published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the Climate Change Secretariat.
Special Report on Selected Side Events at SB 22
19-27 May 2005 | Bonn, Germany
Daily Web Coverage & Daily Reports:
Thursday 19
Friday 20
Saturday 21
Monday 23
Tuesday 24
Wednesday 25
Thursday 26
Brief Analysis

Events convened on Saturday, 21 May 2005

Earth observations: The GEO initiative is underway

Presented by the US

Ikuko Kuriyama, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, explained that the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) initiative originated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the June 2003 G8 summit. She outlined the various earth observation summits and ad hoc GEO meetings held to date and their outcomes, and indicated that the co-chairs of the GEO are the US, the EC, Japan and South Africa. She called for the development of a 10 year implementation plan for establishing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and enhanced cooperation between the UNFCCC and the GEO initiative.

Tobias Berthold Fuchs, European Commission, presented the outcomes of the GEO meetings held in 2005, noting that the sixth GEO ad hoc meeting had approved the draft 10 year implementation plan that was formally adopted at the third Earth Observation Summit last February. He indicated that the GEO Secretariat had recently been relocated to Geneva, at the World Meteorological Organization. He explained that the third Earth Observation Summit had established the intergovernmental GEO, the successor to the ad hoc GEO, in order to implement the GEOSS. He listed future challenges, inter alia, developing the GEO work plan for 2006 and financing of the Secretariat.

Linda Moodie, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the GEOSS aims to integrate all observation systems for nine societal benefit areas, namely: energy management; climate; disasters; weather; agriculture; water; health; ecosystems; and biodiversity. Stressing that the GEOSS will not supplant existing observation systems, she indicated that it will provide an overall conceptual and organizational framework to build towards an integrated earth observation system, identify gaps in the global observation capacity, and facilitate information exchange. She underscored that the GEOSS will need to be flexible and responsive to changing needs in order to be sustainable. She stated that the GEOSS’ success will depend on data providers accepting and implementing interoperability arrangements and that the societal benefits of earth observations cannot be achieved without data sharing.

Discussion: Participants welcomed the GEO's contribution to the establishment of an early warning system for the Indian Ocean, and underlined the importance of drawing high level attention to other natural disasters. Other issues addressed included: ensuring data access to all; capacity-building programmes on accessing and using earth observation data; and coordinating ministries nationally on earth observation.

Linda Moodie, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the GEOSS will range across the processing cycle from primary observation to information production
Ikuko Kuriyama, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, stated that the development of a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained earth observation system will further the implementation of our environmental treaty obligations
Ikuko Kuriyama <[email protected]>
Tobias Berthold Fuchs <[email protected]>
Linda Moodie <[email protected]>

CDM: Lessons learned and future options

Presented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development

Aaron Cosbey, IISD, presented the first phase of IISD’s findings in its “Realizing the Development Dividend” project on the CDM. He outlined policy recommendations across five themes, namely: CDM EB operations and the CDM project cycle; changing the rules of the CDM; engaging official development assistance and financial investments; the CDM post 2012; and defining sustainable development. Agus Sari, Pelangi Institute, emphasized that lack of institutional capacity and resources have hindered sustainable development in the past. He suggested ways that the CDM could aid sustainable development but added that renewable energy and energy efficiency projects are often seen as risky.

John Drexhage, IISD, presented the findings of IISD’s collaborative study of the application of the CDM in Chile’s transportation sector, including that: the CDM should accommodate policy-based and sectoral approaches; the project-based framework required by the CDM rules is hindering quantification; and most transportation projects are ill-suited to the CDM as it currently functions.

Javier Garcia, National Environment Commission, Chile, discussed the barriers faced by small-scale CDM projects including financial, legal, administrative and market barriers, and the CDM process itself. He said there is a need for bundling small-scale projects and for resources to assist project development. Dinesh Babu, Asia Carbon International, said only companies with strong balance sheets can finance project development, and that there are insufficient ideas and promoters for small community projects.

Discussion: Participants discussed: the policy-based approach to CDM projects; the high cost of reducing emissions in the transportation sector; general lessons for running Designated National Authorities; and how a sectoral approach could help develop successful CDM projects.

Aaron Cosbey, IISD, explained that the IISD’s “Realizing the Development Dividend” project on the CDM aims to consider the quality, quantity and equity of CDM projects
Aaron Cosbey <[email protected]>
Agus Sari <[email protected]>
John Drexhage <[email protected]>
Javier Garcia <[email protected]>
Dinesh Babu <[email protected]>
Sushma Gera <[email protected]>

Updates on the CRF reporter software and training programme for GHG inventory review experts

Presented by the UNFCCC

Javier Hanna Figueroa, UNFCCC, outlined the Secretariat’s activities to develop and implement a training programme for greenhouse gas inventory Expert Review Team (ERT) members. He underscored the importance of training the ERTs to ensure the consistent review of the greenhouse gas inventories. He explained that the basic course for the review of Annex I Parties’ inventories is the most important one and outlined course activities, examinations, and future plans. He considered the training a success with 50 new experts integrated into ERTs in 2005, bringing their total number to 160.

James Grabert, UNFCCC, indicated that COP8 requested the Secretariat to develop a new software for reporting in the common reporting format (CRF) to facilitate parties’ inventory submissions. He noted that the initial version of the software was deployed to 41 Annex I Parties in December 2004, and that 11 parties are actively using the CRF software for their 2005 submissions. He highlighted that all Annex I parties should use the CRF Reporter (version 2), deployed later this year, for reporting their inventories in 2006. He noted that the CRF software incorporates all substantive requirements of the revised CRF thus allowing Parties to meet reporting commitments. He explained that reporting in multiple software formats leads to comparability difficulties and increases the Secretariat’s workload. Grabert highlighted online user support for the software and informal technical workshops, and noted that the Secretariat is planning to host a hands-on user workshop on the version 2 software at the end of September.

Discussions focused on reporting using the CRF software and the sufficiency of experts for ERTs and their geographical distribution.

Javier Hanna Figueroa, UNFCCC, said training of Expert Review Team members also enhances the quality of national inventories
More information:
Javier Hanna Figueroa <[email protected]>
James Grabert <[email protected]>

Implementing the Global Ocean Observing System for Climate

Presented by the World Meteorological Organization

Keith Alverson, Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS), highlighted gaps in the GOOS including: implementing the remainder of the observation system; developing technology for observing the polar regions; involving developing countries; researching coastal zones, and the chemistry and biology of oceans; and integrating ocean observation data.

Paul Mason, Global Climate Observation System (GCOS), underscored the impact of oceans on climate variability and outlined ongoing issues in the ocean component of the GCOS, including: the organization of ocean observation at national and international levels; inadequate coverage of the ocean system; insufficient subsurface observations; and the high dependence of ocean observation on research.

Edward Harrison, Ocean Observations Panel for Climate, emphasized that additional knowledge is needed on how oceans affect climate variability and that the core challenge is sustaining global ocean observation. He called on countries to: enhance global and regional cooperation; ensure open data exchange; make use of modern technology; and match resources to necessary activities. Harrison also discussed: ocean variability; the effects of El Niño; the oceans’ estimated anthropogenic carbon uptake; sea ice and sea levels; and catastrophic oceanic changes.

Albert Fischer, GOOS, outlined the Implementation Plan for the GCOS, noting that half its goals have been completed but that full completion by 2010 will require additional investment and improved planning and coordination. He also discussed the use of Argo profiling floats and sea level stations in ocean observation, the role of the research community in ocean observation, and the continuity of satellite observations.

Discussion: Participants discussed the Global Earth Observing System, ice sheet disintegration, the GCOS Implementation Plan, coordination with natural hazard warning systems, ocean acidification, and the coastal module of GOOS.

Keith Alverson, GOOS, said we have a well-planned ocean observation system but that gaps remain in its implementation
Keith Alverson <[email protected]>
Paul Mason <[email protected]>
Edward Harrison <[email protected]>
Albert Fischer <[email protected]>

Toolkits for adaptation to climate change

Presented by the World Bank

Thomas Downing, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), considered different methodologies employed in choosing adaptation tools. He stressed that in identifying the goals, “analytical teams” and vulnerabilities are essential at the screening stage. He emphasized that methods should be coherent at the local and national levels and link over time.

Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, focused on integrating institutional and policy issues into adaptation tools. He indicated that difficulties may arise when choosing experts, accounting for national plans, and integrating poverty reduction strategies. He emphasized the importance of linking sectors, institutions and stakeholders at all levels, and the need to consider how policies are developed and how implementation takes place.

Jo-Ellen Parry, IISD, presented the livelihoods and climate change adaptation tool developed by IISD, SEI, World Conservation Union (IUCN), and Intercooperation. She said the rationale of the tool is for community-level projects to improve adaptive capacities. She explained that in creating the tool, the developers drew on, inter alia, environmental impact assessment models and individual project activities.

Ian Noble, World Bank, demonstrated a World Bank screening and design tool for considering adaptation to climate change. He said the World Bank developed the tool to be used by project developers and assessors, and NGOs, but not by decision-makers at the community level. He indicated that the purpose of the tool is to provide a preliminary check of issues that might arise during project design or implementation. He highlighted that the tool will be open-ended so that it can adapt to specific projects.

Discussion: Participants raised specific questions on: the tools demonstrated; how to bring the human factor into the models; and whether the tools were too complicated for use at the local level.

Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, said that the best method for adaptation is mitigation
Thomas Downing <[email protected]>
Atiq Rahman <[email protected]>
Jo-Ellen Parry <[email protected]>
Ian Noble <[email protected]>

The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC: An ethical argument

Presented by Germany

Highlighting the necessity of value judgements, Konrad Ott, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, said cost-benefit analysis should not be a decisive criterion for climate policy. He highlighted that most ethical theories support low or very low carbon stabilization levels and suggested 450 parts per million (ppm) as an ethically justified target. He noted that most theories of distributive justice favor equality and that ethical argumentation supports the “contraction and convergence” approach to emission allowances.

Gernot Klepper, Kiel Institute for World Economics, explored the three constraints listed in Article 2 of the UNFCCC, namely ecosystem adaptation, food security, and sustainable economic growth. He discussed an evaluation matrix where the three constraints are interpreted in light of their regional scope, uncertainty, distributional effects and inter-temporal issues. He highlighted the need to make value judgments based on ethical principles for interpreting the three constraints and their trade-offs.

In outlining the German Advisory Council’s views on climate policy, Patrick Matschoss, German Advisory Council on the Environment, noted the 2C global warming target and proposed that the global carbon concentration target should be 450 ppm. He underscored that industrialized countries must reduce emissions more than the world average. Indicating that about half of Germany’s energy generation capacity must be replaced by 2030, he noted that new eco-technologies are essential to achieve the UNFCCC’s objective.

Discussion: Participants discussed the impact of population growth, economic activities and the right to cultural identity on the 450 ppm stabilization goal. In discussing whether economic growth can be equated with sustainability Klepper said he does not believe that environmental constraints make economic growth impossible.

Konrad Ott, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, said the battle over climate change is not over but just beginning
Konrad Ott <[email protected]>
Gernot Klepper <[email protected]>
Patrick Matschoss <[email protected]>
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. This issue has been written by Ingrid Barnsley, Alice Bisiaux, Maria Larsson Ortino, and Kati Kulovesi. The photographer is Leila Mead. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Lisa Schipper, Ph.D. <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at UNFCCC SB 22 is provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from SB 22 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at SB 22 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

Back to daily coverage
Click the above button to go back to our ENB main coverage

Digimarc and the Digimarc logo are registered trademarks of Digimarc Corporation.  The "Digimarc Digital Watermarking" Web Button is a trademark of Digimarc Corporation, used with permission.

! Please e-mail the Digital editor should you have any questions regarding the content of this page.

| Back to Linkages home | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to ENB |
© 2005,  IISD. All rights reserved.