Report of main proceedings for 2 May 2007
On Wednesday morning, delegates met in parallel sessions to continue discussions on the thematic issues of energy for sustainable development and climate change, and to consider inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues, including means of implementation. The Chair's revised draft negotiating document was distributed at 3:00pm, and thereafter delegates met in the corridors and in closed regional and interest group meetings to prepare their responses. Negotiations will commence on Thursday and be organized in two ad hoc working groups. Working Group 1 will deal with energy for sustainable development and air pollution and atmosphere. Working Group 2 will deal with industrial development, climate change, inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues.
INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES
This session was facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic).
Pakistan, for the G77/CHINA, supported by INDONESIA, highlighted the gap between the intent and implementation of multilateral agreements, and expressed concern over the lack of progress in the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building. In order to enhance financial resource mobilization, he proposed simplifying reporting procedures under multilateral funding mechanisms. Supported by SOUTH AFRICA, he suggested reviewing the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other intellectual property laws so as to enable increased technology transfer. Germany, for the EU, said that financial mechanisms increase investment in clean energy technologies and, supported by TURKEY, called for an enabling environment for public-private partnerships.
The US identified the Marrakesh Process as a model for the CSD's work, characterizing it as a pragmatic programme incorporating dialogue, case studies and voluntary guidelines.
Grenada, for AOSIS, supported by the SOLOMON ISLANDS, called for a SIDS information-sharing network and insurance to cover climate change related natural disasters. He also urged delegates to support the inclusion of text on the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy.
ISRAEL detailed its work on sustainable development and, supported by WOMEN, the EU, SOUTH AFRICA and ITALY, highlighted the importance of gender equality.
CHINA urged governments to translate general proposals into commitments on, inter alia, financial resource mobilization, technology transfer and gender equality. CANADA, CHILE and others highlighted the need for greater emphasis on good governance and supportive policy environments. CUBA identified excessive consumption and pollution as the main causal factors for the problems under discussion. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA described a "learning and review" process on good practices involving eight Asian countries. ITALY described the work of the Task Force on Education for Sustainable Consumption. TONGA reviewed the specific challenges facing SIDS, such as vulnerability to natural disasters. SWEDEN stressed the importance of sustainable consumption in developed and developing countries and described the ongoing efforts of the Task Force on Sustainable Lifestyles. SWITZERLAND emphasized the importance of enabling policy environments, and the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems and their importance for fresh water resources. He also highlighted the need to provide mountain populations with affordable energy. JAPAN noted the link between drought, floods and access to clean water. INDIA called for a review of multilateral funding mechanisms to reduce transaction costs.
Noting that the Chair's draft negotiating document resembles a "shopping list," SOUTH AFRICA said that the document lacks specific commitments, and does not reflect Africa's key priorities which include hydroelectricity and nuclear power.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY supported technology transfer, and identified elements of the policy environment conducive to attracting their resources, such as open markets and intellectual property protection. FARMERS noted a need for technology and knowledge to adapt to climate change. YOUTH AND CHILDREN called for teachers to receive requisite training, and for sustainable development education to be included in curricula, beginning in primary school. ILO called for the final negotiated outcome to reflect the 2006 ECOSOC Ministerial Declaration section on international labor standards. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS said technology transfer should include training. NGOs opposed nuclear energy, and called for the phase out of energy subsidies by 2010.
ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This session, facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Frances Lisson (Australia), was a continuation of Tuesday morning's discussion. On the Chair's draft negotiating document, FIJI, NAURU, PAPUA NEW GUINEA and SAMOA called for direct reference to the further implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. DENMARK and JORDAN called for CSD to introduce the 2010 and 2015 review mechanism, as proposed by the Johannesburg Renewable Energy Coalition. AZERBAIJAN supported text on transfer of cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and TURKEY suggested including reference to hydropower. BURUNDI highlighted issues specific to the Great Lakes region of Africa, and BENIN called for the final document to contain proposals for policies that facilitate access to affordable energy.
On renewable energy, a number of countries noted their domestic targets, SAMOA stressed that technologies should be suitable for island conditions, and MALAYSIA called for countries to adopt time-bound targets. On energy mixes, AZERBAIJAN, LIBYA and SAUDI ARABIA stressed the complementarity between fossil fuels and renewables, and PAKISTAN advocated further exploration and development of renewable and nuclear energy options. LIBYA recommended the use of natural gas to reduce emissions, and TURKEY highlighted the importance of clean coal technologies.
On domestic issues, BURKINA FASO stressed the need to evaluate the costs of clean technologies. Noting the malpractice of oil companies in oil producing countries, AZERBAIJAN supported corporate social responsibility strategies. PALESTINE highlighted its inability to exploit natural resources in the face of foreign occupation and destruction of its power facilities. FIJI and NAURU supported mainstreaming gender issues into energy goals, and BOTSWANA stressed the need to involve women in the selection and design of renewable technologies. UN-HABITAT recommended slum electrification programs and dissemination of urban poor energy-related best practices.
Many countries discussed domestic and rural electrification programmes. BANGLADESH and KENYA highlighted the importance of regional integration to ensure energy security. OMAN presented on national achievements in providing access to energy for industrial use. SENEGAL reported on national energy policy, and called for capacity building in the energy sector, financial support and technology transfer.
The UNITED KINGDOM urged governments to facilitate access to financial mechanisms, promote multi-stakeholder partnerships and negotiate an ambitious CSD outcome. The NETHERLANDS suggested that DESA prepare a compilation of national commitments and contributions. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION stressed the link between climate change and energy policies, and explained how EU initiatives are being translated into concrete results. IUCN urged assessments of energy policies, projects and technologies and reducing pressures on ecosystems from energy policies. OPEC emphasized research and development, capacity building, technology transfer and best practices.
This session, facilitated by CSD-15 Vice-Chair Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso), was a continuation of Tuesday afternoon's discussion.
WOMEN urged governments to promote gender mainstreaming in climate change policies and programmes. She opposed nuclear energy, cautioned against a focus on fossil fuels, and highlighted the need to build momentum on renewable and safe energy technologies.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES underscored the need for action on mitigation and adaptation, and to this end, suggested strengthening, inter alia, support for the sciences, government funding for research and international cooperation.
YOUTH AND CHILDREN stressed that climate change should be addressed in an ethical and moral framework, and recommended time-bound targets addressing mitigation, adaptation and education. She also called for governments to involve youth and children in policy making.
Noting that cities are part of the problem and solution to climate change, UN-HABITAT urged responsible urban planning. He recommended, inter alia, stricter energy efficiency standards for transport and buildings.
Noting the limited number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Arab regions, the ORGANIZATION OF ARAB PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES (OAPEC) highlighted the need for equitable geographical distribution of CDM projects and to strengthen national institutional capacities. She supported inclusion of carbon capture and storage projects in the CDM, strengthening funding mechanisms under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and mitigating the impacts of policies and measures adopted by industrial countries to comply with their climate commitments.
IN THE CORRIDORS
There was a modest scramble as delegates rushed to get copies of the revised version of the Chair's draft negotiating text, which arrived in Conference Room 2 an hour after the appointed time. Most left the room immediately, but some were seen scrutinizing the text and comparing it with the previous version. Initial reactions were, understandably, circumspect. To some, the paper seemed an improvement, at least structurally. The separate sections on SIDS and Africa, albeit short, appeared a welcome change, as well as chapters on means of implementation. However, at this early hour participants were reluctant to comment on substance, though, as one delegate observed, "the text seems better."