Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 203
Friday, 25 October 2002
UNFCCC COP-8 HIGHLIGHTS
THURSDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2002
Delegates to the Eighth Conference of the Parties
(COP-8) to the UNFCCC met in three sessions of the SBI and two
sessions of the SBSTA. The SBI addressed: Annex I national
communications; the financial mechanism; capacity-building; a
request from a group of countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus,
Albania and the Republic of Moldova (CACAM) regarding their status
under the UNFCCC; administrative and financial matters; a proposal
by Croatia on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); and
administrative and financial matters. The SBSTA considered:
methodological issues; issues relating to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
and perfluorocarbons (PFCs); research and systematic observation
(R&SO); the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR); and "good practices"
in policies and measures (P&Ms).
Contact groups on P&Ms, R&SO, the Consultative
Group of Experts (CGE), and afforestation and reforestation
activities under the CDM also convened in the evening. Informal
contact groups also met.
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Activities implemented
jointly: The Secretariat introduced a synthesis report, noting
the submission of five new AIJ projects, bringing the total number
of projects to 157.
LULUCF under the CDM: The FAO reported on a
recent workshop on forest-related definitions that aimed to
establish a framework for a new carbon terminology rather than to
standardize definitions. MALAYSIA stressed ensuring the
environmental integrity of CDM projects. BRAZIL supported developing
"a common language." The US and EU supported the Colombian tonne-year
accounting approach. Opposing Canada’s SBSTA-16 proposal to change
the baseline from 1989, the EU stressed its support for definitions
set out in the Marrakesh Accords. COLOMBIA said the 1989 baseline
could impede projects. JAPAN said that rules for sinks under the CDM
should not be unnecessarily restrictive, and proposed that
definitions and modalities should be agreed as a package at COP-9.
SENEGAL, for the Africa Group, said definitions and modalities
should be flexible and applicable to the local ecological context.
She stressed links with combating poverty and desertification.
TUVALU, for AOSIS, stressed the need for social and environmental
project impact assessments. Chair Thorgeirsson said a contact group
would be convened under Thelma Krug (Brazil) and Karsten Sach
Scientific and methodological aspects of the
Brazilian proposal: The Secretariat highlighted a recent expert
meeting. BRAZIL highlighted attribution of causes and consequences
when assessing contributions to climate change. Opposed by SAUDI
ARABIA and supported by MEXICO and the EU, he recommended renewing
SBSTA’s mandate on this issue. The US, CANADA and AUSTRALIA
expressed concern about the lack of rigour of research on
attribution. Consultations will be conducted by Murray Ward (New
Zealand) and Gylvan Meira Filho (Brazil).
Issues relating to HFCs and PFCs: On the
relationship between efforts to protect the ozone layer and the
global climate system, the IPCC and Technology and Economic
Assessment Panel (TEAP) of the Montreal Protocol reported on the
development of a Special Report on practices and technologies to
assist Parties with issues relating to alternatives to
ozone-depleting substances. Many Parties supported a single
integrated report to be completed by COP-11. AUSTRALIA stressed that
future work should be policy neutral, not prescriptive. Richard
Bradley (US) will conduct consultations on draft SBSTA conclusions
and a draft COP decision.
Research and systematic observation: Chair
Thorgeirsson said a substantive dialogue with the IPCC and
international research body representatives on research
recommendations provided in the TAR would be held during a side
event on Monday, 28 October. The SBSTA heard presentations and
research updates by the World Climate Research Programme, the
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the International Human
Dimensions Programme and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
Parties exchanged views on priority topics, with Chair Thorgeirsson
noting convergence on: impacts, vulnerability and adaptation;
adaptive capacity and adaptation options; risk assessment and
management; resource management in the context of climate change;
ways to deal with uncertainty; and stabilization pathways. On
systematic observation, he noted support for a voluntary donor fund
for GCOS. He said a contact group will be convened by Sue Barrell
(Australia) and S.K. Srivastav (India).
IPCC TAR: Several Parties supported exploring
ways to use information contained in the TAR. The EU, opposed by the
US and MALAYSIA for G-77/CHINA, proposed an agenda item on the
methodological issues relating to the stabilization of greenhouse
gas emissions. Chair Thorgeirsson said he would prepare conclusions.
P&MS: Chair Thorgeirsson reported on
intersessional consultations, noting agreement that the next steps
should include strengthening web-based approaches for exchanging
information and further work on developing and sharing
self-evaluations of P&Ms. A contact group co-chaired by Peer
Stiansen (Norway) and Suk-Hoon Woo (Republic of Korea) was convened.
ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: The EU
requested the SBSTA to consider including reporting on P&Ms and
proposed that the fourth national communications be submitted on 4
January, 2006, to coincide with the reporting process on
demonstrable progress. CANADA, supported by the US, said that it
would be premature to undertake major revisions to the guidelines.
INDIA emphasized strengthening the reporting process for Annex I
Parties. Chair Estrada said he would produce recommendations for the
SBI based on consultations with delegates.
FINANCIAL MECHANISM: The GEF reported
agreement on the third replenishment and approval of the
administrative and operational procedures for the new climate change
funds. The Secretariat introduced the report on the review of the
financial mechanism highlighting: the transparency of decision
making; adequacy, predictability and disbursement of funds; the
amount of resources for developing countries; and the sustainability
of GEF projects. Several Parties stressed streamlining the GEF
project cycle and operationalizing the Special Climate Change and
IRAN, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed concern about
the conditionality of GEF funding. TUVALU and ERITREA noted problems
in the communication process between the financial mechanism and the
implementing agencies. KENYA called for increased assistance for
adaptation projects and the development of climate policies and
strategies. CANADA commended the GEF on its adaptation strategy.
BANGLADESH expressed concern about the uneven regional distribution
of funding. Chair Estrada cautioned against possible inconsistencies
between COP guidance to the GEF and GEF decisions on modalities.
The GEF said that work on operationalizing the
LDC Fund was underway. He noted that the GEF is prepared to adopt
more detailed guidance on impacts and adaptation activities, if
instructed to do so by the COP. He said resource constraints could
be alleviated if projects addressed several conventions. The WORLD
BANK, as one of the three implementing agencies of the GEF, informed
delegates about the increased efficiency of its work, highlighted
some possible sources of inefficiency, and noted that its
administration fee is relatively low. Chair Estrada said he would
prepare a text on the review of the financial mechanism.
On funding under the UNFCCC, the GEF noted that
its current operational procedures would apply to the Special
Climate Change Fund until the COP provides additional guidance. He
stressed the importance of identifying sources of financing for this
Fund. Chair Estrada requested the Secretariat to prepare guidelines
for consideration by the SBI. On additional guidance to the
operating entity of the financial mechanism, UGANDA, supported by
GHANA, INDIA, SAUDI ARABIA and BANGLADESH, called for
capacity-building for national focal points and for technology
transfer. Chair Estrada requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft
decision for the SBI’s consideration.
CACAM: Chair Estrada noted a lack of
consensus on the proposal from the CACAM group of countries, but
said that Parties agree that the countries should be able to access
financial resources provided for in UNFCCC decisions. UZBEKISTAN,
for the CACAM group, proposed the definition "developing countries
and other countries not included in Annex I." CANADA, with the EU,
and opposed by INDIA, said the proposed adjustment in the definition
would be required for the CACAM group to gain representation on the
Expert Group on Technology Transfer.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: The
Secretariat presented its reports on administrative and financial
matters. CANADA, supported by SWITZERLAND and BULGARIA, urged
Parties to ensure early payment of contributions. He requested the
Secretariat to provide its budget requirements for the activities
relating to implementation of the Marrakesh Accords. Chair Estrada
will draft conclusions on this issue.
OTHER MATTERS: CROATIA noted the proposal for
its forest cap and suggested that the issue be deferred pending the
outcome of negotiations in the SBSTA. CANADA, opposed by the EU,
supported the Croatian proposal and requested further information on
the assessment of the forest cap.
CAPACITY-BUILDING: BULGARIA, on behalf of the
Central Group of Eleven (CG-11), called for further consultations to
develop a future framework for the economies in transition.
TANZANIA, for G-77/CHINA, expressed concern that the COP-7 decision
had not been implemented by the GEF and its developed country
partners. Discussions continued into the night.
P&MS: Co-Chair Stiansen asked for views on
possible future actions. Several developing country Parties objected
to voluntary information exchange on developing country P&Ms, and
expressed concern at the lack of information presently available on
adverse effects. Parties agreed on the need for further work on
CGE: Chaired by José Romero, this group
discussed the improvement of guidelines for the preparation of
national communications from non-Annex I Parties. Parties agreed to
use text prepared by the G-77/China as the basis for discussion. SBI
Chair Estrada underscored the need for clear indications within the
guidelines of the COPï¿½s intentions with regard to additional
financial inputs by the GEF. Parties discussed which articles to
take into account in the guidelinesï¿½ objectives.
R&SO: Co-Chairs Barrell and Srivastav led
discussions, which focused on the importance of funding to achieve
improvement in systematic observation systems. Several Parties
supported the Australian proposal for a GCOS-administered fund
directed at high-priority needs, to be further discussed in
conjunction with the forthcoming report on adequacy of observation
systems. The co-chairs will provide draft conclusions for discussion
LULUCF UNDER THE CDM: Co-Chairs Krug and Sach
led procedural discussions on definitions and modalities for
afforestation and reforestation activities under the CDM. Delegates
agreed to focus on technical issues. Some Parties expressed concern
regarding the lack of consensus on definitions.
REVIEW OF METHODOLOGICAL WORK OF INVENTORY
GUIDELINES: Chaired by Harald Dovland (Norway), the informal
contact group on methodological review agreed on outstanding issues
and draft conclusions.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the heavy smog hovering over Delhi dissipated
Thursday, delegates aired their views in numerous plenary sessions
and contact groups. Many observers nevertheless expressed concern
that the potential content of the Delhi Declaration remained clouded
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBSTA: The SBSTA will meet at 10:00 am in
Hall 5 to consider: cooperation with relevant international
organizations; Article 6 (education, training and public awareness);
issues relating to cleaner or less greenhouse gas-emitting energy;
and issues relating to implementation of Protocol Article 2.3
(adverse effects of P&Ms).
SBI: The SBI will meet at 10:00 am in the
Main Plenary Hall to address: adverse effects; LDCs; and
arrangements for intergovernmental meetings.
COP PLENARY: The COP will meet at 3:00 pm in
the Main Plenary Hall to consider follow-up to the WSSD and the
report of the CDM Executive Board. The plenary will then hold an
exchange of views and provision of inputs on the Delhi Declaration
in an informal setting.
CGE: This contact group will convene at 5:00
pm in Hall B to continue discussions on the improved guidelines for
non-Annex I national communications.
ARTICLE 6: This contact group will meet in
Hall 2 at 6:00 pm.
LULUCF UNDER THE CDM: This contact group will
meet in Hall 4 at 8:00 pm.