Daily report for 8 May 2007
On Tuesday delegates met in parallel sessions of the two working groups to continue reading the Chair's revised draft negotiating document. Ad Hoc Working Group 1 considered air pollution/atmosphere and briefly energy for sustainable development, and Ad Hoc Working Group 2 discussed inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues and industrial development. Vice-Chairs Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso) and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado (Brazil) also held informal consultations with regional groups and key delegations to address unresolved issues on air pollution/atmosphere and climate change.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP 1
AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE: This session, facilitated by Vice-Chair Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso), resumed its discussion of the Chair's text. Delegates worked through the chapter, deleted some paragraphs, agreed on others and bracketed those on which consensus remained elusive.
Delegates finalized several paragraphs, including on: promoting country and regional air quality standards and norms "taking into account WHO guidelines as appropriate"; improving control of emissions from different sources including "reducing" emissions from gas flaring and venting and transport; inviting states to ratify or accede to the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol; supporting measures to address illegal ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol framework; strengthening systematic observation of the Earth's atmosphere; supporting international monitoring programmes such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS); promoting transfer of environmentally sound technologies for cleaner operating vehicles, traffic management and cleaner fuels; enhancing capacity building, institutional strengthening and involvement of relevant stakeholders in the work on improved air quality; and, facilitating the transfer of environmentally sound and affordable waste management, disposal and recycling technologies to developing countries.
Delegates also approved text on: improving urban air quality through cleaner fuels and new technologies for vehicles; expanding use of advanced energy technologies, including fossil fuel and renewables; improving data for monitoring air pollution; promoting less polluting mass transport systems; encouraging improved inspection and maintenance for all vehicles; encouraging public and private sectors to switch to more efficient vehicles, "including through legislation where appropriate"; and developing and implementing national standards and "market and non-market incentives" to improve fuels and vehicle efficiency.
Several paragraphs remained bracketed. On secondhand and polluting technology, the US and JAPAN preferred deleting the paragraph, or at least putting it in terms of "increasing awareness" of the issue, and the G-77/CHINA needed to consult further. The paragraph on phasing out leaded gasoline remains unresolved as the US, supported by AUSTRALIA and NORWAY, preferred highlighting the Global Mercury Partnership to Reduce Mercury from Coal Fired Utilities.
On regional, subregional and international cooperation, the G-77/CHINA proposed changing the title to "international cooperation." The EU discussed their proposed paragraph on international governance and synergies, which the US opposed. The G-77/CHINA proposed an alternative paragraph on encouraging synergies in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.
The US and MEXICO supported retaining a paragraph on the air pollution co-benefits of climate change policies, while the G-77/CHINA and NEW ZEALAND suggested deleting it. The EU and MEXICO suggested placing it back in the chapeau, but the G-77/CHINA opposed reopening agreed text. The US said that it might be better placed in the inter-linkages text.
On aviation and maritime sources, in addition to the placing of the relevant paragraph in the text, delegates disagreed on whether efforts to "tackle" air pollutants from aviation and maritime sources should be "through" the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) alone or "other relevant international frameworks" as well. The US opposed any reference to other fora. On encouraging donors to provide funds to the Multilateral Fund under the Montreal Protocol, CANADA and the US suggested deleting the text, and the G-77/CHINA preferred retaining it.
ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This session, facilitated by Vice-Chair Frances Lisson (Australia), met briefly from 12:50 pm to 1:05 pm. The G-77/CHINA introduced their proposed text on follow-up, and noted that they were still consulting on the issue of targets and means of implementation. Their consultations continued through the day.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP 2
INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic).
In the introductory paragraph, delegates agreed to the EU's text on "lifestyle change." CHILE, NEW ZEALAND and SWITZERLAND supported Norway and Canada's previous text highlighting the role of women but the G-77/CHINA opposed it. On lesson sharing, the G-77/CHINA opposed language on "review" and "monitoring," while the EU, NORWAY, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, and SWITZERLAND supported it. On public sector planning, delegates worked towards a compromise to include the G-77/China's emphasis on developing countries while keeping the paragraph relevant to all countries. On investment and trade policies, AUSTRALIA, supported by the EU, CANADA, and NEW ZEALAND suggested new text highlighting the non-discriminatory nature of trade policies, but it was rejected by the G-77/CHINA for not being action-oriented. On a paragraph on the Doha Round of trade negotiations, the EU called for its transfer to the chapter on industrial development and the US, supported by AUSTRALIA and CANADA opposed language proposed by the G-77/CHINA on tariff and non-tariff barriers.
On access to increased public and private funds, delegates added language and brackets, and discussed merging it with other similar paragraphs, moving it to other sections of the draft, or deleting it in part or in full. On developing and promoting innovative financing schemes, including, inter alia, investment guarantees, revolving funds, CDM and fiscal reforms, the US with the EU proposed "using a variety of financing methods." The G-77/CHINA proposed dividing the paragraph into three on: identifying innovative sustainable financing; reinforcing financial mechanisms; and inviting developed countries to keep their commitments to micro schemes. The US with the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, suggested deleting the paragraph or, at the suggestion of the Chair, merging it with other paragraphs. On the G-77/China's proposal to enhance financial and technical assistance to peoples under foreign occupation, the US proposed deletion, as it was political and irrelevant to CSD-15. The G-77/CHINA said in response that it was a developmental issue and had been raised in other sustainable development negotiations.
On technology transfer, the US, supported by the EU, AUSTRALIA and CANADA, proposed simplified language by referring to JPOI paragraphs 105 and 106, with the G-77/CHINA reserving its position. The EU, CANADA, SWITZERLAND and the US, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, requested deleting the paragraph referring to a review of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on the ground that the CSD does not have the competence. On the Bali Strategic Plan, the G-77/CHINA called for its "immediate" implementation, with the EU preferring "urgent." The EU suggested, and the group agreed, to insert the year "2015" as the target for achieving universal primary education. Delegates also agreed to the EU suggestion to include a reference to the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The G-77/CHINA agreed subject to approval from the larger group. There was no agreement on developing strategies regarding sustainable consumption and production.
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic). On taking action, the G-77/CHINA proposed "taking into account national circumstances with international support," the US with the EU agreed to include national circumstances and opposed language on international support. On creating an enabling policy environment, the US agreed to proposed text by the EU on "building on principles of sustainability and good governance" after changing "principles" to "concepts." The G-77/CHINA said it was opposed to any kind of conditionality being placed on national policy making, and that the meaning of sustainability was not clear. The EU suggested "building on the concept of sustainability and good governance" and the US proposed "policies as appropriate." On the issue of increased resources for basic infrastructure, the G-77/CHINA suggested "scaling up resource flows" and the US "promoting resources." The Chair proposed "mobilizing" resources instead and the G-77/CHINA said it would consult its members. AUSTRALIA, supported by the EU and the US, proposed creating an "enabling environment that facilitates foreign direct investment." The G-77/CHINA opposed this and AUSTRALIA offered "taking actions that include" in response. On innovative environmental management systems such as life-cycle analysis, eco-design and green procurement, the G-77/CHINA said they had problems with, for example, eco-labeling and its restrictions on trade. NORWAY proposed moving the reference to eco-labeling to cross-cutting issues, to refer to the Global Reporting Initiative as foreseen in paragraph 18 of JPOI, and to move the rest to the paragraph on the promotion of sustainable patterns of production and consumption.
On environmental and social responsibility, NORWAY proposed re-formulated text. MEXICO and SWITZERLAND called for a reference to the ILO in this text. The US, supported by AUSTRALIA, added a reference to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the G-77/CHINA reserved its final position. On patterns of production and consumption, delegates found compromise language referring to "all countries with developed countries taking the lead." The Chair suggested, and delegates agreed to, a re-worked paragraph on sustainable tourism and eco-tourism. Within a paragraph on cooperation and dialogue, the G-77/CHINA recommended, and delegates agreed, to include all Major Groups. On the same topic, the EU and NORWAY, urged by the G-77/CHINA and AUSTRALIA, agreed to delete earlier text referring to "establishment of national arenas" as it was considered overly prescriptive. On marine resources, the EU agreed to the US insertion of "utilization" on the condition that it is "sustainable." While the EU and the US requested deletion of a paragraph on agriculture, the G-77/CHINA reserved its position.
IN THE CORRIDORS
On Tuesday, things were picking up briskly in Conference Room 2, where negotiators managed to sail through a dozen paragraphs on air pollution/atmosphere, cleaning up bracketed clutter. Delegates were surprisingly generous on some points that seemed intractable a few days ago. Little of this generosity was demonstrated in the negotiations on industrial development and inter-linkages where "paragraph gallop," bracket proliferation, and dolorous repetitions of slogans from decades past occupied most of the scarce time remaining.
The Tuesday negotiations deadline came and went, with no end in sight for resolving a broad sweep of remaining issues. The G-77/China failed to complete, again, its internal consultations on energy. To one delegate, the inability to agree on a mandate for meaningful negotiation lay at the crux of the current stalemate; it was disturbing that "there was no sign of mounting pressure" to report to arriving ministers. As a former minister observed at a business luncheon, "the obstacles to what we are trying to achieve are the governments that make up the CSD process."