Report of main proceedings for 8 May 2007
On Monday 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 energy for sustainable development and air pollution/atmosphere, and Ad Hoc Working Group 2 discussed the preamble, inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues, industrial development and climate change.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP 1
ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Frances Lisson (Australia). As G-77/China consultations were still ongoing, discussion on the energy text began at 11:30 am and concluded at 12:30 pm. The G-77/China's proposals on the energy efficiency and regional, subregional and international cooperation sections were considered.
Egypt, for the G-77/CHINA, proposed language on, inter alia: encouraging instead of adopting national policies on energy efficiency measures; increasing efficiency in oil and gas extraction and introducing cleaner fuels for transportation; promoting public procurement policies that "encourage" instead of "integrate" energy efficiency measures; and promoting international efforts on energy efficiency.
On regional, subregional and international cooperation, the G-77/CHINA suggested deleting "regional" and "subregional" from the subheading, and proposed text that specified "international support for" taking actions. He also proposed new language on: enhancing regional cooperation in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy; creating partnerships with regional and international financial institutions; supporting the national and regional efforts of developing countries; and on paying attention to the needs of women and youth in the provision of local energy services. The G-77/CHINA reserved the right to return to certain sections of the text, including on bioenergy, and the EU's proposed text on a review arrangement for energy for sustainable development, progress reports and a review of JPOI commitments. NORWAY, supported by the US, offered amendments to the EU's proposed text.
AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE: This session, facilitated by Vice-Chair Alain Edouard Traore (Burkina Faso), met briefly in the afternoon. After a short break a revised text incorporating delegates' textual suggestions was distributed. Delegates reconvened at 6:30 pm and completed their deliberations at 8:50 pm.
The EU provided rephrased chapeau language, added "workers" to text on health impacts of indoor pollution, and suggested "eliminating" rather than "reducing" gas flaring and venting. He bracketed reference to the Marrakesh process, and included wording on tackling air pollution from aviation and maritime sources, which the G-77/CHINA opposed.
In reference to the export of secondhand and polluting technology, the G-77/CHINA suggested the proviso of "meeting norms of the importing countries." He added "non-market" incentives to improve fuels and vehicle efficiency, expressed preference for WSSD language, such as on "addressing" ozone depleting substances instead of "enforcing control." He also proposed language encouraging donors to provide adequate financial resources during the next replenishment of the Multilateral Fund under the Montreal Protocol. He supported the US suggestion to drop the paragraph on curbing burning of garbage and regulating incineration of toxic fume-emitting waste.
In the evening session, on the chapeau, the EU supported, and the US opposed the inclusion of "an integrated approach" in reference to tackling air pollution. After editorial edits, language proposed by AUSTRALIA was eventually agreed with the caveat that the G-77/CHINA would need to confirm group consensus. A reference to climate change and air pollution policies proposed by Switzerland was moved to a later section of the chapter.
On taking actions on indoor air pollution, the EU supported referencing "improving knowledge" whereas the US, supported by the G-77/CHINA, proposed text on "improving information and its dissemination." AUSTRALIA proposed alternative language, eventually agreed by delegates, to "improve information dissemination of, and the knowledge base on, sources and health impacts of indoor air pollution, in particular on women, children and workers." However, reference to financial resources to support programmes to mitigate the health impacts of indoor air pollution remained in brackets as delegates preferred to address this issue in relation to later text on examples of best practice approaches to reduce indoor air pollution. On increasing successful approaches and best practices to reduce indoor air pollution, the G-77/CHINA rejected the US's reference to the "Partnership for Clean Indoor Air." On a paragraph intended to promote the cleaner use and switch from using traditional biomass, ICELAND and NORWAY called for inclusion of reference to "geothermal," the US suggested highlighting the "utilization" of biomass, and the G-77/CHINA proposed new language that provided for incentives to switch to cleaner fuels and technologies.
AD HOC WORKING GROUP 2
INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic).
In the paragraph on actions to be taken, the G-77/CHINA suggested enhancing financial and technical assistance to include "peoples under foreign occupation." On the same issue, the EU emphasized the "polluter pays" principle. On technology transfer, the EU proposed referring to "preferential concessional terms as mutually agreed," SWITZERLAND included "through protecting intellectual property rights" and the G-77/CHINA suggested specifying countries with economies in transition. On technical capacity building, the G-77/CHINA proposed reference to "collaborative research and development" projects, and added a new paragraph calling for a review of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
On education, the G-77/CHINA included text on the goal of universal primary education. On production and consumption, the US proposed deleting language calling on developed countries to take the lead, and the EU inserted text calling for the "more efficient" use of natural resources. At the end of the reading, the EU suggested reordering the list of actions to be taken under six headings: good governance; financing; capacity building; technology; sustainable consumption and production patterns; and gender equality.
PREAMBLE: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic). Delegates completed a first reading of the preambular paragraphs. The G-77/CHINA reserved the right to return to several issues on which they had yet to formulate positions. Objecting to highlighting only one of many principles, the US proposed deleting the reference to principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on common but differentiated responsibilities. On recognizing the special needs of Africa, LDCs, landlocked developing countries, and SIDS, the G-77/CHINA proposed additional paragraphs on the needs of countries emerging from conflict, the difficulties facing peoples under foreign occupation, and the importance of new and additional resources. The US proposed text noting the significant progress made during this CSD implementation cycle in, inter alia, increasing access to energy, reducing indoor air pollution and phasing out leaded gasoline. NORWAY, with SWITZERLAND, suggested recognizing the conclusions of the IPCC report and its implications for sustainable development. The EU called attention to the increasing resources available from developed countries which have set targets for achieving 0.7% of GNP for ODA. The US proposed deleting "targets" as some countries have increased resources without using targets.
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Jiří Hlaváček (Czech Republic). The G-77/CHINA presented initial comments on the text. On the "mutually reinforcing relationship" between industrial development, social advancement and environmental protection, the G-77/CHINA proposed "in the context of sustainable development" instead of "mutually reinforcing relationship." On adding development "within the natural resource base" proposed by Switzerland, the G-77/CHINA asked to separate the industrial development and the natural resource management concerns, and the Chair asked the US and the EU for language to resolve this by the next day. On the importance of business and industry, the G-77/CHINA opposed singling them out without listing others. On the right of countries to decide their own industrial development, environmental protection and environmental management strategies, as proposed by the G-77/China, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND and the US suggested inserting language from principle 2 of the Rio Declaration referring to the responsibility of states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction and control do not cause damage to the environment. On certification, the G-77/CHINA proposed its deletion from the list of trade-related capacity building, and using the term "technical knowledge" in place of "intellectual property."
CLIMATE CHANGE: This session was facilitated by Vice-Chair Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado (Brazil). The group commenced its third reading of the text.
On the G-77/China's alternative chapeau, the EU noted the need to strengthen the language on future actions, and with the US, to introduce text to reflect that all countries need to take action to address climate change. SWITZERLAND noted the need for language on the anthropogenic sources of climate change, and on supporting and stimulating the UNFCCC. CANADA suggested streamlining the text, and reflecting the key elements. AUSTRALIA proposed highlighting practical actions the CSD can take.
On reducing emissions, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, and the US supported the alternative requiring countries to take actions to meet "all UNFCCC commitments and obligations," with JAPAN noting that the text is strong, simple and understandable, and AUSTRALIA that it reflects a broader range of commitments. SWITZERLAND opposed this paragraph, since its implications for non-parties to the Convention are unclear, and there is no reference to the Kyoto Protocol. He also cautioned against losing the message while streamlining the text. On the G-77/China's alternative, most countries expressed willingness to work on the text, with the EU, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND and the US proposing a reference to all the UNFCCC principles, not just the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
On linking climate change policies with other policies and measures and the G-77/China's alternative paragraph "to develop and disseminate innovative technologies" on "key sectors of development," the EU agreed to it, and CANADA, supported by the US, suggested that the phrase "of development" be deleted, and "clean energy" be specified.
On the G-77/China's suggested paragraph on adaptation, the EU, CANADA, and the US voiced agreement provided the phrase "increase the financial and technical" is replaced with "continue to support" developing countries to meet their adaptation challenges.
The G-77/CHINA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN and the US reiterated their request to delete the EU's suggested paragraph on incentives to enhance use of market-based mechanisms, and the EU sought to retain it.
On integrating climate change risks into poverty reduction strategies, NORWAY withdrew its suggestion to add language on "official development aid strategies," and the EU, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, SWITZERLAND and the EU expressed a preference for the Chair's formulation.
On carbon capture and storage, PALAU continued to oppose it, and the G-77/CHINA reserved comment.
IN THE CORRIDORS
"Tomorrow, I'll bring my copy of "War and Peace"! This is how an exasperated delegate was heard reacting to the unbridled expansion of the Chair's negotiating document, fed by a non-ending torrent of additions and amendments. The large screens in both conference rooms, which showed a single page of text at a time, were straining the cognitive capacities of the negotiators, making it hard to grasp the fuller picture of what had been added, amended, or deleted. Following a sensible suggestion by the US delegate, the secretariat started distributing updated printed versions of negotiated text. Some saw this as a sign that genuine drafting is imminent, and the move to smaller negotiating rooms yesterday night was welcomed.
However, according to some participants, the persisting differences within the G-77/China group do not yet permit entrusting the group's negotiators with a common posture on several contentious issues and therefore reaching quick consensus. In any case, since the real negotiations have barely begun, with the first paragraph of negotiated text agreed to at 7:20 pm on Monday night, the chances of concluding on Tuesday are slim.