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  UNFCCC - COP5 Negotiations Monday 25 October


Parties face up to their inadequacy issue. The problem with commitment.
Proceedings on day one at COP-5 stalled almost as soon as they began. After the election of the new COP President, Jan Szyszko (Poland), and a speech by Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, attempts to move on to organizational matters were frustrated for several hours while informal consultations were convened. A disagreement emerged over a provisional agenda item on review of adequacy of commitments (UNFCCC Articles 4.2 (a) and (b)) which had been deferred from COP-4. Approaches to the issue reflect opposing interpretations of the possible scope of the Articles, with the G-77/China fighting off suggestions that the inadequacy of existing commitments should result in moves toward global participation. On the other hand, Annex l Parties are reluctant to focus on an assessment of the 'implementation' of the Articles because this would point the finger at their failure to live up to existing commitments. A decision on the issue was deferred to allow for informal negotiations convened by the COP Presidency.

Newsbyte: At their first press conference at COP-5, the European Union Presidency, Finland, disclosed that academic assessments suggest that the 'hot air' available to Parties could amount to half the emissions reductions agreed under the Kyoto Protocol. Finland described the figure as "devastating".

German Chancellor calls for Protocol's entry into force by the 10th anniversary of the Rio Summit
At the opening Plenary of COP-5, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, called for the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol by the year 2002, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Rio 'Earth Summit' (UNCED). He said this would require effective controls to ensure implementation. Parties, therefore, needed to establish as quickly as possible how compliance with reduction commitments is to be monitored. He also urged Parties to clarify the operation of flexible mechanisms.

The Chancellor said the failure of many industrialized countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2000 would affect the core of international efforts to protect the climate. People all over the world were following the international consultations with growing interest and had a right to expect that agreements would now actually be put into practice. The Chancellor said anyone wishing to remain credible in the debate on climate policy must therefore show the world that they really are making every effort.

On emissions trading and joint projects involving industrialized countries and developing countries, the Chancellor said these could be a meaningful addition to but no replacement for industrialized countries' national climate protection measures. Domestic efforts must be the key to implementing the industrialized states' reduction commitments. On the Federal Republic's own efforts, he noted that as a result of the particular risks of nuclear energy his Government had decided to phase out the technology.

Opening Plenary

Gerhard Schröder, Federal Chancellor of Germany (second from the left), arrives, accompanied by Michel Zammit Cutajar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary (second from the right)

Chancellor Schröder and Executive Secretary Zammit Cutajar meet before the opening Plenary

Above: Chancellor Schröder and Executive Secretary Zammit Cutajar meet before the opening Plenary with incoming COP-5 President Jan Szsyszko, Poland; outgoing COP-4 President, Maria Algosaray, Argentina; and Jürgen Tritten, Germany's Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Dias party from left to right: Zammit Cutajar, Chancellor Schröder, Algosaray, and Richard Kinley, Secretary of the COP.

Statement from COP-4 President Maria Julia Alsogaray of Argentina

Statement by Incoming COP-5 President Jan Szyszko of Poland

Excerpt from the speech by the Mayor of Bonn, Ms. Bärbel Dieckmann

Address by Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Part 1          Part 2

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michel Zammit Cutajar delivers a message to COP-5 delegates on behalf of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Opening statement of SBI Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda)
Cutajar announces changes in the organization of the Secretariat in support of the SBSTA

On Annex I communications, the US (represented here by Dan Reifsnyder) recommended that only Part I (general description of guidelines) be negotiated through a contact group and adopted during COP-5..

On obstacles to producing non-Annex I communications, the G-77/CHINA (represented by Bernaditas Castro Muller, Philippines) called for provision of adequate financial resources, technical assistance and capacity-building to support non-Annex I countries in collecting data and identifying national emission factors and methodologies for adaptation assessment.

Opening statement by SBSTA Chair Harald Dovland (Norway)
On cooperation with relevant scientific organizations, Robert Watson, Chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reported on progress on the Third Assessment Report (TAR) and three special reports on technology transfer, emissions scenarios of GHGs and aerosol precursors and LULUCF.
Part 1    Part 2

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