Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 12 No. 112
Monday, 25 October 1999

FIFTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

25 OCTOBER - 5 NOVEMBER 1999

 

The Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP-5) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) will meet from 25 October - 5 November 1999 in Bonn, Germany. Approximately 4000 participants, including 80 - 100 ministers, are expected to attend. A high-level segment for ministers and heads of delegation will take place from 2 - 4 November. Delegates to COP-5 will work toward fulfilling the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) adopted at the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) in November 1998. Under the BAPA, Parties set a two-year deadline for strengthening FCCC implementation and preparing for the future entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The eleventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA-11) will consider issues such as: guidelines for preparation of Annex I communications; development and transfer of technologies; and land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). The Subsidiary Body for Implementationís eleventh meeting (SBI-11) will consider issues such as non-Annex I communications, the financial mechanism and the programme budget for 2000 - 2001. SBI and SBSTA will jointly consider issues related to the Protocolís cooperative mechanisms, compliance, capacity building and FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects).

RECENT MEETINGS

INFORMAL EXCHANGE OF VIEWS AND INFORMATION ON COMPLIANCE UNDER THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: The informal exchange of views and information on compliance under the Protocol was held from 6 - 7 October 1999 in Vienna, Austria. The informal exchange was designed to facilitate deliberations on the development of a compliance system under the Protocol. The workshop was organized by the Austrian Government, the FCCC Secretariat and the Co-Chairs of the Joint Working Group on Compliance (JWG). Ninety-seven participants attended the meeting, including experts and representatives from governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Participants heard presentations from experts and discussed various issues related to compliance, including: compliance regimes under the Montreal Protocol, the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) and its protocols, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO); institutional issues such as facilitative and enforcement functions, eligibility to raise issues and information gathering; and issues related to the consequences of non-compliance. The JWGís Co-Chairs will prepare a non-paper on elements of a compliance system based on the workshop discussions to be presented to COP-5. The ENB report of the meeting is available at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ccom1/.

WORKSHOP ON IMPLEMENTATION OF FCCC ARTICLE 4, PARAGRAPHS 8 AND 9 (ADVERSE EFFECTS): COP-4 agreed on the programme of work outlined in the annex to decision 5/CP.4, including the organization of an expert workshop. Under the guidance of SBSTA Chair Kok Kee Chow and SBI Vice-Chair Mohammad Reza Salamat, this workshop was held from 21 - 24 September 1999 in Bonn. The subsidiary bodies will consider the outcome of the workshop and prepare a report including conclusions and/or a draft decision for COP-5, identifying initial actions to address the implementation of FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 and Kyoto Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14 (adverse effects). The workshop included expert presentations followed by panel discussions addressing the policy-related implications of the information presented.

Regarding preliminary actions, some participants suggested that the policies and measures reported by Annex I Parties and the projected actions to implement the Protocol be examined to analyze potential impacts on the economies of the oil producing and other developing countries. In this context, it was suggested that the subsidiary bodies continue to examine information needed to minimize the adverse social, environmental and economic impacts of Annex I Partiesí response measures on developing countries, including: tax restructuring to reflect the carbon content of fuels; measures to discourage the production of fossil fuels and nuclear energy; compensation; and assistance to developing countries, including increasing investment, to help them diversify their economies. Other participants said the uncertainties associated with the impact of implementing response measures are such that consideration of specific actions is premature. They noted that such actions under the Protocol would be considered at the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol at its first session (COP/MOP-1). They also recalled that compensation was not provided for under the FCCC or the Protocol. Some participants stressed the need to identify and analyze initial actions to meet the specific needs and concerns of developing countries arising from the adverse effects of climate change and the impact of response measures, including information on the possible use of insurance and other appropriate mechanisms. For more information contact: the FCCC Secretariat: e-mail; secretariat@unfccc.de.

INFORMAL MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS: Informal ministerial consultations were held in Warsaw, Poland on 20 September 1999. Participants considered three questions: what needs to be accomplished at COP-6; what ministers should do at COP-5 to set the stage for a successful COP-6; and how Parties should proceed from COP-5 to COP-6. Participants supported maintaining or increasing the momentum of the negotiations through the next year. Many participants said a package was needed at COP-6 that would encourage ratification. A number of participants noted that if certain Parties do not ratify the Protocol, it would not come into effect. Participants generally agreed on the need for a balanced outcome, with resolution of both FCCC and Protocol issues. Some participants listed the cooperative mechanisms, compliance, sinks, and participation of a broader number of countries under the Protocol as key issues that need to be resolved.

Given the number and complexity of the outstanding issues, a number of participants preferred to hold COP-6 in early 2001. Some also noted that this would allow the COP to consider the IPCC Third Assessment Report. However, others expressed a preference for COP-6 to be held in the fall of 2000. COP-5 must decide on the date of COP-6.

A number of participants sought parallel progress on those key issues. Some called for flexibility and urged Parties not to set pre-conditions for agreement. A few participants urged Parties to focus on the BAPA rather than introduce new issues.

Most participants acknowledged that areas of significant disagreement remained, but urged Parties to set aside as many of them as possible at COP-5 to permit progress on areas of convergence. They called for the development of negotiating text at COP-5 in areas such as national communications by both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties, the mechanisms, AIJ, and compliance. Many participants also urged continued constructive progress on capacity building and technology transfer. Ministers noted the need for the COP-5 high-level segment to provide political direction to the negotiations. They also called for additional high-level consultations to periodically assess progress and resolve outstanding issues. Such consultations could be held in the Spring of 2000 in New York during the Eighth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). For more information contact: the FCCC Secretariat: e-mail; secretariat@unfccc.de.

WORKSHOP ON EMISSION FACTORS AND ACTIVITY DATA FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) INVENTORIES: The FCCC Secretariat convened the second Workshop on Emission Factors and Activity Data for the Improvement of GHG Inventories from 6 - 8 August 1999 in Accra, Ghana, to provide a forum for the exchange of experiences in the development of emission factors and activity data for the estimation of inventories. Fifty participants from 26 countries attended this workshop, including representatives from national teams and international agencies who are experts in GHG inventories, especially in the energy and LULUCF sectors. The objectives of the workshop were: to continue a process that identifies strategies to improve the quality of emission factors and activity data for GHG inventories; to address related problems and gaps, with a view to improving the accuracy, consistency and comparability of GHG inventories; to prioritize immediate and longer term needs, including national, regional and global capacity-building; and to propose and prioritize a list of project concepts on the improvement of emission factors and activity data in the energy and LULUCF sectors at the national, regional and global levels. Two working groups, one on the LULUCF, the other on the energy sector, reassessed and confirmed the related key sectoral issues identified at an earlier workshop held in Cuba. On this basis, 20 project concepts were proposed, aimed at improving the quality of national and regional emission factors and activity data. Two of the five project concepts proposed by the LULUCF sector working group, and eight of the 15 project concepts proposed by the energy sector working group, were ranked as high priority. For more information contact: the FCCC Secretariat: e-mail; secretariat@unfccc.de.

AOSIS WORKSHOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Workshop on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Protocol took place in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands from 14 - 16 July 1999. The Workshop was organized and hosted by AOSIS and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Over 50 participants attended, including country representatives from small island states, experts from various UN and regional organizations, an environmental NGO representative and special invitees from the Philippines, Mauritania, the US, the UK, Australia, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland. Participants discussed elements of the CDM, including assessment of vulnerability and adaptation, use of renewable energy in the design of mitigation projects under the CDM, and capacity building for AOSIS member states.

Participants adopted the Majuro Statement on Climate Change, which will be brought to the attention of COP-5. The Statement highlights domestic action in achieving Protocol commitments; notes the need for the CDM to be a credible and viable mechanism; stresses the need for special capacity-building initiatives in the least developed states and small island developing states (SIDS); underscores the importance of vulnerability assessment and adaptation for AOSIS members; and resolves to work together to coordinate donor activities and domestic priorities to more effectively address SIDSí capacity building and adaptation needs. The complete Sustainable Developments report can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/aosis/.

RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD: This workshop met from 28 June - 2 July 1999 in Carbondale, Colorado, US. Organized by Solar Energy International, the workshop explored different applications for renewable energy technologies in developing countries. Participants discussed how to successfully accomplish sustainable development projects with renewable energy. Methods for effective technology transfer, establishing infrastructure and the economics and financing of renewable energy projects, were presented. Participants heard case studies on solar cooking, rural household electrification, rural health care and micro-enterprises using renewable energy. For more information contact: Solar Energy International: tel: +1-970-963-8855; fax: +1-970-963-8866; e-mail: sei@solarenergy.org; Internet: http://www.solarenergy.org/solarck.html.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The COP-5 opening Plenary is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am in the Maritim Room.

SBI: SBI is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm.

SBSTA: SBSTA is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin ÔŅĹ (enb@iisd.org) is written and edited by Paola Bettelli (pbettelli@iisd.org), Leanne Burney (leanne@iisd.org), Chad Carpenter (chadc@iisd.org), Angela Churie (churie@l.kth.se), Lavanya Rajamani (lavanya.rajamani@hertford.ox.ac.uk), Chris Spence (spencechris@hotmail.com) and Juliette Voinov (cedrickohler@msn.com). The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. (pam@iisd.org) and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree (kimo@iisd.org). The WWW Content Editor is Peter Doran (pfdoran@ecology.u-net.com). Digital engineering by Andrei Henry (andrei@iisd.org), Leila Mead (leila@interport.net), Kenneth M. Tong (k8o@interlog.com) and Richard Stokes (rstokes@iisd.ca). French translation by Mongi Gadhoum (mongi.gadoum@enb.intl.tn). Logistics coordinated by P.J. Goldfeder (pjgoldm@aol.com). The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-XI). General Support for the Bulletin during 1999 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Ministry for the Environment in Iceland. Specific funding for this meeting has been provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at (enb@iisd.org) and at tel: +1-212- 644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at (info@iisd.ca) and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://enb.iisd.org/. The satellite image by The Living Earth, Inc., at http://www.livingearth.com. For information on the ENB, send e-mail to (enb@iisd.org).

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