Report of main proceedings for 31 March 1995

UNFCCC COP 1

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

The Committee of the Whole met Friday afternoon to discuss the roles of the subsidiary bodies and adopt decisions on the report of the GEF and financial procedures.

AGENDA ITEM 5(a)(iv) — THE ROLES OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES: The COW considered Recommendation 8 on subsidiary bodies contained in document A/AC.237/91/Add.1. Benin asked whether the two subsidiary bodies would meet at the same time in Geneva. The Chair clarified that the subsidiary bodies would meet one after the other. The COW agreed to recommend to COP-1 the following dates and Geneva as the venues for the subsidiary bodies' sessions: first session — October 1995; Intergovernmental technical advisory panels and workshop on non-governmental inputs — January 1996; second session — mid-February 1996; Intergovernmental technical advisory panels — April 1996; third session — July 1996. The COW agreed to recommend COP-1 to authorize the subsidiary bodies to establish intergovernmental technical panels subject to confirmation by COP-2.

The COW also agreed to recommend to COP-1 that in the first year, the organization of the workshops would depend on the host governments and that facilities for hosting these would have to come from sources external to the Secretariat budget. Additionally, the Committee agreed to recommend that the subsidiary bodies' bureaus would make a proposal to COP-2 on the relationship between the subsidiary bodies and the IPCC. The Chair suggested that on matters regarding review and synthesis of national communications, the subsidiary bodies bureaus could submit a proposal providing guidance to COP-2. The US and Benin said that any such proposal should be reviewed by the full membership of both subsidiary bodies and the COW agreed to recommend this formulation to COP-1. Uruguay asked about the relationship between these subsidiary bodies and other relevant UN organizations and Conventions. The Chair clarified that in all meetings of the COP and its subsidiary bodies, all organizations and Convention Secretariats who wish to attend will be there.

The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, presented a draft decision on technology transfer which would (1) refer to technology transfer language from Agenda 21 and the Convention; (2) ask the Secretariat to compile an itemized report on technology transfer activities of Annex II Parties; (3) direct the Secretariat to prepare an inventory of potentially transferable technologies; (4) have all measures reviewed and evaluated at subsequent COPs.

France, on behalf of the EU, reiterated the importance of environmentally sound technology transfer and noted that the main barrier is the lack of national technological capacities. He said that private sector initiatives should be the driving force behind technology transfer, and COP-1 must address this in a broad framework, taking into account other multilateral and bilateral channels. Benin added that the development of national capacities should be noted.

Following requests from delegations for procedural clarifications, the Chair asked the G-77 and other delegations to consult among themselves and report back to the COW.

AGENDA ITEM 5(b)(iii) — REPORT OF THE GEF: The Chair then introduced document FCCC/CP/1995/L.1, a draft decision on the report of the GEF to the COP on the development of an operational strategy and on initial activities in the field of climate change. The Committee agreed to recommend that the COP adopt this decision.

This decision accepts the GEF Council's two-track approach in 1995. Under track one, the GEF Secretariat will work to develop a long-term comprehensive operational strategy, and under track two, some project activities will be undertaken to allow a smooth transition between the pilot phase and the restructured GEF. The decision also includes a "mixed strategy" wherein projects will be selected on the basis of either long-term or short-term programme priorities.

AGENDA ITEM 5(d)(ii) — FINANCIAL PROCEDURES: The Chair introduced FCCC/CP/1995/L.2, a draft decision on financial procedures for the Permanent Secretariat. The Chair also introduced document FCCC/CP/1995/ 5/Add.1/Rev.1, containing the indicative scale of contributions to the administrative budget.

Delegations then asked specific questions regarding the computation of contributions and percentages. Mauritania raised the possibility of annexing the financial rules to the proposed text. Uruguay asked whether the COP would recommend suspending voting rights for Parties that do not meet their contributions. The Chair said there are no sanctions mentioned in the basic documents for non-payment of contributions. Japan said it joined the consensus on contributions but added that his delegation interprets these contributions as voluntary. The Committee then agreed to recommend the adoption of L.2 to COP-1.

This decision adopts the financial procedures for the COP, its subsidiary bodies and Secretariat (contained in A/AC.237/91/Add.1), as well as the scale of contributions (contained in FCCC/CP/1995/Add.1/Rev.1/Annex I). It also decides that any countries becoming Parties during the remainder of 1995 shall contribute to the expenses of the Convention, and requests that all Parties be advised of their contributions no later than 22 December 1995.

AGENDA ITEM 5(d)(i) — INSTITUTIONAL LINKAGES: In a brief session Saturday afternoon, Estrada introduced FCCC/CP/1995/L.3 on the institutional linkages between the Permanent Secretariat and the United Nations. He summarized the decision's substantive provisions including that the Secretariat be linked but not fully integrated with UN programmes, the arrangement be reviewed by 31 December 1999, a request that the General Assembly pay conference-servicing costs for future COPs and subsidiary bodies sessions from the UN regular programme budget, and that the Interim Secretariat inform the Secretary-General of the estimated financial implications for 1996 and 1997. France, on behalf of the EU, noted that the COP has not yet received the UN Secretary-General's draft decision and that once it was received it would have to be incorporated. The Chair said he was looking forward to receiving the Secretary-General's decision and that the COP document could be supplemented at that time. The document was recommended for adoption by COP-1.

CONSULTATIONS ON ADEQUACY OF COMMITMENTS

Amb. Bo Kjelln (Sweden) convened the first consultations on the adequacy of commitments on Friday morning. Since there were no formal meetings in session, Room 7 was the place to be and drew a standing-room-only crowd. Although the large number of delegates was not conducive to drafting, delegates were able to further exchange views on possible elements of a mandate for consultations on commitments. At 3:00 pm, Kjelln met with the heads of the regional and interest groups to discuss how to proceed on this matter and at 4:30 pm, the consultations reconvened. By the end of the afternoon, it was clear that no progress could be made. The Chair requested that the G-77 and China meet and reconsider its position and report back at the next meeting.

The G-77 and China met on Saturday afternoon to discuss its position. By 4:30 pm it appeared as though there was a deadlock and it was proposed that the G-77 meeting adjourn and that a meeting of "like minded States" be convened in its place. The like-minded States meeting proved to be productive and the group tabled its proposed elements of a mandate for consultations on commitments when Kjelln's group reconvened Saturday evening. This text was greeted with cautious optimism. The group was scheduled to reconvene on Sunday afternoon.

DRAFTING GROUP ON THE BUDGET

<$TSpInterLn=1401;EfWeight=4>>The drafting group on the budget met several times during the week under the chairmanship of Mahmoud Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania). The group began a programme-by-programme review of the budget on Friday evening. During the two-hour meeting, some OECD countries called for reductions in the budget and asked the Secretariat to provide the group with new figures on Saturday evening. When the group reconvened Saturday at 6:00 pm, they were expected to review the new figures provided by the Secretariat. If these figures meet with the approval of both G-77 and OECD countries, the group will adjourn. If not, the group was scheduled to meet on Sunday afternoon so that delegates could complete their work during the weekend.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Consultations abound in the corridors and offices of the ICC. Amb. Estrada has been holding one-on-one informal consultations on joint implementation. By Saturday afternoon, it was still uncertain whether delegates would be able to reach consensus on a JI pilot phase or if Estrada would be able to produce a Chair's text or summary. Estrada informed delegates during the Saturday afternoon COW that these negotiations were moving "very slowly," and that he did not expect to begin further consultations until the G-77 and China had been given additional time to condider the adequacy of commitments. Estrada has also been consulting with delegates from the four countries who wish to host the Permanent Secretariat (Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Uruguay) to try to reach agreement on a method to use to resolve this pending issue.

The Germans continued their consultations with delegates about the Rules of Procedure. Although some delegates had called for agreement on the Rules of Procedure by the end of the first week of the COP, this has not been the case and it appears likely that consultations will continue into the second week. The two major outstanding issues are voting procedures and the allocation of seats on the Bureau. While a linkage between these rules was resisted at INC-11, the impending arrival of ministers may encourage delegates to reconsider.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The Plenary will meet this morning to hear statements from Mohamed El-Ashry, CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility, and Klaus Tpfer, Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Raúl Estrada-Oyuela, the Chair of the Committee of the Whole, will also deliver a progress report. In addition to dealing with some organizational or "housekeeping" matters, the Plenary will hear statements from several NGOs.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The COW will meet this afternoon. The agenda will depend largely on the success of the consultations held over the weekend on such matters as the mandate for consultations on commitments, joint implementation, location of the Permanent Secretariat and the budget. The G-77 and China might also table their draft decision on technology transfer.

CONSULTATIONS ON ADEQUACY OF COMMITMENTS: It is expected that this group will meet at some point during the day today. Check the daily Journal and the TV monitors for the exact time of this meeting.

Further information

Participants

Negotiating blocs
European Union
Group of 77 and China
Non-state coalitions
NGOs

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