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Report of main proceedings for 11 July 1996

UNFCCC COP 2

The fourth day of the Second Conference of the Parties (COP-2) to the FrameworkConvention on Climate Change (FCCC) commenced with meetings of the SubsidiaryBody for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and TechnologicalAdvice (SBSTA). SBSTA contact groups met all day, while the Ad Hoc Group onthe Berlin Mandate (AGBM) met in the afternoon.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION

SBI returned to Agenda Item 4, financial and technical cooperation (FCCC/CP/1996/8 &9 and FCCC/SBI/1996/10). The G-77/CHINA called for harmonization of GEF strategieswith those of FCCC, specifically: more flexible processes; clarifying incremental cost;removing conditionalities from GEF replenishment negotiations; and eliminating criteria ofcost-effectiveness and avoiding duplication in funding for national communications. Helater submitted a revised draft on the item.

Several developed country delegations endorsed the Chair’s text on the financialmechanism. SWITZERLAND and CANADA called for expedited funding for nationalcommunications. FRANCE suggested that Parties submit complaints about GEFperformance for review at future COP sessions. KENYA said many African countries areexperiencing excessive delays and linkage of projects to operational conditions notrequired by FCCC.

MICRONESIA said small island States need the GEF to prioritize enabling activities andto be more responsive. JAPAN opposed the draft MOU approved by the GEF Council.KUWAIT said the COP is the supreme body as affirmed in Article 11.1 of the FCCC andnot the GEF Council. CHINA said the GEF should accelerate project approval. The USconceded delays in developing guidelines on enabling activities but opposed the suggestionthat cost effectiveness should not be a criteria. He discouraged micromanagement of theGEF. AUSTRALIA supported streamlining efforts. MEXICO supported the MOU andAnnex. TUNISIA reported delays in GEF funding approval. The Chair noted a GEFCouncil undertaking to accelerate decision making. He invited Parties to refer draftdecisions to an informal group chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda).

The Chair then introduced Agenda item 3 (national communications), including the secondcompilation of first national communications from Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/ 1996/12and Add.1) and emission inventories and projections for 2000 (Add.2) and the reportingschedule (FCCC/CP/1996/13). The G-77/CHINA expressed concern that few developedcountries would reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. The RUSSIAN FEDERATIONcalled for expanded analysis of GHG emissions. The EU, supported by AUSTRALIA, saidthe documents are the principal source to assess progress. The US called for GHGemissions significantly below 1990 levels and policies beyond no-regrets actions.

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

SBSTA resumed discussion of AIJ following a meeting of the G-77/CHINA. The EUsuggested reporting requirements be standardized, simplified, and more reflective ofproject cost effectiveness, and encouraged workshops. The G-77/CHINA, supported byCOLOMBIA, INDIA and URAGUAY, noted the need to better distinguish between AIJprojects and those jointly implemented by Annex I countries. Financing and technologytransfer for AIJ projects must be supplemental to what is stipulated in the FCCC. TheCZECH REPUBLIC urged adherence to the framework for pilot projects adopted atCOP-1 and supported the establishment of a uniform reporting format.

AUSTRALIA and PANAMA supported AIJ workshops and a uniform reporting formatthat is not onerous for developing countries. The PHILIPPINES, supported by ELSALVADOR, underscored technology transfer, capacity building, and analysis of socialimpacts in AIJ projects and called for transparency in reporting. NORWAY said it wouldbe premature to draw conclusions from the pilot phase and proposed the establishment ofan AIJ forum at SBSTA’s December 1996 meeting. NICARAGUA supportedNORWAY’s proposal and uniform reporting requirements.

MALAYSIA supported by CHINA recommended deferring AIJ workshops until afterCOP-3 to avoid basing decisions on inaccurate information and requested information onbudgetary implications of holding an AIJ forum. IRAN noted that the principle of cost-effectiveness was not applied in AIJ process and that some AIJ projects have beenfinanced with GEF funds. The Chair convened a group to produce conclusions on theitem.

On Agenda Item 8 (a) (roster of experts), the G-77/CHINA had not yet considered theitem and reserved its position. The EU supported establishing an interim roster of expertsto allow for a learning phase on providing specialized technical advice. He also acceptedthe addition of adaptation technologies to the list of potential subjects. CANADA, JAPANAUSTRALIA and AOSIS also supported the roster of experts. The RUSSIANFEDERATION said SBSTA should not focus on specific features and that the use ofscientific data is a basic question for the experts. KIRIBATI asked that fisheries bespecifically mentioned as a topic for consideration. The US said the issue should bedeferred until SBSTA clarifies the tasks for experts that do not duplicate the work ofother fora.

SBSTA resumed in the afternoon to consider Agenda Item 8(d) (long-term work ofSBSTA). The Chair introduced text which was accepted. On Agenda Item 8(c)(cooperation with IPCC), several delegations including the EU, AUSTRALIA, US,CANADA, MYANMAR and MAURITIUS endorsed the IPCC. The RUSSIANFEDERATION encouraged clarification of SBSTA’s relationship to the IPCC concerningthe use of data. BURKINA FASO called on the IPCC to expand research on regionalGHG emission limitations. The ICAO sought additional research on the atmosphericeffects of aviation. The Chair offered text on the item, which was accepted.

Regarding Agenda Item 8(b) (research and systematic observations), ARGENTINA, onbehalf of the VALDIVIA GROUP, called for more research on natural climate variabilityin the region and on oceanic effects. IRAN sought enhanced data collection at regionaland sub-regional levels. UNESCO/IOC expressed intent to expand research on the oceans’effects on climate change. CANADA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, the US andAUSTRALIA supported the expansion of research on climate change conducted by IGOsand national governments, particularly in the area of capacity building. The WMOexpressed willingness to entertain specific research requests and cooperate with SBSTA incapacity building. COLOMBIA urged increasing financial support for research andcapacity building at the national level.

On the business consultative mechanism, NEW ZEALAND reported the draft results of acontact group. The text proposes that the Secretariat explore further current mechanismsand procedures to improve efficiency.

On Agenda Item 7 (technology transfer), delegates considered the initial report on aninventory and assessment of technologies (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4/Add.2 ) and a follow-upreport on technological issues (FCCC/CP/1996/11). The EU said first priority should begiven to identification of technology needs and the Secretariat should focus on existingsystems information centers. IRAN called for establishment of an information pool ontechnology transfer. MALAYSIA expressed disappointment and said the report clearlydescribes developed country indifference.

The NETHERLANDS and the INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY described theClimate Technology Initiative, a cooperative effort to support the FCCC. CHINAsuggested the Secretariat prepare a proposal on the format for their communication fromAnnex II on technology transfer. CANADA said governments must provide an enablingenvironment for the private sector to facilitate technology transfer.

The PHILIPPINES urged a hastening of work on technology assessment and transfer. The US noted the need for better reporting on technology transfer. He suggested “virtual” technology information centers and a clearing house function for the FCCC withprivate sector input.

The Chair presented a draft text on the SAR produced by the “friends of the Chair.” Thegroup also produced a draft of the Chair’s summary. The US reported that the contactgroup on communications from non-Annex I Parties would reconvene Friday morning.

AD HOC GROUP ON THE BERLIN MANDATE

Convening AGBM 4 in the afternoon Chair Raul A. Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina) said theabsence of legally binding criteria on a return to 1990 emission levels makes newcommitments difficult and did not reflect views during FCCC negotiations. There arevarious combinations of measures available to AGBM. It will not be possible to apply allvoluntarily. The prior condition for new developing countries’ commitments is complianceby developed countries. He noted absence of agreement on voting and that insistence onconsensus might result in a veto. The option of an amendment to the FCCC is being keptopen for a three-quarters majority.

Parties adopted the agenda (FCCC/1996/CP/1996/1 and Add. 2). The Chair noted that theOffice of Legal Affairs had decided Article 17.2 of the FCCC does not rule outmodification of a draft Protocol after circulation six months in advance of a session. Anelectric power sector NGO recommended measures for electric utilities and consumers.The WWF said there is an urgent need to accelerate negotiations. The Global ActionClimate Network said the SAR implies that Parties must intensify efforts.

Under Agenda Item 3 (possible features of a protocol or another legal instrument)(FCCC/AGBM/1996/MISC.1/Add.1 and Add.3; MISC. 2 and Add 1; and 6), the EU saidhe had submitted a Protocol proposal and indicated support for "institutional economy"and a provision to allow Parties to adopt future obligations.

The US, supported by CANADA, called for a decision on the rules of procedure.CANADA and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO on behalf of AOSIS stated that Article 17.2(six month rule) should not hinder the new legal instrument. The RUSSIANFEDERATION emphasized the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and aregional approach to GHG reduction. CANADA and JAPAN called for a flexible legalinstrument. AUSTRALIA, generally supported by CANADA, JAPAN, CHINA, andNEW ZEALAND, called for a simple legally-binding instrument administered by theFCCC Secretariat. AUSTRALIA and JAPAN stated that its form should follow itscontent, while the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CHINA, BANGLADESH, MARSHALLISLANDS and MEXICO preferred a separate protocol.

AOSIS recalled its draft protocol calling for a 20% reduction in 1990 GHG emissions, andstated that the protocol should be open to all Parties. KUWAIT stated that scientificinformation in the SAR was insufficient to inform the AGBM process.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Observers were heard speculating on the outcome of Thursday night’s contact group onthe rules of procedure. Some said it could result in an agreement that institutionalizes thestatus quo, wherein oil-producing states would not receive their own seat on theBureau but would be assured a regional group seat. Others predicted that somegovernments were still strongly opposed to this outcome and the group would likely resultin a stalemate.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

AD HOC GROUP ON THE BERLIN MANDATE: AGBM InformalRound Tables will meet at 10:00 a.m. (policies and measures) and 3:00 p.m. (QELROs) inroom XXVI.

SUBSIDIARY BODY ON IMPLEMENTATION: SBI will meet at 10:00 a.m. inroom XX.

PLENARY: The Plenary will convene in the Assembly Hall from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.to hear statements from non-Party delegations and UN agencies.

SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ADVICE: SBSTAwill meet at 4:30 p.m. in room XIX.

Further information

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