Report of main proceedings for 24 May 2004

20th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 20)

On Thursday, Parties convened in an afternoon SBI Plenary and in contact groups. SBI adopted conclusions on UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness), capacity building, LDCs, arrangements for intergovernmental meetings, and administrative and financial matters. Throughout the day, Parties met in the contact group on good practice guidance (GPG) on LULUCF. Contact groups also convened to agree on draft conclusions 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), and implementation of decision 5/CP.7 (implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 on adverse effects).


Chair Stoycheva reported on a meeting of the SBSTA and SBI Chairs and the Chairs of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer, Consultative Group of Experts on non-Annex I national communications, and LDC Expert Group (LEG) in response to decision 10/CP.8 (development and transfer of technologies) to facilitate collaboration among the expert groups established under the UNFCCC. She then invited Parties to consider draft conclusions on a number of agenda items.

UNFCCC ARTICLE 6: Contact group Chair Markus Nauser reported on the deliberations in the group. Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.6) without amendment. In the conclusions, SBI encourages Parties to cooperate in the key areas identified at the African regional workshop in January 2004. SBI requests the Secretariat to prepare an intermediate review report on progress in implementing Article 6, based on information contained in national communications and other information received by the Secretariat, by 15 August 2004. The report of the submissions will form the basis for a draft COP-10 decision. Regarding the small-scale model of the Article 6 information network clearing house, SBI requests the Secretariat to report to SBI-21 on progress of work, including: detailed technical specifications for the development and implementation of the clearing house; a profile for an institutional home for the clearing house; a tentative time frame for implementation; and options, and their estimated financial implications, for the development and implementation of the clearing house.

SBI also notes that regional workshops are essential to advance the implementation of Article 6 activities, and invites Parties and others in a position to do so, to contribute to financing the remaining workshops, which address the needs of Asia, Latin America and the members of AOSIS. The annex to the conclusions contains consolidated views of Parties and guidance to the Secretariat on the further development of the Article 6 information network clearing house. It outlines the characteristics and elements of the first phase of work, including to: target Parties, but be accessible to the general public; focus on the education and public awareness components of Article 6; facilitate contributions from, and dissemination of relevant information to, the target audience; explore and use nodes to provide and exchange information from regional, sub-regional and national entities; and assess the effectiveness of the clearing house on an on-going basis.

CAPACITY BUILDING: Contact group Chair Dechen Tsering reported on the outcomes of the negotiations. Parties then adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.5) without amendment. In the conclusions, SBI decides to complete the elaboration of a draft decision on the range and effectiveness of capacity-building activities in developing countries at SBI-21. SBI also requests the Secretariat, subject to the availability of resources, to convene a meeting of practitioners to contribute to the comprehensive review at COP-10, and present the outcomes of the meeting to SBI-21.

SBI invites Parties, particularly EITs, to submit additional information by 15 August 2004 on the effectiveness of capacity-building activities in EITs, and requests the Secretariat to solicit similar information from the GEF and other intergovernmental organizations. The Secretariat is requested to prepare an analytical paper on the effectiveness of implementing the framework on capacity building in EITs, based on these submissions and other available information, for consideration at SBI-21.

IMPLEMENTATION OF UNFCCC ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9: LDCs: Chair Stoycheva said she had conducted informal consultations on matters relating to LDCs. Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.4) without amendment, endorsing the proposed work programme for the second term (2004-2005) of the LEG. In the conclusions, SBI invites the Chair of the LEG to update SBI-21 on progress made in implementing the work programme of the LEG.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETINGS: Contact group Chair Karsten Sach reported on negotiations, and said the draft conclusions cover all agenda sub-items, including arrangements for COP-10, future sessional periods, organization of the intergovernmental process, effective participation in the UNFCCC process, and arrangements for COP/MOP-1. The INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ ORGANIZATIONS (IPOs) expressed gratitude to SBI for having considered the effective participation of IPOs, and hoped greater attention would be given to climate change and indigenous peoples. Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.7) without amendment. As COP-10 host country, ARGENTINA expressed an aim to create a participatory atmosphere at COP-10, in order to ensure progress toward the implementation of the Protocol.

In the conclusions on COP-10, SBI recognizes that 2004 is the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the UNFCCC, and that this will serve as the central theme for COP-10. It endorses the dates of 15-17 December 2004 for the high-level segment. SBI also recommends panel discussions as the mode of exchange during the high-level segment, on four themes: The UNFCCC after 10 years: accomplishments and future challenges; Impacts of climate change, adaptation measures and sustainable development; Technology and climate change; and Mitigation of climate change: policies and their impacts. On organization of the intergovernmental process, SBI requests the Secretariat to convene a workshop in conjunction with SBI-21, and prepare a background paper taking into account relevant experience in other multilateral processes.

On effective participation in the UNFCCC process, SBI takes note of a concern expressed with respect to the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure of the CDM EB on transparency and attendance. It agrees to continue its consideration of effective participation at SBI-22, on the basis of submissions received by 31 January 2005.

 Regarding participation of observer organizations, SBI takes note of the Secretariat’s current approach to the admission of observer organizations, and agrees to continue consideration on the matter. SBI agrees that requests for submission of information and views could be extended to NGOs on the understanding that such submissions would not be issued as official documents, but would be made available on the Secretariat Internet site.

 Regarding participation of indigenous peoples, SBI considers the recommendations of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and requests by IPOs. SBI encourages IPOs to make use of the existing bodies and opportunities currently afforded to them under the UNFCCC, and acknowledges the importance of enhanced participation by IPOs in the UNFCCC process.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS: Budget performance for the biennium 2004-5: Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.2) without amendment. In the conclusions, SBI takes note of the information of the work programme for 2004-5 relating to UNFCCC Article 4.8 (adverse effects). SBI also takes note of the status of contributions as of 31 May 2004. SBI expresses appreciation to the Parties that have made their contributions to the core budget in time and in full, and particularly to those Parties that have made contributions to the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process and the Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities, and urges Parties that have not yet made their contributions to the core budget to do so as soon as possible. SBI stresses the importance of maintaining a high level of contributions to the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process to ensure effective participation at UNFCCC sessions by developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS.

Implementation of the Headquarters Agreement: Parties adopted the conclusions (FCCC/SBI/2004/L.3) without amendment. In the conclusions, SBI takes note of the statement by the Host Government regarding the UN Campus and international conference center in Bonn.


LULUCF GPG: In the morning, Co-Chair Audun Rosland outlined progress in informal consultations, and suggested suspending the contact group to continue work in a drafting group on common reporting format (CRF) tables, facilitated by Maria Sanz. The contact group resumed discussions in the afternoon. Maria Sanz reported completion of work on the CRF, except for the identification of LULUCF activities in relation to Protocol Article 6 (joint implementation), and said that Parties had agreed to forward the matter to SBSTA-21.

Delegates then discussed SBSTA draft conclusions on other LULUCF issues. BRAZIL, on behalf of the G-77/China, and opposed by CANADA, the EU, RUSSIAN FEDERATION and AUSTRALIA, proposed insertion of additional text on factoring out containing specific reference to the draft COP/MOP decision on LULUCF, decision 11/CP.7 (LULUCF), and other related LULUCF issues. Following informal discussions, Co-Chair William Agyemang-Bonsu proposed text referring to the section on GPG in the SBSTA-19 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/15) instead. Parties agreed. Delegates continued discussions on draft conclusions on GPG. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested reconsidering a paragraph on factoring out in the draft conclusion on other LULUCF issues. Co-Chair Agyemang-Bonsu noted that the paragraph had been agreed, and can only be re-opened in Plenary.

On CRF, AOSIS proposed including language noting that SBSTA had finalized the CRF tables, subject to consideration of matters relating to Protocol Article 6. The EU, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CANADA and JAPAN opposed this insertion, noting that work on the CRF had been finalized. Co-Chair Agyemang-Bonsu suggested CRF tables had been �elaborated� instead of �finalized.� CANADA, supported by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, EU and JAPAN, proposed new paragraphs noting that SBSTA had not concluded the question relating to Protocol Article 6 and would further consider the issue at SBSTA-21. After several rounds of informal consultations, Parties approved the text, and agreed to the draft conclusions.

ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION: On adaptation, Parties considered revised draft conclusions, agreeing on text and completing their deliberations. On text welcoming the exchange of views on the SBSTA-20 in-sessional workshop on adaptation, the US and SAUDI ARABIA, opposed by JAPAN, proposed deleting reference to business. The EU objected to considering the conclusions on adaptation as adopted until agreement was reached on the conclusions on mitigation. SAUDI ARABIA and BRAZIL expressed disappointment at the EU�s intervention, stressing that the conclusions are not linked. Delegates agreed on the draft conclusions.

On mitigation, Parties agreed on the revised draft conclusions, following minor changes.

IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISION 5/CP.7: Parties convened briefly in the afternoon, and agreed to continue deliberations on annexed draft text at SBI-21. At the request of KENYA, for the G-77/China, Parties agreed to remove an invitation to non-Annex I Parties to submit views on gaps and challenges relating to support from the GEF and other bilateral and multilateral organizations, the Special Climate Change Fund, LDC Fund and other bilateral and multilateral organizations, and insurance-related actions of decision 5/CP.7.


Parties expressed relief at the conclusion of the marathon discussions on good practice guidance for LULUCF. Some suggested that the outcomes may help facilitate Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

During a pseudo contact group attended by numerous delegates and observers, UNFCCC Secretariat staff member Claudio Forner proposed marriage to ENB writer Dagmar Lohan. Many tears of joy were shed as delegates expressed the view that this was possibly the most productive session of SB-20.


SBSTA PLENARY: SBSTA Plenary will convene from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in Plenary I to consider all items on its agenda. It will meet again from 3:00-6:00 pm, if necessary.

SBI PLENARY: SBI Plenary will meet in Plenary II from 3:00-6:00 pm to consider remaining agenda items.

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