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Special Report on Selected Side Events at UNFCCC COP-6
published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
in co-operation with the UNFCCC Secretariat
<< visit the UNFCCC Secretariat website >>

Monday 13 | Tuesday 14 | Wednesday 15 | Thursday 16 | Friday 17 | Saturday 18 |
Monday 20 | Tuesday 21 | Wednesday 22 | Thursday 23 | Friday 24 |

Events convened on Wednesday 22 November 2000

CDM: Closing the loophole, raising the standard
presented by the Climate Action Network, Friends of the Earth, University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute for Policy Studies


Kate Hampton, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN), “...If climate change policy and support for renewables and energy efficiency are not the guiding principles for public international financial flows, developing and transition economies will be locked into a path of fossil fuel-driven development.”

Presenters from a number of environmental NGOs and research centers discussed the CDM and public finance for fossil fuel projects, the CDM and public participation, and a case study from Nigeria to demonstrate the potential damage that will be caused if investment in fossil fuels is allowed under the CDM.

Kate Hampton, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN), outlined her research findings on "How public finance for fossil fuel projects is short changing clean development." Hampton highlighted the importance of integrating climate change policy into policy guidance for public international financial flows. The analysis shows that if money currently spent by OECD countries via multilateral development banks and export credit agencies on fossil fuel projects was spent instead on renewable energy sources or energy efficiency, the emissions avoided would outstrip the annual emissions reductions predicted for CDM projects during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The study concludes that the anticipated benefits from the CDM, in terms of carbon emissions reductions and the promotion of clean technology transfer, are vastly outweighed by the continued transfer of public funds from industrialized countries to developing countries and EITs to support fossil fuel-based activities.

Isaac Osuoka, Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, challenged claims by oil companies developing the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), which is being promoted as a CDM project candidate. Osuoka challenged claims that 100 MtC of emissions reductions will be "additional", because flaring has already been prohibited by law in Nigeria and facilities do not exist to reduce the pollution caused by gases associated with oil production. 

Barbara Haya, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, delivered a presentation on "Public Participation in the CDM and JI: precedents set by international financial institutions." Haya, who co-authored the paper with Antonia Herzog and Joanna Lewis, argued that despite precedents for good public participation provisions set by some of the major international financial lending institutions, the implementation proposals for the flexible mechanisms under negotiation at COP-6 do not adequately reflect the fundamental rights of people to participate in the administration of CDM and JI projects. 

More information:
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network: http://www.seen.org
Center for International Environmental Law: http://www.ciel.org

Milieudefensie Earth Alarm <[email protected]>
Joanna Krinn <[email protected]>
Kate Hampton <[email protected]>

Climate change and human health: benefits of mitigation
presented by the World Health Organization (WHO)

Margot Wallström, European Commissioner for Environment, Nuclear Saftey, and Civil Protection speaks on health risks and global climate change.
This World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored event was opened by Roberto Bertollini, Director, Rome Division, WHO-European Centre for Environment and Health. He noted growing public concern regarding anticipated health impacts of climate change and advocated the adoption of pre-emptive measures to reduce the risks. He outlined the WHO's new European-wide programme on climate change and health, which aims to improve the response capacity of the public health community. He noted that health-related problems can be distinguished between those directly attributable to climate change, such as deaths during extreme events, and those linked to indirect impacts such as air pollution. 

European Commissioner Margot Wallström stressed that the link between health and the environment reinforces the argument for strong domestic action to address climate change. 

Nino Künzli, University of Basel, Switzerland, spoke about the reduction of air pollution and the health benefits that can be expected under a number of climate scenarios. He pointed out that the most efficient programmes for reducing GHG emissions are also programmes for clean air, and added that there is strong evidence to suggest that current air pollution is a significant cause of premature death. He cited results from a Swiss study, showing that a 25% reduction in fossil fuel-related CO2 emissions may result in the prevention of approximately 1,300 deaths annually. 

Corrado Clini, Ministry of the Environment, Italy, indicated that his national programme for GHG mitigation helps the country meet targets for the reduction of emissions of volatile organic compounds, NOx, SO2 and particulates.

Carlos Dora, WHO-European Centre for Environment and Health, spoke on transportation policies designed to combat climate change. He called for integrated strategies to tackle both the environmental and health impacts of transport. He cited the example of diesel engine cars, which emit fewer GHGs than gasoline engines but remain one of the most significant sources of particulates. Recalling fuel protests in Europe, he called for effective communication of the health advantages of sustainable transport strategies. 

Discussion: Participants discussed: health risks in large urban areas, the role of nuclear power, and community-level responses. One representative from a developing country indicated that his country was more motivated by ancillary benefits of mitigation measures than by climate change.

More information: 
World Health Organization, European Regional Office: http://www.who.it
Swiss Report on Climate Change: http://www.proclim.ch/occc/reports_e.html

Roberto Bertollini <[email protected]>
Carlos Dora <[email protected]>

Sustainable development and climate change: African regional programme
presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP, and Ambassador Mailand Christensen, Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At this UNEP event, speakers outlined a Danish-financed pilot project to assess capacity building needs for the implementation of CDM projects in Africa.

Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, invited participants to support UNEP's commitment to the African continent. Ogunlade Davidson, IPCC, briefly outlined the CDM and how it can contribute to several facets of sustainable development. Participants also heard from representatives of the Gambia, Ghana and Uganda, who shared their experiences of the Danish project and described potential future challenges for the implementation of CDM.

More information:
UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment (UCCEE): http://www.uccee.org
UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics: http://www.uneptie.org/home.html
UNEP GRID-Arendal: http://www.grida.no/climate

UNEP climate info: <[email protected]>

Recent results from the European Commission on the science of carbon sinks: international leadership in climate policy negotiations
presented by the European Commission (EC)

Han Dolman, ALTERRA, described the CARBOEUROPE initiative.

At this event the report, Accounting for carbon sinks in the Biosphere, European perspective, published by the CARBOEUROPE research initiative, was launched by Anver Ghazi, European Commission, Brussels. Presenting the findings, Han Dolman, ALTERRA, The Netherlands, demonstrated that it is more important to preserve existing forests than to plant new ones. He said that "new" forests could temporarily absorb additional CO2, providing 15-100 years of "bought time" for implementing alternative GHG emissions reductions measures. Dirk Van Spreybroeck, Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO), Belgium, described the C-Fix satellite-based budgeting tool. He explained that the objective of the tool is to quantify the carbon balance of vegetation versus emissions at global, continental and regional levels. He described the C-Fix as a refined, simple and pragmatic model. 

Introducing the European Union perspective on climate change, Michael Grubb, Imperial College, London, presented the book, Climate change and European leadership: a sustainable role for Europe? In the publication, Grubb and co-author, Joyeeta Gupta, recommend �If Europe is to exert effective leadership, the EU and its Member States must be prepared to ratify and implement the Protocol on its own merits, and work globally to bring it into force around 2002, which is likely to require ratifying in advance of the US." The analysis, he mused, suggests that this approach will require a degree of political will and sophistication not previously demonstrated by the EU.

Discussion: Participants raised concerns regarding: the C-Fix model and monitoring of tropical forests; the role of soil resource data; the satellite resolution potential available for monitoring afforestation, reforestation and deforestation activities; the limitations of inverse models; monitoring of forest fires; and the Hadley Center's research on terrestrial sinks and their transition to carbon sources.

More information:
For copies of the report, contact Annette Freibauer <[email protected]>
ALTERRA: http://www.alterra.wageningen-ur.nl
Imperial College: http://www.huxley.ic.uk
VITO: http://www.vito.be
The Hadley Center: http://www.meto.govt.uk/sec5/sec5pg1.html
EU: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/

Anver Ghazi <[email protected]>
Han Dolman <[email protected]>
Michael Grubb <[email protected]>

Africa Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED) initiative
presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation (UNF)

Klaus T�pfer, UNEP, announced that the next UNEP Governing Council meeting, in April 2001, will discuss renewable energy activities. 
Mark Rada, UNEP, presented the African Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED) initiative to promote sustainable energy enterprises and meet the energy needs of the rural poor. AREED provides enterprise development training on clean, efficient and renewable technologies. He highlighted AREED efforts to engage local NGOs in identifying potential energy projects. The AREED initiative also works with financial institutions in assessing the rural energy sector and integrating projects into institutional portfolios.

Youba Sokona, ENDA, welcomed AREED as a practical approach to promoting sustainable rural energy in Africa. He described AREED as a tool to broaden access to energy services while achieving equity, economic efficiency and improved local capacity.

Xiaodong Wang, UNF, highlighted his organization�s climate change programme objective to identify win-win opportunities in community-based renewable energy projects.

Christine Eibs Singer, E & Co., explained this non-profit energy investment company's role in assisting renewable energy distribution projects in Ghana and Senegal. The company provides finance and support to start-up businesses involved in rural energy projects.

Klaus T�pfer, UNEP, highlighted AREED's commitment to working on both the supply and demand sides of the sustainable energy equation.

Discussion: Participants raised the need to link available funds with human capacity and to ensure equitable diffusion of renewable energy benefits.

More information:

Experimental evidence in emissions trading
presented by the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute (GISPRI) and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)

Tatsuo Saijo, Osaka University, discusses carbon credit price-setting scenarios. 

The results of three simulation experiments, in which players adopted the role of emissions traders, were presented at this workshop convened by GISPRI and the IEEJ. 

Peter Bohm, Stockholm University, outlined his research on cost-effective scenarios for international emissions trading. Using a role-play experiment, he found that cost-effective trading requires the participation of all countries and can avoid some of the problems associated with the CDM such as high transaction costs and setting baselines.

Tatsuyoshi Saijo, Osaka University, analyzed emissions trading from both the buyer and seller country perspectives in a presentation entitled "GHG Emission Trading Experiments: Trading Methods, Non-Compliance Penalty and Abatement Irreversibility." Saijo noted that domestic emissions reductions taken early in the simulation resulted in poor overall cost efficiency, and that emissions banking is an important device in stabilizing initial market price fluctuations.

Richard Baron, International Energy Agency, presented a simulation using the Protocol rules on liability, and the mandatory reporting of national inventories as a framework. The simulation showed a 60% drop in the cost of emissions reduction compared to a no-trading scenario, and a competitive price variation.

Discussion: Questions addressed: experimental set-up; changes in the market price for credits in response to changes in emission levels; and the difficulties of reflecting the politically sensitive challenges of compliance in a model.

More information: 
Saijo's research paper: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/~saijo/index-e.html
IEA simulation materials: http://www.iea.org/simulation (username: trading, password: leffe)

Peter Bohm <[email protected]>
Tatsuyoshi Saijo <[email protected]>
Richard Baron <[email protected]>
Jonathon Pershing <[email protected]>

Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol: limiting costs, assuring effort, and encouraging ratification
presented by Resources For the Future (RFF)

Warwick McKibbin, The Brookings Institution, and Raymond Kopp, RFF. McKibbin outlined a medium term alternative to a full scale international trading regime.

Raymond Kopp, RFF, explained that this event was the result of several dialogues which took place in France earlier this year. Jean-Charles Hourcade, Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le D�veloppement, highlighted disagreements between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). He explained that the EU views flexible mechanisms as supplementary to domestic actions, while the US is concerned about the costs of compliance. Richard Morgenstern, RFF, outlined a proposal that would increase the prospects that emissions reduction targets could be achieved by incorporating ways to make all flexible mechanisms equally attractive and specifying an advance payment per tonne if a nation falls short of its Kyoto Protocol commitment.

Warwick McKibbin, The Brookings Institution, noted the enormous complexity of establishing an international framework and the uncertainty regarding the costs of compliance. He advocated a medium term solution in which the permit price, the short run costs of carbon emissions, would be capped across all countries. Countries would not trade internationally, and thus no international institutions would have to be set up. Concurrently an endowment would be set up to give the owner an emissions permit in perpetuity. A government would not be allowed to issue more endowments after initial allocation, but could buy back endowments in future years if the target for emissions was to be tightened. He noted that several countries, including the US and Australia, have the necessary institutions already in place.

More information:
Resources For the Future: http://www.rff.org
McKibbin proposal: http://www.sensiblepolicy.com

Raymond Kopp <[email protected]>
Richard Morgenstern <[email protected]>
Warwick McKibbin <[email protected]>

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