Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 12 No. 84
Thursday, June 11 1998

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEETINGS OF THE FCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES

10 JUNE 1998

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) held stocktaking Plenary sessions in the morning. SBSTA also discussed education and public awareness. The Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG13) heard a progress report from its Chair. Contact groups were convened throughout the day to consider outstanding issues.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION

The SBI met for progress reports from SBI and SBI/SBSTA contact groups and other informal consultations. On amendments to Annexes I and II, Ambassador Herrera (Venezuela) reported that informal consultations regarding Turkey's status had not resulted in consensus, and, supported by TURKEY, recommended deferring the item to SBI-9, which was agreed.

JosÚ Romero (Switzerland) reported that the joint contact group on allocation of work for COP/MOP-1 had deferred its second meeting pending receipt of input from Parties and the joint contact group on mechanisms. Tibor Faragˇ (Hungary) reported that the contact group on implementation of FCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects and impacts) was reviewing a compilation of written inputs.

Jennifer Irish (Canada) reported that the contact group on review of adequacy of Annex I commitments under Article 4.2(a) and (b) had identified areas of convergence and divergence among group members on the scope of review.

Dan Reifsnyder (US) reported that the contact group on non-Annex I communications and the financial mechanism review appointed a group of "four non-G-77/China members and four non-Annex I members" to recommend a decision for the contact group. One question under discussion relates to translation and dissemination. SBI Chair Kante noted the decision allowing NGO observers access to contact groups if there is no objection from any Party.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ADVICE

SBSTA opened with brief progress reports from the contact groups on land use change and forestry and development and transfer of technology, and from the joint contact groups on COP/MOP-1 and mechanisms. The Chair called on Parties to exercise flexibility on scientific and technical aspects of the issues since political aspects will be dealt with by SBI. On education, training and public awareness (FCCC Article 6) , the Chair reported that the Secretariat and UNEP held a workshop on Tuesday. The workshop highlighted the scope for cooperation on public awareness and noted: that public awareness should not be limited to particular events; the need for more effective climate awareness strategies; and the need for Parties to provide more information on particular awareness building strategies.

UNEP reiterated the importance of public support in the implementation of the Convention. SRI LANKA and IRAN called for equal distribution of information packages prepared by CC:INFO to countries beyond those included in country study programmes. SWITZERLAND said that the existing information units of the Secretariat and UNEP should be used to further the work under Article 6 and, with the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and IRAN, called upon the IPCC to provide reports in languages other than English.

The AFRICAN GROUP, GAMBIA and SRI LANKA called upon Parties to make available resources for institutional capacity enhancement and to expand the sphere of African countries participating in country studies. She said that there was a need: to operationalize Article 6; expand activities to all facets of society and stressed that such activities are neither cheap nor short term. To this end, she stated that the proposal to expand the mandate of UNEP is worth considering. Supported by INDONESIA and CANADA, she called upon SBSTA to request a Secretariat paper on work under Article 6 for SBSTA-9. She recommended: that SBI include a budget-line for the implementation of Article 6 in their funding proposals as well as for translation of documents to other languages; and noted the importance of timely delivery of resources for the implementation of education programmes.

The US: noted the need to understand the drivers of change; highlighted work of programmes such as the IGBP-START (Systems for Analysis Research and Training); and noted the coordinating role the Secretariat can play in North-South exchange of experience. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and CANADA noted the need for information and expertise sharing and a resource centre for copyright-free material.

The EU called for a review of the scope of current education programmes and the development of more specific reporting guidelines. TOGO stressed that public awareness programmes should not be based on political or economic considerations that place the least developed countries on the periphery. The UK distributed a national report that he hoped would be helpful to others in developing their approaches.

AD HOC GROUP ON ARTICLE 13

Chair Patrick SzÚll reported on the status of consultations among three Parties on the group's report. On whether representation within the Multilateral Consultative Committee (MCC) should be equally divided between Annex I and non-Annex II Parties or based on equitable regional distribution, delegates had agreed to emphasize that "some countries were of the view that," rather than "one country suggested that," the division be 50%-50% and that the "G77/CHINA and some other countries" held the other view. This depended on agreeing whether and how to include "equitable geographical distribution" in the MCP text itself. A number of formulations had been rejected.

In the evening, the group addressing the Committee issue agreed that the text would go forward to the COP with bracketed language. AG13 will meet on Thursday to adopt the report of the meeting.

CONTACT GROUPS

Land Use Change and Forestry: The contact group on land use change and forestry removed few brackets from text regarding the timing and content of the IPCC workshop, special report and TAR. Delegates agreed to language noting that the purpose of the IPCC workshop, to be held prior to COP-4, will be to consider data availability, based on definitions used by Parties, in relation to Article 3.3. BRAZIL and the EU preferred that SBSTA "consider" a second workshop after COP-4 to focus on issues arising from, inter alia, Article 3.4. The US preferred that SBSTA "hold" such a workshop.

On the timing of a special report, delegates disagreed on whether the report would provide information for [COP-6] or [the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties]. A bracketed sentence was added, based on proposals from CANADA and AUSTRALIA, stating that in the interim Parties may wish to consider relevant issues, particularly 3.4.

Regarding the relevant Articles for consideration in the special report, the EU and the MARSHALL ISLANDS preferred deleting references to Articles 4 and 7 from a list including Articles 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7. The US said the list should mention all relevant Articles and suggested 20 Articles for inclusion. AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND disagreed with the EU proposal to delete language stating that issues not covered in the special report will be included in the TAR. The PHILIPPINES proposed text to distinguish the topics for the special report from those for inclusion in the TAR.

Adverse Effects and Impacts: The contact group on FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects and impacts) met in the afternoon to discuss the Co-Chairs' text. The G-77/CHINA proposed modifications based on its draft decision paper.

On the "analytical framework," the UK, AUSTRALIA, and the US raised a number of questions. JAPAN cautioned that a reference to Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14 suggested implementation of the Protocol. On separating the effects of climate change and impacts of response measures, AUSTRALIA said different modeling approaches are used. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by the UAE, said the distinction could be made later. The G-77/CHINA proposed alternative language from Decision 3/CP.3 on undertaking a process.

The G-77/CHINA deleted reference to the Berlin Mandate. The US bracketed references to Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14. On the identification of "possible" adverse effects and "possible" impacts, the US, supported by the EU, deleted references to "possible". On actions necessary to meet needs and concerns of developing countries, the US and the EU proposed following FCCC Article 4.8 on "consideration" of actions necessary and on "funding, insurance and the transfer of technology." The G-77/CHINA, and VENEZUELA preferred "identifying" actions. SAUDI ARABIA placed "identifying" and "consideration" in brackets together with the US-proposed reference to the FCCC. The EU proposed combining paragraphs on identifying adverse effects and impacts with those on the needs and concerns. The US added "specific" needs and concerns.

Technology: The contact group on technology transfer considered revised conclusions and debated proposals on next steps for technology information centres. Under a proposal from the US and the EU, the first step would be to assess the extent to which managers and technicians in relevant sectors are aware of such technologies and processes, followed by the identification of sources and supplies. SBSTA would request the Secretariat to, inter alia, identify the desired functions and services to be provided by such centres and networks. Under a G-77/China proposal, SBSTA would state that initial priority should be given to supporting the establishment and enhancement of national and regional technology information centres. The group will meet Thursday.

Second Review of Adequacy of Commitments: a Co-Chairs' draft decision, based on previous inputs, was distributed in the contact group on second review of the adequacy of Article 4.2(a) and (b), which then adjourned. The meeting was scheduled to reconvene at 7:20 pm for questions and clarification. Substantive views were expected on Thursday. The draft decision, inter alia: initiates the second review at COP-4; offers two alternatives on when future reviews should take place; and requests the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis for COP-4.

Mechanisms: The joint contact group on mechanisms, chaired by Gylvan Meira Filho (Brazil), met to discuss a Co-Chairs' draft proposed schedule on mechanisms under Kyoto Protocol Articles 6, 12 and 17 (projects for reducing emissions or enhancing sinks, CDM, and emissions trading).

ARGENTINA recalled the address by Maria Julia Alsogary, Argentina's Secretary of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, that there is a great interest, almost a consensus, on the early functioning of the CDM and emissions trading. Argentina, as the host of COP-4, has an obligation to work for consensus and is in the process of consulting with all regional groups, particularly the G-77/China and GRULAC.

The G-77/CHINA presented an initial list of issues to address, and stressed consideration of fundamental issues before timing and schedules of work. NORWAY, on behalf of a group of countries and supported by the US, recalled a non-paper on emissions trading distributed by the group last week, and the package of four mechanisms agreed in Kyoto. He stressed that quantitative caps, which could lead to fewer developing country projects, had not been adopted in Kyoto. Referring to another non-paper, the EU stressed domestic actions and called for: ceilings on use of mechanisms; guidelines, rules and procedures; a compliance regime as a pre-requisite; and parallel work on the mechanisms. The US suggested basing group discussions on both the G77/China questions and the Co-Chairs' draft proposed schedule.

In the evening, delegates received the G-77/CHINA's proposed work programme on mechanisms. The proposal lists the methodological and technical work, institutional issues, process and linkages under CDM, Article 6 and emissions trading. The G-77/CHINA suggested deferring AIJ until after the pilot phase designated at COP-1. The EU noted other linkages besides those in the Co-Chairs' paper. Delegates began discussion on the G-77/China's listed issues. As of 11:00 pm, delegates had discussed 17 items of the list.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

SBSTA: SBSTA will meet at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in the Beethoven Room.

AG13: AG13 will meet at 11:00 am in the Maritim Room.

SBI: SBI will meet at 3:00 pm in the Maritim Room.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin ´┐Ż (enb@iisd.org) is written and edited by Chad Carpenter (chadc@iisd.org), Deborah Davenport (ddavenp@emory.edu), Angela Churie Kallhauge (churie@l.kth.se), Peter Doran (pfdoran@ecology.u-net.com). Digital Content by Jeffrey Anderson (janderson@iisd.ca) and Andrei Henry (andrei.henry@utoronto.ca). The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. (pam@iisd.org) and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI (kimo@iisd.org). The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation, the Government of Canada (through CIDA) and the United States (through USAID). General Support for the Bulletin during 1998 is provided by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU), the Swiss Office for Environment, Forests and Landscape, the European Community (DG-XI), the Government of Norway, the Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs of Austria UNDP and the Ministry for the Environment in Iceland. Funding for the French version has been provided by ACCT/IEPF, with support from the French Ministry of Cooperation. The Bulletin can be contacted at this meeting in Room 136 of the Maritim Hotel +49 (0)228 8108 136 or by e-mail at (enb@iisd.org) and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at (info@iisd.ca) and at 161 Portage Avenue East, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and its funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://enb.iisd.org/. The satellite image was taken above New York City (c)1998 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to (enb@iisd.org).

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