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Summary report, 5–8 March 1996

3rd Session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate

The third session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM 3) washeld in Geneva from 5-8 March 1996. Delegates heard a number of new, specificproposals on new commitments for Annex I Parties, including a two-phase CO2emissions reduction target proposed by Germany. They also discussed how Annex Icountries might distribute or share new commitments, and whether those should take theform of an amendment or protocol. Developing countries raised questions on whetherpolicies and measures under discussion would represent barriers to trade. Delegatesagreed to compile proposals for new commitments for consideration at the next session ofthe AGBM, and to hold informal roundtable discussions on policies and measures as wellas on quantitative emissions limitation and reduction objectives.


The first Conference of the Parties (COP-1) to the Framework Convention on ClimateChange, held in Berlin from 28 March to 7 April 1995, established an open-ended AdHoc Group on the Berlin Mandate through its decisionFCCC/CP/1995/7/Add.1/Decision 1/CP.1, also referred to as the “Berlin Mandate.” Thepriority aim of the Berlin Mandate (BM) is the strengthening of commitments in Article4.2 (a) and (b) of the Convention for Annex I Parties, both to elaborate policies andmeasures, and to set quantified limitation and reduction objectives within specifiedtimeframes such as 2005, 2010 and 2020 for anthropogenic emissions by sources andremovals by sinks of greenhouse gases (GHGs) not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.The BM states that the process will not introduce any new commitments for non-Annex IParties.


At its first session (AGBM 1), which took place from 21-25 August 1995, the AGBMconsidered several issues, including an analysis and assessment to identify possiblepolicies and measures for Annex I Parties and requests for inputs to subsequent sessions.Delegates debated the nature, content and duration of the analysis and assessment and itsrelationship to other aspects of the process. Several developed and developing countriesstressed that analysis and assessment should be conducted in parallel and not prior tonegotiations, but a few developing countries held that more time was needed, particularlyto evaluate economic costs. Regarding inputs to subsequent sessions, Parties differedwidely on the number of requested inputs, with some developed countries emphasizingthe need to avoid delay, while others sought a more comprehensive approach to increasethe AGBM’s options. Many developing countries requested minimal inputs, stating that awealth of information already existed, while a few, mainly oil producing countriesemphasized the need for further study on economic impacts. AGBM 1 adopted an agendaof work for its second session, but failed to elect its Bureau.


The second session of the AGBM was held in Geneva from 30 October - 3 November1995. Debate over the extent of analysis and assessment continued, but delegates alsoheard new ideas for the structure and form of a possible protocol. During the week-longmeeting, delegates considered: strengthening of commitments in Article 4.2 (a) and (b),regarding policies and measures, as well as quantified emissions limitation and reductionobjectives within specified timeframes; advancing the implementation Article 4.1; andpossible features of a protocol or other legal instrument.

During the meeting, Spain, on behalf of the European Union, submitted an outline for aprotocol or legal instrument. The outline did not include proposals on policies, measures,objectives or timeframes, but was organized on three principles: consistency with priorAGBM discussions; creating a dynamic instrument that can develop over time; andlinking measures to existing Convention provisions where they apply. The outlineincludes six articles: commitments by developed and other Annex I Parties, including asection on voluntary application by non-Annex I Parties; commitments by all Parties;review of commitments; cross-references to FCCC articles; amendment procedures,including simplified procedures for annexes; and final clauses. It would include threeannexes of policies and measures: those applicable to all Annex I Parties; those agreed ashigh priority in national programmes; and those to be considered in national programmes,as appropriate. While delegates did not decide to adopt this outline, they did agree that itmerits further consideration.


AGBM Chair Ral Estrada Oyuela (Argentina) opened the session, noting that delegatesshould be prepared to complete the analysis and evaluation required of the BerlinMandate. In view of the fact that 154 States have submitted ratifications, it is becomingincreasingly clear that the international community is becoming more committed to theFramework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). But, he said, progress depends notonly on the number of delegations that can attend but also on the need to understand whatcan occur and what needs to be done. He recalled conclusions from the IPCC SecondAssessment Report (SAR) that action by man is indeed influencing the climate system.There is a need to show awareness of this and to make progress in adopting precautionarymeasures that will help to tackle problems in an effective way.

The Chair said that from the beginning the AGBM has had a group of delegations thathas tried to slow the progress of work. He expressed his intention to overcome thatobstacle and move forward. He urged all delegations to reflect on this point and tocontribute effectively to achievement of the BM. He promised to do everything in hispower to avoid getting “our feet caught in a net of procedural matters or small questions”leading to infinite studies that would delay the AGBM’s work.

Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar said the session has the advantage ofstarting with substantial inputs from informal workshops and debate in the SubsidiaryBody for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) on the IPCC SAR which, whilenot conclusive, is reflected in the SBSTA report. He said he was struck by the IPCCChair’s observation that in certain scenarios, future per capita emissions should notexceed per capita emissions today to permit stabilization at double pre-industrialatmospheric concentration of CO2. Combined with the statement that developingcountries need to increase their energy consumption to achieve sustainable development,he drew two conclusions: there is a need to focus on development and deployment ofsustainable energy supplies to further de-link energy for sustainable growth; and whileswitching to sustainable energy, developed countries should actively promote sustainableconsumption patterns and energy efficient technologies, limiting their per capita fuel useto create space in which developing countries can increase their consumption.Quantitative emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) may be viewed notonly as a step to limiting global emissions but also toward redistributing emissions towhere they are most needed. It is not a suggestion for dumping old technologies but areminder that redistribution of resources is necessary to achieve sustainable development.

The Secretariat is ready to prepare additional documents, but he urged delegates toevaluate the utility of any major new document they may request. One main question forthis session is whether the AGBM sees merit in the institutional strategy of using existingConvention processes and bodies, such as the Secretariat, or prefers to establish newones. For financial as well as institutional reasons, he suggested there is merit in theinstitutional economy of seeking a “non-proliferation protocol.”

Delegates then adopted the agenda (FCCC/AGBM/1996/1) and annotations to the agenda(FCCC/AGBM/1996/1/Add.1). Four new NGOs were accredited to participate in theAGBM, and the Chair noted that as in previous meetings NGOs would be welcome onthe floor before meetings only.

The Chair said the Bureau had adjusted the schedule for future AGBM meetings: AGBM4 will meet during COP-2; AGBM 5 will meet 9-13 December 1996 in Geneva; AGBM 6from 3-7 March 1997 in Bonn; and AGBM 7 during the summer of 1997, prior to COP-3at a location to be determined.


The Chair summarized negotiations on election of AGBM officers other than Chair,which had not been conclusive. Four regional groups had agreed to a Bureau formatincluding a Chair, two Vice-Chairs, and the two subsidiary body Chairs as ex-officio members. Appointing advisers to the Bureau is still under discussion. TheWestern European and Others Group (WEOG) and the Asian Group are to appoint Vice-Chairs. WEOG nominated Dan Reifsnyder (US), Asia nominated Thailand, and bothnominations were accepted. The Chair also invited Maciej Sadowski (Poland), China,Jorge Berguo (Chile), Bert Metz (Netherlands), Bakary Kante (Senegal), and EvansKing (Trinidad and Tobago) to be interim advisers. CHINA said the Asian Group hadselected Thailand and Saudi Arabia to provide its representatives, so he could not acceptthe invitation. Mohamed Salem Sorour Al Sabban (Saudi Arabia) was selected as anadviser.

Japan reminded delegates that it has expressed interest in hosting the third or subsequentCOP.


Delegates discussed strengthening the commitments of Annex I Parties. On Tuesday, 5March, they heard a report from subsidiary bodies. Quantified emissions reductionobjectives (QUELROs) were considered Wednesday, 6 March. Delegates discussedpolicies and measures on Wednesday and Thursday, 6-7 March.

INPUTS FROM SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The Chair recalled the AGBM’srequest for specialized inputs from subsidiary bodies related to relevant portions of theIPCC Second Assessment Report (SAR), national communications of Annex I Parties, in-depth reviews, and the SBSTA report on technologies. He said the AGBM would seekguidance from the SAR on strengthening commitments.

SBSTA Chair Tibor Farago said it was complicated to reach consensus on the IPCC SARbut that it was time to arrive at some basic conclusions. The SBSTA decided to: note thatit held only an initial exchange of views; commend the entire SAR to all FCCC bodies;invite Parties to submit views for a full consideration of the SAR at SBSTA-3; considerthe SAR an important science-based, comprehensive analysis; recommend that the IPCCprovide further inputs; and agree that findings and projections should be made availableto different audiences with special attention to the national and regional levels. TheSBSTA proceedings indicate that some delegations said that the findings of the SARshould be communicated to all FCCC bodies, especially the AGBM, and that the findingsunderlined the necessity of urgent action. The SBSTA Chair highlighted two elements:that atmospheric concentrations are increasing largely because of human activities andthat the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the global climatesystem. Other delegations expressed the view that it is premature for the SBSTA tohighlight specific SAR findings. These delegations said the list of items was highlyselective, reflecting a limited and biased view because other IPCC findings should beequally important, including that many uncertainties and factors limit the ability to detectand project future climate change. On cooperation with the IPCC, the SBSTA noted theconclusions of the IPCC meeting in Rome in December and those of the SBSTA/IPCCjoint working group, and it requested a list of subjects for further IPCC reports andworkshops.

On national communications, six in-depth reviews of Annex I Parties communicationsare available. These identify successful approaches to meeting commitments as well asdifficulties. While the compilation and synthesis is not finished, basic informationindicates that most Parties will not be able to stabilize GHGs at 1990 level by 2000.Regarding non-Annex I Parties communications, the SBSTA considered a G-77/Chinadocument as the basis for adoption of guidelines and a format.

Under technological inventory and assessment, the SBSTA considered the Secretariatdocument (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4 and FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4/Add.1) and notedinformation available in other fora. The Secretariat was asked to plan for technologyinformation centres, survey Parties’ information needs, set up a catalogue of adaptationtechnologies, and draft a paper on terms of technology transfer.

The Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), Mahmoud Ould El Gaouth(Mauritania), reported on the conclusions of the SBI meeting. He said the SBIunanimously adopted a conclusion on Annex I national communications, which givesprojected emissions to the year 2000 and is unambiguous that current activities will notreduce GHG emissions unless additional measures are taken by those Parties. A decisionon non-Annex I communications is still pending.

IPCC Chair Bert Bolin then reviewed the conclusions of the SAR. He said the IPCC’saim is to make objective statements and point out uncertainties, but also to emphasizerobust findings. He said the most important finding is that the balance of evidencesuggests discernible human influence on climate. The .5 increase of global mean surfaceair temperature in the last century is not by itself sufficient to draw conclusions becauseof natural variability. But there is evidence that: increasing CO2 in the atmosphere willlead to increasing temperature in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the stratosphere;the greater warming in the southern than the northern hemisphere in the past 50 yearsshows the shielding effect of aerosols; and spatial patterns of climate change in thenorthern hemisphere are similar to model predictions with the only possible explanationbeing human influence on global climate. Natural variability does not negate thisconclusion about human influence, but makes it difficult to isolate a figure of sensitivityin the 1.5-4.5 increase above pre-industrial temperatures predicted by 2100.Considerable uncertainty remains, but uncertainty does not eliminate risk. He alsoemphasized that no regrets measures are available in most countries, and that theprecautionary principle provides a rationale for action beyond no regrets. The challenge isto select a prudent strategy of adaptation, mitigation and research for adjustments overtime. The SAR does not recommend specific measures, but many options are identifiedthat can achieve 10-30% emissions reductions at little or no cost.

SAUDI ARABIA said the IPCC is an objective scientific body that does not engage inpolicy and never will in the future. He said it is difficult to indicate the amount of humaninfluence because of remaining uncertainties, including the magnitude and pattern oflong-term natural variability. The IPCC should provide a view of whether existingproposals, including the AOSIS draft protocol, will really avert climate change andwhether an effort with real economic costs will have real environmental benefits.

Bolin said that the stabilization exercises show that a major change of emissions musttake place over the next century. Ultimately there will be a need for deep cuts that requireeffort of all countries. NIGERIA recalled that Bolin had said, during SBSTA, that therewere uncertainties inherent in the SAR. The models need to be evaluated, the riskanalysis has not been properly pursued and the proposed policies and measures (P&M)must be examined.

SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said the first set of conclusions highlighted in the SBSTAreport best capture the weight of the science and the urgency for action. He said adangerous interference has already occurred and the implications for small islands areextremely serious. The AGBM must negotiate emissions reductions and their timetablefor implementation and make progress toward establishing a protocol or other legalinstrument. CANADA supported the findings in the first set of SBSTA conclusions andnoted that they seemed to have the support of most Parties. JAPAN supported the SARfindings and said specific P&M should be clarified. He focused on nationalcommunications and emphasized the need for more systematic and comparable in-depthreviews. The EU commended the IPCC report and highlighted several specific findings.He said the risk of aggregate damage warranted action beyond no regrets measures andthat the policies proposed in the report can serve as a basis for future action. SAUDIARABIA recalled that two sets of opinions were included in the SBSTA report on keyfindings.

POLICIES AND MEASURES: Chow Kok Kee (Malaysia) summarized aninformal workshop on policies and measures (P&M) held on 4-5 March 1996. He noted apresentation by IPCC Chair Bolin that stressed there is no optimum set of measures buteach country needs to develop those best suited to its situation. Many feasible measureshave not been instituted, so there is a need to bridge the gap between feasibility anddecision making. The workshop considered measures in renewable energy, transport,industry, including voluntary agreements, sustainable agriculture and economicinstruments. The need for reduced dependence on material consumption, decouplingenergy and growth, and de-carbonization — the use of non-fossil fuels and nuclearenergy — were highlighted, as were national experiences. Lessons included: the need fora package of measures combining market-based and government action; measures mustbe tailored to national circumstances, but energy and transport sectors are vital; and muchcan be done with little cost, but the focus needs be on policy to overcome barriers. A lackof a socioeconomic analysis of non-Annex I Parties was a problem. He suggested that theAGBM consider holding another workshop for further exchange of views.

The Secretariat introduced the document on policies and measures(FCCC/AGBM/1996/2), explaining that it was compiled from Annex I nationalcommunications and in-depth reviews, as well as the SAR and Parties’ submissions. Thecompilation: is structured by sectoral classifications, based on IPCC methodologies;considers the relative contribution of each sector to proportional emissions; and gives anoverview of Annex I Party responses. The Secretariat tried to estimate the potential foremission reductions in each sector using IPCC information, and then identify areas forfurther analysis and assessment by the AGBM in line with the AGBM 2 objective tonarrow the range of policies and measures.

CANADA reported on the Annex I experts group project on P&M for common action,which is developing a methodology for evaluating their effectiveness. The group’s report(FCCC/AGBM/ 1995/MISC.1) has a framework for common action and analysis, whichincludes: policies and objectives; assessment approaches; a description of actions; therationale for common actions and ways to implement them; the potential to reduceemissions or improve sinks; economic costs and benefits; political feasibility; barriers andhow to address them; time required for implementation and for achieving expected GHGreductions; and the impacts, including social and environmental ones, on countriesincluding non-Annex I Parties. The project does not suggest Parties’ preferences formeasures in a protocol, and recognizes that there are a range of definitions for commonaction. The first tranche of the project covers sustainable transport; energy market reform;economic and fiscal instruments; demand side efficiency; sustainable agriculture andforestry; and energy efficiency finance for economies in transition. An analysis will beready for COP-3.

The Chair noted that to produce a result for COP-3, delegates need to narrow down P&M.A final document should have flexibility to enlarge or reduce possible annexes to aprotocol, but to include some identified P&M in a protocol would not exclude others.

SAUDI ARABIA said delegates should consider all GHGs, not only CO2. TheSecretariat’s document’s sectoral analysis overlooks some sectors, such as measures toreduce deforestation under land-use change and forestry. Extensive analysis of removingmarket distortions could provide good starting points. ITALY, on behalf of the EU, saidthe EU has begun investigating 11 areas of P&M, identifying indicators, evaluatingtargets, and assessing emission reductions toward a study for AGBM 4. Papers will beproduced on renewable energy and energy efficiency, labeling, transport, and economicinstruments. Priorities include: energy policies; industrial measures, including voluntaryagreements; agriculture; forests; waste management; HFCs and CFCs; and actions in thelocal environment. The US said the flexibility of a full range of policy options should beretained because narrowing could “run roughshod” over differences in nationalcircumstances. Criteria to select P&M could be: actions with great commonality; thosewith broad support; areas where only a few Parties are acting but with significantpotential; and cost-effectiveness. Noting examples in refrigerators, power outlets and fueltaxes, he said harmonized standards may push a lowest common denominator anddiscourage innovation. It is desirable to look for common actions, but those would notnecessarily promote national flexibility or environmental effectiveness.

CHILE supported Germany’s proposed approach for a flat rate emissions reduction,noting it contained clear measures and was aimed at CO2 emissions without precludingother instruments. He suggested adding emphasis to hydroelectric and nuclear energy,energy marketing, and industrial processes. AUSTRALIA said P&M in a legal instrumentshould complement national programmes. Economic and social analysis cannot followthe narrowing process. An evaluation methodology should be defined before culling outmeasures. A sectoral selection process should not focus only on CO2. A comprehensiveapproach demonstrated in the workshop showed that differences between Annex I Partiesneed to be taken into account. GDP welfare costs should be covered in the analysis.

CANADA said the IPCC SAR suggests that significant opportunities are available forParties to take actions, so it is important to identify P&M that reinforce the positiverelationship between economics and the environment, such as energy efficiency andpollution controls. He highlighted areas for action: energy; heavy industry; residentialbuildings; transportation; non-combustion industries; agriculture; forestry; wastemanagement and sewage treatment; and cross-sectoral economic instruments. Guidelineson P&M could help in narrowing options, but the narrowing should not exclude sectors orGHGs and should include sinks. P&M should: benefit from international coordination;have potential for emission reductions; produce multiple dividends consistent with otherpolicies; make positive socioeconomic contributions; be flexible, practical andinnovative, permitting implementation in different national circumstances; be transparentand comprehensive; facilitate abatement technology development and diffusion; andfacilitate wide participation in mitigation.

SWITZERLAND said fluorocarbons and HFCs should be included as a sector, as apossible growing source of emissions that are persistent in atmosphere compared to othergases. NEW ZEALAND suggested criteria to focus on: specific policies; costeffectiveness and efficacy; producing significant abatement at least cost; durability withflexibility to adapt to new information on the timing and magnitude of climate change;transparency in environmental and economic effects; and effectiveness across nationalcircumstances. Cross-sectoral measures, including taxes, should be covered, and subsidyreductions and market reforms are promising economic instruments.

The NETHERLANDS said there are reasons for harmonizing P&M because somemeasures cannot be taken at the national level without distorting the global market. Alsoglobal trade rules limit what individual nations can do, requiring internationalcoordination to overcome the limitations. As examples, energy efficiency could beaddressed, and international action would be required for agreement between automobileproducers to encourage more fuel efficient cars. IRAN said the AGBM should cooperatewith the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Energy Agency (IEA),OPEC, UNIDO and others to assess which P&M are effective and efficient. Somemeasures could transfer capital from developing to developed countries and wouldadversely affect terms of trade. ICELAND said differentiated commitments can imply amore complicated agreement, but reduction targets are possible in a more cost-effectivemanner if different national circumstances are recognized. He cited Iceland’s situation:nearly 100% of its energy is renewable, but two-thirds of emissions come from transport,which will not be a priority in an agreement.

SRI LANKA said a protocol like AOSIS’s can be adopted. There is a need for urgencyeven if Northern countries are not obviously affected. Everyone stands to lose if no actionis taken. UGANDA said Annex I countries must take seriously their commitment totransfer technology and financial resources to developing countries. The EU proposalscontain concrete and useful measures. Clear P&M in technology and technical know-howcan play an important role.

The REPUBLIC of KOREA said cross-sectoral economic instruments and energyefficiency measures based on high technology have significant trade impacts. Heexpressed concern about market and labeling measures. If measures have negativeimpacts on some countries, coordination is necessary to make the measures mosteffective and put them in conformity with international agreements. P&M should bedesigned and selected to avoid negative impacts on non-Annex I countries’ market accessand should not be disguised discriminatory trade measures.

MALAYSIA said it is hard to see the need for differentiation between countries.Differentiation should not be an excuse not to advance policies. The AGBM shouldprioritize P&M based on aggregate effectiveness within and between sectors. P&Mshould not lead to “emissions leakage,” the transfer of polluting industry to developingcountries. Harmonizing cross-sectoral economic instruments should not be discouraged.P&M could lead to trade barriers, so impacts must be considered.

JAPAN said work on CO2 emissions will be required as the ultimate solution. Existingtechnology will not be sufficient, so research and development on innovativetechnologies should begin now. The US agreed with the Netherlands that markets canbenefit from coordination of standards, but harmonization can be over-emphasized. Itoften tends toward a lowest common denominator and can dampen innovation. Delegatesneed to ask whether harmonization and coordination of measures is the best use ofavailable time.

KUWAIT said several delegations had referred to the SAR and selective portions andattempted to related them to QELROs. As in the SBSTA, some statements were highlyselective, reflected a limited and biased view of what was important and were taken outof context. The SAR does not provide adequate guidance on timetables or targets and aninformed decision will require much more information. He said there is a request fortechnical papers that examine economic impacts and noted that no interventions hadsquared their suggestions with the social and economic impacts. He said he was puzzledover the Annex I countries’ interpretations of words such as “equity” and “differentiated”approach.

The MARSHALL ISLANDS stressed the need for urgent action and said thesocioeconomic effects of actions should be considered against the baseline of no action atall. He said the premise that P&M will have an immediate and adverse effect is entirelyfalse. He noted it has taken a year to get to this stage in the AGBM process, largely due tothe “anthropogenic interference” of some delegations who are intent on undermining thisprocess. He said a lengthy debate on socioeconomic concerns will lead to delays.

INDIA echoed the Republic of Korea’s apprehensions on the implications of P&M ontrade. The P&M that must be integrated into Annex I Parties’ policies must be examinedvery carefully and may require accompanying measures to prevent adverse impacts ondeveloping countries. Any versions of prior informed consent and labeling must notbecome disguised trade barriers. KENYA stressed availability cost and the potential forstrengthening renewable technology. He said tropical countries would be good marketsfor solar power, but the technology must be affordable. Public education should growalong with these measures, particularly where new products are marketed. ARGENTINAsaid that subsidies for agriculture that affect GHGs must be reduced. He noted that manyinterventions referred to P&M that have an impact on trade and said the current debate inthe WTO suggests there are many measures that could affect trade. He agreed with Indiaand the Republic of Korea on the need to know the economic implications of P&Madopted by Annex I Parties. While they should be applied, equality and equity should notbe undermined. He called for flexibility and disagreed with narrowing the list of P&M.EGYPT said that QELROs are the real yardstick for measuring the Convention’s success.She placed high priority on P&M regarding renewable energy sources, but said thepossible adverse effects of trade measures must be examined. MOROCCO said thatmeasures must respect country sovereignty and account for the impact on developingcountries. He said he cannot accept proposals on labeling because they are a way ofavoiding international trade rules. He recalled a UNIDO eco-labeling decision that callsfor cooperation and taking developing countries into account.

QUANTIFIED EMISSION LIMITATION REDUCTION OBJECTIVES WITHINSPECIFIC TIMEFRAMES: The Secretariat presented a report by Dr. PascaleMorand Francis (Switzerland) on an informal workshop on QELROs held 28 February1996. The workshop was organized by the Secretariat to help the AGBM accomplish itstask of setting quantified objective within specific timeframes. Experts from five Parties,two IGOs and three other organizations made presentations. IPCC Chair Bert Bolinpresented the Panel’s most recent findings relevant to QELROs. Participants alsodiscussed the definition of “dangerous,” as referred to in Article 2 of the Convention.Bolin said that the Parties should decide for themselves, while others said the IPCC coulddevelop criteria or indicators to help set a threshold. The workshop also heard a numberof technical presentations on modeling, the design of cost-effective mitigation strategies,the cost of emission reductions, and near-term strategies for long-term climate protection.

Economic models were seen as tools to help understand the way forward, although theydo not adequately reflect the complexity and dynamic nature of technologicaldevelopment and do not account for feedbacks. The workshop succeeded in raising issuesrelated to the concepts of equity and differentiation among Annex I Parties. Theworkshop recommended that the AGBM address the following: appropriate levels ofemissions limitation and reduction; timing of the implementation of QELROs; whetherequity principles will be reflected in a protocol or another legal instrument through adifferentiation regime; and how new ideas — such as the possibility of drawing adistinction between production- and consumption-related emission budgets and “safeemission corridors” — help in setting QELROs.

The Chair noted the great emphasis placed on analysis and assessment at previousmeetings, but said very little had been done on the substance of the issues. He said theworkshop helped in that regard. He also reflected on external debt as another cost todeveloping countries and said perhaps it is time for developed countries to pay their debt,which was incurred as a result of the industrial revolution. In addition to possible countryobjectives, group objectives for reductions could be considered.

SAUDI ARABIA said that setting QELROs is not only the business of Annex I countriesand expressed surprise at the low level of participation of developing countries in theworkshop. Regarding energy modeling and the energy-related discussions, he remindeddelegates that the AGBM mandate calls for consideration of other gases and other sectorsthat would contribute to reduction of the foreseen costs. He also called for considerationof equity issues from an international perspective, not simply among the Annex I Parties,because the issues affect non-Annex I countries. He requested examination of the issuesto avoid having losers among the group.

The Chair responded that preparations for the workshop included invitations for allpossible participants and that OPEC was invited but declined to attend. He said theanalysis must end and actions must begin at some point. He also said he did not recallanyone talking about the effect of measures on developing countries when OPEC raisedoil prices twenty years ago.

BRAZIL stated that it may be appropriate to initially establish an overall aggregatequantitative objective and then negotiate the relative participation of countries or thesharing among countries. The group would have a priori an idea of the effect ofthe objectives on the climate. They would be negotiated so that the overall emissions ofAnnex I countries would be within quantitative objectives. He also said the principle ofcommon but differentiated responsibilities could justify estimating the relevantcontributions of each country to the relative climate change.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, said that the AGBM must move forward onemission targets. The G-77/China has insisted that overall emissions are the importantissue and that emissions should be reduced to 1990 levels. He recalled the COP decisionthat there would be no new commitments for developing countries and that the extent towhich developing country Parties can implement the Convention depends on thedeveloped countries. He reminded developed countries of their obligation to provide forfull agreed costs through the interim financial mechanism, but said putting the resourcesin the GEF is not the same thing as making them available directly to developingcountries.

The Chair said that this final point must be made with the utmost clarity to the SBI andcalled upon Costa Rica, as Chair of the G-77/China, to raise it. TURKEY cited its GDPper capita, anthropogenic emissions per capita and unit of territory and levels ofproduction and consumption of energy per capita. He said it was evident that Turkey’scontribution to global warming was a fraction of the average of the Annex I countries.

JAPAN said commitments should be strengthened by combining policies and measuresand QELROs, using short-term and medium- or long-term time scales with both legally-binding and target commitments. New commitments need to be flexible to heightenagreement and acceptance. He emphasized development of differential criteria andindicators to ensure equity in commitments based on variable marginal emissionreduction costs and different past efforts at mitigation and limitation among parties.ITALY, on behalf of the EU, said based on IPCC projections of atmospheric CO2stabilization levels and temperature increase, a level of 550 parts per million should guidelimitation and reduction efforts. Collective objectives for Annex I Parties could groupemissions for all Annex I Parties or group emissions of OECD and non-OECD countries.Either arrangement would require equitable sharing within each group. Individualobjectives could be uniform or differentiated by limitations and reductions. Economicand demographic indicators, equity criteria and flexibility to reduce economic impact andmitigation costs are among considerations to establish equitable and timelydifferentiation. Longer timeframes would be useful for planning and investmentdecisions, but shorter timeframes, such as 2005 and 2010, are also important foraccountability and monitoring. ROMANIA called for flexibility and cost effectivereductions. She said Romania has used bottom-up approaches that permit reductionswithout supplementary costs.

SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said the AOSIS draft protocol addresses gases other thanCO2, calling for targets and timetables at the first meeting of protocol Parties. He saidthere is a need to strengthen commitments beyond 20% below 1990 CO2 emissions by2005. Discussions on flexibility in time scales are compromising or are likely tocompromise the urgent need for GHG emission reductions. He reiterated the need forurgent reductions to occur within a safe emissions corridor to prevent irreversible ordangerous interference with the climate system.

NIGERIA said stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels will be costly for the world economyand will not lead to significant abatement compared with business as usual scenarios.Some countries, mainly developing ones, would be worse off, so there is a need toanalyze economic impacts, not as a delaying tactic but to allay genuine fears. CHINAsaid reduction objectives and policies and measures are integrated, with policies andmeasures as means to achieve targets.

GERMANY proposed CO2 reduction objectives of 10% by 2005 and 15-20% by 2010,both against a base year of 1990. She said it is an ambitious and necessary approach thatwould also devise targets and timetables for non-CO2 emissions. An additional target for2020 is possible, but uncertainties mean it is too far into the future to reliably guideefforts now. The objectives should be binding, with some flexibility for economies intransition, and would fit into the protocol structure proposed by the EU. She said thesingle gas approach has greater precision, avoiding CO2 equivalent calculations ofgreenhouse warming potentials that could make a combined gas approach difficult. Theflat rate reduction has proven worth, simplicity and practicality, and accounts for differentstarting points by measuring efforts against historical emissions. There are other equityapproaches, such as differential targets, but there are practical difficulties in generatingindicators. The proposal does not affect Germany’s commitment to a 25% emissionsreduction by 2005. She requested that the Secretariat compile proposals submitted so farand submissions received by 15 April 1996 into a single document for AGBM 4 andCOP-2.

AUSTRALIA said success will be enhanced by recognizing country circumstances.Flexibility can create opportunities for wider and more effective action and will deliverthe most effective environmental result. He supported differentiation between Parties forequity, using possible criteria and indicators for equitable burden sharing. He proposedrules for determining equitable effort based on the ability to pay principle; mitigationaction should be proportional to capacity to pay; countries of comparable income shouldface comparable per capita costs; and mitigation should be proportional to emissions,current or projected.

The US said the QELROs workshop and a US analysis showed: different views on howto implement targets and timetables and on an environmentally and cost-effectivestructure; the need for work on possible differentiation between Parties; and that level,timing, location and sharing of action affect costs and environmental impacts andbenefits. The next steps must be environmentally sustainable and cost effective andprovide flexibility in the implementation of obligations. Flexibility of emissions timingand location allows countries to choose cost-effective paths. Consensus does not yet existon next steps. MALAYSIA said the AOSIS draft protocol should form a basis toelaborate on quantified targets. Flexibility in time and place of reductions could allowcountries to delay and transfer their commitment to others. Because of opportunities andtechnology available, he suggested a quantified CO2 target rather than a comprehensiveapproach. For equitable burden sharing, and differences between starting points andeconomic structure among Annex I countries, a methodology is needed includingindicators to facilitate a quantitative target. AUSTRIA is committed to the Toronto Targetas a national target and will increase efforts in the face of evidence it may not reach thetarget. He supported a gas-by-gas approach and comprehensive monitoring. A flat ratehas merit, and binding reduction objectives give incentive for early action.

CANADA restated its support for the conclusions contained in the SAR. She supportedfurther examination of concepts such as collective emission objectives (bubble concept)to determine how such a programme would be implemented. She stressed the importanceof ensuring equitable burden-sharing and said a differentiated approach must take intoaccount different national circumstances. On timeframes, Canada suggested establishingan objective for the medium- to long-term to avoid preclusion of any options.

The MARSHALL ISLANDS said the workshop last week showed that emissionsreduction was not a matter of “if,” but “when” and “how much more.” A possible 80%loss of land in the Marshall Islands makes this issue more than dangerous. He said it ismisleading to look at the economic costs of reducing oil revenues, because we cannot puta cost on the total cultural and physical obliteration of the Marshall Islands.

IRAN reminded delegates that the Convention contains provisions on sources and sinksand calls for balanced action. He said that enhancement of sinks is as vital as emissionreductions and stressed the importance of aforestation and reforestation in Annex Icountries. For setting QELROs, analysis of socioeconomic impacts must be integral.P&M should not create any disguised barriers to trade, particularly for developingcountries, and should address all gases in a quantified manner.

The NETHERLANDS said the IPCC report presents the best available science and,although the information is incomplete, the AGBM must make initial judgments now. Hesupported the Marshall Islands in noting that the scenario presented by the IPCCthreatens the continuing existence of many countries. The question is not whether theworld can afford to save small island States, but how to lower emissions at the lowestpossible cost. He said the concept of safe emission corridors warrants further examinationand proposed a follow-up workshop. He highlighted emission budgets as a good tool tominimize the costs and create incentives for early action, and suggested compiling adocument on applying this concept.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stated that new requests for reductions by his countrywere premature. The Russian Federation has already reduced its emissions and iscurrently restructuring its economic potential. The preconditions for raising the questionof additional obligations will occur when Russia’s GDP per capita is comparable to theOECD countries. He emphasized that P&M should not prevent sustainable developmentand should account for specific social and economic situations. Recommendations fromthe workshop were obviously written by experts from OECD countries. POLAND saidthat quantification of targets is the most important issue for the AGBM. On criteria,timetables and commitments, there must be more specific proposals. He proposedestablishing an ad hoc group of technical experts to elaborate specific proposals.NEW ZEALAND stated that consideration of the SAR last week should clarify theimportance of the AGBM. This group faces real world threats of catastrophic proportions.He stressed that equity and efficiency both may be served by international economicinstruments. While such instruments raise difficult issues, the options should be left open.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO said Brazil’s proposal on QELROs provided a logical wayforward and Germany’s proposal provided impetus to the work of the AGBM. He saidthe gas-by-gas approach is the simplest and most effective, and expressed surprise atAustralia’s idea of equity. Each country could propose an idea of equity that suits its ownneeds. SLOVENIA agreed that equity was an important consideration and supported theflat rate approach. He said work should start now if an agreement is expected by COP-3and drew attention to the need to examine how economic development will affect GHGreduction. KENYA said that statements by Annex I Parties show their willingness tosupport new targets. She noted that the EU is on track to lower its levels and hoped thatall Annex I Parties could follow suit. NORWAY called for differentiated commitmentsfor individual Parties. This will require sophisticated approaches, but the workshoprevealed several suggestions. He said the flat-rate approach is not cost-effective and notedthat a cost-effective approach will facilitate agreement on more ambitious commitments.

THAILAND said the IPCC report stresses the need to immediately reduce emissions. Hesaid developed countries should strive for legally-binding targets before flexibility shouldbe allowed. He called for narrowing the range of options to accelerate the process.VENEZUELA said the impact of implementation must be addressed. Venezuela, likeothers, is toiling under a burden of foreign debt and needs foreign assistance to carry outsocial programmes. He said developed countries have promised to stabilize theiremissions, but even if projected increases are reduced, they will still be far from reachingthe target. SAUDI ARABIA noted that many Parties had referred to IPPC measures andfindings, and said it is premature to have conclusions on this issue. The SBSTA reportshows that different points of view were voiced and that delegates agreed to leave theissue to another session. The two lists should be on an equal footing when referred to atthe AGBM. The Chair said the Group would not re-open that discussion now.

SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, noted that the proposals provide a range of useful policiesand measures, but such proposals alone, without QELROs, cannot significantly advancethis process. The approach laid out by the EU can be strengthened by placing thesepolicies and measures within a legally-binding target and by development of specificperformance targets. NORWAY noted that the removal of subsidies is particularlypertinent to creating market incentives for environmentally sound behavior. The IPCCalso reports that there are several no regrets measures, including replacement of biasedtaxation. The risk of aggregate damage provides rationale beyond these measures.JAPAN said the AGBM must not focus solely on quantified objectives, but also on P&M.He proposed establishing mechanisms that review P&M and enhance them step-by-step.He did not favor compelling all Annex I Parties to take specific measures and said Partiesmust retain flexibility. In order to integrate differences, the AGBM should introduce CO2efficiency in a protocol.

Delegates agreed to continue discussions on QELROs and policies and measures. Theyrequested that the Secretariat prepare a compilation of propsals relating to the treatmentof QELROs and P&M in a protocol or another legal instrument and that the IPCC preparea technical paper on possible P&M.


The AGBM considered commitments of non-Annex I Parties on Thursday, 7 March,reviewing the introduction of guidelines for non-Annex I Parties’ nationalcommunications presented at the previous week’s SBSTA and SBI meetings.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, said the AGBM is on a separate track. Itmust consider its own momentum and concentrate on strengthening the Annex I Parties’commitments. The G-77/China did not consider this a key item and warned againstspending too much time with it. He recalled the workshop on communications of non-Annex I Parties that led to the G-77/China position paper submitted to the subsidiarybodies. It reflects the spirit of UNCED and represents a great step forward in advancingnon-Annex I Parties’ commitments. The SBI requested the Secretariat to facilitateassistance on follow-up fora.

The US said all countries can further their activities for growth and protect theenvironment at the same time. He noted that the IPCC points out several P&M thatrequire little or no costs. He supported the G-77/China proposal for an additionalworkshop and regional meetings on best practices. He suggested using the multilateralconsultative process to be developed under Article 13 as a vehicle and said an additionalcomponent must be a firm commitment to an ongoing work programme on technology.The EU said the information in national communications is an essential first step andadded that the GEF should meet the agreed full cost by non-Annex I Parties. In light ofthe projected increase in GHG emissions, the AGBM should focus on facilitatingtechnology cooperation.

INDIA stressed the importance of national communications as part of an ongoingprocess. He said the issues of technology transfer and finance related to the developingcountries had been deliberated at great length by the subsidiary bodies. The AGBM focusis not on the non-Annex I countries, but on strengthening Annex I Parties’ commitments.That is the foundation and there should be no distraction from that goal.

JAPAN said that national communications by all Parties are as important as strengtheningArticle 4.2 (a) and (b). P&M enhance equity among Parties. While he appreciated the G-77/China proposal on guidelines, he expects further elaboration at another workshop.National communications are important not only for Annex I Parties but for non-Annex IParties to project future emissions.

CANADA said climate change is a global problem and requires an effective internationalresponse. She stressed the importance of widely disseminating the findings of the SARand increased public awareness on the issue. She noted the strong interest of non-Annex IParties to support indigenous capacity building and said AIJ offers private sectorinvestment opportunities.

AUSTRALIA welcomed indications that Parties have increased their efforts on nationalcommunications. He said the adoption of an initial AIJ pilot phase is a positive step andnoted the developing countries’ interest in adaptation planning. He said all Parties musttake on specific new actions beyond those already underway and said many no regretsopportunities are available. BRAZIL reported on a workshop on a possible format fornon-Annex I Parties’ national communications. He said this exercise was extremelyuseful and additional workshops may be in order.

The PHILIPPINES said the references to Article 4.1 must not be taken in isolation. Shesaid that the advancing of commitments will not introduce any new commitments fornon-Annex-I Parties and that Article 4.1 notes that all Parties have differentiatedcommitments. She welcomed recognition of the G-77/China proposal. The COOKISLANDS said many delegations are aware of efforts in the Pacific Islands. He looksforward to implementation of CC:TRAIN. NEW ZEALAND said the AGBM’s coreobjective refers to Annex I Parties, but the Group must not lose sight of the obligations ofall Parties. He welcomed SBSTA’s progress on non-Annex I communications and saidthat for small low-lying island countries, adaptation is a particular concern. He suggestedenhanced liaison to make sure multilateral institutions integrate climate change concernsinto their operations.


On Wednesday, 6 March, the Secretariat introduced a note on possible features of aprotocol or another legal instrument (FCCC/AGBM/1996/4). The note states that Partieswill need to consider which type of instrument would be most viable in the currentcontext — a protocol, an amendment or another legal or quasi-legal instrument. Theinstitutional mechanism will largely depend on the choice of instrument and the type ofsubstantive commitments it will contain. The note also contains an annex comparing theprocedures relating to a protocol and an amendment. Delegates also had before them acompilation of comments from the Parties (FCCC/AGBM/1996/MISC.1). The Chair saidthe options open to the AGBM are plentiful, but the possibilities in terms of a protocolcan be affected by the need to obtain a sufficient majority. He mentioned severalalternative approaches and said delegates should decide which one will be the mosteffective. He noted that ideally Parties to the Convention would also be Parties to theprotocol, but it is possible this will not happen.

URUGUAY stated that any agreement reached should be as binding as possible, butnoted that some delegates become fearful when the word protocol is mentioned.Whatever apprehensions arise may be linked to uncertainty, but the uncertainty does notdispel the risk. He urged delegates to avoid sending signals that weaken the Convention.CHILE said the AGBM needs to take a political decision and recalled that when theUNFCCC was negotiated, the EU made a binding declaration to establish a strongersense of commitment. Action can be taken without jeopardizing the unity of theConvention and the AGBM should direct its effort towards that objective. He supported aprotocol and called for an instrument that would not divide the Parties.

SENEGAL said that the AGBM cannot continue to “mutter and stammer” when facedwith such historic events. The Convention is at a crossroads and Parties must assumetheir responsibilities. He recalled that amending the Basel Convention was not easy butwas nonetheless achieved. The AGBM needs to find the best, simplest and most effectiveapproach. CHINA said there were many precedents for adopting a protocol oramendment, but noted that the need for Annex I countries to strengthen theircommitments must not be forgotten. She did not favor setting up other mechanismsbecause it will lead to coordination problems and increase bureaucracy.

ARGENTINA emphasized the importance of persevering in the effort to agree on therules of procedure to revitalize the negotiations. It seems unprecedented for a Conventionof this importance to lack it own rules of procedure, particularly while discussing aprotocol. He stressed the need to arrive a solution in July. He said delegates shouldremember that a Secretariat with considerable human resources already exists and thereare already commitments in the Convention. SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, recalled thatAOSIS submitted its draft protocol at COP-1 and said the protocol is intended tocomplement, not supplant, the Convention.

In the afternoon of Thursday, 7 March, the Chair opened discussion of this item by notingGermany’s suggestion to compile proposals. He said a compilation document will includeproposals from AOSIS, the German elements paper, the Russian Federation, and the EUprotocol structure. He also recommended that delegates consider institutional economy.There is a general understanding that the Convention Secretariat should also be theprotocol secretariat, but the Conference of the Parties could be different because theConvention and a protocol could have different constituencies.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said a protocol should have reachable rather than utopianbenchmarks that Parties at variable levels of development can attain with differentiatedresponsibility. A protocol rather than amendments with joint but differentiatedcommitments would produce the most complete results. He proposed a regional approachthat would require regional scenarios from the IPCC with quantitative measurements ofGHGs on a separate basis. Elements for countries with economies in transition arecontained in FCCC/AGBM/1996/MISC.1. They include scientific, technological andeconomic activities as well as cooperation with Annex II Parties in technologyintroduction, attracting financial resources and AIJ. The US supported analysis andassessment, but said the stakes are too high and risks too great to seek refuge in scientificuncertainty. He urged COP-2 to resolve the rules of procedure, but said the rules ofamendment do not depend on the rules of procedure. Although the US does not prefer anamendment over a protocol, he said an amendment has merit because it would: not raisecomplex institutional questions; simplify the process, and follow the worldwide trend ofstreamlining international instruments. Ratification of a protocol, never speedy, arguesfor an amendment, but delegates should wait to decide on the form until the agreedcommitments are clear.

ESTONIA supported the EU structure as the basis for negotiations. He welcomed thedifferentiation of the responsibilities of Parties and said the main criteria should be GDPper capita and other GHG emission factors.

CANADA said delegates can only decide to seek an amendment or protocol when thenature and scope of commitments are developed. It is simpler to apply existinginstitutions to an amendment than a protocol. A separate bureau would be needed for anamendment. Given the impasse on the rules of procedure, a protocol can only be adoptedby consensus, whereas an amendment can be adopted by a three-quarters majority. Use ofexisting institutions should be maximized. The instrument chosen should have thecapacity to evolve. Roles should be explored and elaborated for all Parties. ITALY, onbehalf of the EU, said the EU has already expressed preference for a protocol. It ispreferable to avoid new institutions as much possible. Institutions of quasi-legal or softlaw would not meet AGBM requirements. Communication and review are moreimportant for a protocol, which would probably lead to enhanced need for review. TheArticle 13 process should produce a multilateral consultative process that could beadapted.

JAPAN said provisions must incorporate measures that lead to technology transfer, AIJand review mechanisms. He said it will become necessary that an internationalframework for joint implementation be given a role by 2000.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, said delegates first need to resolve theinternal regulations of a protocol. The Secretariat should organize a forum to discusssocial and economic effects of proposed P&M.

AUSTRALIA said irrespective of form, the legal instrument needs to address all GHGs,sources and sinks in a comprehensive manner, as well as all the BM. It is difficult tofinalize the form until content is more advanced, but delegates should look at use of otherinstruments, like decisions and guidelines, considering the advantages and disadvantagesof a separate legal instrument. He endorsed a rigorous effort to reduce costs and thepreference to avoid new institutions. POLAND prefers a protocol, as explained by the EUand Russian Federation. It should cover only issues in the BM and not includeinstitutional and other issues. NEW ZEALAND supported the “non-proliferationprinciple” of a single Secretariat and utilizing existing subsidiary bodies. Rules shouldapply mutatis mutandi. Reporting requirements could be consolidated to reducethe burden on national ministries. SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said the group hadstated its position on form and content. A legally-binding instrument is part of thepreferred AGBM output. Time should not be spent on the form until QELROs decisionsare completed. He accepted simplification and non-proliferation. Urgency meansdelegates must resolve the rules of procedure.

CHINA said the BM states that the process will produce a legally-binding document. Thethrust is to strengthen Annex I Parties’ commitments. It cannot be a comprehensiveregime but can only be of a specific scope that strengthens a specific area of theConvention. Existing institutions can carry out new commitments.

Delia Villagrasa, on behalf of Climate Action Network, said the IPCC SAR shows thereis no basis for delay or lack of action but much that demands quick response. Emissionsreduction levels must be science-driven, limiting environmental damage and restrictingtemperature change to .1 per decade and to 1 total. Results from the Netherlandsenvironmental agency’s IMAGE 2 model presented at a workshop demonstrate the needfor 2010 emission limits at 19-46% below 1990 levels, with larger reductions to be safe.The AOSIS protocol would be a first step toward the AGBM’s goal. It fits the safecorridor/landing concept, which seeks atmospheric GHG levels that would not causedangerous climate interference. A legally-binding instrument is essential. Debate overdifferentiation cannot derail the process. She welcomed recognition that AGBM 3 marksthe end of the analysis and assessment and that real negotiations are underway.


Delegates considered the Chair's draft conclusions regarding inputs from subsidiarybodies, P&M, and QELROs. Regarding inputs from subsidiary bodies, the conclusionsnote that many Parties underlined the importance of the IPCC SAR, but others consideredit premature to draw conclusions and pointed to scientific uncertainties. The section onP&M notes the importance of the workshop and notes that in the context of the analysisand assessment the AGBM considered two general orientations: a menu approach toP&M and a categorization of P&M in annexes to a protocol according to the degree towhich Annex I Parties would be committed to implement them. The section also notesthere were differing views on the need for international harmonization. On QELROs, theAGBM underlined the interdependence between QELROs and P&M and noted that someParties stressed QELROs as a first priority. The conclusions also note the range ofoptions and variations, and recognize the wide range of issues related to equity anddifferentiation and the discussions on economic and cost issues. The conclusions requestthe Secretariat to prepare, for AGBM 4, a compilation of proposals relating to thetreatment of QELROs and P&M in a protocol or another legal instrument tabled to dateor received by the Secretariat no later than 15 April 1996.

The Chair convened an informal session to hear further comments and noted the need forfollow-up on workshops to focus the Group's work. He proposed to convene informalroundtables at the fourth session on specific points related to QELROs and P&M andencouraged all delegates to participate. They will be designed to allow for furtherdiscussion on questions surrounding QELROs, such as differentiation, and P&M, such asthe impact on developing countries. Regarding P&M, CHINA proposed adding areference to QELROs to note that the two concepts are integrated. The NETHERLANDSdisagreed, arguing that not every P&M aspect is linked to QELROs, and asked forflexibility.

The Chair also presented conclusions on continuing to advance the implementation ofArticle 4.1. The conclusions note that the Chair of the G-77/China referred to the positionpaper on non-Annex I Parties' initial communications. The conclusions also contain aparagraph noting the emphasis of the G-77/China on this issue and a paragraph noting theviews of Annex I Parties on this issue. The AGBM also noted the intention of non-AnnexI Parties to conduct a workshop, as a follow-up to the earlier one, to address issuesrelating to implementation, and requested the Secretariat to facilitate assistance in thisregard.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/China, proposed a new paragraph that states: ManyParties stressed that by formally presenting the G-77/China position paper on initialcommunications from non-Annex I Parties, the implementation of their existingcommitments in Article 4.1 had been sufficiently advanced. He also proposed that therelationship between the commitments of non-Annex I Parties and the provision offinancial resources and transfer of technology must be taken into full account. Delegatesaccepted the paragraph as amended. The G-77/China also proposed that the AGBM notethe agreement in the SBSTA and SBI that their position paper would be the principalbasis to adopt and implement the guidelines and format. The US said there should be noimplication that the AGBM will decide on these guidelines because that is the SBSTA'swork.

On possible features of a protocol or another legal instrument, the conclusions note thatthe AGBM agreed on the need to avoid the proliferation of new bodies. It stressed theimportance of institutional economy in this regard. The conclusions note the comments ofthe Parties:

  • Several Parties queried the need for the establishment of a separate Conference of the Parties and a separate Bureau in a protocol regime.
  • Many Parties stated that only a legally-binding instrument would meet the requirements of the BM, while others reminded the group that the focus was to strengthen commitments.
  • Many Parties stated their preference for a protocol, while other stressed the importance of awaiting further developments.
  • Several delegations stressed the importance of the communications and review of information in an amendment or protocol regime.

The G-77/China requested a reference to "Convention provisions" when listing the itemsthat the AGBM had stressed in order to emphasize the link between the Convention andany possible protocol. SAMOA proposed changing a sentence that stated "Many Parties"agreed that only a legally-binding instrument would meet the requirements of the BM, to"The AGBM agreed" but KUWAIT objected. Delegates also debated a reference thatstates AGBM noted some Parties said an amendment might be a more viable option,considering the lack of consensus on the rules of procedure. INDIA, KUWAIT, CHILEand CHINA objected to a reference to the need for information "in evolvingcommitments for all Parties." CANADA and the US called for its retention.

The Chair then convened a formal session to adopt the report of the meeting(FCCC/AGBM/1996/L.1). In a paragraph noting the statement of the IPCC Chair, the lastsentence says that he concluded by stating that the economies of all countries couldbenefit from the implementation of policies and measures to mitigate climate change.CHINA asked if this was fair and requested its deletion. The Chair said this was anaccurate reflection of the statement and he would not accept "censorship." VENEZUELAand KUWAIT requested that the record reflect their reservations on the same issue. Thegroup adopted the report.


Those who view intergovernmental negotiations as a dance might say that a veil or twodropped at the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate. Havingsashayed gently around key issues for two meetings, delegates finally spoke their minds.Revealed were a new proposal from Germany on specific emissions reductions targets,Japan’s recommendation to incorporate joint implementation officially in futurecommitments, and even unabashed insistence from Canada and the US that all Partiesshould eventually take on new commitments. AGBM 3 may eventually be remembered asthe week that this round of climate change negotiations became explicit.

AGBM leaders set an aggressive tone from the start of the session. Chair Ral EstradaOyuela declared that he would not tolerate obstruction from delegates who had tried toslow negotiations before. His determination appeared to be matched by support from thefloor, as friends of the Chair were ready to respond when oil producing countries orothers called for delaying or diverting AGBM decisions. Executive Secretary MichaelZammit-Cutajar helped to define the determined mood by presenting a vision of a long-term shift of emissions from developed to developing countries, while still seekingclimate stabilization. His broad notion of resource transfer and cooperation placed theconsideration of new commitments in a more essential, sustainable development contextthan more typical debate over purely financial transfers from developed to developingcountries. It also touched the heart and greatest challenge of negotiations: whether over150 countries could come to a common view of political, industrial and social changerequired to achieve sustainable climate policy.

Delegates and observers attributed at least part of the meeting’s added inspiration to theresults of the IPCC Second Assessment Report, which was adopted in December. Theprojections of rapid change, adverse impacts and stronger attribution to “discerniblehuman influence” seemed to put the consideration of new commitments into anaccelerated rhythm.

In addition to the specific proposals, a number of general concepts gained attention atAGBM 3, including flexibility, differential criteria and indicators, equity and trade.Introduced by the US and others at AGBM 2, flexibility featured in numerous Annex Icountries’ presentations as a prerequisite to new commitments. Germany and the RussianFederation prefer to reserve flexibility for countries with economies in transition, butmany others appear to want to apply the idea more widely to the timing, location and,possibly, type of steps a country might take to reduce GHG emissions. Where developedcountries questioned the G-77/China’s desire at the subsidiary bodies meetings to buildflexibility into their reporting proposals, the tables turned as Annex I countries sought toincorporate flexibility into their own commitments at AGBM 3. AOSIS was among thefew voices criticizing the impact of flexibility, saying it could compromise commitmentsto emission reductions. Malaysia also criticized flexibility, but at the same time positivelypresented ideas on indicators for equitable sharing, another idea Annex I countries werepromoting related to differential commitments.

Several ideas were floated that would divide shared commitments among Annex Icountries based on GDP or other economic indicators, emissions and other factors.Germany was a rare Annex I critic of differential targets, suggesting that generatingindicators would be impractical. Proponents argued that differential or shared targetswould enhance fairness and equity among those responsible for emissions. Like thedebate on flexibility, the key questions are whether differential, shared targets canenhance the effectiveness of possible new commitments in reducing possible climatechange and adverse impacts, how they would be negotiated and whether they providesuitable accountability. The emphasis on equity, combined with frequent calls for cost-effectiveness, could lay a complex set of economic considerations across the negotiators’path to new commitments.

The other challenge introduced at AGBM 3 was the trade impact of potential policies andmeasures. Recent negotiations in the WTO Committee on Trade and Environmentreportedly bogged down over conflicting views on how trade negotiators preferred toaddress trade measures in multilateral environmental agreements. Similar concerns overmarket access, eco-labeling and barriers to trade were raised for the first time at theAGBM by a range of countries, including those who have been least eager to take newmeasures against climate change.

Notably missing from AGBM 3 were sustained debates over the need for, extent andtiming of analysis and assessment. Perhaps the Chair’s initial warning that delegatesshould be willing to complete analytical work and move toward decisions took hold.Whatever the cause, those countries emphasizing socioeconomic assessment did not seemas adamant that such study precede or prevent other activities.


CONFERENCES ON ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED JOINTLY (AIJ):Regional Conference on Joint Implementation: Countries in Transition. ThisConference will be held from 17-19 April 1996 in the Hotel Ambassador, Vclavsk,nm 5-7, 111 24 Prague, Czech Republic and is sponsored by the UNEP Regional Officefor Europe, the governments of the Netherlands and Norway. The Conference isorganized under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.Further information is available from SEVEn, Mr. Miloš Tich, P.O. Box 39, 120 56Prague 2, Czech Republic, tel: +42 2 2424 7552; fax: +42 2 2424 7597; Information is also available on the Internet at

UNEP Conference on Activities Implemented Jointly under the UNFCCC: StructuringOpportunities for Building Consensus and Promoting International Cooperation. TheConference is being organized by the UNEP and the World Foundation for Environmentand Development (WFED) and will be held 20-24 May 1996 at the HerraduraInternational Conference Center, San Jose, Costa Rica. For more information contact:UNEP Conference on AIJ, c/o WFED, 1101 30th Street, NW-Suite 500, Washington, DC20007 USA. Fax: +1-202-686-3771.

IPCC WORKSHOPS: The IPCC will convene three workshops for the furtherdevelopment of the Guidelines for National GHG Inventories on the following topics:sources and removal by sinks of greenhouse gases from land use and forestry (Sao Josdos Campos, Sao Paulo, 21-22 March 1996); emissions from fuel combustion andindustrial processes (Abingdon, UK, 29-30 March 1996); and, methane emissions fromrice cultivation (Bangkok, Thailand, 30 April - 2 May 1996). The results will beincorporated as additions and/or revisions to the guidelines, and approved at IPCC-12,scheduled for the week of 9 September 1996 in Mexico. For more information contact:IPCC Secretariat, WMO, 41 Av. Giuseppe-Motta, C.P. N 2300, 1211 Geneva 2Switzerland, tel: +41 22 7308 215/254/284, fax: +41 22 7331 270 OMM CH,

REGIONAL WORKSHOPS: A Workshop on Climate Change Vulnerabilityand Adaptation in Latin America will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 22-24April 1996. The workshop is sponsored by the US Country Studies Program (USCSP),the Comisin Nacional sobre el Cambio Global and the Inter-American Institute forGlobal Change Research (invited). For more information contact: Annie Hareau orCecilia Ramos-Ma, Comisin Nacional sobre el Cambio Global, Cuidadela 1414, Piso6, Montevideo 11100, Uruguay, Tel/Fax: +598-2 932088 or Tel/Fax: +598-2 922416, e-mail:; or Christopher B. Bordeaux or Jack Fitzgerald , USCSP, 1000Independence Ave., SW, PO-63, Washington, DC 20585, USA, tel: +1-202 426-1637,fax: +1-202 426-1551, e-mail: or

THE SECOND MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: COP-2 will be held 8-19 July 1996 in Geneva. The session will open in plenary the first day,then suspend the plenary until Wednesday, 17 July to allow for the sessions of the foursubsidiary bodies (AGBM, SBSTA, SBI and AG13) to take place. The subsidiary bodieswill provide inputs, including draft decisions, for the various items on the COP-2 agenda.The plenary will reconvene to conclude negotiations and adopt decisions on 17-19 July.

Further information