Report of main proceedings for 14 February 1995

11th Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC/FCCC)

WORKING GROUP I

In a debate punctuated by arguments among developing countries, and between alldelegates and the Chair, informal consultations continued on the Co-Chairs" draftdecisions on the roles of the subsidiary bodies and the first review of nationalcommunications The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives calledfor the inclusion of local authorities and recommended that the COP establish a localauthorities" advisory committee with access to Convention. AGENDA ITEM 7(e)" SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China,said that a majority of the Group wished to delete "of the in-depth review reports"from the first bullet under "Functions to be carried out by the Subsidiary Body forImplementation...." The Chair noted this was the first time he had heard a G-77position expressed when no consensus existed. The US, supported by Denmark,France, Japan and Italy, preferred the existing language. Uruguay added that a broadmajority of developing countries had agreed to retain the phrase. Senegal objected.China, supporting the Philippines, said that an in-depth review is not a Conventionterm and would require costly meetings. He also cited a Greenpeace study callingcurrent measures and projections inadequate. The Co-Chair said he was embarrassedthat the lack of consensus within the G-77 had affected the discussion, but thePhilippines said G-77 members were speaking their minds without malice. The Co-Chair recommended retaining the language and referring the matter to the COP. ThePhilippines, speaking only for his delegation, and supported by China and SaudiArabia, suggested bracketing the phrase. The Chair noted that the Rules of Proceduredo not permit opening previous decisions, and that Parties could refer to the matter inPlenary. France, on behalf of the EU, and supported by the US, Denmark, theNetherlands and the UK, agreed to revisit the issue in Plenary, but opposed re-openingprevious decisions.

The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, asked to delete the reference tofuture protocols or amendments from the last bullet on page 5, relating to the effectsof steps under current commitments. Denmark and Canada objected. The Chair saidthe language should remain as is but could be revisited by the COP. The Philippinesasked that the Plenary consider the decision.

The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, changed the second to last bullet inAppendix I on providing recommendations to the COP on responses to the review ofthe adequacy of commitments and their implementation. France, the Netherlands,Denmark, Switzerland, Canada and the US objected. The Philippines asked that areasof disagreement be noted.

In Appendix II, the G-77 and China added a paragraph before the existing (a) to read:"Stress to the IPCC the importance of completing its second assessment report, whichis expected to address, on a scientific basis, both certainties and uncertaintiesregarding the causes, effects, magnitudes, and timing of climate change, in conformitywith Article 4.1(g)." The US suggested the recommendation would be better orientedtoward the COP. The EU questioned whether the paragraph would give improperpolitical advice to the IPCC. Uruguay said the proposal emphasized the scientificnature of the IPCC, but that the authority of subsidiary bodies over the IPCC neededto be clear. The Netherlands said the IPCC should remain independent and not receiveinstructions from the COP. China said the Convention"s existence changes the IPCC,and the IPCC has to respond to requests from the Secretariat.

In Appendix III, the US added "intergovernmental" to the table wherever "technicaladvisory panels" appears. He also suggested adding a paragraph in Appendix II,section 1(e) to hold a workshop, which would be open to all Parties and interestednon-governmental participants, on non-governmental advisory committees and/or abusiness consultative mechanism in the January 1996 session of SBSTA. ThePhilippines and China noted that developing countries would need funding to attend.

The Philippines added two paragraphs under Appendix II, paragraph 1(a). The Chairsaid the Philippines" language was operational and has no place in this text. ThePhilippines expressed resentment that he had not been allowed to finish. The Chairsaid he was using his prerogatives to prevent another embarrassment. The Philippinessaid that the two paragraphs should be discussed.

After a recess, the Philippines apologized and read the two paragraphs to add underAppendix 2(a): "The detailed description of their policies and measures to implementtheir commitments under Article 4.2(a) and (b) in accordance with Article 12.2 of theConvention" and "the detailed description of their policies and measures to implementtheir commitments under Article 4.5 in accordance with Article 12.3 of theConvention." The UK, supported by Denmark and the US, said the language would bemore suitable in the decision on national communications. The Chair directed thatparagraph 1(a) of Appendix II be written as a separate decision and that the US andPhilippines consult on 1(e).

After another break, delegates continued their review of communications from Annex IParties at 7:00 pm. In 1(a), the EU said flexibility was possible on the date of thesecond national communication but preferred not to set a precedent. Hungary inserted"revised" before "guidelines" and added in paragraph 5 "with a view to enhancing thecomparability and focus of communications," which was amended further by theNetherlands. The US suggestion "with guidelines, revised as appropriate" wasaccepted. In 1(b), the EU added a reference to annual inventories, particularly on CO2.Uruguay suggested submission of annual reports after 1997. Canada supported theexisting text. The US, supported by the UK, asked whether it was possible to have asingle submission for inventory and communication reporting. Argentina addedreference to Annex I Parties that have not submitted communications. In paragraph 7,the EU"s reference to collaboration between the Secretariat, non-Annex I Parties, theGEF and the subsidiary bodies was rejected by the US. The G-77 and China neededtime to consult on paragraphs 7 and 8. In paragraph 9, the US questioned the financialimplications of transmission and distribution of communications and preferred a moregeneral reference. Discussions were expected to continue.

WORKING GROUP II

Working Group II addressed maintenance of interim arrangements and guidance to thefinancial mechanism, reporting by non-Annex I Parties, modalities and technologytransfer.

AGENDA ITEM 8(b) " MAINTENANCE OF INTERIMARRANGEMENTS FOR THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM: Delegatesadopted A/AC.237/WG.II/L.9, a draft decision submitted by the Co-Chairs to maintaininterim arrangements with the GEF.

AGENDA ITEM 8(a)(i) " GUIDANCE TO THE FINANCIALMECHANISM: The Contact Group completed its negotiations on the first fourparagraphs of A/AC.237/Misc.41 on Monday. The text was approved.

COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION FROM NON-ANNEX IPARTIES: Delegates then discussed the G-77/China paper on communication ofinformation by non-Annex I Parties (A/AC.247/Misc.40). France, on behalf of the EU,proposed that the Interim Secretariat, in cooperation with the GEF Secretariat andinterested non-Annex I Parties, draw up guidelines for national communications bydeveloping countries to be endorsed at COP-1. The G-77 and China said that there arevarying capabilities among developing countries and that it would be difficult tosubject them to a format. Germany suggested that provisional guidelines could beadopted to guarantee comparability, with longer term guidelines to be adopted atCOP-2. Algeria said that many developing countries need strengthened capacities togather statistics. The Chair noted that adoption of the guidelines at COP-1 is too early,however, developing country Parties have to submit communications within three yearsof entry into force. Zaire has been gathering information but needs a model forguidance. India suggested renewing the developing countries" commitment to develop aguidelines after COP-1. South Africa agreed with the UK that countries shoulddistribute a proposed national policy so that the COP could work with it.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The Co-Chair then invited comments onA/AC.237/Misc.41. The G-77, supported by China, Colombia and Algeria, stated thatthe idea is to enable developing countries, not to provide technology alone. Colombiacommented that this issue was a problem for other conventions, none of which haveagreed on the means of implementation. China suggested that the Secretariat developan inventory of technology transferable at no cost, and Algeria requested that theSecretariat develop practical means for implementing technology transfer for COP-1.The EU stated that institutional capacity building in developing countries is crucial,and that technology transfer efforts should concentrate on industry, agriculture andtransport sectors. WWF stressed that new initiatives should not substitute for action inthe industrialized countries and the need for clear strategies.

AGENDA ITEM 8(a)(ii) " MODALITIES: The Co-Chair invitedcomment on documents A/AC.237/87 and A/AC.237/WG.II/L.10, the draft decisionrequesting the GEF Secretariat and Convention Secretariat to draft an arrangement.The G-77 and China stated a preference for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)and proposed an amendment for paragraph 25 on amounts of funding. The Co-Chairsuggested inserting the phrase "taking into account comments made by the G-77" intothe final draft paragraph.

AGENDA ITEM 9 " PROVISION TO DEVELOPING COUNTRYPARTIES OF TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: The Co-Chairopened the floor for comments on A/AC.237/90 and the addenda on the ClimateConvention cooperation programme (CC:COPE), the joint training programme(CC:TRAIN) and the Climate Change information exchange programme (CC:INFO).France, on behalf of the EU, suggested that UNEP and UNITAR administer and fundthe programmes with oversight by the Secretariat. UNEP commented it could not fundthese programmes under its current budget. The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77,stressed the importance of these programmes in the success of the Convention.Lithuania commented on the success of CC:TRAIN in helping prepare its nationalcommunication and for promoting ratification. The US requested detaileddocumentation of programme spending and accomplishments.

PLENARY

The Plenary met at 4:00 pm in an informal session to discuss the Rules of Procedure.The Chair, T.P. Sreenivasan, distributed two non-papers from Monday"s drafting group.The first contains the bracketed rules and the second one contains new proposals. Rule6 (Observers) and Rule 27 (Subsidiary Bodies) were accepted.

RULE 4 " DATES OF SESSIONS: The drafting group submitted: "TheCOP should endeavour not to hold such a session at a time which would make theattendance of a significant number of delegations difficult." There was no agreementon placement (in paragraph 2 or in a footnote). After Saudi Arabia tried to reinstatelanguage on sacred religious holidays, delegates agreed to retain the compromise textin paragraph 2.

RULES 9-12 " AGENDA: In Rules 9, 10 and 11, the word "draft" wasadded before "provisional agenda." The Russian Federation proposed deleting "draft"from Rules 10 and 11 and reformulating Rule 9: "In agreement with the President, thesecretariat shall draft the provisional agenda of each session." This was accepted. InRule 12, delegates accepted the language adapted from the Biodiversity ConventionRules of Procedure.

RULE 42 " VOTING: Delegates made little progress in resolvingdifferences over the number of votes needed to adopt a protocol. Saudi Arabia andKuwait insisted on a 3/4 majority vote. Trinidad and Tobago and others insisted on a2/3 majority. The Chair put the entire Rule in brackets.

RULE 54 " LANGUAGES: Japan proposed that the official languages ofthe COP should be English, French and Spanish. The Russian Federation and Chinaobjected and threatened to bracket the entire document unless all six UN languages arelisted. The EU and Benin appealed to Japan not to insist, but Japan stood firm. TheChair said that this would be discussed by the Plenary.

NEW PROPOSALS: The Chair announced that the Bureau had agreed theinformal group would not consider the new proposals in Rule 22 (Officers) and Rule27 (Subsidiary Bodies). Venezuela, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia protested andinsisted that their amendments be included in brackets. The EU rejected theseproposals. The Chair said that he would announce in Plenary that new proposals werereceived and are up for consideration.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The Plenary is expected to meet this morning to take up someof the outstanding issues related to the operation of the Permanent Secretariat.

WORKING GROUP I: Working Group I will continue discussion of theproposals from the Co-Chairs on the first review of information by Annex I Parties.The Group will then address other outstanding issues.

WORKING GROUP II: Working Group II is expected to meet thisafternoon to conclude its work on all outstanding issues, including reporting by non-Annex I Parties, modalities, technology transfer and assistance to developing countries.

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