Report of main proceedings for 21 June 2004
20th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 20)
Delegates to SB-20 resumed deliberations on Monday, convening in SBSTA Plenary, numerous contact groups, and two SBSTA events. In Plenary, delegates discussed the two in-session workshops on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change, and scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of mitigation (adaptation and mitigation). SBI contact groups discussed UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), arrangements for intergovernmental meetings, non-Annex I national communications, and capacity building. SBSTA contact groups addressed policies and measures (P&Ms), technology transfer, adaptation and mitigation, and small-scale afforestation and reforestation (A&R) project activities under the CDM.
Two SBSTA events discussed information and research initiatives to address recommendations of the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), and scientific and methodological aspects of the Brazilian Proposal on differentiated emissions reduction targets for Parties according to the impact of their historic emissions on temperature rise.
Chair Benrageb said Tony Surridge (South Africa) would co-chair the contact group on P&Ms with Anders Turesson (Sweden).
ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION: Chair Benrageb reported on the in-session workshops on adaptation and mitigation. SOUTH AFRICA, for the Africa Group, supported by the G-77/CHINA, AOSIS, and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, called for separate contact groups on adaptation and mitigation. JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, the US and EU supported one contact group. AUSTRALIA, with several Parties, suggested future in-session workshops.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION underscored addressing mitigation at the regional level. Many Parties stressed the importance of regional modeling, and noted the importance of integrating sustainable development policies with adaptation measures. The US highlighted innovative technologies. PERU suggested separating short-term needs from long-term effects of climate change. MAURITIUS stressed increasing adaptive capacity of vulnerable Parties. SAUDI ARABIA called for addressing the impacts of response measures.
The INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF TRIBAL PEOPLES OF THE TROPICAL FORESTS emphasized the need to consider the concerns, rights and knowledge of indigenous peoples when developing adaptation strategies. The WORLD AGROFORESTRY CENTER called for broadening the debate beyond a technological focus. Chair Benrageb proposed to have one contact group co-chaired by David Warrilow (UK) and Kok Seng Yap (Malaysia), with separate draft conclusions for each item.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS
UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: Chair Markus Nauser opened discussions on a paper consolidating Parties’ views and guidance to the Secretariat for inclusion in the terms of reference for potential clearing house contractors. The G-77/CHINA called for reference to clear timelines and financial resources, and suggested inviting private sector involvement in the development of the clearing house. Chair Nauser cautioned against setting a schedule, as financing for activities remains unresolved. The G-77/CHINA suggested identifying costs as an initial task, and stressed the importance of ensuring sustained financial flow for activities. The EU, supported by NEW ZEALAND and the G-77/CHINA, suggested proceeding with the call for tenders, while mentioning that any or none may be chosen.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: Chair Karsten Sach presented draft conclusions covering the five agenda sub-items. On arrangements for COP-10, the EU, CANADA and others supported the themes as proposed for discussion in the high-level segment. SAUDI ARABIA, with others, opposed by NORWAY, AOSIS, BURKINA FASO and SOUTH AFRICA, suggested abandoning proposed discussions on energy. The US, supported by the G-77/CHINA, and opposed by the EU, called for reviewing the approach for selecting constituencies. On effective participation in the UNFCCC process, the US, opposed by the EU, called for text clarifying that participation includes physical presence, and suggested reviewing the issue at SBI-22. NORWAY pointed to financial implications of ensuring physical presence of all Parties in all meetings related to the process. Delegates exchanged views on textual proposals regarding participation of indigenous peoples. While some Parties supported exploring opportunities for participation by indigenous peoples, others felt representation on national delegations would be sufficient.
NON-ANNEX I NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Chair Sok Appadu invited delegates to discuss proposals from the US and EU on submission of non-Annex I national communications. Regarding the US proposal, which requests Parties to submit greenhouse gas inventories every two years, BRAZIL, for the G-77/China, with others, raised concerns that the proposal would impose additional costs.
In its proposal, the EU suggested a submission cycle of around 5 years, and emphasized continuity. While agreeing to consider it, the G-77/CHINA stressed that the proposal did not take into account delays in funding disbursement. Parties discussed, inter alia, the GEF funding guidelines and the timing of funds for preparing subsequent national communications, while work on the previous one is being completed.
CAPACITY BUILDING: Continuing negotiations on the draft conclusions, delegates commented on reference to a technical meeting to complete the review of the effectiveness and range of capacity-building activities in developing countries. JAPAN opposed reference that would make the completion of the review conditional on input from such a meeting, while the EU agreed that further work is needed to complete the review. She suggested a round-table discussion at COP-10. Parties considered various options. The text remained bracketed. Delegates also discussed dates for submitting information on the effectiveness of capacity-building activities by EITs.
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS
P&MS: SAUDI ARABIA emphasized the importance of emissions reductions and information sharing by Annex I Parties, and minimizing adverse effects, including of P&Ms. The EU urged avoiding selective quoting and ensuring a comprehensive understanding of decision 13/CP.7 (P&Ms). Parties agreed to use the latest version of a non-paper from COP-9, with an amendment proposed by Saudi Arabia, as the basis for discussion. SAUDI ARABIA, for the G-77/China, said the draft conclusions should not be considered approved until agreement is reached on all paragraphs. The LDCs said that the G-77/China did not have a consensus position on P&Ms. SAUDI ARABIA suggested removing reference to a status report on information exchange and deleting text on the Secretariat’s role in considering relevant on-going activities under other agenda items and those undertaken by international and intergovernmental organizations.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Parties continued discussions on new draft conclusions. Delegates discussed reference to additional regional workshops and the establishment of national databases of technology needs assessments. Co-Chair Kishan Kumarsingh requested the EU, US, CHINA, JAPAN and other interested Parties to consult informally.
Regarding topics for consideration for the EGTT’s 2005 work programme, GHANA stressed the importance for the EGTT to identify, assess and prioritize joint research programmes between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. Parties deliberated the extent to which the EGTT has the authority to prioritize activities, and agreed to a proposal by CANADA to request the EGTT to identify possible joint research programmes.
Parties then discussed alternatives for text referring to the TT:CLEAR survey, and the deadline for submissions on enhancing the implementation of the framework for technology transfer for a possible COP-10 decision.
ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION: Parties discussed format and content of future workshops and activities. On adaptation, CHINA noted the possibility of convening pre-sessional workshops. NEW ZEALAND, with the GAMBIA, noted that this may prevent some Parties from attending. The EU and CANADA called for written reports. The US proposed allocating more time for discussion. CHINA, supported by INDIA, suggested developing an action plan. The EU, US and CANADA called for a more focused agenda and suggested developing an Internet site.
The EU, supported by INDIA, proposed Partiesï¿½ submissions on issues that should be considered. CANADA stressed adaptive capacity and understanding local conditions. BRAZIL highlighted integration of natural and social sciences. The GAMBIA supported an integrated assessment of adaptation approaches. JAPAN highlighted information exchange. SAUDI ARABIA highlighted integrating economic diversification with sustainable development efforts.
On mitigation, SWITZERLAND favored convening expert workshops. UGANDA proposed developing a work programme. JAPAN, CANADA and the EU preferred in-sessional workshops. JAPAN called for further information sharing and, with the US and CANADA, discussing technologies. SAUDI ARABIA said information exchange should be in accordance with UNFCCC Article 4 (commitments). The US, with CANADA, proposed examining “win-win” opportunities. UGANDA, with CHILE, proposed developing a plan of action. CANADA stressed the importance of considering implementation barriers and barriers, incentives and options to promote technological research and development. PERU proposed working in small groups during workshops.
SMALL-SCALE A&R PROJECTS UNDER THE CDM: Parties heard reports from informal groups and considered a non-paper. Delegates agreed to include environmental and socioeconomic impact assessments in the project design document with bracketed text referring to “adequate to scale.” On baselines, Parties agreed to assume the baseline carbon stock is constant throughout the crediting period, and decided that the CDM EB would develop simplified monitoring methodologies for actual net removals. On monitoring, BURKINA FASO, BOLIVIA and others called for explicit reference to involvement of local participants.
RESEARCH IN RESPONSE TO THE IPCC TAR: This event was chaired by Pier Vellinga, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Jean Palutikof, IPCC, explained how research needs on impacts identified in the TAR are being addressed under the Fourth Assessment Report. Ogunlade Davidson, IPCC, outlined research needs on mitigation identified by the TAR. Anver Ghazi, European Commission, outlined climate change research undertaken under the 5th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and other initiatives.
Frank McGovern, European Community, presented on climate change research initiatives in EU Member States. Hiroki Kondo, Frontier Research System for Global Change, Japan, noted several climate models, including climate change projection scenarios.
Quinchen Chao, China Meteorological Administration, outlined national climate change plans and research activities. Gilles Sommeria, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), WMO, reported on WCRP’s work on global observing systems and modeling. Barbara Göbel, International Human Dimensions Programme, urged putting humans at the center of analysis. Janos Bogardi, UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), spoke on the recently established UNU-EHS. John Christensen, UNEP, highlighted UNEP’s role in capacity building and facilitating applied research.
In the discussion, participants addressed the need to review the adequacy of research to meet UNFCCC needs, coordinate the work of institutions, and address the gap between natural and social sciences.
BRAZILIAN PROPOSAL: Murray Ward (New Zealand) chaired this event. Niklas Höhne, EcoFys, Germany, presented on the modeling and assessment of contributions to climate change (MATCH), noting that MATCH includes an ad hoc group initiated by the UK and Brazil. Xiaosu Dai, China Meteorological Adminis tration, spoke about the status of the MATCH process, and said its strengths include participation of leading experts, joint research efforts, and peer reviewed publications. Höhne outlined the models used to calculate accumulated emissions contributions and the indi-cators used to address these. Michel den Elzen, National Institute of Public Health and Environment, the Netherlands, discussed policy options under the Brazilian Proposal in terms of time frames. He said that the research had evaluated different influences of policy-related and scientific choices. Chair Ward informed participants of other scientific groups working on the Brazilian Proposal.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Despite the previous weekï¿½s apparent lack of momentum, the final week of the meeting began with an intense schedule of contact groups, leaving delegations exhausted, if only from running around the Maritim. Some observers felt that many of the discussions saw at least the creation of a basis for progress, with important ground-work laid in the contact groups on adaptation and mitigation, and on national communications. Others feared entrenchment of negotiating positions on accounting for sinks would heat up the rest of the week.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
SBSTA CONTACT GROUPS: Good practice guidance on LULUCF will meet at 10:00 am in Reger. Research and systematic observation will convene in Mann at 11:30 am. Technology transfer will meet in Reger at 3:00 pm. Small-scale A&R under the CDM will convene at 5:00 pm in Reger. P&Ms will meet at 7:00 pm in Liszt. A contact group will meet on adaptation at 5:00 pm in Haydn, and another on mitigation at 9:00 pm in Reger.
SBI CONTACT GROUPS: Capacity building will meet at 10:00 am in Liszt. UNFCCC Article 6 will meet in Lenne at 11:30 am. Non-Annex I national communications will meet at 3:00 pm in Schumann. Implementation of decision 5/CP.7 (implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects) will meet in Haydn at 8:00 pm.