Vol. 12 No. 256
UNFCCC COP-10 HIGHLIGHTS:
On Monday, delegates to COP-10 met in contact groups throughout the day, in an effort to complete work by the closure of SBSTA-21 and SBI-21 scheduled for Tuesday, 14 December. SBI contact groups addressed UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), and progress on the implementation of decision 5/CP.7 (adverse effects). SBSTA contact groups took up: registry systems under Protocol Article 7.4; technology transfer; good practice guidance (GPG) for LULUCF activities, harvested wood products (HWP) and other issues relating to LULUCF; scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation (mitigation); and scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change (adaptation). Informal consultations were held on numerous issues, including matters related to the least developed countries (LDCs), the financial mechanism and capacity building.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS
UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: Chair Crispin d’Auvergne introduced revised draft conclusions and a draft decision. Parties approved both texts with minor amendments, and agreed to forward them to SBI for consideration.
ADVERSE EFFECTS: Parties reviewed text in a Co-Chairs’ non-paper focusing on the impacts of the implementation of response measures. The EU, US and AUSTRALIA questioned the need for “forums” on insurance for adverse effects of response measures and on economic diversification prior to such adverse effects becoming apparent, but stated that a one-off event on modeling may be of value. The G-77/CHINA said events on insurance, modeling and economic diversification should take place in the form of expert groups. The US, supported by CANADA and the EU, said text on mobilizing resources for implementation should mirror language in decision 5/CP.7. SAUDI ARABIA supported the language in the non-paper, emphasizing the need for action on this issue. Discussions continued informally.
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS
PROTOCOL ARTICLE 7.4: Delegates considered a revised draft decision on issues relating to registry systems that had resulted from informal consultations, and worked through the text paragraph-by-paragraph, focusing on paragraphs where previous changes had been made. CANADA preferred to reflect that groups other than Parties are also developing registries, and that appropriate ways to exchange technical information with administrators of similar types of registry systems should be explored. Regarding the test plan and schedules for the initialization of the electronic communications with registry systems, the EU preferred this to be carried out prior to COP/MOP-1 in order to ensure the prompt start of the CDM. CHINA expressed concern about the verification of the tests.
Chair Murray Ward presented delegates with three paragraphs, to be taken as a package, requesting the Secretariat to convene consultations at SBSTA-22 on the checks to be performed by the international transaction log (ITL) and their conformity with the provisions of relevant COP decisions. The text also requests the Secretariat, as administrator of the ITL, to report the results of the standardized testing and independent assessment of the ITL and the outcomes of the SBSTA-22 consultations. It then invites COP/MOP-1 to approve the operation of the ITL. The contact group continued consultations informally throughout the day and into the night.
LULUCF: Eugene Hendrick (Ireland) reported on the informal drafting group on HWP. He proposed new text inviting Parties, inter alia, to: submit data and information on HWP if they have not done so already, and provide updated information on experience with the IPCC 1996 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Guidelines and the GPG Appendix on the HWP methodological issues, by 1 August 2005. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION cautioned that the HWP methodology should not be addressed prior to the completion of the GPG, as inconsistencies could arise. He also proposed deletion of reference to the GPG Appendix. BRAZIL, for the G-77/China, proposed that submitting data and information on HWP should explicitly apply to Annex I Parties. The US, with CANADA and the EU, proposed that non-Annex I Parties should also be allowed to submit information if they wish to do so. The G-77/CHINA requested time to consult on the issue internally. Following informal discussions, delegates agreed to refer only to Annex I Parties.
Peter Brisbane (Australia), facilitator of the drafting group on the organization of a technical LULUCF workshop before COP-11, reported that Parties had not been able to reach consensus. AOSIS expressed willingness to move forward on the issue, but emphasized that a dialogue on issues related to the second and subsequent commitment periods must consider wider matters. Parties reached consensus on a paragraph relating to the possible application of biome-specific forest definitions. Delegates agreed to forward the draft conclusions to SBSTA-22.
MITIGATION: Co-Chair Toshiyuki Sakamoto introduced a draft decision based on informal consultations. The G-77/CHINA reiterated that socioeconomic aspects and technological cooperation should be given greater emphasis in the text. AUSTRALIA noted that discussions should not be limited to bilateral activities, but should include multilateral and international activities. Regarding themes for a future SBSTA in-session workshop on mitigation, Parties discussed whether the workshop proposal should specifically mention renewable energy and efficiency, or regulatory policies and frameworks. SAUDI ARABIA reiterated the need to focus on existing technologies and, opposed by AUSTRALIA, CANADA, US, CHILE, NEW ZEALAND and JAPAN, pointed to the necessity to address the spillover effects of mitigation. He said land-use changes and non-CO2 gases should also be addressed. The EU, supported by the US, proposed addressing co-benefits. Opposed by AUSTRALIA, CANADA, US, CHILE, NEW ZEALAND and JAPAN, the EU, with NORWAY, proposed focusing on energy efficiency and renewables, as well as policy and regulatory frameworks. The US said that he did not object to renewable energy, but would prefer no reference to it in the text.
CHINA said policies and frameworks are not technological issues, while the EU argued that they are related to barriers and deployment. On renewable energy, CANADA, with the G-77/CHINA and SAUDI ARABIA, argued that no specific technology should be promoted. SAUDI ARABIA reminded Parties that the UNFCCC is not an energy convention. The US stressed the need to focus on practical opportunities and solutions. Agreement could not be reached, and discussions continued informally into the night.
ADAPTATION: Co-Chair Philip Gwage asked delegates to comment on an Argentine proposal to adopt a work programme on adaptation. Describing the proposal, ARGENTINA proposed to adopt a substantive decision on adaptation, and outlined elements for a work programme on adaptation that seeks to, inter alia, address the domestic measures that Parties should take to adapt to climate change and climate variability. He identified a list of elements for future work on: data and methodologies; vulnerability assessment; adaptation planning; integration of adaptation into sustainable development; and adaptation actions.
The EU said the roles of SBSTA, SBI and the COP should be clarified. She also said that this agenda item should not focus on adaptation only, but should include aspects of impacts and vulnerability as well. MICRONESIA said that adaptation actions are key, and expressed concern that the proposed time-frame to conduct assessments during 2005-9 is too long, considering the urgency of the matter. JAPAN said that adaptation is an important issue but expressed concern over the discussions underway on decision 5/CP.7. He stressed that consistency should be kept between decisions on both agenda items.
SUDAN, on behalf of the Africa Group, supported the proposal and said the SBSTA-21 in-session workshop results should be included. SOUTH AFRICA underscored that it is important to have a work programme on this issue, and to put existing knowledge to use. CHINA, supported by SOUTH AFRICA and ARGENTINA, said that most of the proposed actions should be adopted by States and that the Argentine proposal could be included in the draft decision requesting SBSTA to organize an in-session workshop on these issues.
ARGENTINA said that his countryï¿½s proposal sought to address adaptation in a substantive manner and to provide a clear political, scientific and technological framework for action. He emphasized that the proposal includes only the scientific aspects of adaptation, as there had been no consensus on SBI and SBSTA working together on this matter.
The US commended the Argentine proposal but preferred to postpone making a decision until discussions on the implementation of decision 5/CP.7 conclude, to prevent overlaps. PERU considered implementation of decision 5/CP.7 a prerequisite for the type of assessment outlined in the Argentine proposal. AUSTRALIA, supported by the EU, noted that the proposal establishes a framework for a programme of work, and that the programme itself and its detailed activities could be adopted at a later stage. Discussions continued into the night.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The contact group, co-chaired by Kishan Kumarsingh and Holger Liptow, met in the evening. Tentative agreement on the draft conclusionsï¿½ paragraph on fossil fuels was reached informally earlier in the day, paving the way for further discussion on a draft decision. The Co-Chairs introduced a revised text on a draft decision. Issues related to networking between the UNFCCCï¿½s technology clearing house (TT:CLEAR) and technology information centers were agreed. Discussions then focused on: the Expert Group on Technology Transfer's (EGTT) framework for enhancing implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.5 (technology transfer); terms of reference for this framework; and the review of EGTT as mandated by decision 4/CP.7 (development and transfer of technologies). The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the US, EU, CANADA and AUSTRALIA, proposed to include reference to the implementation of the framework.
The US asked for confirmation that the draft conclusions had been agreed, and the G-77/CHINA expressed that without agreement on the decision, the informally agreed draft conclusions remain unapproved as well.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Returning to La Rural after their leisurely day off, delegates appear to have suddenly recalled that SBI and SBSTA are supposed to complete their work and close by Tuesday, 14 December. Observers commented that morning contact groups had been quickly converted into informal consultations, apparently to get the ï¿½real work done.ï¿½ This may indicate that deliberations have not made sufficient progress.
While the Argentine proposal on an adaptation work programme has finally been circulated, the corridors were buzzing about the rumored decision on seminars to address the future of the climate regime beyond 2012. Elsewhere, many delegates were also commenting on the draft text on input into other multilateral processes, which has been prepared before any informal consultations have been held. Observers noted that this would make it the second attempt to table something on this agenda item without holding prior discussions.