Vol. 12 No. 281
COP 11 AND COP/MOP 1 HIGHLIGHTS:
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2005
The eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1) opened in Montreal on Monday, 28 November. After a welcoming ceremony, the COP and COP/MOP addressed organizational matters and heard opening statements. In the afternoon, the subsidiary bodies began their twenty-third sessions. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) considered organizational matters, adaptation, mitigation and methodological issues. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) took up organizational issues, national communications, capacity building, and education, training and public awareness.
The welcoming ceremony began with presentations from Gerald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal, and Jean Charest, Premier of Québec. Mayor Tremblay highlighted the seriousness of the climate change problem and the support of local governments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Premier Charest noted Québec’s support for emissions reductions and the need for strong action to address climate change. The speeches were followed by a live performance highlighting the impacts of climate change.
OPENING OF THE SESSION: COP 10 President Ginés González García (Argentina) opened COP 11. He asked delegates to observe one minute of silence in memory of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Joke Waller-Hunter, who passed away on 14 October 2005. Praising her “tireless dedication and enthusiasm,” he said the best tribute delegates could give would be to produce a strong outcome at this meeting.
Parties then elected by acclamation Stéphane Dion, Canada’s Environment Minister, as President of COP 11 and COP/MOP 1. Dion called for steps to “implement, improve and innovate,” including formally adopting the Marrakesh Accords and improving implementation of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, including the CDM. He also noted the need to begin consideration of commitments after 2012.
UNFCCC Acting Executive Secretary Richard Kinley highlighted 2005 as a remarkable year for international climate policy, but drew attention to new data showing an increase in Annex I emissions and the need for further action.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: The COP agreed to apply the draft rules of procedure, with the exception of draft rule 42 (voting), on which President Dion said he would conduct informal consultations.
Parties then adopted the provisional agenda after agreeing to remove the item on the second review of the adequacy of Article 4.2 (a) and (b) of the Convention. Regarding the organization of work, the US emphasized the need for a clear separation between Convention and Protocol issues. The COP agreed on the organization of work as proposed by the President.
OTHER MATTERS: Delegates then considered a draft decision relating to adjustments under Protocol Article 5.2 (methodologies for estimating emissions) (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/4/Add.1). President Dion explained that this draft was part of a package of decisions that had been recommended for adoption by COP/MOP 1. The COP adopted the decision and forwarded it to COP/MOP 1.
OPENING STATEMENTS: Several speakers highlighted technology transfer and the five year programme of work on adaptation. Jamaica, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, expressed concern at the GEF resource allocation framework. The UK, for the EU, called for an “open mind” and “creative and innovative ways” to address climate change after 2012. Kenya, for the AFRICA GROUP, noted an inadequate commitment on capacity building, while Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDCs, highlighted the need to operationalize the LDC, Adaptation and Special Climate Change Funds.
Late Monday morning, President Dion declared the COP/MOP open. Regarding the provisional agenda, the UK, for the EU, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, objected to the inclusion of agenda item 10 on Article 2.3 (response measures) on the grounds that it is addressed elsewhere. However, the agenda was adopted as presented.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The EU looked forward to the adoption of the Marrakesh Accords. On compliance, she said that after a COP/MOP decision on compliance, the EU would be open to discussing an amendment to the Protocol. She identified the need for more work on CDM and guidance for the Adaptation Fund. She also stressed that the EU is ready to start discussions under Article 3.9 (future commitments).
Tuvalu, speaking for the ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES (AOSIS), called for future commitments under Article 3.9, and said efforts to streamline CDM should not compromise its environmental integrity.
SBSTA Chair Abdullatif Benrageb (Libya) opened the session and introduced the provisional agenda. The US, opposed by AOSIS, the EU and G-77/CHINA, requested removing agenda item 11(a) relating to small island developing States (SIDS). The US also asked for clarification on inclusion of item 10 (IPCC special report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage). The agenda was provisionally adopted pending informal consultations on these issues. Since Libya is not yet a Party to the Kyoto Protocol, SBSTA Vice-Chair Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) was invited to chair SBSTA for Protocol-related agenda items.
ADAPTATION: Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago) reported on the informal workshop on the five-year programme of work on adaptation held in Bonn in October 2005. Samoa, for the G-77/CHINA, said many adaptation projects are at a mature stage for implementation and depend only on funding. AOSIS, SUDAN, YEMEN and others stressed the need to be action-oriented. SAUDI ARABIA, with NIGERIA and KUWAIT but opposed by ARGENTINA, CHILE and others, called for consideration of adaptation to response measures and inclusion of economic diversification in the programme of work. JAPAN proposed a focus on methodologies and impact assessments and the US suggested taking stock of existing efforts and engaging experts. CANADA, supported by PERU and others, said that the programme of work and SBI decisions to operationalize adaptation funding represent an “adaptation package,” and that it views a COP decision endorsing a strong programme of work to be a goal of this session. SBSTA Chair Benrageb asked Kumarsingh and Helen Plume (New Zealand) to facilitate a contact group on this issue.
MITIGATION: Delegates considered various reports on mitigation (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/INF.5, FCCC/SBSTA/2005/INF.5 and Adds. 1-2), with many Parties stressing the usefulness of the intersessional workshops. CHINA and SOUTH AFRICA expressed concern about the recent increase in greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries. AUSTRALIA, CANADA, SWITZERLAND and others highlighted a sectoral approach and a focus on "key areas." Areas mentioned included renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon capture and storage. AUSTRALIA underlined mitigation co-benefits. The EU underscored the need to study implications of different stabilization levels and emission pathways. Kok Seng Yap (Malaysia) and Toshiyuki Sakamoto (Japan) will co-chair a contact group.
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Harvested Wood Products (HWP): Jenny Wong, UNFCCC Secretariat, briefed delegates on HWP based on submissions from Parties and national greenhouse gas inventories (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/INF.7 and FCCC/SBSTA/2005/MISC.9). Parties noted the complexity of HWP accounting and the need for further consideration. Informal consultations will be conducted.
Common Reporting Format (CRF) for LULUCF: Delegates considered documents containing Partiesï¿½ views on the CRF tables (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/7 and FCCC/SBSTA/2005/MISC.7). Audun Rosland (Norway) and Newton Paciornik (Brazil) will co-chair a contact group.
Emissions from Fuel Used for International Aviation and Maritime Transport: Jane Hupe, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), briefed SBSTA on ICAOï¿½s work on aviation emissions since SBSTA 22. Chair Benrageb noted that consideration of this agenda item had not been completed at SBSTA 22, and asked Josï¿½ Romero (Switzerland) to hold informal consultations.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: SBI Chair Thomas Becker (Denmark) opened the session. On the agenda, the EU and AUSTRALIA questioned the need to include a sub-item requested by Saudi Arabia on the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measures. However, the agenda and organization of work were approved as presented.
Chair Becker noted that consultations on officers for SBI 24 and SBI 25 will be coordinated with the COP 11 and COP/MOP Bureau consultations. The current SBI Bureau members will continue until their successors are elected.
ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Options for the Review Process: Vitaly Matsarski, UNFCCC Secretariat, introduced a proposal for streamlining review processes (FCCC/SBI/2005/16). The EU and JAPAN supported the proposal, while the US expressed concern about eliminating in-country in-depth reviews. Emily Ojoo-Massawa (Kenya) and Dimitrios Lalas (Greece) will co-chair a contact group.
Report on National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data from Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention for the Period 1990-2003: Matsaraski introduced the compilation document (FCCC/SBI/2005/17). Delegates agreed to take note of this information.
Status Report on the Review of Third National Communication: Matsaraski introduced the status report (FCCC/SBI/2005/INF.9), noting that the cycle of reviews for Third National Communications is now completed. Delegates agreed to take note of the report.
NON-ANNEX I COMMUNICATIONS: Compilation and Synthesis of Initial National Communications: Delegates considered compiled information on non-Annex I national communications (FCCC/SBI/2005/18 and Adds. 1-6). BANGLADESH and the US said this information should be used when donors assess the needs of non-Annex I countries.
Work of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) on non-Annex I Communications: CGE Chair Emily Ojoo-Massawa briefed delegates on training and support for non-Annex I national experts in 2005 and 2006, including regional workshops. INDONESIA announced its interest in hosting a regional adaptation and vulnerability assessment workshop. Several Parties appealed to Annex I countries to provide resources. BANGLADESH said synergies between national communications and National Adaptation Plans of Action should be considered.
Provision of financial and technical support: Festus Luboyera, UNFCCC Secretariat, introduced a document that lists projects proposed by non-Annex I Parties for financing, as permitted under UNFCCC Article 12.4 (FCCC/SBI/2005/Inf.8). Informal consultations will be convened on non-Annex I communications.
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: Delegates were briefed on various issues, including: the new UNFCCC Climate Change Information Network (CC:iNet), an internet information clearing house; regional workshops (FCCC/SBI/2005/21 and FCCC/SBI/2005/14); and UNEPï¿½s work on Article 6. Crispin dï¿½Auvergne (Saint Lucia) will chair a contract group.
CAPACITY BUILDING: Janos Pasztor, SBI Coordinator, noted that Decision 2/CP.10 requires SBI 24 to consider steps to be taken to monitor regularly capacity building activities pursuant to Decision 2/CP.7. Discussion centered on whether to create a contact group and the extent to which such a contact group should consider the GEF review on capacity building. Tanzania, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed that a contact group was needed to develop more guidance to the GEF, while the EU said discussion on the GEF review should take place under the agenda item on the report by the GEF. Joyceline Goco (Philippines) and Anders Turesson (Sweden) will consult informally.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Most delegates arriving at the conference center on Monday morning seemed in good humor despite the long lines to register and get through security. In the corridors, much of the discussion was on Canadian politics and what the implications of an election might be on the conference. Several delegates said they were encouraged by Minister Dionï¿½s statement committing himself to his work as COP President, and that while the election campaign would be an interesting backdrop to the meeting, it should not affect the meeting outcome. One delegate noted, however, that it was not the possible impacts on the next two weeks that bothered him, but rather the possibility that Minister Dion might not be the COP President after January.