Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 217
Thursday, 12 June 2003
UNFCCC SB-18 HIGHLIGHTS
WEDNESDAY, 11 JUNE 2003
On Wednesday, delegates to UNFCCC SB-18 continued
to meet in a number of contact and informal groups. Parties
discussed: Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7
(communication of information), and 8 (review of information); sinks
in the CDM; "good practices" in policies and measures (P&Ms);
capacity building; the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF); the
programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005; and UNFCCC Article 4.8
and 4.9 (adverse effects). Informal consultations were also held
throughout the day on several issues, including the IPCC TAR.
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS
PROTOCOL ARTICLES 5, 7 AND 8: Delegates
considered revised draft conclusions and decisions. Regarding issues
relating to the implementation of Article 8, Parties agreed draft
COP and COP/MOP decisions, following minor editorial amendments and
the addition, in the annex on criteria for selecting lead reviewers,
of a bracketed paragraph on desirable language skills for lead
reviewers. CHINA and JAPAN agreed to discuss this issue informally,
in order to reach resolution before the SBSTA plenary on Thursday,
Parties also agreed Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions,
and draft COP and COP/MOP decisions on technical guidance on
methodologies for adjustments under Article 5.2 (adjustments). The
contact group then approved the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions on
methodological issues relating to reporting and review of Annex I
greenhouse gas inventories.
Regarding the draft COP decision on the technical
review of inventories, delegates discussed at length the annex on
the code of practice for the treatment of confidential information.
CHINA, opposed by the US, CANADA, JAPAN, RUSSIAN FEDERATION and EU,
suggested deleting text in the annex that calls on experts to
disclose potential conflicts of interest, noting that this would
create an additional burden on expert reviewers. Following
consultations, delegates agreed to amend the draft decision to
provide that the Agreement on Expert Review Services be based on the
elements outlined in the annex and any additional elements arising
from consideration of consequences for breach of the agreement.
Parties then agreed the draft decision.
SINKS IN THE CDM: NEW ZEALAND introduced a
document on definitions for modalities and procedures for
afforestation and reforestation (A&R) projects, which combines
Parties’ submissions. BOLIVIA said that countries, rather than the
COP, should decide on which carbon "pools" to include in A&R
projects, and that it was important to include geo-referencing in
the draft decision. BOLIVIA also noted that Parties may want to
elaborate sources and sectors listed in Annex A of the Protocol, as
they may want to account for other sources not already included. The
EU said that it preferred a combined approach to account for carbon
stock changes and some emissions sources. AOSIS said the text on how
to define anthropogenic removals of emissions was ambiguous.
COLOMBIA indicated that carbon pools should be accounted for "within
the project boundary." CHINA noted that it needed capacity to
understand technical information associated with the timing for
baselines and actual emissions in projects. He also called for a way
to address zero carbon pools, and suggested simplifying the concept
of baselines. The EU and AOSIS said the proposed definitions on the
"project boundary" should be amended to differentiate between
boundaries relevant to accounting methods and those exclusively
geographical in nature. CHILE noted that more than one activity
should be included in a LULUCF CDM project.
On project monitoring, BOLIVIA questioned how to
estimate and control leakage, and URUGUAY noted that there is a need
to minimize negative leakage. Parties then considered appendices to
text on definitions and modalities for sinks in the CDM in the first
commitment period. Introducing draft Appendix E on environmental and
socioeconomic impacts of CDM projects, the EU, NORWAY and
SWITZERLAND said this was developed following informal
consultations, and aimed to help countries in preparing CDM
projects. CANADA, with NEW ZEALAND, JAPAN and SENEGAL, expressed
concern over text requiring Parties to address a number of issues
when analyzing environmental impacts. On future work, Co-Chair
Karsten Sach urged Parties to hold informal inter-sessional
consultations and suggested convening pre-sessional consultations to
complete work before COP-9.
IPCC TAR: Following informal consultations in
the afternoon, Parties met informally in the evening to consider a
revised version of the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions. The draft
conclusions state that SBSTA will establish two new agenda items for
regular consideration on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic
aspects of adaptation, and of mitigation. They also note that SBSTA
will explore, in the context of sustainable development, the
scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of cross-cutting
issues noted in the SBSTA-16 report.
POLICIES AND MEASURES: Parties discussed the
Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions paragraph-by-paragraph. The EU and
JAPAN, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, reiterated their request to delete
a sentence calling for information exchange on ways to minimize the
adverse effects of response measures. Following discussions, the EU
suggested replacing the sentence with a general reference to
decision 13/CP.7 (P&Ms). The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU and US,
suggested replacing the sentence and surrounding text with a
specific paragraph from decision 13/CP.7. Following informal
discussions, Co-Chair Greg Terrill proposed new conclusions noting
the continued importance of implementing decision 13/CP.7, and
agreeing to reconsider this agenda item at SBSTA-19. Parties agreed
the draft conclusions.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS
CAPACITY BUILDING: Following informal
consultations conducted in the morning, this group convened briefly
to consider and agree outstanding text on the comprehensive review’s
terms of reference. Parties then agreed to the whole text including
the draft conclusions proposed by the Chair.
PROGRAMME BUDGET: Delegates in this contact
group exchanged views on the UNFCCC conference services contingency
and the Chair’s revised draft conclusions. The G-77/CHINA asked
whether the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) recent decision to fund
UNFCCC conference services from the UN regular budget would be
applied until 2006. JAPAN said the new UNGA scale of assessment
should be applied. Stressing that adaptation is of greater concern
to Central American countries than mitigation, HONDURAS noted its
concern about the amount of funding budgeted for CDM activities.
Parties then deliberated on the six options outlined in the draft
conclusions, unable to remove any of them. The UNFCCC Executive
Secretary noted that existing funds would only support activities
until February 2004.
SPECIAL CLIMATE CHANGE FUND: The G-77/CHINA
presented its amendments to the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions,
stating that the Group’s overriding interest is that a decision on
the SCCF be taken at COP-9. Opposed by the EU and CANADA, he said
that the G-77/China’s text should serve as the basis for
negotiation. Co-Chair Rawleston Moore adjourned the meeting for an
informal consultation on this issue. Upon reconvening, Co-Chair
Moore said that the annex would be removed from the draft
conclusions, and that the G-77/China’s paper would be listed in a
Delegates then discussed the prioritization of
the SCCF’s activities as outlined in the draft conclusions. CANADA,
with the EU, NORWAY and JAPAN, and opposed by the G-77/CHINA,
proposed that the SCCF support adaptation and mitigation activities.
ARGENTINA, supported by the G-77/CHINA and others, said that
adaptation projects are of global benefit and should be given the
highest priority under the SCCF. GHANA suggested that the SCCF
provide resources to non-Annex I Parties not identified as LDCs to
enable them to prepare their adaptation plans and strategies. He
also proposed that small-scale projects, including pilot and
demonstration activities, should have expedited access to the SCCF.
In response to Ghana’s proposal, UGANDA and CANADA said these
elements provide operational guidance and should not be included in
the draft conclusions. ARGENTINA, opposed by the EU and others,
proposed that the SCCF be used to finance activities that are
complementary to those funded by the climate change focal areas of
the GEF, the LDC Fund, and bilateral and multilateral sources.
Delegates could not agree to an EU proposal, supported by CANADA and
NORWAY, that the SBI invite the GEF to submit its views on
complementarity among the funds under the UNFCCC. Delegates agreed
to delete text requesting further submission of views and calling
for inter-sessional informal consultation on the SCCF prior to
UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9: This group met to
continue considering the Co-Chair’s proposed draft conclusions,
which had been revised to include proposals by the G-77/CHINA and EU.
Delegates discussed the options and their placement in the draft
The G-77/CHINA proposed a new paragraph
requesting the Secretariat to compile a synthesis report on
information regarding the specific needs and concerns of developing
countries arising from the adverse effects of climate change and
response measures, and the support required to address these.
AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND and the US proposed alternative text
listing activities relating to the implementation of decision 5/CP.7
(Article 4.8 and 4.9) to reflect that progress had been made. The
G-77/CHINA said that this was an unrelated proposal that did not
constitute alternative text.
On the outcomes of the modeling workshop, AOSIS
proposed a paragraph calling on SBSTA to note the need to improve
support for capacity building to developing country experts and to
increase their participation in the modeling process. The G-77/CHINA
maintained its support for text on actions relating to the
workshop’s results that could be recommended by the SBI and SBSTA.
The EU favored text noting that SBI-18 had considered the workshop’s
outcomes. The G-77/CHINA proposed text on the outcomes of the
workshops on insurance and risk assessment and on related actions,
which the EU and US opposed, stating that the reports were not
available for consideration at SBI-18.
Regarding the workshops on insurance and risk
assessment, AOSIS proposed text calling on the SBI to invite further
views from Parties on the workshop outcomes for consideration by the
COP with the aim of agreeing a decision. The US, CANADA, AUSTRALIA
and NEW ZEALAND supported the invitation for views but said the SBI
should not prejudge the outcome of the COPï¿½s deliberations.
After a break to allow the Secretariat to revise
the text, delegates could not agree to delete some of the options.
The EU, US, AUSTRALIA and AOSIS expressed disappointment over the
lack of agreement and proposed that the draft conclusions include
paragraphs on which there was some agreement. The G-77/CHINA
preferred to state in the conclusions that there was no agreement,
or transmit the bracketed text to SBI-19. After brief consultations
with the delegates, Co-Chair Robert Mason reported that there was a
willingness to try and agree on some text and said consultations
would continue on Thursday.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Some delegates were concerned about the slow
progress in Wednesdayï¿½s discussions, particularly on the
Secretariatï¿½s proposed budget, noting that the draft decision text
currently includes six options. One observer said that budget
negotiations seemed to be about "principles" rather than
"practicalities." She also remarked that the UNGA resolution on
conference servicing would at most provide the UNFCCC with funding
from the UN regular budget for administrative services.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBSTA Plenary: The SBSTA will convene in
Plenary at 3:00 pm to consider and adopt conclusions on
methodological issues, development and transfer of technologies,
research and systematic observation, and cooperation with relevant
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will be held
to consider sinks in the CDM, the programme budget, the SCCF,
Article 4.8 and 4.9, and the IPCC TAR. Please check the screens for
times and locations.