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UNFCCC - COP5 Negotiations Monday, 1 November



Draft decision to schedule COP-6 for 13-24 November in the Hague
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation has adopted a draft decision to accept an offer from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to host COP-6 in the Hague from 13-24 November. The year 2000 will see a particularly intense schedule of meetings for the Parties as they prepare for the COP that is expected to generate decisions and the political will leading to ratification and eventual entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. There is a growing body of opinion in favor of timing entry into force to coincide with Rio+10. Above right: Michael Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary; Harald Dovland, SBSTA Chair and Jan Szyszko, COP-5 President.

The year 2000 schedule outlined in the draft decision is as follows:

  • One week of informal meetings followed by the first sessional period from 12-16 June
  • One week of informal meetings followed by the second sessonal period from 12-16 September
  • Third sessional period i.e. COP-6, from 13-24 November.

Saudi Arabia and G-77/China stall decision on aviation and maritime impacts on climate
A draft decision on emissions based on fuel sold to ships and aircraft engaged in international transport could not be adopted at a meeting of SBSTA Monday morning after Saudi Arabia, the issue coordinator for G-77/China, announced that he had not been able to participate in informal consultations conducted by Switzerland's Jose Romero. The Saudi Arabian delegate said the G-77/China had a number of concerns about the draft paper, including the view that the draft decision included elements beyond the scope of the subsidiary bodies.
Interventions from New Zealand, Canada, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and SBSTA Chair Dovland

Romero confirmed that Saudi Arabia, the delegation responsible for coordinating the issue within the G-77/China group, had not participated in the consultations. He said the Saudi Arabian delegation had been repeatedly invited to do so. The SBSTA Chair, Harald Dovland of Norway, urged the Parties to complete their work and invited the G-77/China to consider the draft decision, consult with Romero and report back to the subsidiary body later in the day.

SBSTA sends a number of draft decisions to COP
At its tenth meeting, SBSTA adopted a number of draft decisions for referral to the Conference of the Parties. Draft conclusions and decisions dealt with the following issues:

  • research and systematic observation
  • the consultative process on transfer of technology
  • transfer of technology and coastal adaptation
  • transfer of technology and cooperation with the OECD
  • methodological issues
  • the Brazil proposal
  • information tools on adaptation
  • cooperation with relevant international organizations
  • methodological issues including the estimation of carbon dioxide from forest harvesting and wood products

The consultations transfer of technology are to be extended through to COP-6 to allow inputs from regional workshops for the Asia and Pacific (Philippines) and Latin America in the year 2000. The SBSTA Chair will hold meetings with experts and Party representatives before SBSTA-12 to consider progress in the consultation process. He will report to SBSTA-13 with recommendations on a draft framework for meaningful and effective actions.

A draft decision on technology transfer and coastal adaptation notes the need for the development of endogenous capacity, technology and know how. The importance of this issue for countries vulnerable to sea-level rise, particularly small island states, is underlined.

Argentina expected to announce voluntary commitment
Argentina is expected to announce details of its voluntary commitment during the forthcoming High-Level segment, which commences Tuesday. One hundred and seventy-three governments are now represented at the COP.

Global Environment Fund Chief Executive, El-Ashry, meets the Parties for an informal exchange

Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), convened an informal exchange of views on the Facility's work in a successful bid to respond to questions raised by Parties during the first week of negotiations at COP-5. Parties and NGOs seized the opportunity to quiz El-Ashry on a wide range of issues, including the contentious question of the GEF's role in assisting with the second round of National Communications.

In his responses, Mr. El-Ashry made the following points:

  • Second national communications: In the absence of guidance from the COP it has been difficult for the GEF to operationalize work on second national communications. He would welcome proposals addressing specific country needs to maintain capacity. Argentina pointed out that preparation of communications involves a process, requiring continuity of capacity.
  • Guidance from the UN Conventions: The GEF currently receives fragmented guidance from the Conventions and is working to improve this situation.
  • Buenos Aires Plan of Action mandate: The GEF Council has proposed a funding top-up to address work arising from the BAPA mandate.
  • Bridging funding: The GEF is preparing a new document on bridging funding. On incremental costs, a London Workshop helped identify some of the problems and possible solutions.
  • Capacity Development Initiative: El-Ashry provided an update on GEF's Capacity Development Initiative designed to catalyze new funding. On the general theme of capacity building, an issue that has engaged El-Ashry for thirty years, he described an innovative transition to programmatic funding (multi-year) and the potential for speeding up assessments of funding applications once a framework is in place.
  • Engaging the COP: El-Ashry described the GEF's initial approach to the UNFCCC COP as "bashful", an approach that he hopes to overcome through enhanced contact and dialogue, subject to the will of the Parties. A participant noted that the GEF staff's attendance at the contact group on non-Annex l Communications had been a tremendous help to the Parties.
  • Export Credit and Guarantee Agencies: Responding to a question from the Climate Action Network on the potentially important role of Credit and Guarantee Agencies in influencing investment decisions on climate friendly technologies, El-Ashry said the GEF had not made direct approaches to the agencies. The World Bank described other indirect approaches to address the role of the private sector, including risk cover
  • Transparent budget initiative: In his final remarks, El-Ashry described the GEF's new fee based budget system. Project fees demanded by implementing agencies will be published on the GEF website alongside project details. (http://www.gefweb.org/)

A RealVideo presentation of the informal exchange is available from this page of the UNFCCC Video-on-demand service

Mohamad El-Ashry, GEF CEO, Michael Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary, and John Ashe, SBI Chair

Michael Zammit Cutajar

On national communications from non-Annex I countries, INDIA (represented here by A. Gopinathan) proposed deletion of a paragraph that calls on the CG to consider steps taken or envisaged by the Party to implement the FCCC.

Mohammad Al Sabban, Saudi Arabia, said the proposed arrangements for intergovernmental meetings were unrealistic and would pose problems for developing countries

Jeff Miotke, US, supported the proposed arrangements for intergovernmental meetings and said anything less would indicate a lack of intent to implement the Buenos Aires Plan of Action


Maciej Sadowski, Poland, intervened during consideration of the draft decision on national communications

Patricia Iturregui, Peru, said the workshop on the development and transfer of technology should not be contingent on resources being available and proposed deleting text to reflect this

Nakibae Teuatabo, Kiribati, made an intervention under the agenda item on research and systematic observation

Thorir Ibsen, Iceland, during consideration of the draft decision on the impact of single projects on emissions in the committment period

John Goodman, New Zealand

John Drexhage, Canada

Jos´┐Ż Romero, Switzerland, chaired the informal consultations on international transport that reconvened in the afternoon

M.H. Etayari, Libya

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