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Report of main proceedings for 9 July 1996

UNFCCC COP 2

The second day of the Second Conference of the Parties (COP-2) to the FrameworkConvention on Climate Change commenced with a panel discussion at the Ad HocGroup on Article 13 (AG-13). In the afternoon the third session of the Subsidiary Body onImplementation (SBI-3) met. The third session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific andTechnological Advice (SBSTA-3) met all day.

AD HOC GROUP ON ARTICLE 13 PANEL DISCUSSION

Chair Patrick Szell (United Kingdom) introduced the panel on compliance procedures(Article 13) sponsored by the Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG-13). The ILOemphasized non-confrontational procedures to encourage compliance with ILOconventions, as well as the occasional use of adversarial procedures to deal withcomplaints against States that have not ratified specific conventions. The WTO said failureto implement changes as directed by a panel can lead to a right to "retaliate." TheInternational Instruments Branch of the Centre for Human Rights said the primary aim ofimplementation procedures is to assist governments. A quasi-judicial process is alsoavailable. The Secretariat of the Basel Convention said an Open-ended Ad HocCommittee for implementation has been established to examine annual reports. AnyParty can report a breach of obligations by another. The Montreal ProtocolImplementation Committee Chair said the Montreal Protocol views traditional methods ofbipolar dispute settlement as not sufficient.

The Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety (Ukraine) described thedifficulty of complying with the Montreal Protocol following the breakup of the SovietUnion, pointing out that the role of the Implementation Committee of the MontrealProtocol is to catalyze compliance with the treaty, but in a cooperative and non-confrontational manner.

In the ensuing discussion on compliance mechanisms, reports by NGOs highlighted theimportance of: a modest start followed by growth and adjustment over time; a standingcommittee with a clear mandate; handling specific cases; nonconfrontational procedures;data reporting; and a role for NGOs in filing submissions on noncompliance. Summarizingthe results of a survey distributed by AG-13, an NGO representative reported responsesemphasizing a process which: is facilitative and non-confrontational; does not underminethe authority of the COP; and is developed early.

During questions and answers participants addressed: the utility of incorporating"stringent measures" even where they are not regularly implemented; the WTO's move toan "automaticity-based" system to avert unilateralism and protect weaker parties; thelimitations of an adversarial trade-related model for FCCC; and procedural tacticsundermining system confidence and the need for automaticity at all stages of procedures.Additional comments highlighted: adequate technical capacity to meet reportingrequirements; cooperative and nonjudicial mechanisms; and the wording of Article 13,which was left deliberately vague as Parties could not agree on a dispute resolutionmechanism.

SUBSIDIARY BODY ON IMPLEMENTATION

The third session of the SBI was chaired by Mohamed Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania).Delegates recommended that the COP take note of several reports on procedural mattersrelating to establishment of the permanent secretariat. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, onbehalf of the G77/CHINA, inquired about FCCC liaison arrangements in New York inaddition to those in Geneva. FRANCE questioned the cost, and the matter was referred toinformal consultations. The meeting then considered a report on legal arrangements for thesecretariat in Germany (FCCC/CP/1996/6/Add.1). FRANCE called for more time to studythe document and the Chair agreed to facilitate informal discussions.

The Chair then introduced Agenda Item 7(b) on income and budget performance, andresource deployment for 1997 (FCCC/CP/1996/7 and Add.1). The Secretariat summarizedAdd.1 on the financial performance of the FCCC, contributions and expenditures in 1996,and the forecast for 1996-97. There will be an annual payment of DM1.5 million per yearfrom the German Government and lower staff costs arising from relocation to Bonn.Thirty-five Parties have paid contributions in full and expenditures are in line with COP-1estimates. Additional requirements for 1996 amount to US$158,000, and US$867,400 for1997. Germany will contribute an additional DM3.5 million annually to a special fund.Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar noted that no additional core resources arebeing sought for 1997. He proposed a revision of the capital reserve level, up from 8.3%of the core budget to 15%. Responding to questions from the US and the EU, theSecretariat said budgeting beyond 1997 will be addressed at the next session of the SBI.No activity is given greater priority than in-depth reviews. JAPAN questioned theproposal to revise the level of working capital reserves. The Chair invited delegations tointeract with their capitals to resolve the issue. The SBI then recommended approval ofthe programme of work for 1996-1997 (FCCC/SBI/1996/11).

SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

The Chair noted that current positions in SBSTA were difficult to accept, but expressedconfidence in the spirit of collaboration. When reviewing the agenda, the RUSSIANFEDERATION proposed amending the agenda to note the “use of” scientific assessments.VENEZUELA, supported by KUWAIT, proposed producing a written report along withtheir decisions, because an oral report could leave some things unclear. The Chair saidSBSTA should determine whether a written report was necessary after deliberations.

The Secretariat introduced documents on the consideration of the SAR of the IPCC(FCCC/SBSTA/1996/7/Rev.1) and three addenda. He also noted the Report of the secondsession (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/8). He highlighted two paragraphs, one noting that somedelegations had drawn attention to specific findings, the other that some delegations foundit premature for SBSTA to highlight specifics.

Bert Bolin, Chair of the IPCC, said SBSTA should not elaborate on the conclusions, butdiscuss the implications with regard to action and possible targets. He noted theimportance of considering the different views on the SAR and said delegates should nottry to extract and agree on simplifications, but should give advice regarding specificmeasures.

The EU recalled that the preliminary views of delegations concerning the SAR wererecorded in the report of the last meeting. He urged the COP to endorse the SAR andaccept it as the most comprehensive assessment of available scientific information onclimate change. Many also expressed support for the SAR and made specific comments,including the US, CANADA, ARGENTINA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, COLOMBIA,NEW ZEALAND, BANGLADESH, NORWAY, FIJI, URUGUAY, MAURITIUS,JAPAN, BENIN, MYANMAR, BULGARIA and GREENPEACE. SAMOA, on behalf ofAOSIS, supported adoption of the SAR and noted the conclusion that SIDS are amongthe most vulnerable to climate change. This was seconded by MICRONESIA, theMALDIVES, the MARSHALL ISLANDS and NIUE.

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, said a clear mechanism must be establishedfor the use of scientific information, and noted that SBSTA should not be selective whenpresenting information. He said that the SAR clearly indicates the negative potentialimpacts on developing countries. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said the SAR lacks aquantitative assessment of the permissible level of impact on the climate system. SAUDIARABIA, OMAN, KUWAIT, UAE, VENEZUELA, IRAN, NIGERIA and AUSTRALIAsaid it was premature to make recommendations given the lack of certainty in the SARdata. POLAND said that SBSTA should determine how scientific information may beutilized for the FCCC.

INDIA said SBSTA should not base its recommendations solely on the SAR andsuggested the IPCC examine the effects of climate change in non-Annex I countriescaused by extraterritorial activities and natural climate variability in greater detail. TheChair reminded delegates that SBSTA is mandated to advise the COP and decision-makers based on findings of the IPCC, but may ask for and consider additionalinformation. PAKISTAN cautioned against the use of global generalizations andrecommended that the SAR be amended to reflect regional differences in climate change.

The PHILIPPINES, supported by INDONESIA and BRAZIL, said the SAR should beused as a comprehensive whole and not selectively. The heightened vulnerability ofdeveloping countries and equity concerns should be further considered. SWITZERLANDagreed the SAR should not be used selectively and that low cost abatement measures,even beyond “no regrets”, should be taken immediately. SRI LANKA cautioned againstoversimplification of the SAR findings, stating that ambiguities have resulted from the useof “extreme” numerical values.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, supported by ZIMBABWE, called for an addendumto the SAR noting SBSTA’s comments. KOREA suggested that the IPCC try to workmore economically by avoiding duplication of work and enhanced data sharing.GEORGIA called for analysis of national and regional impacts, saying mitigation measureswould not otherwise be possible. The IPCC CHAIR noted the need to distinguish betweenscientific assessments and the policies arising out of them and recommended the COP settentative emission targets.

MEXICO, supported by KOREA, said climate change must be tackled on the basis ofcommon but differentiated responsibilities. CHINA called for distillation of the SAR to aform that could be more useful to the SBSTA in making recommendations, otherwise theSAR should be submitted in its entirety to the COP. The IPCC Chair reminded delegatesthat while recommendations should be based on scientific information, they are ultimatelypolitical judgements that the IPCC is not equipped to make.

Delegates began consideration of Agenda Item 4(a) (national communications of Annex IParties). The Secretariat introduced the document on possible revision of the guidelines(FCCC/SBSTA/1996/9). JAPAN, supported by the US, proposed a separate informalsession to discuss the revised guidelines. CHINA, supported by INDIA, highlighted theimportance of technology transfer and called for including language in the body of theguidelines. The EU approved extending the minimum information required andrecommended that the revised guidelines include direction for preferred timetables.POLAND and HUNGARY said second reports are being prepared and changingguidelines will lead to delays. SWITZERLAND proposed discussing amendments on aparagraph by paragraph basis. AUSTRALIA highlighted performance indicators.

IN THE CORRIDORS I

COP President Chen Chimutengwende is reported to have begun informal consultationson the unresolved Rules of Procedure. One delegate suggested a resolution in whichdeveloped countries relax their requirements for voting on financial issues in return forcooperation from the oil producing states.

IN THE CORRIDORS II

The non-Annex I country of Morocco was seen in the corridors explaining that it wasMonaco, not Morocco, that had applied for Annex I status, as erroneously reported inENB yesterday.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The Plenary will convene from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in room XIX todiscuss the Election of Officers and the Organization of Work.

SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE:SBSTA-3 will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. in room XIX and meet again in the afternoon.

AD HOC GROUP ON ARTICLE 13: The second session of AG-13 will conveneat 10:00 a.m. in room XXVI.

SUBSIDIARY BODY ON IMPLEMENTATION: An informal session on budgetissues will meet at 11:00 a.m. in room XX, while SBI-3 will reconvene there at 3:00 p.m.

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