage, the US noted the need to link Articles 5 (national system to
estimate emissions), 7 (communication of information), 6 (joint implementation), 12 (CDM)
and 17 (emissions trading) to compliance because the first two are means to assess
conformity with assigned amounts and the last three are means to meet commitments.
AUSTRALIA and other delegations noted the need for continuous feedback between the JWG and
other contact groups to avoid overlap and contradictions on substantive rules.
The contact group chaired by Paul Maclons (South Africa) and Maciej Sadowski (Poland)
met in the evening to consider LULUCF issues, including policy and procedural matters and
data to establish 1990 carbon stock levels. Participants agreed to continue their
discussions, recognizing that many decisions must await SBSTAs consideration of the
relevant IPCC Special Report due in May 2000. A contact group co-chaired by Jim Penman
(UK) and Mark Mwandosya (Tanzania) met in the afternoon to consider text on draft
guidelines for the preparation of Annex I communications.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Some observers reported rumblings beneath the meetings seemingly placid surface.
Temperatures rose at a meeting of the European Commission and NGOs. The EU delegates felt
stung by NGO critiques of the EU formula to establish a ceiling on the use of the
mechanisms by Annex B Parties. One calculation suggested the formula would result in the
EU using the mechanisms to meet at least 65% of their own commitments. However, others
still consider the EU proposal a progressive step.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBI: SBI will meet in the Maritim Room at 10:00 am.
SBSTA: SBSTA will meet in the Maritim Room at 3:00 pm.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will meet throughout the day. Consult the
meeting board for rooms and times.