Report of main proceedings for 1 May 2007
On Tuesday, delegates met in parallel sessions to discuss policy options and possible actions contained in the Chair's draft negotiating document. Discussions were structured around each of the four thematic issues, and focused on priority actions, cross-cutting issues and specific initiatives.
ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This session was facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Frances Lisson (Australia). Pakistan, for the G-77/CHINA, highlighted the need to increase access to energy, improve energy efficiency and enhance international and regional cooperation.
Germany, for the EU, noted the need for CSD-15 outcomes to include: time-bound targets on energy efficiency, renewables and access to energy; a review arrangement; follow-up at CSD's 2010/11 and 2014/15 sessions; and a compilation of national and regional goals and commitments. The US supported follow-up in 2010 and 2014. CANADA favored a balanced market-based approach, and AUSTRALIA said that the CSD should act as a focal point for the discussion of partnerships.
The EU, ICELAND, AOSIS, and others favored increasing renewables. INDIA called for global action to reduce costs of renewables, and enhanced research and technology cooperation. ISRAEL highlighted solar energy's potential. On biofuels, BARBADOS favored them, and COSTA RICA cautioned that they not lead to deforestation. QATAR highlighted the importance of liquid natural gas as a clean energy source. KUWAIT stressed the continuing role of fossil fuels, and said a voluntary fund should embrace renewables and fossil fuels. GHANA said that fossil fuels should be made affordable. CHILE and ARGENTINA supported, and AOSIS opposed, the inclusion of nuclear power in the energy mix. AOSIS and INDIA expressed concerns about carbon capture and storage.
On access to energy, INDONESIA highlighted the needs of the poor in rural and remote areas, and ZIMBABWE referred to the needs of women. VENEZUELA emphasized the social aspects of energy use to combat poverty. JAPAN stressed the importance of cooperation with the private sector and international financial institutions.
IRAN, CHINA, SAUDI ARABIA and EGYPT emphasized, inter alia, the transfer of clean technologies to developing countries. SOUTH AFRICA stressed incentives for technology transfer such as carbon markets.
Commenting on the Chair's draft negotiating document, MEXICO suggested stressing the importance of technology transfer. SWITZERLAND called for improving structure and consistency. MICRONESIA, supported by the SOLOMON ISLANDS, asked for inclusion of a SIDS section in the Chair's document, and supported a global renewable energy trust fund for SIDS. TONGA and TUVALU called for specific focus on SIDS issues. As a CSD outcome, NORWAY suggested a list of sustainable energy approaches to supplement the negotiated document. KAZAKHSTAN suggested creating a council for energy security in Central Asia.
Several countries, including BRAZIL, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and the US, also presented national energy policies and specific initiatives.
AIR POLLUTION AND ATMOSPHERE
This session, facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso), considered both indoor and outdoor air pollution.
The G-77/CHINA stressed the adverse effects of air pollution and proposed a range of policy options, including increased technology transfer and exploring synergies among multilateral agreements. Commenting on the Chair's draft negotiating document, AOSIS called for new and additional financial resources to implement the Mauritius Strategy.
The EU supported the establishment of voluntary guidelines for the aviation and maritime sectors. The US highlighted a number of successful initiatives, urging delegates to avoid duplicating the efforts of international organizations.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA, BOTSWANA and others called for greater efforts to battle illegal trade in polluting substances. COSTA RICA called for strengthening the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA emphasized the importance of creating markets and financial incentives for clean technologies. CHINA said many developing countries' economies rely on heavy industry and cannot easily switch to clean technologies. INDONESIA and SOUTH AFRICA noted that efforts must be pursued in the context of economic growth and poverty reduction.
SENEGAL stressed the human health impacts and proposed a world charter on air quality. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS highlighted the impact of poor air quality on human health in the workplace. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY outlined the Business Action for Energy initiative, urged multi-stakeholder solutions, and outlined successful case studies and partnerships. FARMERS called for greater support to the agricultural community in developing biofuels. YOUTH AND CHILDREN urged time-bound, measurable targets on air pollution.
Many countries spoke about indoor pollution, noting the gender dimension, the need to transform home cooking fuels from traditional biomass to cleaner options, and the importance of capacity building, technology transfer and financing. INDIA said air pollution standards should not be universal and cited success with cleaner-burning biofuel stoves. WOMEN urged countries to support the goal of halving the number of people without access to modern cooking fuels and making improved cooking technologies widely available by 2015. NGOs advocated promotion of behavioral changes at the household level.
This session was facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic).
The G-77/CHINA, supported by CHINA and QATAR, emphasized the imperative of economic growth for developing countries, listed the factors constraining industrialization, and submitted policy options. On clean technology, the EU called for increased research and measures to stimulate demand. AOSIS highlighted the importance of the Mauritius Strategy. The US warned against reopening concluded debates and urged participants to reaffirm their commitments to previous agreements. AUSTRALIA underscored the CSD's role in sharing national experiences, and CANADA stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility.
UNIDO underscored the need for pro-poor and sustainable economic growth. JORDAN called for special attention to cleaner production schemes, and ISRAEL emphasized investment funds to promote clean development. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA highlighted free trade agreements coupled with environment protection, and SOUTH AFRICA referred to industrial integration in the NEPAD region.
On the Chair's draft negotiating document, MEXICO proposed additions on technology transfer on favorable terms, and SWITZERLAND suggested including reference to the Marrakesh process and "the reduce, reuse and recycle" principle. NORWAY discussed the Oslo Agenda for Change, and INDIA highlighted the importance of indigenous peoples entrepreneurship. INDONESIA cautioned against the impacts of industrial development on agriculture and, with KENYA, stressed capacity building and technology transfer. SENEGAL highlighted the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises.
WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS urged more worker participation and corporate social responsibility. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES suggested that all sources of energy be considered. WOMEN expressed concern over reliance on fossil fuels and objected to nuclear energy. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY stressed partnerships and the role of the market in cleaner production and innovation. YOUTH AND CHILDREN urged national growth indexes to account for social and environmental factors. FARMERS suggested they should receive a percentage of bioenergy production revenues. NGOs stressed the promotion of energy efficiency, advocating the adoption of a UN World Energy Efficiency day.
This session was facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado (Brazil). Introducing the topic, Bagher Asadi, Chair of the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), said the work of the SBI and CSD are distinct but complementary, and expressed the hope that CSD's political impetus would have a positive impact on the SBI.
In their subsequent interventions, delegates focused on a wide range of issues, including negotiations on post-2012 commitments under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, the role of the CSD and the Chair's draft negotiating document, adaptation, mitigation, the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and national policies and measures.
The G-77/CHINA highlighted, inter alia, the lack of fulfillment of Kyoto Protocol commitments and inadequate adaptation funding. He also stressed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the need to evaluate and streamline Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding.
The EU highlighted the urgent need for a post-2012 agreement and its independent 20% greenhouse gas reduction target from 1990 levels by 2020.
AOSIS, called for, inter alia, financing for adaptation, adapting the CDM to suit SIDS' limited capacities, funding early warning systems, and researching the adverse impacts of carbon capture and storage on marine resources.
Many speakers, including EGYPT, INDONESIA, NORWAY, SOUTH AFRICA, TANZANIA, and ZIMBABWE highlighted the importance of adaptation as well as mitigation efforts. INDIA highlighted development as critical to adaptation. JAMAICA urged the speedy implementation of the Adaptation Fund.
On CSD-15 and the Chair's draft negotiating document, the US said CSD adds value through its crosscutting approach to development objectives. AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA, JAPAN and the US emphasized the primacy of UNFCCC processes in dealing with climate change. INDIA expressed concern at the lack of time to complete negotiations on the climate section of the Chair's document by Friday, 4 May, when some delegates leave for the twenty-sixth sessions of the Subisidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC in Bonn. The SOLOMON ISLANDS called on CSD-15 to produce a "real" outcome document that commits to action on adaptation assistance for SIDS and LDCs. NORWAY said CSD-15 should issue a strong message to provide impetus to talks under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. She also highlighted ambitious domestic targets, including a 30% emissions reduction by 2020, and full carbon neutral status by 2050. MARSHALL ISLANDS said the document should contain concrete recommendations on issues such as the Adaptation Fund. FARMERS said the document should include references to agriculture.
On a post-2012 framework, ICELAND emphasized the need for further commitments beyond 2012, and BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY supported well-designed, long-term, cost-effective policy frameworks and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
VENEZUELA noted the potential risks and distortions of market-based mechanisms, and urged developed countries to reduce emissions. ISRAEL, TANZANIA, MICRONESIA and others called for improving the CDM's capacity to meet country needs.
GHANA, with others, called attention to the plight of the most vulnerable countries and groups, especially women. PALAU stressed the importance of coral reefs for countries dependent on fisheries and tourism. NGOs expressed surprise at some parties' comments on the economic risks and costs of climate policies, noting the Stern Review's finding that the cost of inaction will far exceed the cost of action.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Delegates were awaiting the distribution of the Chair's revised draft negotiating document, expected on Wednesday afternoon. The climate change text in particular was the topic of conversation, with nervousness expressed about whether drafting could possibly be concluded by this Friday when some negotiators will leave for SB 26 in Bonn. "We're more likely to succeed in bracketing 90% of the text than agreeing on it," predicted one delegate. There were also differences of opinion over CSD's role in the climate debate, with some preferring to leave it to the UNFCCC, while others felt that a strong message could inspire those in Bonn.
Participants were also heard discussing a dialogue on the performance of CSD in the context of sustainable development governance throughout the UN system. Six former Chairs of CSD are supporting efforts by Stakeholder Forum and others to revisit the question of how best to implement the intergovernmental mandate to integrate environment and development into decision making. The aim is to go beyond "harping on lack of follow-up on real and imagined commitments" made at UN Summits towards a pragmatic discussion on improved institutional arrangements.