Daily report for 13 June 2002

16th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 16)

SBSTA met in morning and evening sessions to consider the draft conclusions on its agenda items. Parties agreed to conclusions on guidelines on reporting and review of greenhouse gas inventories from Annex I Parties, Protocol Articles 5 (methodological issues), 7 (communication of information), and 8 (review of information), activities implemented jointly (AIJ), development of good practice guidance and other information for LULUCF, and development of definitions and modalities for LULUCF under the CDM. They also adopted conclusions on technology transfer, efforts to protect the ozone layer and to safeguard the global climate system, policies and measures (P&Ms), UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), the special circumstances of Croatia under UNFCCC Article 4.6 (flexibility for EITs), issues relating to cleaner or less greenhouse gas-emitting energy, and implementation of Protocol Article 2.3 (adverse effects of P&Ms).

SBSTA did not reach agreement on the IPCC TAR, or on elements of cooperation with relevant international organizations, and will reconvene to take up these matters on Friday.


METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Chair Thorgeirsson asked contact group Co-Chair Newton Paciornik (Brazil) to report on draft conclusions on guidelines on reporting and review of greenhouse gas inventories from Annex I Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.5 and Add.1 and Add.2). Co-Chair Paciornik noted that the group had eliminated redundancies and identified gaps in the guidelines, leading to more consistent, accurate and complete greenhouse gas inventories. The SBSTA adopted the conclusions, which include annexes containing two draft COP-8 decisions on revisions to the guidelines for the preparation of Annex I national communications, and on revisions to the UNFCCC guidelines for the technical review of Annex I greenhouse gas inventories. SWITZERLAND noted the absence of principles on carbon storage reporting, and accounting of assigned amounts under the Protocol, and Chair Thorgeirsson said the matter would be noted in the sessions report.

Articles 5, 7 and 8: Contact group Co-Chair Festus Luboyera (South Africa) noted that the contact group had considered all issues under the agenda item and produced SBSTA conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.6 and Add.1). He said the group had approved a draft COP-8 decision on demonstrable progress, and that a draft COP-8 decision including guidelines for the reinstatement of eligibility to use the mechanisms had been agreed, with the exception of the time frames. Murray Ward (New Zealand) reported on informal consultations he had conducted on technical standards for registries, and said a document would be available later in the day. SBSTA adopted the conclusions in their entirety.

AIJ: Contact group Co-Chair Mamadou Honadia (Burkina Faso) noted that the group had met twice formally and once informally, and had concluded discussion of the revised uniform reporting format (URF). He introduced the draft conclusions and draft COP-8 decision, including the revised URF annexed to the decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.2 and Add. 1). Delegates adopted the conclusions, with an amendment to the title of the part of the URF on capacity building and technology transfer.

Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF: Chair Thorgeirsson presented draft conclusions on the development of good practice guidance and other information for LULUCF (FCCC/SBSTA/ 2002/CRP.2). The conclusions, which welcome progress made by the IPCC in the development of LULUCF good practice guidance and in the completion of its work by COP-9 (11/CP.7), were adopted without amendment.

LULUCF under the CDM: Contact group Co-Chair Karsten Sach (Germany) said the group had produced and agreed on the TOR and agenda for work on definitions and modalities for afforestation and reforestation under the CDM during the first commitment period. He introduced the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/ 2002/L.8), which the SBSTA adopted after including some minor editorial changes. TUVALU expressed disappointment that the SBSTA had failed to agree on the definitions on afforestation and reforestation, noting that these definitions had been adopted in a COP-7 decision (11/CP.7). He stated that if the COP-7 decision is reopened then he would introduce a number of new definitions under Protocol Article 3.3 and 3.4 (LULUCF).

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Chair Thorgeirsson explained that he had asked Terry Carrington (UK) and Philip Gwage (Uganda) to prepare draft conclusions on this item in consultation with interested Parties. Terry Carrington informed the SBSTA that four meetings had been convened to consider the reports of two relevant workshops (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/INF.6 and INF.7) and the proposed work programme for the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) for 2002-2003 (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/ CRP.1). He highlighted useful discussions on the EGTTs work, and said this had resulted in several modifications to the work programme, which appears as an annex to the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.9). Parties then adopted the draft conclusions.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OZONE AND CLIMATE EFFORTS: Chair Thorgeirsson indicated that informal conclusions had been conducted by Richard Bradley (US), who then briefed Parties on these discussions, noting agreement on the value of a balanced information package and a process for recommending a draft decision at SB-17 for COP-8. He informed the SBSTA that agreement had been reached the previous night, with the exception of a G-77/CHINA proposal to amend three references in the text to relate specifically to "Annex I" Parties.

Following further informal consultations on this proposal, Richard Bradley reported on a compromise whereby reference to Annex I Parties had been inserted in one paragraph, while another paragraph had been altered to encourage government-stakeholder dialogue to advance information sharing "regarding replacement options for ozone-depleting substances in a manner that contributes to the objectives of the Montreal Protocol and the UNFCCC." In another paragraph, the reference to Parties had been removed so that only "relevant organizations" were encouraged to make policy-neutral information available. The SBSTA adopted the draft conclusions, as amended.

POLICIES AND MEASURES: Contact group Co-Chair Pierre Giroux (Canada) reported agreement in the group on text for the draft conclusions, with the exception of a paragraph proposed by the G-77/China on principles for addressing P&Ms, which remained bracketed. Following further consultations, Chair Thorgeirsson reported that a compromise had been reached, with the proposed paragraph on principles and another referring to paragraphs 1-5 of the relevant COP-7 decision (13/CP.7) being removed, and a new paragraph being inserted. He explained that this new paragraph states that "the SBSTA concluded that consideration of further action on this agenda item shall be based on the approaches outlined in decision 13/CP.7." The draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.10) were adopted, as amended.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Cooperation with Scientific Organizations: Chair Thorgeirsson recalled that informal consultations had been conducted by Sue Barrell (Australia) and David Lesolle (Botswana). Sue Barrell informed delegates that the meetings had resulted in draft conclusions that included agreement on the urgency of implementing action plans developed from regional workshops, and that identified priority areas of concern in the global monitoring systems for climate. Delegates adopted the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.3) without amendment.

Cooperation with Other Conventions: On cooperation with other conventions, Chair Thorgeirsson noted that Clare Breidenich (US) and Yvette Aguilar (El Salvador) had convened informal consultations. Clare Breidenich said the discussions had concluded with agreement on draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.3), which included text reconfirming the mandate of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) of the UNFCCC, Convention on Biological Diversity and UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The SBSTA adopted the draft conclusions.

Cooperation with UN Bodies: Chair Thorgeirsson introduced the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/CRP.4). The US said he preferred deferring consideration of the methodological aspects related to emissions from international transport from SB-17 to SB-18. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by MAURITIUS for the G-77/ CHINA, said Parties should respect the "gentlemans agreement" with ICAO, and should only take up methodological issues further if ICAO considers that SBSTA has the expertise to do so. The EU disagreed with this position. Chair Thorgeirsson recalled a COP-5 decision (18/CP.5) requesting SBSTA to continue its work on methodological issues relating to fuel use in international transport. The G-77/CHINA suggested adding a paragraph in which SBSTA would bring to the attention of ICAO and IMO the fact that non-Annex I Parties do not have greenhouse gas reduction targets. SBSTA was suspended for informal discussions with a view to reaching consensus on the draft conclusions.

Upon reconvening, the US read proposed text replacing the disputed paragraph that sets the timeframe for consideration of the matter for SB-18. SAUDI ARABIA disagreed with the timeframe and suggested SB-20. Discussion on the issue was deferred until Friday.

ARTICLE 6: Contact group Co-Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium) presented the results of his groups work on preparing a work programme on Article 6 and introduced the draft conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.11 and Add. 1). He noted the lack of attention to the Article 6 in the UNFCCC process. On future work, he said Parties would be invited to submit views on the work programme by 20 August for compilation into a miscellaneous document for further consideration at SBSTA-17, and for possible adoption at COP-8. Co-Chair S. N. Sok Appadu (Mauritius) appealed to Parties to send comments and complete their work in a timely manner. BOTSWANA, for the G-77/CHINA, proposed an amendment to the conclusions to reaffirm the need for a work programme, taking into account national circumstances and the availability of resources. He also requested that the conclusions be amended to reflect that the SBSTA "took note of," rather than "formulated," the annexed draft decision on the Article 6 work programme. The SBSTA adopted the conclusions as amended.

OTHER MATTERS: Special Circumstances of Croatia: On special circumstances of Croatia under Convention Article 4.6 (flexibility for EITs) Co-Chair Jim Penman (UK) introduced draft conclusions, noting that the contact group had considered methodological issues. SBSTA adopted the draft conclusions (FCCC/ SBSTA/2002/L.7) without amendment, forwarding the matter to SBSTA-17 for further consideration, with a view to advising the SBI at its seventeenth session.

Cleaner or Less Greenhouse Gas-Emitting Energy: Chair Thorgeirsson introduced draft conclusions on this matter (FCCC/ SBSTA/2002/CRP.5), which the SBSTA adopted as presented.

Implementation of Article 2.3: On Protocol Article 2.3, Chair Thorgeirsson indicated that Parties had reached consensus, and the draft conclusions were adopted without amendment (FCCC/ SBSTA/2002/CRP.6).

IPCC TAR: Chair Thorgeirsson asked the Co-Chairs of the contact group to report on their work. Co-Chair David Warrilow said "excellent" progress had been made in six open meetings and two closed informal consultations. He said some paragraphs remained bracketed, however, and noted that one Party had proposed an addition that had not been supported in the group.

Chair Thorgeirsson read a modified version of a paragraph inviting the SBI to consider the TAR in its guidance to the financial mechanism, and invited Parties to adopt the conclusions. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, supported by UKRAINE and opposed by the US, proposed the inclusion of additional text in which SBSTA draws "attention to the need for additional research on concentration of greenhouse gases which might have an impact on the climate change system."

SAUDI ARABIA said the process of negotiation in the contact group had been unfair, and objected to the document on principle. Chair Thorgeirsson said concerns about negotiating procedure should be raised in SBI, not in SBSTA. He requested the contact group Co-Chairs to reconvene in informal negotiations and report back to SBSTA on Friday.


On the meetings penultimate day, many observers were disappointed that the SBSTA failed to conclude as scheduled. Once again, the politicization of a supposedly technical meeting nearly ran discussions into the ground. One participant commented on the inseparability of politics and science, noting the great controversy surrounding the TAR. Others remarked that certain lobbyists, seen in intense discussion with a number of delegations, might have "thrown a spanner in the works."


SBI: SBI will meet at 10:00 am in Plenary I and continue at 3:00 pm to consider its draft conclusions.

SBSTA: SBSTA will convene upon the conclusion of SBI to consider draft conclusions on outstanding agenda items.

Further information