Vol. 5 No. 242
THURSDAY, 1 MARCH 2007
On Thursday morning, delegates concluded their discussions on climate change, which had started the previous afternoon. This was followed by a session on inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues. Delegates focused on enhancing the means of implementation, the role of women, and the role of partnerships, as well as the special needs of Africa and LDCs, and integrating the four thematic issues within national sustainable development strategies.
On Thursday afternoon, a Chair's preliminary negotiating document was distributed and delegates dispersed to study the draft, with a view to making comments in plenary on Friday morning.
NORWAY said developed countries must take the lead and the major share of responsibility, while noting the declining share of emissions from countries with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and the need for a far more ambitious post-2012 agreement that has much broader participation. The NETHERLANDS said investment in development must be made "climate proof" and favored swift operationalization of the Protocol's Adaptation Fund. WHO said climate change has claimed the lives of over one million people since 2000, and urged a systemic approach to climate change and health. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES expressed concern at policies that continue to favor fossil fuel use, and noted negative impacts of some forestry initiatives on indigenous people. WOMEN supported Ghana's proposal to involve women in all climate change-related decision-making processes.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES urged massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and strategies to adapt to the inescapable impacts of climate change. He stressed the role of science, engineering and technology. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS said the social and employment dimensions of climate change are rarely considered. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY noted that large developing countries' emissions are increasing, and that all major emitters need to be part of the solution. He supported well-designed, long-term policy frameworks, and technology transfer that respects intellectual property rights.
This session was facilitated by CSD Vice-Chairs Hlaváček and Machado.
PARTIES' AND MAJOR GROUP STATEMENTS: The G-77/CHINA stressed the critical nature of means of implementation for sustainable development, and recalled the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as underlying the full implementation of the four thematic areas. He noted slow progress on the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and requested CSD-15 to address the special concerns of developing countries, particularly Africa, SIDS and LDCs. He suggested several policy options, including an enabling international environment with greater participation of the private sector, operationalizing the World Solidarity Fund to Eradicate Poverty, eliminating trade barriers, debt relief measures, new and additional resources, establishing new centers of excellence, technology transfer, and South-South cooperation. He expressed satisfaction with the IPM discussions, and voiced preference for an implementation mechanism in the CSD-15 outcome.
The EU, while noting that all CSD-15 themes are interrelated, said climate change is the key interlinking issue. He recognized the need to integrate the themes into sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies, and stressed exchanging national experiences and building capacities of developing countries. He emphasized improved levels of access to investment and financial resources, including through the CDM, and elimination of harmful subsidies, as well as good governance.
The US said partnerships are powerful primary tools to link stakeholders and address the cross-cutting nature of the sustainable development challenges. CANADA highlighted effective dialogue with stakeholders, good governance, gender, an enabling environment, and rule of law, factors that will attract vital private sector resources. ISRAEL prioritized strengthening civil society and the role of women. FRANCE called for a more coherent institutional framework for addressing environment in the UN. The UK stressed that access to finance is fundamental for implementation, and that CSD should encourage progress in CDM and the carbon market, to leverage funds.
MEXICO called for a synergistic response to environmental challenges, and suggested shared responsibility of all national ministries, not just the environment ministry. AUSTRALIA identified Pacific SIDS as the most urgent concern, and said an integrated, regional approach is needed. ITALY called for increased support for the goal of primary education for all by 2015. ICELAND supported raising the profile of renewables in international financial institutions, better coordination within the UN system, and increased partnership efforts. NIGERIA called for technical assistance to strengthen credit institutions and manage micro-financing.
The NETHERLANDS stressed implementation and hoped all countries would contribute to the basket of voluntary commitments at CSD-15. NORWAY said energy should be included in the 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 CSD implementation cycles.
JAPAN highlighted the importance of integrated water resource management in relation to climate change. SOUTH AFRICA supported a successful Doha trade round, more integrated implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, and strengthening regional linkages for transportation and other infrastructure. MICRONESIA supported the idea of a basket of voluntary commitments at CSD-15 and called for access to technical support and funding on an expedited basis. MARSHALL ISLANDS said cooperative, integrated, regional approaches are needed for SIDS, asked for support for solar, tidal, and biofuels, and supported the basket of voluntary commitments.
TUVALU noted that the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation's commitment to promote the share of renewables in the global energy mix had not been achieved. PAPUA NEW GUINEA expressed interest in the EU proposal for a basket of voluntary commitments as an outcome of CSD-15, and supported a renewable energy fund. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS stressed the importance of integrating employment and social issues, and highlighted the relevance of HIV/AIDS. WOMEN supported clearly-defined energy targets and timeframes that are linked to the MDGs.
NGOs highlighted the special needs of Africa, said the large-scale adoption of biofuel must be assessed and managed to ensure its sustainability, and urged action on environmental and climate refugees. He said the proposal for a voluntary basket of agreements should not replace or substitute for previously-agreed multilateral commitments, adding that if CSD-15 only repeats previously-agreed text, then it would be judged an outright failure.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES said public-partnerships must be examined, since there is scope for improvement. CHILDREN AND YOUTH said investing in youth and children would yield a "double dividend" by supporting both the environment and youth employment. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES urged against continuing the focus on agro-industrial products.
CHAIR'S DRAFT NEGOTIATING DOCUMENT
Shortly after 4:00 pm on Thursday afternoon, a preliminary "Chairman's draft negotiating document" was distributed to delegates. The document sets out "policy options and possible actions to expedite implementation in energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change." Seven pages long, the document is in six sections, covering the four thematic areas, inter-linkages and cross-cutting issues, and review and follow up. Sections include a brief introduction and a series of options or actions set out as bullet points. Below are some key issues addressed in each section.
ENERGY: This section states that fossil fuel energy sources will remain the major contributor in the energy mix for many decades to come; that other sources, including renewables, are important, and that efficiency measures and cleaner and advanced technologies are needed for sustainable development. The 35 policy options and possible actions listed in this section include the following: integrate energy access into national sustainable development strategies; expand energy services to the poor; expand the use of cleaner fuels and renewable sources; support partnerships in energy research and development; transfer cleaner technologies; deploy carbon capture and storage technologies; support transition to LNG; improve energy efficiency; strengthen South-South cooperation; and mobilize additional financial resources and create a positive investment climate.
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: This section notes the mutually-reinforcing relationship between industrial development, social advancement and environmental protection, and lists nine policies and actions by national governments, including technology and capacity upgrading and creating enabling policy frameworks for investment by creating incentives for improved environmental management practices such as pollution reduction and waste minimization. On the issue of further integration in international trade, five recommendations include capacity building in simplifying customs procedures, trade promotion, product certification and quality control, and the successful completion of the Doha trade round.
AIR POLLUTION/ATMOSPHERE: This section recommends 30 different options/actions. At the national level, options include integrating reduction of indoor air pollution into planning, accessing clean cooking technologies, improving knowledge of health effects and sources of indoor air pollution, and education and awareness raising to change consumer behavior toward more sustainable lifestyles. At the regional level, options include promoting air quality standards to control emissions from industry and transport, and building capacity for monitoring, measuring and assessing the impacts of air pollution, including health impacts. At the international level, text refers to increasing cooperation on current scientific knowledge, reducing air pollution from aviation and maritime sources, and developing early warning systems' capacity for dust and sand storms.
CLIMATE CHANGE: The introduction to this section notes that CSD decisions should complement, not duplicate, the work of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. The 27 policy options or actions listed cover a range of issues, including technology cooperation, strengthening North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, and supporting low carbon energy technologies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and "cleaner and advanced fossil fuel technologies." Other text refers to poverty eradication, common but differentiated responsibilities, carbon sinks, partnerships, the private sector, involving women in all aspects of decision making, mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation into development activities, capacity building, and systematic observation. There are also options on identifying new and additional financial initiatives specifically dedicated to climate change in the context of the UNFCCC, strengthening national institutional capacities for participating in the CDM, and strengthening existing funding mechanisms for adaptation, including for "economic diversification to minimize adverse impacts of response measures."
INTER-LINKAGES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This section notes the benefits of an integrated approach to the four thematic issues, the value of mainstreaming, and the importance of the means of implementation in turning commitments into actions. The 21 options/actions address issues such as: reinforcing efforts to implement the Monterrey Consensus and the 0.7% ODA target; providing better access to funds and simplified reporting procedures for SIDS and LDCs; strengthening arrangements and incentives for technology transfer on favorable terms to developing countries; enhancing implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan; and using the knowledge and experience of women, indigenous peoples and other major groups effectively.
REVIEW AND FOLLOW UP: This section states that the review and follow up on progress in implementing CSD-15 decisions would occur during one or two days in CSD sessions in 2010/2011 and 2014/2015.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The initial response to the Chair's draft text when it was released late Thursday afternoon was generally muted, with some reluctant to express an opinion until they had taken more time to reflect. However, there were a few comments that, on first glance, the text sought to reflect generally-agreed principles and approaches, while avoiding anything too controversial. "I was hoping for something set out in the usual UN negotiating format, and frankly wanted something more concrete and specific," said a developing country delegate.
Others were more upbeat: "I'm looking forward to hearing all the feedback and what the different delegations have to say on Friday morning," said one.
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of the CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting will be available online on Monday, 5 March 2007, at: