Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 12 No. 110
Monday, 14 June 1999
SUMMARY OF THE TENTH SESSION OF THE FCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES:
31 MAY 11 JUNE 1999
The subsidiary bodies to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) held
their tenth sessions at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, Germany, from 31 May - 11 June 1999,
and began the process of fulfilling the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, which was adopted at
the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) in November 1998. Under the Plan of Action,
Parties set a two-year deadline for strengthening implementation of the FCCC and preparing
for the future entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific
and Technological Advice (SBSTA) considered topics such as Annex I communications,
methodological issues and the development and transfer of technology. The Subsidiary Body
for Implementation (SBI) discussed, inter alia, administrative and financial matters and
non-Annex I communications. SBI and SBSTA jointly considered the mechanisms of the Kyoto
Protocol, activities implemented jointly and compliance.
After a slow start, work at the subsidiary bodies picked up during the latter part of
the second week. Delegates clarified their positions on the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms and
agreed that a new synthesis document should be prepared. Progress was also made on
compliance. Difficulties remained in a number of methodological debates and on proposals
for an expanded biennium budget from the FCCC Executive Secretary. The sessions were
punctuated by a series of three bomb scares resulting in evacuations from the Maritim
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FCCC AND THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
The FCCC was adopted on 9 May 1992, and was opened for signature at the UN Conference
on Environment and Development in June 1992. The Convention entered into force on 21 March
1994, 90 days after receipt of the 50th ratification. To date, it has been ratified by 177
COP-1: The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the FCCC (COP-1)
took place in Berlin from 28 March - 7 April 1995. In addition to addressing a number of
important issues related to the future of the Convention, delegates reached agreement on
what many believed to be the central issue before COP-1 adequacy of commitments,
the "Berlin Mandate." The result was to establish an open-ended Ad Hoc Group on
the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) to begin a process toward appropriate action for the period
beyond 2000, including the strengthening of the commitments of Annex I Parties through the
adoption of a protocol or another legal instrument.
COP-1 also requested the Secretariat to arrange for sessions of SBSTA and SBI. SBSTA
was established to serve as the link between the information provided by competent
international bodies and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. During the AGBM process,
SBSTA addressed several issues, including the treatment of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Changes (IPCC) Second Assessment Report (SAR). SBI was created to develop
recommendations to assist the COP in the review and assessment of the implementation of
the Convention and in the preparation and implementation of its decisions. SBI also
addressed several key issues during the AGBM process, such as national communications and
activities implemented jointly.
The Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG13) was set up to consider the establishment of a
multilateral consultative process (MCP) available to Parties to resolve questions on
implementation. AG13-1, held from 30-31 October 1995 in Geneva, decided to request
Parties, non-Parties, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to make
written submissions in response to a questionnaire on an MCP. Delegates continued their
discussion over the course of the next three meetings. At their fifth session, they agreed
that the MCP should be advisory rather than supervisory in nature and AG13 should complete
its work by COP-4.
AD HOC GROUP ON THE BERLIN MANDATE: The AGBM met eight times between August
1995 and COP-3 in December 1997. During the first three sessions, delegates focused on
analyzing and assessing possible policies and measures to strengthen the commitments of
Annex I Parties, how Annex I countries might distribute or share new commitments and
whether commitments should take the form of an amendment or protocol. AGBM-4, which
coincided with COP-2 in Geneva in July 1996, completed its in-depth analysis of the likely
elements of a protocol, and States appeared ready to prepare a negotiating text. At AGBM-5
in December 1996, delegates recognized the need to decide whether to allow mechanisms that
would provide Annex I Parties with flexibility in meeting quantified emissions limitation
and reduction objectives (QELROs).
As the protocol was drafted during the sixth and seventh sessions of the AGBM, in March
and August 1997, respectively, delegates "streamlined" a framework compilation
text by merging or eliminating some overlapping provisions within the myriad of proposals.
Much of the discussion centered on a proposal from the EU for a 15% cut in a
"basket" of three greenhouse gases (GHGs) by the year 2010 as compared to 1990
levels. In October 1997, as AGBM- 8 began, US President Bill Clinton called for
"meaningful participation" by developing countries in the negotiating position
he announced in Washington. With those words, the debates that shaped agreement back in
1995 resurfaced, with an insistence on G-77/China involvement once again linked to the
level of ambition acceptable by the US. In response, the G-77/China distanced itself from
attempts to draw developing countries into agreeing to anything that could be interpreted
as new commitments.
COP-3: COP-3 was held from 1-11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. Over 10,000
participants, including representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations,
NGOs and the media, attended the Conference, which included a high-level segment featuring
statements from over 125 ministers. Following a week and a half of intense formal and
informal negotiations, including a session that began on the final evening and lasted into
the following day, Parties to the FCCC adopted the Kyoto Protocol on 11 December. In the
Kyoto Protocol, Annex I Parties to the FCCC agreed to commitments to reduce their overall
emissions of six GHGs by at least 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. The Protocol
also established emissions trading, "joint implementation" (JI) between
developed countries, and a "clean development mechanism" (CDM) to encourage
joint emissions reduction projects between developed and developing countries. The
Protocol will enter into force after 55 Parties, including Annex I countries that account
in total for at least 55% of carbon dioxide emissions for 1990, have ratified it. To date,
84 countries have signed and nine have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
POST-KYOTO FCCC MEETINGS: The subsidiary bodies of the FCCC met from 2-12 June
1998 in Bonn. SBSTA-8 agreed to draft conclusions on, inter alia, cooperation with
relevant international organizations, methodological issues, and education and training.
SBI-8 reached conclusions on, inter alia, national communications, the financial mechanism
and the second review of adequacy of Annex I Party commitments. In its sixth session, AG13
concluded its work on the MCPs functions. After joint SBI/SBSTA consideration and
extensive contact group debates on the flexibility mechanisms, delegates could only agree
to a compilation document containing proposals from the G-77/China, the EU and the US on
the issues for discussion and frameworks for implementation.
COP-4: The Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) was held from 2-13
November 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was attended by over 5,000 participants.
During the two-week meeting, delegates deliberated decisions for the COP during SBI-9 and
SBSTA-9. Issues related to the Kyoto Protocol were considered in joint SBI/SBSTA sessions.
A high-level segment, which heard statements from over 100 ministers and heads of
delegation, was convened on Thursday, 12 November. Following hours of high-level
"closed door" negotiations and a final plenary session that concluded early
Saturday morning, delegates adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. Under the Plan of
Action, the Parties declared their determination to strengthen the implementation of the
Convention and prepare for the future entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The Plan
contains the Parties resolution to demonstrate substantial progress on: the
financial mechanism; the development and transfer of technology; the implementation of
FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects), as well as Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14
(adverse effects); activities implemented jointly (AIJ); the mechanisms of the Kyoto
Protocol; and the preparations for the first meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP-1).
SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE (SBSTA)
SBSTA Chair Kok Kee Chow (Malaysia) opened the first meeting on Monday, 31 May 1999,
and introduced the agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/1). He emphasized SBSTAs role in ensuring
that the Buenos Aires Plan of Actions goals are met. He drew attention to the
election at COP-4 of Lambert Gnapelet (Central African Republic) as SBSTA Vice Chair and
Andrej Kranjc (Slovenia) as Rapporteur. In his opening statement to both subsidiary
bodies, FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar emphasized COP-5s importance
as a potential "stepping stone" to produce outcomes that strengthen and maintain
national capacities for developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
He said the subsidiary body sessions should identify the goals of COP-5 and the meetings
and workshops required to help implement COP-6s objectives.
SBSTA considered: cooperation with relevant international organizations; Annex
I communications; methodological issues; FCCC Article 6 (education, training and public
awareness); development and transfer of technologies; research and systematic observation;
and implementation of FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects). During the course of
the two weeks, contact groups and informal consultations were convened for some agenda
items following discussion in plenary.
COOPERATION WITH RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Delegates considered cooperation with relevant scientific organizations on Monday, 31
May. IPCC Chair Robert Watson noted that the IPCC has its most intense work programme
ever, largely in response to requests from SBSTA and the FCCC, and said it faces a
significant budget problem that will require more funding from governments. He noted the
IPCCs acceptance of the Special Report on "Aviation and the Global
Atmosphere," as well as the list of Policy-relevant Scientific Questions that will be
addressed in the Synthesis Report of the Third Assessment Report (TAR). He also noted
significant progress on preparation of the TAR. Several delegates called for steps to
resolve the IPCCs funding problems.
On cooperation with other UN bodies, the Secretariat drew attention to collaboration
with UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP and UNIDO. UNEP said it had been collaborating with the FCCC
Secretariat on a capacity-building project relating to the CDM and directed at developing
countries and countries with economies in transition. A number of delegates called for an
elaboration of what capacity building means. They stressed the need to strengthen national
capacities and widen the scope of future efforts beyond the Protocol mechanisms.
On cooperation with other conventions, Chair Chow emphasized cooperation with the
Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) and the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD). Gregoire de Kalbermatten, CCD Secretariat, said that as the issues addressed by
FCCC, CCD and CBD are intimately connected, initiatives to build stronger links should be
encouraged. He stated that the benefits of inter-convention synergies would not be fully
realized as long as resources were lacking, particularly in developing countries. Kalemani
Mulongoy, CBD Secretariat, highlighted areas where SBSTA-10 could assist the CBDs
work programme, including: considering the best modalities to address coral bleaching;
furthering the understanding of forest biodiversity and climate change interactions; and
contributing climate-related information to the CBDs work on education and public
Delegates adopted the conclusions on cooperation with relevant international
organizations (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.7) on Thursday, 10 June. In its conclusions, SBSTA noted
the IPCCs need for sufficient resources to prepare special reports on methodological
and technological issues in technology transfer, emissions scenarios of greenhouse gases
and aerosol precursors, land use, land-use change and forestry, as well as on good
practices in inventory management. It noted the relevant activities in other UN bodies and
encouraged the Secretariat to continue drawing upon the contributions of the other bodies
for the development of a joint project on capacity building. It requested the Secretariat
to make further information available for consideration at SBSTA-11 and continue to
explore with other UN partner organizations areas where their expertise and resources
could support the work programmes under the Convention process.
Regarding cooperation with other conventions, SBSTA noted the substantive linkages
between the FCCC and the CBD and CCD and welcomed efforts to explore ways of cooperating
with the other conventions secretariats in order to strengthen cooperation on issues
of common interest.
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM PARTIES INCLUDED IN ANNEX I TO THE CONVENTION
On Tuesday, 1 June, SBSTA considered national communications from Annex I Parties,
including guidelines for the preparation of national communications, the review process
related to greenhouse gas inventories, and the work programme on methodological issues
related to Protocol Articles 5 (methodology), 7 (communications) and 8 (review of
GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION OF NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: On guidelines for
national communications, the IPCC noted its recent work to improve guidelines for national
inventory preparation. AUSTRALIA called for separate development of guidelines for
national communications inventory data. NORWAY said more experience on the use of
guidelines was necessary before a final decision is taken. The EU and JAPAN supported a
common reporting format (CRF) proposed for inventory data guidelines. The US cautioned
against overly prescriptive guidelines. CANADA stressed substance, not timing, as the most
important consideration and, with POLAND, said it is impractical for Parties to report on
all climate change-related policies and measures. RUSSIA opposed Canadas suggestion
for an annual system of providing inventories, as it would be costly and difficult.
A contact group, co-chaired by Jim Penman (UK) and Mark Mwandosya (Tanzania), was
convened to consider this issue further. The group held nine meetings from 2-11 June, and
considered guidelines for inventory and non-inventory reporting, the draft decisions and
conclusions on these guidelines, draft conclusions on the review process related to
greenhouse gas inventories, and draft conclusions on a work programme on methodological
issues related to Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8. The group negotiated text for all relevant
documents for consideration by SBSTA, except in the case of the non-inventory part of the
guidelines, where it did not complete its deliberations.
On Thursday, 10 June, SBSTA considered the Chairs draft conclusions and a draft
decision for the COP on guidelines for the preparation of national communications
(FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.5 and Add.1). Chair Chow informed delegates that discussion on the
non-inventory part of the guidelines relating to projections, policies and measures,
financial resources and transfer of technology, and other matters, was not concluded in
the contact group convened at this session, and will continue at SBSTA-11.
In a section of the draft conclusions requesting Parties not using the common reporting
format for certain sectoral background data tables on land use, land-use change and
forestry to specify alternative formats, CHINA added a specific reference noting that this
request included Annex I Parties. On the proposed title for the non-inventory part of the
guidelines, the EU suggested shortening it to read "UNFCCC reporting guidelines on
national reports," as agreed in the contact group. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA said the title
should not be amended until consideration of the content had been completed. Delegates
agreed to retain the current title but with a note that it will be subject to further
discussion at the next session. Delegates adopted the draft conclusions, as amended, and
the draft decision for the COP. Chair Chow noted that they will be forwarded to SBI for
The Chairs conclusions on guidelines for national communications
(FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.5), inter alia, noted that SBSTA: advised the SBI to set up a
two-year trial period starting in early 2000 to assess FCCC reporting guidelines on annual
inventories, with a view to revising it at COP-7; requested the IPCC to provide its report
on work uncertainties and good practices in time for consideration at SBSTA-12; decided to
continue discussions on revisions to the non-inventory part of the guidelines at SBSTA-11;
and requested the Secretariat to prepare a document reflecting the state of discussions at
the close of SBSTA-10.
The draft decision, annexed to the conclusions, recommends that the COP, inter
alia: adopt the guidelines on inventories; instruct Annex I Parties to use the
inventory guidelines for reporting inventories due by 15 April each year, beginning in
2000; invite Parties to submit separately to the Secretariat, by 1 July 2001, information
on experiences using the guidelines during 2000-2001, particularly in relation to the CRF;
request the Secretariat to prepare a report on the guidelines for consideration at
SBSTA-15; and consider revisions to the guidelines at SBSTA-15 for a decision at COP-7.
The guidelines, including the common reporting format (CRF), are contained in an annex to
the draft decision.
REVIEW PROCESS RELATED TO GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES: On Tuesday, 1 June,
SBSTA considered the review process related to greenhouse gas inventories. POLAND noted
that if Parties decide to change inventory methodology, artificial reduction of emissions
may occur, and proposed recalculating emissions whenever the COP adopts new or amended
emissions inventory methodology. The contact group that convened to consider the
guidelines for Annex I communications also deliberated on the review process related to
greenhouse gas inventories work programme, on Friday, 4 June, and negotiated text for the
On Wednesday, 9 June, SBSTA adopted the draft conclusions on the review process
relating to greenhouse gas inventories (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.4). In its conclusions, SBSTA
endorsed elements of the FCCC technical review process, including the annual initial
checks, annual synthesis and assessment and individual reviews, and advised SBI to
consider guidelines for a technical review at its eleventh session.
WORK PROGRAMME ON METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES RELATED TO PROTOCOL ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8:
On Tuesday, 1 June, SBSTA considered the work programme on methodological issues under
Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8
(review of information). The EU said early completion of the work programme should be
followed by a testing period to guarantee gradual refinement of guidelines and modalities.
CANADA underscored the importance of developing realistic review guidelines and, with the
US, called for a more streamlined approach. AUSTRALIA emphasized defining realistic
objectives for COP-6 and maintaining a clear sense of the different requirements of the
Convention and the Protocol. The joint SBSTA/SBI contact group that considered Annex I
communications, also deliberated on the work programme and the drafted Chairs
conclusions on this issue.
SBSTA considered the draft conclusions on the work programme on methodological issues
(FCCC/ SBSTA/1999/L.3) on Tuesday, 8 June. The EU requested changing the date of
submission from 15 August to 15 September to allow time for preparation. Chair Chow said
the current deadline meant Parties could receive the compiled views prior to COP-5.
Delegates adopted the draft conclusions without amendment.
The conclusions noted, inter alia, that the SBSTA: broadly endorsed the work programme
contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1999/2, noting that some aspects relating to Protocol
Article 3 (QELROs) may require further discussion in relation to Protocol Articles 5, 7
and 8; decided to consider the characteristics of national systems and issues relating to
adjustments at SBSTA-11, with a request for Parties to provide views by 15 August 1999;
and requested that the Secretariat organize a workshop on methodology prior to SBSTA-12,
and develop plans for a workshop on Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8.
LAND USE, LAND-USE CHANGE AND FORESTRY: SBSTA considered land use, land-use
change and forestry (LULUCF) on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-2 June. Paul Maclons (South
Africa), Co-Chair of a SBSTA workshop held in Indianapolis in April 1999, reported on the
workshop, which focused on other land use activities. IPCC Chair Robert Watson outlined a
Special Report being prepared on LULUCF. Key issues to be addressed include, inter alia:
the implications of different definitions, including "forests,"
"afforestation," "deforestation" and "reforestation;" the
question of which carbon pools should be considered when evaluating implications for
relevant net carbon emissions; the accuracy of measurements for each type of carbon pool;
and the factors to be used in setting baselines. The MARSHALL ISLANDS said no new sink
categories should be adopted until accounting difficulties have been resolved.
AUSTRALIA called for focus on key policy and procedural issues relevant to the
negotiating process. The EU stressed the need for clear definitions of terms and for work
on the eligibility of additional activities between now and COP-6. The US stressed making
timely decisions on LULUCF. SAUDI ARABIA, SWITZERLAND, GREENPEACE and others expressed
reservations about the proposed timing for deliberation on some issues, noting the
relevance of the Special Report.
A contact group, co-chaired by Paul Maclons (South Africa) and Maciej Sadowski
(Poland), was convened to consider policy and procedural issues relating to LULUCF. The
group met six times from 2-9 June to develop and negotiate draft conclusions on
methodological issues relating to LULUCF. With participants in general agreement that many
decisions must await SBSTAs consideration of the relevant IPCC Special Report due in
May 2000, discussions on the text focused primarily on issues of timing and procedure.
After protracted negotiations, the group concluded its work on Wednesday, 9 June, adopting
the draft conclusions.
The draft conclusions were considered by SBSTA on Thursday, 10 June. ANTIGUA AND
BARBUDA questioned a sentence he said could be interpreted as signaling that substantive
decision-making on LULUCF will take place at SBSTA-11. After lengthy discussions,
delegates agreed to delete the text that some delegations said was ambiguous. The draft
conclusions were adopted, as amended.
In its conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.9), SBSTA invited Parties to review and, where
possible, respond to questions posed in tables 1 and 2 of its document on LULUCF and
policy and procedural issues (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/5), and to identify any additional related
issues. It requested Parties to provide submissions by 16 August 1999 for compilation into
a miscellaneous document that can be considered at SBSTA-11. It also:
- invited IPCC to provide an in-depth progress report and convene a special side event on
its draft Special Report on LULUCF at SBSTA-11;
- decided to further consider the process and timing for analysis of the IPCC report, and
the process of developing its LULUCF work programme at SBSTA-11;
- requested the Secretariat to organize a workshop, to be held between SBSTA-12 and COP-6,
to analyze the Special Report, and invited Parties to provide guidance to the Secretariat
on the workshops scope;
- invited the IPCC to develop a work plan addressing methodological issues raised in its
upcoming report, once the report is completed; and,
- decided to start consideration at SBSTA-11 on the need for country-specific data and
information and its relationship to a decision-making framework in the context of the
Protocols requirements, and requested submissions on this from Parties.
EMISSIONS RESULTING FROM FUEL USED FOR INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION: On
Tuesday, 2 June, the Secretariat reported to SBSTA 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 developing countries.
Regarding 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 the information necessary
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.
JosÚ Romero (Switzerland) conducted informal consultations on the Chairs draft
conclusions. Delegates adopted these conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.8) on Friday, 11 June.
In its conclusions, SBSTA noted the need for further methodological work to ensure
consistent and transparent inventories and invited Annex I Parties to provide emission
data and information on methods used as part of their annual greenhouse gas inventory. It
also, inter alia: requested Parties to provide comments on the informal paper prepared by
the Secretariat on methods used to collect data and estimate and report emissions from
international bunker fuels; invited the Secretariat to explore ways of strengthening
information exchange between ICAO, IMO and SBSTA; and decided to continue its work to
elaborate inclusion of bunker fuel emissions in overall greenhouse gas emissions
OTHER MATTERS ON METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES
Delegates considered other matters on methodological issues on Wednesday, 2 June. UNEP
outlined its recent work on impacts, adaptation and mitigation assessment 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 of expertise. BRAZIL reported on a recent
workshop held to consider its proposal on determining responsibility based on historical
emissions. He noted that the proposal would be on SBSTA-11s agenda.
Delegates adopted the conclusions on this item (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.6) on Wednesday, 9
June, which encouraged UNEP and other relevant institutions to review their activities to
support capacity building in methodologies for impacts, adaptation and mitigation
assessment. SBSTA decided to consider the proposal by Brazil at SBSTA-11 and invited
Brazil to provide other relevant information.
On Friday, 11 June, ARGENTINA raised the issue of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
in metered dose inhalers for asthma treatment. She noted that whereas the Kyoto Protocol
determined that HFCs have a thermoactive quality and has included them as compounds that
contribute to global warming, the Montreal Protocol has identified them as a substitute
for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. She urged SBSTA to consider the issue in future
sessions. SBSTA decided to consider this issue at SBSTA-11.
NEW ZEALAND introduced a proposed draft conclusion on inventory and methodological
issues relating to harvested wood products that invites Parties to submit their views on
harvested wood products and requests the Secretariat to compile these submissions into a
miscellaneous document for preliminary consideration at SBSTA-11. SBSTA deferred
discussions on this issue to SBSTA-11.
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND PUBLIC AWARENESS
Education, training and public awareness was considered on Monday, 31 May. Chair Chow
noted that only three submissions had been received from Parties on possible means of
promoting the implementation of FCCC Article 6 (Education, training and public awareness).
The Secretariat was unable to formulate proposals on ways to integrate this issue into
SBSTAs work programme. He proposed setting a new date for submissions. The EU
suggested further pursuing education, training and public awareness in the work on good
practices in policies and measures. He called on the Secretariat to advise on the likely
costs of undertaking further work on these issues. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA noted the need
for a technical guide to support developing countries and welcomed the private sector
participation in promoting awareness activities. Parties were invited to submit further
proposals to the Secretariat by 15 October 1999 to serve as a basis for more substantive
discussions at SBSTA-12.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
Delegates discussed the development and transfer of technology on Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday, 2-4 June. 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 complexities of technology transfer and illuminate the role of
governments and other stakeholders.
Delegates welcomed the Secretariats proposal to organize regional workshops as
part of the consultative process on the development and transfer of technology initiated
at COP-4. JAPAN noted the important input the forthcoming IPCC Special Report will make to
the process and stressed the need for close coordination between SBSTA and the IPCC. The
US, NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, FRANCE, JAPAN and AUSTRALIA announced financial contributions to
support the consultative process. THAILAND offered to host a regional workshop. The EU
favored a practical sectoral approach for the forthcoming workshops and said they should
take stock of existing expertise, technology needs and capacity building. EGYPT emphasized
the need to make publicly-owned technology available to developing countries and expressed
concern about the limited attention given to adaptation technologies. AUSTRALIA stressed
the importance of country-specific market-based approaches, the private sector and the
role of the CDM in facilitating technology transfer.
The G-77/CHINA stated that technology transfer could not take place under the market
process. He stressed the need to address technology transfer in the broadest sense and
incorporate elements of capacity building, public awareness, installation and smooth
transfer from the donor to the recipient. He highlighted the need for rules and procedures
to govern the transfer of technology, called for an increase in the Secretariats
budgetary allocation to fund capacity building for technology transfer, and suggested
creating a permanent mechanism to facilitate technology transfer. The PHILIPPINES, with
CAMEROON, said technology transfer should be tackled as a commitment, not as a commercial
undertaking. CANADA stated that technology transfer is critical to achieving the long-term
goals of the Convention and Protocol. She described the private sector as the main vehicle
for the transfer, and said the challenge is to create an enabling environment and
implement enabling activities leading to continuous transfer. She added that investments
associated with the CDM and JI mechanisms will be instrumental in transferring efficient
and effective climate change technology to non-Annex I Parties and economies in
The Climate Technology Initiative described its work addressing the questions and
issues raised by Decision 4/CP.4, through, inter alia, regional seminars on technology
diffusion in coordination with business partners.
In the conclusions on this agenda item (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L. 10), SBSTA, inter alia:
endorsed the proposals to organize three regional workshops; requested the Chair, with
assistance from the Secretariat, to report to SBSTA-12 on the workshops with a view to
taking a decision at COP-6; welcomed offers of financial and/or in-kind support and
encouraged other Parties to provide additional contributions for the consultative process;
invited Parties to submit views regarding options to accelerate and sustain the
development and transfer of coastal adaptation technologies; and encouraged the
Secretariat to continue to cooperate with the OECD Development Assistance Committee in
improving the availability of climate-relevant data from its reporting system.
RESEARCH AND SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION
SBSTA considered research and systematic observation on Monday, 31 May, and Tuesday, 1
June. Kirk Dawson, Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), reported on activities
undertaken in response to the decisions of SBSTA-9 and COP-4. He stressed the need for,
inter alia: greater guidance for Parties submissions on national plans and
programmes for systematic observation; long-term funding for ongoing operations; and
systems consistent with infrastructural levels in developing countries. He said GCOS was
exploring the establishment of an intergovernmental board to provide guidance on
addressing priority issues and proposing a series of implementation meetings that could
also be used to identify regional scientific policy or funding issues. He called for
SBSTAs assistance in mobilizing the necessary resources.
The US expressed concern at the declining state of the global observational network.
CANADA, with the EU and RUSSIA, urged support for GCOS. The MARSHALL ISLANDS called for
development of national plans to address observational gaps and data deficiencies and for
support to strengthen endogenous capacities. Informal consultations, co-chaired by Philip
Gwage (Uganda) and Susan Barrell (Australia), were held on this issue. In the conclusions
on this agenda item (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.2), SBSTA decided to consider, at SBSTA-11, the
preliminary draft guidance for reporting on systematic observation prepared by GCOS;
invited agencies participating in the Climate Agenda, through the GCOS Secretariat, to
report to SBSTA-11 on their further actions and plans; urged Parties to enhance support
for capacity building in developing countries to reverse the degradation of their
observing capacities; and noted the need for Parties to support research on climate
IMPLEMENTATION OF CONVENTION ARTICLES 4.8 AND 4.9 (ADVERSE EFFECTS)
On Friday, 4 June, SBI Vice Chair Mohammed Reza Salamat (Iran) reported on informal
consultations conducted on behalf of the SBI and SBSTA Chairs on the terms of reference
for an expert workshop envisaged on implementation of Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the
Convention and Articles 2.3 and 3.14 of the Protocol (adverse effects). He said the group
reached consensus on the terms of reference (FCCC/SBSTA/1999/CRP.1) that will be annexed
to Decision 5/CP.4 that initiated the consultations. The technical workshop, which is
scheduled for 2224 September 1999, will aim to identify: factors that will determine
the adverse effects of climate change and the impacts of implementing response measures;
and existing information gaps, needs and views on methodologies. It will further consider
the specific needs of the least developed countries, and issues raised in national
submissions and communications. He stressed the need for balanced participation in the
workshop by developed and developing country experts, in particular from Africa. The
G-77/CHINA reserved its right to introduce substantive issues should other Parties do the
same. Delegates adopted the terms of reference.
SBSTA FINAL PLENARY
On Friday, 11 June, Parties adopted the draft report of the session
(FCCC/SBSTA/1999/L.1). The Rapporteur said an additional paragraph will be added to the
final report, stating that the Secretariat will assess its capacity to carry out
activities requested in the conclusions on work for the biennium 2000-2001 and will report
back to the subsidiary bodies at the next sessions.
FCCC Executive Secretary Zammit Cutajar thanked SBSTA for its work and said it is
developing into a repository of competence and expertise that is making good advances.
Chair Chow noted that this was the end of his term as SBSTA Chair. He said SBSTA is a body
that provides excellent advice to the SBI and the COP and thanked delegates for their
efforts and initiative in ensuring that the process has moved forward.
SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION (SBI)
On Monday, 31 May, SBI Chair Bakary Kante (Senegal) opened the session by introducing
the provisional agenda (FCCC/SBI/1999/1) and introduced the new officers, SBI Vice Chair
Mohammad Reza Salamat (Iran) and Klaus Radunsky (Austria), Rapporteur. He said that,
following consultations with the COP Bureau, the second review of adequacy of commitments
would be addressed at COP-5; Turkeys request to be taken out of Annex I would be
discussed in the run-up to COP-5; and Kazakhstans request to amend Annex I would be
on the provisional agenda for COP-5.
SBI discussed: Annex I and non-Annex I communications; implementation of FCCC Articles
4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects); arrangements for intergovernmental meetings; and
administrative and financial matters. During the course of the two weeks, contact groups
and informal consultations were convened for some agenda items following initial
discussion in plenary.
SWITZERLAND stated that while this SBI session should advance as many elements of the
Buenos Aires Plan of Action as possible, it should also strive to make progress on
implementation of the Convention. He called for a strong and enforceable compliance regime
and reliable procedures for verification and certification. CHINA, with the REPUBLIC OF
KOREA, said the item on the timing of second non-Annex I communications was premature, as
only 11 developing countries had submitted first national communications. He attributed
this delay to the GEF. The EU, with the US, said proper consideration of initial national
communications should result in improved second national communications.
On implementation of Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects), the Chair conveyed the
decision of the SBI/SBSTA Chairs to set up a Friends of the Chair group, consisting of the
Vice-Chair of SBI, Coordinator of the G-77/China, the EU, countries with economies in
transition and JUSCANZ, to finalize the workshops terms of reference on the issue.
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM PARTIES INCLUDED IN ANNEX I TO THE CONVENTION
On Wednesday, 2 June, SBI considered annual GHG inventories 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 high-quality reports and questioned the delay in submission of Annex I
inventories. It was decided that a joint SBSTA/SBI contact group would be convened to
consider several relevant documents relating to Annex I communications, including draft
conclusions and draft decisions. The contact group held nine meetings during the session.
On Thursday, 10 June, SBI adopted draft conclusions on the elements of national
communications by Annex I Parties contained in the SBI agenda, and adopted the draft
conclusions on annual inventories of national greenhouse gas data for 1996
(FCCC/SBI/1999/L.5) and the future review process, including that under Protocol Articles
7 and 8 (communication and review of information) (FCCC/SBI/1999/L.7). On FCCC reporting
guidelines on projections, policies and measures, financial resources, transfer of
technology and other matters, CANADA noted SBSTAs agreement to hold further
discussions. Conclusions referred by SBSTA on review processes for GHG inventories of
Annex I Parties and a work programme on methodological issues relating to Articles 5, 7
and 8 of the Protocol were adopted.
The conclusions on annual inventories of national greenhouse gas data for 1996 stated,
inter alia, that the SBI: noted that further efforts are required to ensure adherence to
guidelines by Annex I Parties, in particular in the provision of data on LULUCF, and in
data on emissions of HFCs, perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6); urged
Annex I Parties that had not already done so to submit their annual national greenhouse
gas inventories as soon as possible; and noted that the majority of Parties that reported
data for 1990-1996 exhibit increasing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, and, according
to available information, will not reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2000.
On the review process, the SBI conclusions, inter alia: noted that consideration of
issues related to interim reporting should be postponed until issues relating to Protocol
reporting and review had been resolved; expressed concern that only seven in-depth review
reports could be published prior to SBI-10; and requested the Secretariat to prepare a
report on experiences with the review of second national communications for consideration
Matters relating to Annex I communications referred by SBSTA were adopted
(FCCC/SBI/1999/L.2, L.3, and L.6). On SBSTAs conclusions relating to the technical
review process for Annex I GHG inventories, SBI, inter alia: agreed on the preliminary
elements of a draft decision for consideration by COP-5; decided to consider draft
guidelines for technical reviews of greenhouse gas inventories at SBI-11; invited Parties
to submit their views on the draft guidelines to the Secretariat by 1 October 1999; and
requested the Secretariat to develop a work plan for the technical review process, for the
period 2000 to 2002, for consideration at SBI-11.
Non-Annex I Communications
Decisions 10/CP.2 and 12/CP.4 requested the Secretariat, for each SBI session, to:
provide details of financial support made available to non-Annex I Parties by the GEF; and
facilitate assistance to Parties in preparing their national communications and make
available a list of projects submitted by non-Annex I Parties in accordance with FCCC
Article 12.4 (financial support for communications).
On Monday, 31 May, in SBIs opening plenary, the EU, with the US, stated that
national communications can help identify further means to assist non-Annex I Parties in
their efforts to implement Article 12 (communication of information) and indicated the
need for a COP decision on the process of consideration before the timing of second
national communications is decided.
The US said the revision of guidelines was fundamental to improving second national
communications, and proposed expanding the guidelines to provide for, inter alia, broader
coverage and disaggregation of GHG inventories and information on GHG emissions trends.
AUSTRALIA supported revision of guidelines for non-Annex I communications and said the
revision should be complete before the lodgement date of second national communications.
The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said consideration of non-Annex I Parties communications
should identify their financial and technical difficulties in GHG limitation and should be
undertaken when more non-Annex I Party communications are available.
SBI continued discussion of non-Annex I communications in a contact group, co-chaired
by Dan Reifsnyder (US) and Paul Maclons (South Africa). On financial and technical support
for non-Annex I communications, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) cautioned
against standardizing content requirements for national communications and indicated the
benefits of permitting small States to complete national communications on a regional
basis. Noting that the GEF had increased funding for non-Annex I communications, the EU
said the financial mechanism had responded effectively to developing country needs. The
G-77/CHINA called for clear guidance on financial and technical support and said the GEF
did not provide adequate funding. BOTSWANA, ZIMBABWE and the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC said
the preparation of national communications should be an ongoing process and noted that
practical difficulties faced by non-Annex I Parties impede the necessary continuity.
On Saturday, 5 June, the group considered a draft decision tabled by the G-77/China on
initial and subsequent non-Annex I communications. Delegates focused on a provision
establishing a non-Annex I Group of Experts, with a view to enhancing support for
preparation of communications, identifying difficulties faced by countries and improving
non-Annex I communications. The US inquired how the expert group would feed back into
national processes and cautioned against duplication of work. The EU asked about the
linkage of the expert group to intergovernmental processes. The group decided to reconvene
during the week to continue its discussions and further consider the G-77/Chinas
proposed draft decision.
On Tuesday, 8 June, the contact group met in an evening session and exchanged
preliminary views on a draft decision submitted by the EU. The EU said the intent of the
decision is to improve the quality of communications and address some of the constraints
faced by non-Annex I countries. He underlined learning from experiences gained while
preparing initial communications and making progress towards guidelines for non-Annex I
second communications as the EUs main concerns. He highlighted the benefit of open,
transparent and non-confrontational technical assessment of non-Annex I communications. He
indicated that the IPCC Inventory Task Force could be requested to develop a work plan to
prepare a comprehensive database on regional emissions factors. The G-77/CHINA pointed to
inconsistencies between the draft decision and previous COP decisions on providing
guidance to the operating entity of the financial mechanism. She questioned the
IPCCs capacity to gather country-specific information. The US said it supported many
of the points in the EUs text, particularly on the usefulness of technical feedback
and the need to develop guidelines for second national communications. TOGO noted that it
was premature to think about guidelines for second communications, as most non-Annex I
countries were still preparing their first. MEXICO said financial support should be
available not only for vulnerability assessment but also for mitigation and adaptation
On Wednesday, 9 June, the contact group met to discuss proposed draft decisions
submitted by the EU and the G-77/CHINA and to decide on how to proceed in preparation for
COP-5. Contact Group Co-Chair Reifsnyder proposed identifying common elements between the
two proposals. Many delegations highlighted the differences, including: whether the
initial guidelines should be revised for second national communications; whether there
should be a technical assessment to "consider" communications; or if a non-Annex
I group of experts should provide assistance. Other delegations noted common elements
between the proposals on information gaps, GEF enabling activities, and the need to
identify problems faced by non-Annex I countries in preparing communications. The group
opted for a text "comparing," rather than combining, the two proposals.
On Friday, 11 June, delegates met to consider draft conclusions on aspects of national
communications from non-Annex I Parties. On the input from Parties to the GEF review of
enabling activities, the PHILIPPINES deleted a reference in the draft conclusions to the
scope of enabling activities, including various activities that facilitate the
implementation of Convention Articles 4.1 (national inventories) and 12.1 (national
communications). In its conclusions (FCCC/SBI/1999/ CRP.5), SBI requested: the GEF
to include in its annual reports to the COP information about progress made on the GEF
review; and the Secretariat to prepare a report on efforts to assist developing countries
in the implementation of enabling activities.
On the provision of financial and technical support, delegates adopted conclusions
(FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.5), asking the Secretariat to request the GEF to provide dates of
disbursement of funds for enabling-activity projects for preparation of non-Annex I
initial national communications. At the request of the PHILIPPINES and the EU, the
conclusions accepted continuing consideration of this issue at SBIs next session.
The conclusions also suggested that the list of projects submitted by non-Annex I Parties
be brought to the attention of the GEF and, "as appropriate," other financing
agencies, and required the contact groups Co-Chairs to prepare a framework on
elements of a draft decision, based on proposals by the G-77/CHINA and the EU.
On timing for non-Annex I national communications, the SBI considered and adopted draft
conclusions (FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.6) by the Co-Chairs of the contact group, including
proposed draft decisions by the G-77/CHINA and the EU as annexes. The EU requested that
the annexes reflect the proposals as originally submitted. The conclusions include a
provision requesting the Co-Chairs of the contact group to prepare a miscellaneous
document providing a framework for comparing the views of the G-77/CHINA and the EU as
contained in the annexes. An amendment was proposed by the PHILIPPINES calling for
"elements for draft decisions" to be prepared instead. The SBI invited Parties
to submit further views and comments by 15 July and decided to continue consideration of
the matter at SBI-11, with a view to recommending a decision for adoption by COP-5. The
conclusions were adopted as amended.
Arrangements for intergovernmental meetings
In an effort to encourage reflection on methods for making the intergovernmental
process more effective and efficient, the Secretariat produced a document containing
On Tuesday, 1 June, Parties exchanged views on COP-5, including: when it should
commence; whether a Committee of the Whole (COW) should be created; what form the
high-level segment should take; and what dates for COP-6 could be. Several Parties favored
establishing a COW as it would benefit small delegations. Stating that COP-5 will be
largely a technical meeting, SAUDI ARABIA, with KAZAKHSTAN and CHINA, opposed the creation
of a COW. CANADA and SLOVENIA preferred the high-level segment but without formal oral
presentations. The EU suggested an informal panel discussion between ministers to enable
them to focus on important political issues.
EGYPT proposed grouping controversial issues into clusters and discussing them in
workshops before COP-5. SAUDI ARABIA and CHINA cautioned against introducing controversial
issues that could "torpedo" the success of COP-5. The NETHERLANDS expressed
interest in hosting COP-6. Chair Kante requested the Rapporteur to consult with Parties
and find common ground on these issues.
On Monday, 7 June, SBI Rapporteur Klaus Radunsky outlined two alternative proposals on
arrangements for COP-5 and noted that, while both scheduled the beginning of the session
for 25 October 1999, one entailed a COW while the other excludes it. He said options for
the high-level segment were 1-2 November and 4-5 November. On topics for the high-level
segment, he stated that two options were being discussed. The first proposed the
high-level segment to address, inter alia: experiences; key issues; challenges with regard
to innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art technologies; policies and measures; and the
Protocol mechanisms, as well as ways and means of promoting their development. The second
proposed an exchange of views on the short- and long-term development of the Convention
and the Protocol, including the implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.
The G-77/CHINA tabled a draft decision on arrangements for COP-5. He indicated that,
inter alia: no "contentious" or "extraneous" issues should be included
in COP-5s agenda; no COW need be formed; the high-level segment should take place
from 3-4 November; and ministers and heads of delegation should participate on an equal
footing. He recommended that the high-level segment address the state of implementation of
the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the early entry into force of the Protocol. The EU
called for dynamic interaction among heads of delegation during the high-level segment,
rather than lengthy statements. The EU, with the US, noted the need for more consultations
on arrangements for COP-5. JAPAN accepted most of the G-77/CHINAs suggestions,
except on timing for the high-level segment. He emphasized COP-5s role in building
momentum towards COP-6.
The NETHERLANDS announced its offer to host COP-6 in the Hague and said Parties should
decide whether it should be held in 2000 or 2001. The US noted its preference to hold
COP-6 in 2001 in view of the work required to solve pending issues, including the Protocol
mechanisms, compliance procedures and LULUCF. He proposed two sessions of the subsidiary
bodies to take place between COP-5 and COP-6. AUSTRALIA said that since COP-6 had
important decisions to take it should be held early in 2001. CANADA noted the importance
of setting the technical foundation of decisions on issues such as technology transfer,
the mechanisms and compliance. He said there should be ample opportunities for subsidiary
body discussions in 2000, which may affect the dates for COP-6. The G-77/CHINA preferred
scheduling COP-6 in October or November 2000, and objected to additional intersessional
meetings of the subsidiary bodies. The EU expressed its flexibility on the timing of COP-6
but underscored the need for a prompt decision to give the Netherlands sufficient time to
prepare. Chair Kante asked John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) to undertake informal
consultations and report back to the SBI.
In SBIs closing plenary session on Friday, 11 June, conclusions
(FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.3) were adopted that: welcomed the nomination of Mr. Jan Szyszko,
Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources and Forestry of Poland, by the
Group of Eastern European States as President designate of COP-5; recommended that COP-5
begin on 25 October 1999; made arrangements for the high-level segment; welcomed the offer
of the Netherlands to host COP-6; and recommended dates for meetings of the subsidiary
bodies for the year 2001-2003. The SBI recommended that the COP-5 high-level segment take
place on 2-3 November 1999 and the discussion topics be: lessons learned and progress made
in dealing with climate change, and promoting implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of
Action and entry into force of the Protocol. The SBI decided to defer discussion on dates
for COP-6 and dates for the sessions of the subsidiary bodies in 2000, to its eleventh
Administrative and Financial matters
On Wednesday, 2 June, the Executive Secretary introduced the programme budget for the
biennium 2000-2001 (FCCC/SBI/1999/Add.1). He highlighted its new features, inter alia, a
cross-cutting emphasis on capacity building and strong focus on ensuring high-quality
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. The PHILIPPINES
stressed that capacity building was for developing countries and not the Secretariat.
IRAN, with CHINA, BRAZIL, SAUDI ARABIA, INDIA and the PHILIPPINES, expressed concern at
the 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.
Many delegates did not support the proposed 50% budget increase or the proposed 59%
rise in the number of staff. The G-77/CHINA stated that it cannot support the extent of
the proposed increase and noted the current trend among many Parties to support
zero-growth budgets. He expressed concern that budget proposals anticipated outcomes of
COP decisions that had not yet been made. The EU, supported by the US, CANADA and RUSSIA,
suggested that the Secretariat prepare other options for a draft budget. He proposed
scenarios based on increases of 0%, 5% and 7.5% per annum, and suggested deferring a
decision on the budget to COP-5. The US and CANADA preferred resolving the issue at this
session, given COP-5s heavy workload.
RUSSIA drew participants attention to political realities, stating that it would
be difficult to justify the request for such a substantial increase in funding from
national decision makers. CANADA emphasized that the Secretariat should focus on its
facilitative function. IRAN suggested that the Secretariat provide at least two reports on
biennium budgets, thus allowing later drafts to take into account additional expenses
resulting from COP decisions. He expressed concern over the number of consultants hired
and the criteria applied to their selection. The PHILIPPINES noted that a budget increase
did not necessarily benefit the Parties. She said greater South-South coordination on
capacity building could take some pressure off the Secretariat.
In reference to certain programme activities outlined in the budget, CHINA stated that
the Secretariat was not mandated to provide policy guidance to Parties but rather the
other way around. He noted the need for the budget to reflect the prioritization of the
CDM. EGYPT suggested streamlining FCCC programme activities in areas covered by other
entities. INDIA inquired about the Secretariats policies on gratis personnel and
suggested that the Secretariat prepare a table comparing the proposed budget to previous
On contingencies for conference services, the G-77/CHINA said the UN General Assembly
should be asked to include the FCCCs requirements in its budget. The US said Parties
should pay for conference servicing, and suggested requesting the General Assembly to take
a decision on this matter.
The FCCC Executive Secretary referred to the Secretariats predicament when
preparing the budget given that it had not received guidance from Parties. He said this
discussion would help remedy the lack of guidance and noted that the proposed budget for
the 2000-2001 biennium followed previously-used methodology. He noted difficulties in
preparing a table or chart allowing comparisons of activities from biennium to biennium.
He emphasized that while delegations did not agree to a 50% budget increase, most had
acknowledged the increase in the Secretariats workload. He suggested delegates
consider deferring consideration of anticipated budgetary outcomes of upcoming COP-6
decisions until COP-6.
On the status of carry-overs, the Secretariat indicated that it is assessed on a
biannual basis and that the status for 1999 would only be known by the end of the year.
The US referred to a budgetary rule that impedes the expenditure of carry-overs from
previous period contributions as a "perverse incentive" against timely payment
of contributions. The EU said untimely contributions were not the only cause for
carry-overs. The Secretariat suggested a COP decision to allow expenditure of carry-overs
up to the amount approved by the budget.
The budget contact group, chaired by Mohamed Ould el Ghaouth (Mauritania), met on
Wednesday and Thursday, 9-10 June, to continue discussing the proposed SBI conclusions and
a draft decision to COP-5 on the programme budget for the biennium 2000-2001. The group
also considered two tables. One summarizes the proposed budget for the 2000-2001 biennium
amounting to a total of US$25.277 million. The other outlines the budget for Secretariat
staffing. The FCCC Executive Secretary indicated that the proposed budget reduces funds
allocated to programme activities in 2000 and increases those available in 2001. He noted
that the staffing table reflects a suggested reduction in the staff increase from a total
staff of 100 to 81. A group of countries requested that the revised proposed budget
reflect the priority to be given to the CDM through inclusion of a separate programme.
Several delegations noted the need for more detail on programme activities and staffing in
the budget. The group undertook a paragraph-by-paragraph discussion of the proposed SBI
conclusions and draft decision. The discussion focused on bracketed text in the draft
decision, approving carry-overs to cover part of the budget period and a contingency
budget for non-Annex I communications. The group agreed to text approving a draw-down of
US$2 million from the unspent balance or contributions (carry-overs) from the previous
biennium to cover part of the 2000-2001 budget. The provision on a contingency budget for
non-Annex I communications remained bracketed.
On Friday, 10 June, delegates adopted conclusions (FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.7) on the
programme budget for the biennium 2000-2001. A draft decision recommended by SBI for
adoption at COP-5 is annexed to the conclusions. The draft decision includes provisions
approving the programme budget for the biennium 2000-2001, amounting to US$25,286,000.
This represents an increase of US$3,638,200 over the comparable figure in the current
biennium 1998-1999, partly to be met by a special drawing of US$2 million from unspent
balances or contributions from previous financial periods. The resulting increase in the
total indicative contributions due by Parties over those in the current biennium 1998-1999
would be 10.7%. A provision approving a contingency budget for matters related to the
consideration of national communications from non-Annex I Parties, amounting to
US$1,527,900 to be added to the 2000-2001 programme budget, remains bracketed. Annexed to
the draft decision are tables specifying: programme and staffing expenditures; resource
requirements for contingencies and staffing related to consideration of non-Annex I
communications; estimated resource requirements for participation in the FCCC process; and
estimated resource requirements for the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities.
A note (FCCC/SBI/1999/CRP.1) by SBI Chair Kante on possible activities to be covered
through supplementary funding was forwarded to COP-5 for consideration. The note outlines
an initial list of possible activities to be undertaken through supplementary funding,
amounting to US$5,120,200 for the biennium. The list of activities includes: organization
of workshops; production and dissemination of information products; outreach to NGOs;
software support for processing inventory data; preparation of the report on
implementation; response to requests by Parties for additional activities related to the
mechanisms; facilitation of networking among national focal points; cooperation with other
UN bodies; and additional support for the FCCC Fellowship Programme.
Referring to the budget increase, as outlined in the recommended draft decision, the
Executive Secretary thanked Parties for their readiness to acknowledge the increasing
workload of the Secretariat and assured them of the Secretariats efforts to
carefully revise the budgetary implications of any mandated activities.
Many delegations thanked the Secretariat for being so forthcoming with budget-related
information requested by Parties during contact group discussions. INDIA, supported by
CHINA, expressed his appreciation for the transparency with which the consultations took
place and requested more detailed information in time for COP-5 on staffing requirements
and the extent of use of consultants from developing countries. JAPAN stated it had
diverging views on the use of carry-overs as set out in the draft decision, noted its
support for the Secretariat, and said it would not stand in the way of consensus.
Institutional linkage of the FCCC Secretariat to the United Nations
Based on informal consultations, the Secretariat produced a draft decision
(FCCC/SBI/CRP.2), which was referred to COP-5 for adoption. The draft decision: recalls
Decision 14/CP.1, which sets 31 December 1999 as the final date to review the
institutional linkage of the FCCC Secretariat to the United Nations; notes that the
institutional linkage is working satisfactorily; invites the UN General Assembly to decide
at its 54th session whether to meet the Conventions conference servicing expenses
from its regular budget; and decides that the institutional linkage of the Convention to
the UN shall continue, subject to review no later than 31 December 2001.
SBI FINAL PLENARY
In its closing plenary on Friday, 11 June, delegates adopted the draft report of the
meeting contained in document FCCC/SBI/1999/L.1. Chair Kante informed Parties about his
decision to take up a post in UNEP as Director of Policy Development and thanked them for
their support during his term as SBI Chair. Several delegations and the Executive
Secretary expressed their appreciation for Chair Kantes work and effort.
JOINT SBI/SBSTA SESSIONS
On Tuesday, 1 June, delegates met in a joint SBI/SBSTA session to consider the AIJ
pilot phase, procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol,
and the mechanisms pursuant to Protocol Articles 6 (JI), 12 (CDM) and 17 (emissions
trading). SBSTA Chair Chow opened the joint session and invited general statements from
On compliance under the Protocol, the G-77/CHINA said Annex I Parties
communications should include information on Convention implementation, particularly:
policies and measures to modify longer term trends; new and additional financial
resources; assistance to meet adaptation costs; technology transfer; and capacity building
of developing countries. AOSIS expressed disappointment at the overall increase in Annex I
Parties emissions, and proposed that COP-5 review implementation of Annex I Party
commitments. The EU said this meeting could make progress on, inter alia: implementation
of Annex I Party FCCC commitments; development and transfer of technology; further
elaboration of the Protocol mechanisms, giving priority to the CDM; and development of a
strong and efficient compliance system. The AFRICAN GROUP emphasized Africas special
needs relating to adaptation to adverse effects, capacity building and technology
transfer. He advocated an early start to the CDM.
PROCEDURES AND MECHANISMS RELATING TO COMPLIANCE UNDER THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
On Monday, 31 May, delegates met in informal consultations to exchange views on
procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance under the Kyoto Protocol. Delegates were
presented with a synthesis of submissions from Australia, Canada, the EU, New Zealand,
AOSIS, South Africa and the US (FCCC/SB/1999/MISC.4, Adds. 1 and 2, FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.1).
At the first session of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on compliance, held on 1 June and
co-chaired by Harald Dovland (Norway) and Espen R°nneberg (Marshall Islands), delegates
debated the proposed agenda. The G-77/CHINA called for a discussion on the basic
principles for a compliance regime, noted a lack of submissions received from developing
countries and supported the compilation of views through a questionnaire. The EU said the
JWG 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. 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 subsidiary body groups or a
workshop that addresses the full range of compliance issues. JAPAN highlighted the
importance of examining other multilateral environmental agreements. After extensive
debate, Parties deleted an agenda 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
The JWG met five times during the session and discussed: identification of
compliance-related elements, including gaps and suitable forums to address them; design of
a compliance system; and consequences of non-compliance. The G-77/CHINA indicated that it
had not reached a group position on these items. 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 that
gaps were identifiable for procedures and consequences of non-compliance other than for
substantive rules. The US also noted the need to link Protocol Articles 5 (methodological
issues), 7 (communication of information), 6 (JI), 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.
On the design of a compliance system, many Parties stressed the systems
facilitative and preventative nature. The US emphasized the importance of transparency
and, with JAPAN, called for reasonable certainty about the consequences of non-compliance.
AUSTRALIA, CANADA and the US called for a regime tailored to the Kyoto Protocol, as it
differs from other multilateral environmental agreements. JAPAN said the system may need a
short grace period at the end of the commitment period. The EU said the system should
apply to all obligations under the Protocol. It could also provide advice to Parties on
implementation, prevent disputes, and impose consequences, including sanctions, if
appropriate. With NEW ZEALAND, he stressed the importance of due process and allowing the
Parties involved to participate fully. IRAN noted that Protocol Article 18
(non-compliance) does not specify any particular articles, but applies to the entire
Protocol. He called on the COP to create a specific body for non-compliance and said an
expert review team does not have the authority or capacity to determine non-compliance.
On institutional issues, the US noted a number of questions, including: who could
trigger the non-compliance mechanism; whether one body would deal with both the
facilitative and non-compliance aspects of the process; and whether the body would be
composed of Parties or be independent. The EU said compliance processes should: operate
through one supervisory body; function through a single set of procedures; and provide for
measures that apply in a graduated manner. An independent committee of experts from
relevant fields should operate the body. The US said the compliance system would apply to
any obligation of the Protocol but not to non-binding obligations. AOSIS cautioned against
attempting to differentiate legally binding from non-legally binding obligations, and IRAN
underscored the legally-binding character of the Protocol. CHINA said Article 18
(non-compliance) applies to all obligations under the Protocol. AUSTRALIA said a
distinction between binding and non-binding aspects would be necessary for practical
reasons. AUSTRALIA and JAPAN, opposed by the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, stressed the benefits
of peer reviews, rather than a punitive regime, to enforce obligations.
On consequences of non-compliance, all delegates emphasized the preliminary character
of their comments. The EU, supported by JAPAN and AOSIS, noted its preference for a system
that combines "hard" and "soft" enforcement measures that are graded
according to the gravity of the breach and the nature of the obligation. CANADA referred
to procedural steps leading to the application of consequences as an integral part of the
compliance system. The US referred to prior agreement and a degree of automatic
application as requisites for binding consequences. She drew attention to a provision in
the Protocol (Article 6.1.c) penalizing non-compliance by forbidding a Party to sell
emissions reduction units when not in compliance with its obligations under Articles 5
(estimation of net emissions) and 7 (annual GHG inventories). The CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW proposed the use of a compliance fund. If Parties reach the end of a
commitment period and find that their emissions, minus removals, exceed their assigned
amount, they would be obligated under the Protocol to purchase credits or parts of
assigned amount to cover their overage. However, if there are insufficient credits or
parts of assigned amount available from the market, the required credits would have to be
purchased from the compliance fund, which would invest the money in the highest quality
emissions reduction and removal projects.
On Saturday, 5 June, the G-77/CHINA presented its position on compliance to the JWG.
She stated that only Parties that are in compliance with their obligations and bound by a
compliance regime should be allowed to participate in the Protocol mechanisms. Binding
consequences for non-compliance are essential, as they will enhance Parties
collective ability to deter non-compliance. She said it may be desirable to identify cases
and/or activities that may constitute non-compliance. She supported an indicative list of
non-compliance consequences, depending on the cause, type, degree and frequency of
non-compliance, including: appropriate assistance; technical and financial expertise and
capacity building; issuing cautions; suspension of rights such as the ability to
participate in the Protocol mechanisms; and, penalties, like financial penalties for Annex
B Parties. She said financial penalties resulting from a non-compliance procedure should
be made available to meet the cost of adaptation. She circulated a list of questions on a
compliance system, including, what the principles should be that guide the development of
procedures to implement Article 18 of the Protocol and what procedures and mechanisms
under Article 18 entail binding consequences.
On Tuesday, 8 June, the Co-Chairs proposed a draft work programme on compliance whereby
the JWG invites Parties to make submissions to the Secretariat in response to questions
contained in an annex to the proposal. These submissions will be compiled in a
miscellaneous document. The JWG also requests the Co-Chairs to produce, for consideration
by JWG-2, a synthesis of Parties proposals. The JWG also agrees that an informal
discussion on work under the SBI/SBSTA and experience under other conventions would help
Parties better understand the compliance system needed. On the nature and timing of the
informal exchange, later referred to as a "workshop," the G-77/CHINA, supported
by SAUDI ARABIA and IRAN, preferred holding it after COP-5, but before the subsidiary
bodies 12th sessions (SB-12). She said the discussion should have clearly defined
objectives and should not reach conclusions or form the basis for any documents.
Participants should primarily be government experts. AOSIS suggested holding the
discussions back-to-back with COP-5. The EU, CANADA, the US and AUSTRALIA supported
holding it prior to COP-5 in order to better prepare for it. Delegates continued debating
the timing of the workshop while discussing the JWGs draft report of the meeting in
On Thursday, 10 June, the JWG adopted the report on its meetings and agreed that the
Co-Chairs will organize a workshop in early October 1999. The purpose of the workshop will
be to informally exchange views on relevant issues, including experiences under other
conventions. The Co-Chairs will make a factual, informal report, with no recommendations,
on this workshop. The JWG urged all Parties in a position to facilitate developing country
participation to make contributions. The workshop will be open to Parties and observers.
The JWG also agreed that a workshop is needed after COP-5 and between SB-11 and SB-12.
Responses to questions on compliance, contained in an annex to the report, are due by 1
In his report back to SBI/SBSTA, JWG Co-Chair Dovland reported that the JWG had noted
that the work on compliance is linked to that on Protocol Articles 5 (methodology), 7
(communications), and 8 (review of information). He said the JWG had noted the need for
exchange of information with the relevant groups and discussed general issues related to a
compliance system, such as its objectives and characteristics. He said the group had
adopted a work programme and will consider at the next session submissions by Parties
based on questions annexed to the conclusions. He announced that a first workshop to
further consider this issue would be held on 67 October 1999. He thanked Germany and
Austria for their offers to help organize the workshop. Delegates accepted annexing the
report of the JWG to the report of the SBI.
ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY (AIJ) ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY
UNDER THE PILOT PHASE
Delegates considered AIJ under the pilot phase during a joint SBI/SBSTA Plenary on
Tuesday, 1 June. The G-77/CHINA and others expressed concern at the lack of regional
balance in the distribution of pilot projects and said the AIJ project experience
internationally was inadequate for a meaningful review. The AFRICAN GROUP and NORWAY
called for capacity building to remedy this, particularly in Africa. SWITZERLAND called
for the development of terms of reference for the review of the pilot phase for
consideration by COP-5. The US, with JAPAN and GUATEMALA, said experiences gained from AIJ
projects could provide valuable lessons for the development of Protocol mechanisms. She
noted the need for a smooth transition from the pilot phase to project-based mechanisms.
COSTA RICA underscored the role of AIJ projects in its sustainable development agenda, and
called on COP-5 to take a definitive decision on AIJs status. GUATEMALA, with
BRAZIL, supported AIJ project eligibility for CDM certification, if the project meets the
necessary criteria and, with RUSSIA, called for straightforward guidelines for the
certification system. IRAN opposed linking AIJ with the CDM since it does not include a
credit element and lacks adequate reference to sustainable development.
Margaret Mukahanana (Zimbabwe) and Jos Delbeke (European Community) conducted informal
consultations on this agenda item.
Delegates considered and adopted the draft conclusions on this item (FCCC/SB/1999/L.1)
on Friday, 11 June. SBSTA and SBI recognized that the AIJ pilot phase should provide
developing countries and those in transition with an opportunity to enhance their capacity
building, and give Parties an opportunity to gain experience with AIJ. They agreed that
the review of the pilot phase should address, inter alia: the geographical distribution of
projects, particularly the lack of projects in Africa, and analyze the contributing
factors; contribution of projects to capacity building and institutional strengthening of
Parties, particularly host country Parties; contribution to host countries
sustainable development needs; assessment of environmental benefits related to mitigation
of climate change that would not have occurred in the absence of AIJ and the methods used
to measure, monitor and independently verify these emissions; and consideration of costs,
including costs of greenhouse gas reductions and transaction costs, and examination of
related methodologies. SBSTA and SBI decided to undertake a comprehensive review of the
AIJ pilot phase at SB-11 with a view to preparing a recommendation to COP-5 on further
MECHANISMS PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 6 (JOINT IMPLEMENTATION), 12(CLEAN DEVELOPMENT
MECHANISM) AND 17(EMISSIONS TRADING) OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
Delegates discussed issues related to the Protocol mechanisms in a joint SBI/SBSTA
contact group chaired by SBSTA Chair Chow. The group was unable to start substantive
deliberations until the second week when the G-77/CHINA circulated its position paper. In
the substantive discussions, delegates stated their positions and identified points of
convergence and divergence on specific elements of the synthesis of proposals by Parties
on principles, modalities, rules and guidelines on the CDM, JI and emissions trading
(FCCC/SB/1999/INF.2 and Add. 1-3).
In an initial exchange of views during the first joint Plenary session on Tuesday, 1
June, the G-77/CHINA stressed the need to, inter alia: begin with formulating principles
to guide the methodological and operational process; establish a common understanding of
the mechanisms; and ensure that the nature and scope of mechanisms do not perpetuate
The EU stressed the need to ensure that the mechanisms are supplemental to domestic
action and do not undermine commitments under the Protocol. She advocated a properly
defined ceiling that will encourage Annex B countries to define strong policies and
measures. The US, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND and CANADA
opposed the EU proposal to place caps on the use of the Protocol mechanisms. They said,
inter alia, that the proposal would re-open the "package" agreed in Kyoto,
reduce the flow of new resources to developing countries, impede the cost effectiveness of
the mechanisms, hinder wider acceptance of the Protocol by domestic constituencies, and
create a double standard by not clarifying how it applies to Protocol Article 4 (EU
"bubble"). The AFRICAN GROUP supported setting caps on the use of mechanisms to
meet Protocol commitments and said that CDM should avoid replicating the inequitable
regional distribution of projects experienced during the AIJ pilot phase. AOSIS said
actions under the mechanisms should be supplemental to domestic action and, with SENEGAL,
suggested that the mechanisms be guided by principles of equity and transparency.
SWITZERLAND proposed a post-verification system for emissions trading that will allow
Parties to trade only the excess of assigned amount units. Supported by KAZAKHSTAN, he
proposed that JI begins prior to 2008.
The International Chamber of Commerce reported on a recent CDM workshop held in Dakar,
Senegal. The workshop conclusions highlighted, inter alia, that: the CDM should act as a
catalyst for sustainable development; studies on Protocol mechanisms should be extended to
all African countries; a wide spectrum of projects and private sector involvement should
be promoted; and capacity building of negotiators, companies, potential certifiers and
others involved in the CDM should be encouraged.
On Tuesday, 8 June, the G-77/CHINA introduced its position papers on CDM, JI and
emissions trading. Outlining the paper on CDM, the G-77/CHINA highlighted CDMs role
in helping developing countries achieve sustainable development and developed countries
comply with their QELROs. He stressed the need to decide on principles before addressing
methodological issues and suggested creating an adaptation fund. The G-77/CHINA
recommended that its paper form the basis for future negotiations. In support, CHINA
identified issues missing from the Secretariats synthesis report but covered in the
G-77/China paper, including transparency and climate change effectiveness. He said
discussions should focus on the clusters principles, methodologies and
institutional issues recommended in the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. At the
Chairs request, however, the Group proceeded to focus discussions on various
elements of the synthesis papers on the different mechanisms.
CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM: On the objectives, principles and purposes of the
CDM, the EU identified convergence on various areas, including cost effectiveness,
transparency and equity, and divergence on issues, such as inter-tradeability between the
mechanisms. The US identified the areas of convergence as being those that recognize,
inter alia, private sector participation in the CDM and the need for baseline
determination to precede use of the mechanisms. PERU recommended a common baseline for JI
and the CDM. She said such an approach would, inter alia: provide a simple, transparent
and reliable methodology for common baseline application, as the regional average of Annex
II in energy and other sectors would constitute the calculation basis; and ensure
environmental integrity in emissions reductions.
Regarding legal entities, the EU identified convergence on the involvement of both
public and private entities in CDM activities but added that Parties should be responsible
for fulfilling their Protocol commitments. She said the COP/MOP should designate
operational entities. NORWAY, supported by CANADA, said operational entities were a key
element for the CDMs institutional structure. He added that they should be drawn
from the private sector and be independent, centralized and accredited by the Executive
Board. On project eligibility, the US stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to
certification and verification, including options for baselines. The G-77/CHINA said
project eligibility is central to the principle, nature and scope of the CDM. NORWAY noted
that there was no section on baselines in the synthesis report. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said
project eligibility and baselines are essential in formulating CDM rules. He said eligible
projects should demonstrate GHG reduction, and investment, financial and technology
Regarding the contribution to sustainable development, the G-77/CHINA said the
recipient country should be the sole judge of whether a project meets its sustainable
development priorities. The EU suggested that non-Annex I Parties confirm in writing how a
project will help it achieve sustainable development and stressed that the project
activity should be consistent with all international agreements to which the Parties
involved belong. CHINA suggested applying a similar condition to the funding country to
confirm how the CDM would result in certified emissions reductions (CERs).
On sequestration, the G-77/CHINA said discussions should be avoided until the
conclusion of ongoing studies by SBSTA and the IPCC. The EU stated its preference for
excluding consideration of sequestration pending a COP decision.
On technology transfer and project financing, the G-77/CHINA highlighted the dimension
of additionality, a feature absent in the Chairs draft. He said funding for CDM
projects should be additional to GEF, ODA and other developed country financial
commitments. The US identified convergence on the CDMs role in facilitating
On supplementarity, the G-77/CHINA highlighted the primacy of domestic action and
recommended the development of guidelines on supplementarity. The EU restated its proposal
for a concrete ceiling and the US noted possible divergence on the issue.
Regarding levies, the G-77/CHINA highlighted establishing an adaptation fund. The US
questioned how this fund would be managed and its proceeds dispersed. On CERs, the
G-77/CHINA suggested discussing them in the context of the CDMs purposes.
On further work on CDM, the G-77/CHINA stressed addressing principles and basic
elements that are currently not featured in the synthesis report. The US identified
convergence on, inter alia, the need for work on baselines and share of proceeds. The EU
highlighted monitoring, verification, certification and validation.
In the discussion on capacity building, the G-77/CHINA underscored its significance
and, supported by PERU, said capacity building should be incorporated into all CDM
projects to enhance endogenous expertise to identify technology needs and capacities for
assimilation of technology. He urged attention to the special needs of least developed
countries. The PHILIPPINES stressed that capacity-building initiatives should be
country-driven and within the intergovernmental process. CHINA said capacity building
should be "of, for and in" the developing country. The AFRICAN GROUP underscored
the importance of an integrated approach to capacity building and called for guidance from
the subsidiary bodies to UN agencies working on such activities. The EU suggested
coordinating the various capacity-building initiatives so as to optimize resource use.
PERU highlighted the beneficial nature of regional discussions on CDM. SENEGAL suggested
involving the financial sector, sensitizing the public and decision makers and training
developing country officials.
JOINT IMPLEMENTATION: On the structure, purpose and principles of JI, the
G-77/CHINA noted its submission on elements that should be addressed to enable the COP/MOP
to elaborate guidelines. They include, inter alia, participation of Parties in Article 6
(JI) projects, supplementarity, climate change effectiveness, transparency, criteria for
project baselines and guidelines for monitoring, verification and reporting. CHINA
suggested focusing on cluster issues, including: principles, purpose, nature and scope;
methodological issues; and institutional issues. The EU suggested including appendices on
technical issues such as baselines and monitoring. SWITZERLAND inquired about a date for
early crediting, noting the lack of clarity in the case of JI. The EU stated that there is
no provision for it in the Protocol. JAPAN noted convergence on environmental and cost
effectiveness, equity and transparency. The US emphasized that JI differed from the CDM,
since it does not share the goal of promoting sustainable development.
On Parties participating in JI, the EU said they should have ratified the Protocol and
be bound by a compliance regime. On the involvement of legal entities, she noted the
impact they may have on a Partys responsibilities under Protocol Article 3 (QELROs).
Regarding project eligibility, the EU identified convergence on a two-step approach in
JI, validation before implementation and certification of emissions reductions, and in
elements relating to assessment of additionality. However, she noted diverging views on
the methodology for determining baselines. JAPAN preferred addressing initiation of JI
projects along with project eligibility and said many countries did not concur with the
two-step approach. The US underlined the need to ensure environmental additionality of JI
Concerning project monitoring, the EU said participants should provide information on
their provisions for systematic, accurate and periodic monitoring and submit the necessary
monitoring data to show that the project has resulted in quantifiable and long-term
On the definition of emissions reduction units (ERUs), the US noted convergence on how
to denominate, serialize and track ERUs, and reiterated the need to recognize that
procedures used elsewhere may not be appropriate for constructing JI. The US also said the
registry was an important element to ensure accurate reporting, tracking, and compliance.
On the relationship of JI to the AIJ pilot phase, the US, supported by the EU, said AIJ
activities might be eligible for JI if they fulfill the rules and requirements set for
such projects. Regarding supplementarity, the EU restated its proposal for a concrete
ceiling on the use of all three mechanisms.
EMISSIONS TRADING: On the objectives, principles and purpose of emissions
trading, the G-77/CHINA reiterated the need to address principles and basic elements
before dealing with methodological and operational issues. He said environmental integrity
must be inherent in the system, which should not freeze or perpetuate existing inequities
between Annex B and developing countries. He stressed that the Protocol had not created
any right, title or entitlement and said emissions trading should be restricted to excess
limitations and reductions additional to a countrys commitment. CHINA said the
synthesis of proposals on emissions trading contained several extraneous elements, such as
competitiveness and market size, and called for a revised synthesis. The PHILIPPINES
distinguished emissions trading from other mechanisms and stressed that it did not imply a
right to pollute but an obligation to reduce GHGs. The EU identified divergence on
interchangeability between CERs and ERUs, and, with JAPAN, noted convergence on cost
effectiveness, environmental benefits, equity and transparency. With the G-77/CHINA and
the US, the EU said the Protocol did not create property rights, and stated that emissions
trading was a way of fulfilling obligations under the Protocol. AOSIS, with the AFRICAN
GROUP, highlighted the need for adaptation surcharges to be assessed against all the
On the definition of units, CANADA noted divergence on the concept of fungibility among
the Protocol mechanisms. Regarding the sections on competitiveness, market size and
structure, relationship to domestic policies, and liability for sales of non-surplus
units, the G-77/CHINA said such headings are not neutral and recommended changing them.
CANADA said reference to "competitiveness" should be changed to "access to
emissions trading." On market size and structure, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION suggested
either defining or deleting the term "hot air" in the text. Regarding levies,
the EU noted some divergence regarding liability for sales of non-surplus units.
JOINT CONTACT GROUP CONCLUSIONS: Chair Chow said he would redraft the
documents based on Parties comments, and asked for new submissions to be provided by
1 July 1999. The G-77/China urged a later deadline for submissions. The EU asked for
additional time to complete its technical work in producing draft appendices. Chair Chow
said he would extend the deadline for the technical submission to 1 August, and would
consult with Parties on the suggested 1 July deadline.
On Friday, 11 June, delegates adopted the draft conclusions (FCCC/SB/1999/CRP.4) of the
SBI and SBSTA Chairs on the Protocol mechanisms. In these conclusions, SBI and SBSTA
invited the Parties to submit further proposals by 31 July on issues raised in the Buenos
Aires Plan of Action relating to principles, modalities and guidelines for the mechanisms,
and elements to be included in the plan to facilitate capacity building. They requested
the Chairs, with the Secretariat, to prepare a revised and consolidated synthesis of
proposals taking into account the views and submissions of the Parties.
SBSTA Chair Chow noted that a synthesis document and a miscellaneous document will be
prepared, and stated that submissions for further proposals received from Parties before
the deadline will be available by 15 September 1999. He added that submissions of a
technical nature may be synthesized into a new document or included together with late
submissions in a miscellaneous document. The G-77/CHINA stressed the need to address the
principles and basic elements in the structure in order to guide the methodological and
institutional aspects of the mechanisms design.
FINAL JOINT SBI/SBSTA PLENARY
The subsidiary bodies met in a final joint session on Friday, 11 June, to consider the
report of the Joint Working Group on procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance, and
adopt draft conclusions on AIJ under the pilot phase and the Protocol mechanisms.
The BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY discussed the AIJ pilot phase. He stated
that the pilot phase has played a valuable role in assisting developed and developing
countries to understand project-based approaches and encouraged Parties that have not
participated in the pilot phase to do so now. He added that the evaluation of the AIJ
pilot phase will be useful in designing the CDM. SBSTA Chair Chow thanked participants and
declared the joint meetings of the SBSTA and SBI closed.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MEETING: "INVISIBLE BRACKETS" WILL LITTER THE
PATH TO COP-6
On the final day of the tenth sessions of the subsidiary bodies, FCCC Executive
Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar drew a useful distinction between those agenda items
where consensus exists and constructive technical discussion could proceed and those where
Parties remain divided. As if enclosed in "invisible brackets," some issues
remain hotly contested, although agreed to in the broad language of the Protocol. These
issues, such as land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and a ceiling on the use
of the Protocol mechanisms, contributed to the lack of progress at this meeting and could
likely impede future sessions. This analysis will characterize the new post-Kyoto stage of
the negotiations, identify some of the subsequent issues regarding the direction of
upcoming negotiations, and present an overview of issues within invisible brackets.
WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF KYOTO NOW
There was a genuine sense of disappointment among negotiators during the first week and
a half of the subsidiary bodies proceedings, stemming largely from the
G-77/Chinas need to take time to complete its internal discussions on issues such as
the Protocol mechanisms and compliance. The heavy technical and procedural focus of the
agenda was dominated by the schedule set out in the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, which,
because of its generous timelines, allows Parties to defer consideration of substantive
issues, at least for the time being. This, combined with the efforts of some Parties to
postpone contentious issues beyond the upcoming COP, added to a distinct absence of any
sense of occasion. Little surprise that SBI Chair Kante described the meetings as
"technical" and predicted that COP-5 would see more of the same.
Post-Kyoto negotiations will continue to witness a slowing down in pace for a number of
reasons, aside from the need to resolve issues trapped in invisible brackets. First, the
new phase in negotiations is undertaking the work of institutionalizing the outcomes from
Kyoto, a task that should not be underestimated in its complexity. The workload to tackle
the complexity of issues derived from Kyoto Protocol was reflected in discussions on the
programme budget for the 2000-2001 biennium. In its original proposal, the Secretariat
foresaw a 50% increase with respect to the budget for the previous biennium. Although
Parties did not agree to an increase of this nature, they did acknowledge the added
burdens derived from pending Kyoto Protocol issues.
While there will be a temptation to criticize the apparent slowing-down in the pace of
developments, it is to be expected and may, in retrospect, come to be viewed as a welcome
signal of a routinization of the process. Another reason is that, however effective the
negotiating process, progress on design and implementation of far-reaching instruments
such as the Kyoto mechanisms should not outpace the ability of those Parties with low
capacity to absorb and calculate the likely impact and opportunities for their respective
countries and regions. The G-77/China is entitled to argue for all the time it requires to
engage effectively in the negotiations, not in the least because their futures and the
future of global equity are once more intimately bound up with decision-making in the
ecologically-indebted industrialized countries. Finally, the inexorable penetration of the
FCCC and Kyoto Protocols impact on domestic policy and constituencies will influence
negotiations, adding new calculations to be taken on board during international
negotiations. The upcoming US Presidential election is only one prominent example of the
domestic-international interaction that must be factored into the negotiations by all
NEGOTIATORS ARE ON A STEEP LEARNING CURVE
The climate change negotiations highlight an inevitable tension between a United
Nations framework characterized by conventional and well-rehearsed rhetoric and the
unprecedented demands placed on the system by the scope of the FCCC and Kyoto Protocol.
Swedens veteran negotiator, Bo KjellÚn, rarely misses an opportunity to remind
participants that they are engaged in an agenda that must ultimately re-programme the
genetic codes of a civilization. Facilitating negotiators on their steep learning curve
has been the subject of some discussion, notably the role of the Secretariat. In a
departure from tradition, future negotiations on LULUCF will include a workshop as part of
the formal subsidiary body deliberations, in response to expressions of frustration that
too little time is available for detailed exchanges within the traditional negotiation
format. The IPCC will also continue to use the side events at the Subsidiary Bodies
meetings to provide detailed briefings on its work.
Progress on key controversial issues such as global participation, mechanisms, land
use, land use change and forestry, and national communications proved to be patchy.
Substantive discussions were simply put on hold and are unlikely to advance before COP-6.
Global participation: The over-arching issue of global participation (some
speak of "voluntary commitments") remained alive at the subsidiary bodies
meetings and is expected to be the subject of early debate at COP-5. Some of the most
interesting debates about global participation took place at two side events, one
organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Stockholm Environment Institute.
Argentinas delegation was represented at both and, together with other senior
participants in the process, expressed interest in a proposal from WRI to overcome the
stalemate created by the timing and nature of the debate on voluntary commitments for
non-Annex I countries. WRI believes that the stalemate has developed in part from an
assumption that a developing country commitment would take the same basic form as an Annex
I commitment, namely a limitation on the absolute level of GHG emissions expressed as a
growth cap. An alternative form of participation for developing countries would involve
lowering the GHG intensity of their economies rather than measuring absolute emissions.
WRI has pointed out that among developing countries there is no discernible relationship
between carbon intensity and level of development.
Protocol Mechanisms: Controversial debates on mechanisms flared within the
G-77/China. The group, though under pressure from the Joint Working Group on mechanisms to
resolve its differences and formulate a position, dissolved into persistent regional
positions on various aspects of the CDM. The concepts of "unilateral CDMs,"
"tradeability of CERs," "emissions avoidance" and "adaptation
funds" teased the G-77/China negotiators for over a week before they emerged with a
document that was skillfully and carefully constructed to be open-ended on most issues.
With the benefits from the CDM flowing unevenly to different countries within the
G-77/China and the lack of a significant incentive to compromise on national positions,
the key issues are yet to be resolved within the G-77/China.
The EU welcomed progress on this issue during the last three days of the meetings and
noted that they had moved further forward than initially expected. The EU and the Umbrella
Group (a fluid group of non-EU Annex I countries) observed a truce on the hotly disputed
question of a ceiling on the use of the mechanisms. For the EU it is a case of "once
bitten twice shy" as negotiators, convinced that some weak agreements (e.g., sinks,
hot air, extra gases) were allowed to slip through in Kyoto, now proceed with more caution
than ever. Added to this is the conventional wisdom that unresolved political differences
are so fundamental that a premature debate could "derail the process."
The ceiling and definition of "supplementarity" represent the most obvious
examples of issues that remain enclosed in notional brackets. The EU proposed a set of
formulae to establish a ceiling. They would, in effect, limit the use of the mechanisms to
meeting up to half of the effort required of Annex B Parties and include a degree of
flexibility for further use, provided that any additional use is matched by an equivalent
National communications from Annex I Parties: NGOs have expressed concern about
attempts by some Parties to remove or downplay important elements of the guidelines for
national reporting given the importance of data for monitoring compliance with the
Protocol. The US attempted to remove or shift elsewhere elements of the reporting
requirements on "energy intensity per unit of GDP," "emissions per
capita" and "GDP per capita."
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES: While some Parties hoped for
more submissions of non-Annex I communications in time for the first synthesis report,
non-Annex I Parties were of the view that submission of their national communications is
subject to the availability of financial resources and technical support. Thus, timing for
non-Annex I communications and advancing towards second guidelines were some of the points
of contention. Proposals for technical assessments of these communications to identify
information gaps were perceived by some developing countries as attempts to prepare the
grounds for new developing country commitments. Proof of diverging views on the future of
non-Annex I communications within the Convention, was the inability to agree on a
contingency budget for matters related to the consideration of non-Annex I communications.
Land use, land-use change and forestry: The EU believes it has held the line
on the central debate over the work programme on LULUCF. They think the JUSCANZ group
attempted to develop a parallel process and speed up the work timetable to preempt the
forthcoming IPCC Special Report. At the same time, some JUSCANZ Parties demonstrated a
reluctance to provide timely and important data in Protocol Articles 3.3 and 3.4 (QELROs),
which would assist the IPCC in assessing the implications of future decisions on the
inclusion of certain activities under the LULUCF provisions. The negotiations therefore
seemed to confirm NGO suspicions that methodological debates are being used to erode Annex
B commitments. New research from Greenpeace International, issued at the close of the
meeting, appears to confirm NGOs worst suspicions. An updated analysis of the
potential loopholes in the Kyoto Protocol ("hot air" and the CDM, proposed
additional articles under Article 3.4, forestry activities under Article 3.3) shows that
the proposals on the table at Bonn could completely undermine the Protocols already
limited environmental effectiveness. Virtually no action would be needed by Annex B
Parties to "meet" the commitments.
COP-5 will not take place in Jordan, as announced in Buenos Aires. Instead it will take
place in Bonn, a modest city of gentle pace and routine. It is an altogether understated
location. Yet Bonn will be an appropriate venue for COP-5, which has already been
described as essentially another "technical" meeting on the way to the bigger
prize of COP-6. COP-5 will set the stage for the further emergence and clarification of
political issues and hopefully the final removal of the "invisible brackets" at
COP-6. The iron law of negotiation is that minimum levels of "negotiating
capital" must be accumulated and reserved until the final round.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
WORKSHOP ON RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD: A workshop on
"Renewable Energy for the Developing World" will be held from 28 June - 2 July
1999, in Carbondale, Colorado, USA. For more information, contact: Solar Energy
International; tel: +1-970-963-8855; fax: +1-970-963-8866; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
AOSIS MEETING ON THE CDM: The AOSIS meeting on the CDM will be held from 13-16
July 1999 in Majuro, Marshall Islands. For more information, contact: e-mail:
AIR POLLUTION CONFERENCE: The International Conference on Modelling,
Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution will be held from 27-29 July 1999 in San
Francisco, California, USA. For more information, contact: the Conference Secretariat, AIR
POLLUTION 99, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 7AA, UK; tel: +44
(0) 1703 293223; fax: +44 (0) 1703 29285;
e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/.
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON NON-C02 GREENHOUSE GASES: The International
Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Scientific Understanding, Control, and
Implementation, will be held in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, from 8-10 September
1999. For more information, contact: Symposium Bureau; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
SECOND ANNUAL EARTH TECHNOLOGIES FORUM: The Second Annual Earth Technologies
Forum will be held in Washington, DC, from 27-29 September 1999. For more information,
contact: Erika Fischer; tel: +1-703-807-4052; fax: +1-703-243-2874; Internet:
INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES TECHNICAL WORKSHOP ON CDM: This
workshop will be held in October 1999 in Hamaya, Japan. For more information, contact: Aki
Maruyama, IGES, 1560-39 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0198, Japan; tel:
+81-468-55-3812; e-mail: email@example.com.
INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON KYOTO MECHANISMS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: "Kyoto
Mechanisms Business Opportunities: How Much is a Project Worth? Selection, Verification
and Certification of Projects," will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from 21-22
October 1999. For more information, contact: Wolfram Kaegi, Institute for Economy and the
Environment, University of St. Gallen, Tigerbergstrasse 2, CH9000 St. Gallen,
Switzerland; tel: +41-71-224-2583; fax: +41-71-224-2722; e-mail: Wolfram.Kaegi@unisg.ch;
FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT & TECHNOLOGICAL
INNOVATION: The 4th International Congress on Energy, Environment & Technological
Innovation will be held from 20-24 October 1999 in Rome, Italy. For more information,
contact: EETI99, Facolta di Ingegneria, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy; fax:
+39-6-4883235; Internet: http://www.ing.ucv.ve/ceait/eeti.htm.
FCCC FIFTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: COP-5 will be held from
25 October - 5 November 1999 at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, Germany. The technical workshop
on FCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects) is scheduled for 2224 September. A
workshop on compliance is scheduled from 6-7 October. For more information, contact: the
FCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unfccc.de/.
CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION: COP-3 of the CCD is scheduled to meet in
Recife, Brazil, from 15-26 November 1999. For more information, contact: the CCD
Secretariat, P.O. Box 260129, D-53153 Bonn, Germany; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax:
+49-228-815-2899; e-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.unccd.de.
MONTREAL PROTOCOL MEETING OF THE PARTIES: The 11th Meeting of the Parties to
the Montreal Protocol will be held in Beijing, China, from 29 November - 3 December 1999.
For more information, contact: the Secretariat; tel: +254-2-62-1234; fax: +254-2-62-3601;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org/ozone/.