Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 12 No. 120
Wednesday, 3 November 1999
FCCC COP-5 HIGHLIGHTS
TUESDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 1999
Delegates to COP-5 convened in a morning Plenary
to hear statements by observer States, IGOs, NGOs and UN bodies. In
the afternoon and evening, delegates heard statements from 101
ministers and other heads of delegation in a high level segment. The
contact group on mechanisms met for further discussions, and informal
consultations were convened on bunker emissions, adverse effects and
Statements by observer States, IGOs, NGOs and UN
bodies: On progress made in climate change negotiations, PALAU said it
was disappointed at the lack of progress being made at COP-5. OPEC
said implementing the Kyoto Protocol would lead to dramatic economic
losses for OPEC Parties, and called for equitable distribution of the
costs of climate change mitigation. FRANCISCAN INTERNATIONAL said it
was “disgraceful” that the entry into force of the Protocol was
being delayed and, with CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK - EUROPE (CAN - E),
called for its entry into force by Rio+10.
Regarding the Protocol mechanisms, WORLD BUSINESS
COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT urged an early definition of
mechanisms’ governing structure and recommended that existing trade
and investment frameworks be used. On the clean development mechanism
(CDM) and joint implementation (JI), CAN - E said the CDM and JI
should exclude nuclear power, clean coal and large hydro schemes. UNDP
offered assistance for capacity building for CDM and JI. UNIDO said it
was committed to the CDM’s success in Africa. CAN – SOUTH EAST
ASIA said trying to link AIJ to CDM would create another loophole
permitting Parties to renege on their commitments. The WORLD BANK
noted that its programmes on activities implemented jointly (AIJ) had
provided useful lessons for both North and South, and expressed
willingness to expand it to cover countries that had been less well
served by the pilot phase. FRANCISCAN INTERNATIONAL said JI should be
used to promote clean development and opposed nuclear energy as an
option. The NUCLEAR ENERGY FORUM said the choice of nuclear energy
must be based on each country’s circumstances.
On the development and transfer of technologies,
the BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY highlighted the need to
encourage private sector participation. The WORLD BANK noted that it
was developing its prototype carbon fund as a means for promoting
Regarding capacity building, the GEF outlined its
ongoing and planned activities supporting climate change initiatives
and noted that most GEF projects contain a capacity-building
On interlinkages, the CONVENTION TO COMBAT
DESERTIFICATION, CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, and RAMSAR
CONVENTION ON WETLANDS noted synergies and the potential for further
cooperation between the FCCC and their respective conventions.
Special Scientific Segment: In a special
scientific Plenary segment, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
indicated that the atmospheric concentration of human-induced
greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the mean surface temperature of the earth
would continue to increase, and noted that the expected recovery of
stratospheric ozone will lead to the strengthening of GHG atmospheric
concentrations. The IPCC said it is not a question of whether the
earth’s climate will change, but rather when, where and by how much.
UNEP emphasized domestic action and urged Parties to ratify the
Protocol to ensure its entry into force by 2002.
HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT
COP-5 President Jan Szyszko opened the high level
segment and welcomed participants. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director,
UNEP, stated that science has provided a sound basis for addressing
climate change. He said developed countries need to address their
consumption and production patterns, stressing that technologies were
available to reach the Protocol target. He said ratification by 2002
Michael Zammit-Cutajar, Executive Secretary of
the FCCC, said that for there to be successful negotiations based on
the BAPA: leading industrial economies should engage in early domestic
action; CDM should be made the cornerstone of a North-South compact at
COP-6; the bottlenecks in the delivery and consideration of non-Annex
I Parties’ national communications should be addressed; a credible
regime prohibiting targets from being achieved solely through “hot
air” and “sinks” must be developed; and the Protocol must enter
into force by 2002.
Editor’s note: to see today’s Plenary
statements in full, visit: http://126.96.36.199/COP-5.
COP-6: On the progress of negotiations,
several Parties expressed hope that key negotiating texts, such as on
compliance and mechanisms, will be produced at COP-5 to enable the
BAPA to be fulfilled by COP-6.
Protocol ratification: Numerous Parties supported
the Protocol’s entry into force by Rio+10, 2002, including, inter
alia: BULGARIA, CARICOM, the EU, FRANCE, GERMANY, HAITI,
IRELAND, ITALY, JAPAN, SPAIN, SWEDEN, and the UK. The EU said more
ambitious emissions reduction commitments than those agreed to at
Kyoto were needed.
Mechanisms: Many Parties said the use of
mechanisms should be supplementary to domestic action. The EU
highlighted its proposal setting a ceiling on the use of the
mechanisms, and urged the development of a revised negotiating text by
COP-6. Several Parties supported the prompt adoption of principles and
modalities, rules and guidelines for the mechanisms. The G-77/CHINA
said differences in the nature, scope, purpose of and participation in
the three mechanisms should be decided before making decisions on
modalities, operational and methodological issues and institutional
arrangements. The US called for the mechanisms to be designed cost
effectively and developing countries to participate meaningfully.
CDM: The G-77/CHINA indicated that the
host government should determine whether a particular project meets
its sustainable development objectives. Several Parties said nuclear
energy projects should not be eligible under CDM or JI. A number of
developing country Parties said the eradication of poverty continues
to be their overriding priority and said the GEF should continue to
finance projects that are not eligible under the CDM. The AFRICA GROUP
said issues of afforestation, reforestation and the
preservation/reclamation of wetlands should feature highly among CDM
projects. SLOVAKIA, on behalf of the VISEGRAD Group of central
European countries, said rules on JI and CDM should enter the
implementing phase simultaneously.
Compliance: Many Parties called for an
effective and strong compliance system. The G-77/CHINA called for a
comprehensive, efficient and fair compliance system. The EU called for
a revised negotiating text for a decision to be adopted at COP-6.
Several Parties called for substantial progress to be made at COP-5.
AIJ: The G-77/CHINA supported the
continuation of the pilot phase and, with ZAMBIA, highlighted the
imbalance in the geographical distribution of AIJ projects. The AFRICA
GROUP said the issue of access to development financing through AIJ
required urgent resolution at COP-5.
Development and transfer of technology: The
G-77/CHINA indicated that developing countries are constrained by lack
of: necessary technologies and “know-how”; appropriate
institutions and financial resources; and regular forums to exchange
ideas and build positions. Several developing Parties said the
transfer of environmentally-sound technologies (ESTs) is the only way
to guarantee that developing countries will not develop unsustainably.
Sinks/LULUCF: AUSTRALIA and others said
sinks can contribute to a better outcome for the environment by
lowering the cost of abatement action. AOSIS expressed concern that
the inclusion of land-use change in national inventories may allow
countries to recalculate their inventories and “erase” the bulk of
what was achieved at Kyoto.
Adverse effects: The G-77/CHINA, NEPAL and
others said developing countries are the most affected by climate
change, and Annex I countries must implement their commitments
relating to provision of financial resources and technology transfer.
Several developing country Parties stressed the need to operationalize
FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 and Protocol Article 3.14 (adverse effects).
Participation/voluntary commitments: Many
Parties noted the need for global participation. AOSIS and others
stated that, at the appropriate time, it will be necessary for all
countries to participate formally in the effort to reduce GHG
emissions. ARGENTINA announced that it had adopted a voluntary target
to reduce its GHG emissions, noting that it does not intend to abandon
its status as a non-Annex I Party. She said their target would be to
achieve a 2 to 10% reduction below “business-as-usual” in the 2008
- 2012 period. KAZAKHSTAN said it intended to join FCCC Annex I.
JAPAN, the US, AUSTRALIA and others welcomed the initiatives by
Kazakhstan and Argentina. The EU said a possible way of making all
countries limit their GHG emissions is to agree on increasing global
participation after the first commitment period. CHINA and INDIA said
Annex I countries have the main responsibility. CHINA said it would
not undertake commitments until it achieves a “medium development
Domestic action: Many Parties said
domestic policies and measures should be the main means to fulfill the
Kyoto targets. The G-77/CHINA and AOSIS expressed disappointment at
recent emissions data revealing that many Annex I Parties are
significantly exceeding 1990 levels. The EU said industrialized
countries must take the lead in reducing their GHG emissions.
Capacity building: The G-77/CHINA, the
AFRICA GROUP and others said capacity building is necessary to ensure
meaningful participation from developing countries. BANGLADESH called
on Parties to earmark funds from the GEF for LDCs. GERMANY urged donor
countries to provide the financial means to assure the operations of
Non-Annex I communications: The G-77/CHINA
highlighted insufficient financial resources to meet the “agreed
full costs” in the preparation of non-Annex I communications.
In addition, Parties highlighted the need for: a
financial mechanism to assist SIDS in achieving adaptive capacity;
strong leadership from Annex I countries in taking responsibility for
action on climate change; and a meeting to explore the needs of
Parties with economies in transition.
As of 8:00 pm, approximately 50 speakers were
scheduled to address the Plenary.
CONTACT GROUP ON MECHANISMS
Delegates forwarded to SBI/SBSTA a Chairï¿½s
draft decision and conclusions on the mechanisms requesting the Chairs
of SBSTA/SBI to revise and update the synthesis of Partiesï¿½
proposals based on further submissions.
Delegates expressed views on the project cycle of
emissions trading. AOSIS sought the establishment of a common set of
principles across all the mechanisms, including the principles of
environmental integrity and additionality. The US said the integrity
of the emissions trading system would be founded on monitoring and
reporting under Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues) and 7
(communication of information) and the existence of registries. The
G-77/CHINA said the nature and scope of emissions trading must be
determined before operational details are worked out. He added that
the postulate ï¿½you cannot sell what you do not ownï¿½ should
circumscribe the nature and scope of emissions trading. The US and
others noted the need to develop cost-effective mechanisms. The EU
stressed the need for the mechanisms to be underwritten by strong
monitoring and reporting requirements. SWITZERLAND suggested a
ï¿½post-verification modelï¿½ wherein emission reduction units could
not be transferred until they have been certified to be excess
Assigned Amount Units. Parties also expressed views on, inter alia:
the notions of ï¿½fungibility,ï¿½ liability and book keeping.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Concerns about the ï¿½good faithï¿½ of some
negotiators were raised by a number of participants, who thought that
high-level statements of political will failed to square with the fact
that many Annex I Partiesï¿½ emissions are significantly higher than
their 1990 levels. Others were exasperated with Parties they claim are
attending sessions with the sole purpose of delaying or undermining
agreement, and even speculated on avenues for official action to
reprimand or exclude them. Some underscored the importance of this
issue for COP-6 in light of the incoming G-77/China Chair.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: COP-5 will resume its high level
segment at 10:00 am in Plenary I for an exchange of views among
JWG: The JWG on compliance is expected to
meet in the evening to adopt its conclusions and a draft decision.
SBSTA: SBSTA is expected to meet in the
evening to consider outstanding items on its agenda, as well as the
report on the session.
SBI: SBI is expected to meet in the
evening to consider the report on the session.
SBI/SBSTA: A joint SBI/SBSTA session is
expected to convene in the evening to conclude its work.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Consultations will
be held on adverse effects and ï¿½best practices.ï¿½ Consult the
announcement board for further details.