Report of main proceedings for 23 April 2001
On the second week of work, delegates began drafting CSD-9 decisions. They completed a first reading of the draft decision on atmosphere during a morning session and discussed the draft decision on energy in a morning and early afternoon session. They considered draft decisions on transport and on international cooperation for an enabling environment in late afternoon sessions, and a draft decision on information for decision-making and participation in an evening session.
DRAFTING GROUP I
ENERGY: Chaired by Alison Drayton (Guyana), the Group completed a first reading of the draft decision on energy and sustainable development. On additional financial resources, delegates agreed to include wording from the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (UNGASS-19). The EU underlined its preference to refer to general principles over non-prescriptive policy options. On combining various sustainable energy practices, SAUDI ARABIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and POLAND urged retaining specific reference to the exclusion of nuclear technologies.
SAUDI ARABIA, the G-77/CHINA and the US opposed the Chair’s compromise text on ensuring a reliable market for energy suppliers, arguing it did not reflect an appropriate balance between energy supply and demand. On establishing energy efficiency programmes, SAUDI ARABIA, opposed by the EU, proposed removing the requirement for national plans and policies. On strengthening the role of major groups in decision making, the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, supported the Chair’s proposal to include language from Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. The EU disagreed with text on poverty eradication, which remains bracketed. On the polluter pays principle, SAUDI ARABIA underlined that this refers to developed countries, and proposed alternative text calling on energy taxes to be restructured to reflect the level of environmental pollution of each energy source. This remains bracketed.
On encouraging the generation and distribution of electricity at affordable rates, the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, proposed reference to commercially viable and socially acceptable rates. AUSTRALIA proposed reference to competitive rates. Affordable rates remains bracketed. SAUDI ARABIA opposed text referring to the development of energy efficiency codes and standards for appliances, equipment and buildings. This is bracketed. On phasing out energy subsidies, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN and the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, proposed deleting specific reference to developed countries. This remains bracketed.
On the challenges and recommendations for nuclear energy technologies, AUSTRALIA, the G-77/CHINA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, the US and others, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, supported unbracketing the draft text, with certain revisions. The EU distributed revised text on the challenges of nuclear energy, and said they had not decided their position on whether to retain the text on government recommendations. A number of delegations proposed amendments to the text on government recommendations, particularly on the transboundary movement of nuclear waste. These proposals will be included in the revised text. Delegates failed to reach agreement on text regarding: transport systems for sustainable development; the progressive elimination of leaded gasoline; indicators; and eco-efficiency.
Closing the meeting, Chair Drayton distributed her proposed text on making markets work and on international cooperation.
DRAFTING GROUP II
INFORMATION FOR DECISION MAKING AND PARTICIPATION: Drayton chaired the work of the Group. All proposed text was included in brackets. The EU called for numerous references to Rio Principle 10 throughout the draft elements, and proposed two new paragraphs on the same issue. Stating that they were not expecting new text, many delegations objected to the proposals. The G-77/ CHINA preferred separate references to developing countries and countries with economies in transition (EITs), stating their circumstances are different. JAPAN called for reference to global observing systems. The section on indicators for sustainable development was not addressed, pending discussion in informal consultations.
On general considerations, the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, suggested text on "adequate" financial resources. On accessibility guidelines, the US suggested reference to people with disabilities. On training and capacity building, CANADA suggested reference to relevant international organizations, as appropriate. On access to information, the EU highlighted the importance of the media, and on providing technological infrastructure, she suggested deleting "to developing countries."
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT: Group Chair Madina Jarbussynova (Kazakhstan) invited delegates to conduct a first reading of the document. All text suggestions were bracketed. The EU made many proposals on sound macro-economic frameworks, good governance and poverty. The G-77/CHINA opposed reference to good governance. Other proposals included: the need for equitable sharing of benefits from globalization; the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities; the need for CSD to contribute to the Third UN Conference on Least Developed Countries and to the 2002 Financing For Development conference; reintroduction of text from CSD-9 Intersessionals on technology transfer and finance; and reference to national strategies for sustainable development, as opposed to national and regional development programmes.
Divergent views were expressed on: ODA flows and their coordination; how to resolve the debt problems of highly indebted poor developing countries; language on the third replenishment of the GEF; references to poverty eradication, as opposed to poverty alleviation; and environmentally-sound investments in developing countries. Regarding trade practices that hinder the export of developing country products to developed countries, JAPAN proposed using agreed language from CSD-8 decision 8/6, which the EU and the G-77/ CHINA said could be compromise text. On improving market access, the US, with AUSTRALIA, and opposed by the G-77/CHINA, preferred deleting reference to products from developing countries.
Other proposals related to: the need for benefit-sharing mechanisms; defining natural resource property rights; the establishment of "public-public" partnerships; the reintroduction of a G-77/CHINA proposal on the reform of existing taxes to reflect environmental and safety considerations; and support to developing countries to implement national sustainable development strategies.
In response to proposals from the EU, SWITZERLAND and the US, the G-77/CHINA cautioned against imposing new conditionalities, but indicated willingness to compromise on current text if references to the rule of law could be replaced with "an enabling legal environment."
DRAFTING GROUP III
Drafting Group III was chaired by David Stuart (Australia). Based on the morning session, a revised text on atmosphere with bracketed proposals was distributed in the late afternoon.
ATMOSPHERE: The EU proposed text on the effects of air pollution on cultural heritage. The EU, the US, CANADA and JAPAN, opposed by the G-77/CHINA and others, proposed deleting text on equity and historical share regarding atmospheric issues. On support to EITs and developing countries, proposals included: developed country provision of new resources to the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund; the introduction, development and transfer of cleaner fuel and abatement technology; and assessment of global air pollution impacts.
Divergent views were expressed on the EU’s proposals to send a strong political message to the negotiating parties to the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols. The G-77/CHINA called on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to increase participation of developing country experts in report preparation. On regional cooperation, the EU and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, opposed by SAUDI ARABIA, recommended text to "further develop" regional agreements and strategies for improved air quality. The EU, supported by SAUDI ARABIA, proposed text on, inter alia, capacity building and institutional strengthening.
The G-77/CHINA, with the EU and the US, proposed deleting or reformulating text referring to improvements in shelter conditions to benefit women and children’s health. The EU proposed text calling for: promoting urban health plans and strategic environmental evaluations; avoiding introduction of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) not yet covered by international regulations; and supporting the conversion to non-ODS or alternative technologies. The US and SAUDI ARABIA questioned the appropriateness of discussing ODS within the CSD. MEXICO called for the dissemination of information to raise public awareness of health risks of atmospheric pollution and ozone depletion.
TRANSPORT: Discussion in the session focused on the transport of nuclear waste. JAPAN and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION opposed reference to nuclear waste transport. NEW ZEALAND suggested broadening the reference to the transport of hazardous substances in accordance with International Atomic Energy Agency terms that provide for measures regarding the movements of nuclear materials in general. Backing this proposal, NORWAY, supported by numerous others, proposed additional text on notification and consultation with countries that might be affected by nuclear materials transport. Delegates failed to agree on reference to sustainable transport or to sustainable development in general. The EU: said public-private partnerships to promote investments should address sustainable transport and facilitate the introduction of environmentally-sound technologies; suggested referring to funding for the elimination of lead in gasoline and reduction of sulfur and benzene in fuels, as well as particulates in vehicle exhaust; and, with the G-77/CHINA, proposed reference to, inter alia, multi-stakeholder cooperation, an international framework for fair pricing in transport and infrastructure, and International Civil Aviation Organization actions to address climate change. SAUDI ARABIA suggested deleting text on international cooperation for transport, and, with the G-77/CHINA, requested additional time to consider the EU proposals.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Mixed feelings were expressed regarding progress on the first day of negotiating draft decisions. In contrast to the tense atmosphere that characterized the February and March meetings of the Energy Experts Group and the CSD-9 Intersessionals, work in most of the drafting groups was conducted with a good-humored and constructive spirit. Still in its early days (and nights), and with most of the contentious issues not yet tackled, participants in the energy group were optimistic that the discussions would be fruitful during the rest of the week, attributing this to changes since the Intersessionals, and recognizing that delegates are now under pressure to reach consensus. Some delegates were more cautious, however, noting the potential for possible stalling on the nuclear issue.
In order to avert a crisis in the drafting group on information for decision making on the issue of indicators, an informal consultation was held to "strike a deal," but agreement could not be reached before the group-s evening session. Participants expressed exasperation toward the end of the day following the introduction of a high volume of new and unexpected text proposals.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
DRAFTING GROUP I: The Drafting Group on energy will reconvene from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in Conference Room 2 to consider revised text on the draft decision.
DRAFTING GROUP II: The Drafting Group will reconvene from 3:00-6:00 pm in Conference Room 3 to discuss the revised draft decision on information for decision making and participation, and from 7:00-9:00 pm in Conference Room 3 to consider the revised draft decision on international cooperation for an enabling environment.
DRAFTING GROUP III: The Drafting Group will meet from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in Conference Room 3 to consider the revised draft decision on atmosphere, and from 3:00-6:00 pm in Conference Room 2 to continue the first reading of the draft decision on transport.
SIDE EVENT: The International Institute for Sustainable Development will make a presentation in Conference Room A from 1:15-2:00 pm on a new tool to help policy makers and the public visualize and track progress toward sustainable development.