Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vol. 12 No. 84
Thursday, June 11 1998
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEETINGS OF THE FCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES
10 JUNE 1998
The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and
Technical Advice (SBSTA) held stocktaking Plenary sessions in the morning. SBSTA also
discussed education and public awareness. The Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG13) heard a
progress report from its Chair. Contact groups were convened throughout the day to
consider outstanding issues.
SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION
The SBI met for progress reports from SBI and SBI/SBSTA contact groups and other
informal consultations. On amendments to Annexes I and II, Ambassador Herrera (Venezuela)
reported that informal consultations regarding Turkey's status had not resulted in
consensus, and, supported by TURKEY, recommended deferring the item to SBI-9, which was
JosÚ Romero (Switzerland) reported that the joint contact group on allocation of work
for COP/MOP-1 had deferred its second meeting pending receipt of input from Parties and
the joint contact group on mechanisms. Tibor Faragˇ (Hungary) reported that the contact
group on implementation of FCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects and impacts) was
reviewing a compilation of written inputs.
Jennifer Irish (Canada) reported that the contact group on review of adequacy of Annex
I commitments under Article 4.2(a) and (b) had identified areas of convergence and
divergence among group members on the scope of review.
Dan Reifsnyder (US) reported that the contact group on non-Annex I communications and
the financial mechanism review appointed a group of "four non-G-77/China members and
four non-Annex I members" to recommend a decision for the contact group. One question
under discussion relates to translation and dissemination. SBI Chair Kante noted the
decision allowing NGO observers
access to contact groups if there is no objection from any Party.
SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ADVICE
SBSTA opened with brief progress reports from the contact groups on land use change and
forestry and development and transfer of technology, and from the joint contact groups on
COP/MOP-1 and mechanisms. The Chair called on Parties to exercise flexibility on
scientific and technical aspects of the issues since political aspects will be dealt with
by SBI. On education, training and public awareness (FCCC Article 6) , the Chair reported
that the Secretariat and UNEP held a workshop on Tuesday. The workshop highlighted the
scope for cooperation on public awareness and noted: that public awareness should not be
limited to particular events; the need for more effective climate awareness strategies;
and the need for Parties to provide more information on particular awareness building
reiterated the importance of public support in the implementation of the Convention. SRI
LANKA and IRAN called for equal distribution of information packages prepared by CC:INFO
to countries beyond those included in country study programmes. SWITZERLAND said that the
existing information units of the Secretariat and UNEP should be used to further the work
under Article 6 and, with the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and IRAN, called upon the IPCC to
provide reports in languages other than English.
The AFRICAN GROUP, GAMBIA and SRI
LANKA called upon Parties to make available resources for institutional capacity
enhancement and to expand the sphere of African countries participating in country
studies. She said that there was a need: to operationalize Article 6; expand activities to
all facets of society and stressed that such activities are neither cheap nor short term.
To this end, she stated that the proposal to expand the mandate of UNEP is worth
considering. Supported by INDONESIA and CANADA, she called upon SBSTA to request a
Secretariat paper on work under Article 6 for SBSTA-9. She recommended: that SBI include a
budget-line for the implementation of Article 6 in their funding proposals as well as for
translation of documents to other languages; and noted the importance of timely delivery
of resources for the implementation of education programmes.
The US: noted the need to understand the drivers of change; highlighted work of
programmes such as the IGBP-START (Systems for Analysis Research and Training); and noted
the coordinating role the Secretariat can play in North-South exchange of experience. The
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and CANADA noted the need for information and expertise sharing
and a resource centre for copyright-free material.
The EU called for a review of the scope of current education programmes and the
development of more specific reporting guidelines. TOGO stressed that public awareness
programmes should not be based on political or economic considerations that place the
least developed countries on the periphery. The UK distributed a national report that he
hoped would be helpful to others in developing their approaches.
AD HOC GROUP ON ARTICLE 13
Chair Patrick SzÚll reported on the status of consultations among three Parties on the
group's report. On whether representation within the Multilateral Consultative Committee
(MCC) should be equally divided between Annex I and non-Annex II Parties or based on
equitable regional distribution, delegates had agreed to emphasize that "some
countries were of the view that," rather than "one country suggested that,"
the division be 50%-50% and that the "G77/CHINA and some other countries" held
the other view. This depended on agreeing whether and how to include "equitable
geographical distribution" in the MCP text itself. A number of formulations had been
In the evening, the group addressing the Committee issue agreed that the text would go
forward to the COP with bracketed language. AG13 will meet on Thursday to adopt the report
of the meeting.
Land Use Change and Forestry: The contact group on land use change and forestry removed
few brackets from text regarding the timing and content of the IPCC workshop, special
report and TAR. Delegates agreed to language noting that the purpose of the IPCC workshop,
to be held prior to COP-4, will be to consider data availability, based on definitions
used by Parties, in relation to Article 3.3. BRAZIL and the EU preferred that SBSTA
"consider" a second workshop after COP-4 to focus on issues arising from, inter
alia, Article 3.4. The US preferred that SBSTA "hold" such a workshop.
On the timing of a special report, delegates disagreed on whether the report would
provide information for [COP-6] or [the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting
of the Parties]. A bracketed sentence was added, based on proposals from CANADA and
AUSTRALIA, stating that in the interim Parties may wish to consider relevant issues,
Regarding the relevant Articles for consideration in the special report, the EU and the
MARSHALL ISLANDS preferred deleting references to Articles 4 and 7 from a list including
Articles 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7. The US said the list should mention all relevant Articles and
suggested 20 Articles for inclusion. AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND disagreed with the EU
proposal to delete language stating that issues not covered in the special report will be
included in the TAR. The PHILIPPINES proposed text to distinguish the topics for the
special report from those for inclusion in the TAR.
Adverse Effects and Impacts: The contact
group on FCCC Articles 4.8 and 4.9 (adverse effects and impacts) met in the afternoon
to discuss the Co-Chairs' text. The G-77/CHINA proposed modifications based on its draft
On the "analytical framework," the UK, AUSTRALIA, and the US raised a number
of questions. JAPAN cautioned that a reference to Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14 suggested
implementation of the Protocol. On separating the effects of climate change and impacts of
response measures, AUSTRALIA said different modeling approaches are used. SAUDI ARABIA,
supported by the UAE, said the distinction could be made later. The G-77/CHINA proposed
alternative language from Decision 3/CP.3 on undertaking a process.
The G-77/CHINA deleted reference to the Berlin Mandate. The US bracketed references to
Protocol Articles 2.3 and 3.14. On the identification of "possible" adverse
effects and "possible" impacts, the US, supported by the EU, deleted references
to "possible". On actions necessary to meet needs and concerns of developing
countries, the US and the EU proposed following FCCC Article 4.8 on
"consideration" of actions necessary and on "funding, insurance and the
transfer of technology." The G-77/CHINA, and VENEZUELA preferred
"identifying" actions. SAUDI ARABIA placed "identifying" and
"consideration" in brackets together with the US-proposed reference to the FCCC.
The EU proposed combining paragraphs on identifying adverse effects and impacts with those
on the needs and concerns. The US added "specific" needs and concerns.
Technology: The contact group on technology transfer considered revised conclusions and
debated proposals on next steps for technology information centres. Under a proposal from
the US and the EU, the first step would be to assess the extent to which managers and
technicians in relevant sectors are aware of such technologies and processes, followed by
the identification of sources and supplies. SBSTA would request the Secretariat to, inter
alia, identify the desired functions and services to be provided by such centres and
networks. Under a G-77/China proposal, SBSTA would state that initial priority should be
given to supporting the establishment and enhancement of national and regional technology
information centres. The group will meet Thursday.
Second Review of Adequacy of Commitments: a Co-Chairs' draft decision, based on
previous inputs, was distributed in the contact group on second review of the adequacy of
Article 4.2(a) and (b), which then adjourned. The meeting was scheduled to reconvene at
7:20 pm for questions and clarification. Substantive views were expected on Thursday. The
draft decision, inter alia: initiates the second review at COP-4; offers two alternatives
on when future reviews should take place; and requests the Secretariat to prepare a
synthesis for COP-4.
Mechanisms: The joint contact group on mechanisms, chaired by Gylvan Meira Filho
(Brazil), met to discuss a Co-Chairs' draft proposed schedule on mechanisms under Kyoto
Protocol Articles 6, 12 and 17 (projects for reducing emissions or enhancing sinks, CDM,
and emissions trading).
ARGENTINA recalled the address by Maria Julia Alsogary, Argentina's Secretary of
Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, that there is a great interest, almost a
consensus, on the early functioning of the CDM and emissions trading. Argentina, as the
host of COP-4, has an obligation to work for consensus and is in the process of consulting
with all regional groups, particularly the G-77/China and GRULAC.
The G-77/CHINA presented an initial list of issues to address, and stressed
consideration of fundamental issues before timing and schedules of work. NORWAY, on behalf
of a group of countries and supported by the US, recalled a non-paper on emissions trading
distributed by the group last week, and the package of four mechanisms agreed in Kyoto. He
stressed that quantitative caps, which could lead to fewer developing country projects,
had not been adopted in Kyoto. Referring to another non-paper, the EU stressed domestic
actions and called for: ceilings on use of mechanisms; guidelines, rules and procedures; a
compliance regime as a pre-requisite; and parallel work on the mechanisms. The US
suggested basing group discussions on both the G77/China questions and the Co-Chairs'
draft proposed schedule.
In the evening, delegates received the G-77/CHINA's proposed work programme on
mechanisms. The proposal lists the methodological and technical work, institutional
issues, process and linkages under CDM, Article 6 and emissions trading. The G-77/CHINA
suggested deferring AIJ until after the pilot phase designated at COP-1. The EU noted
other linkages besides those in the Co-Chairs' paper. Delegates began discussion on the
G-77/China's listed issues. As of 11:00 pm, delegates had discussed 17 items of the list.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
SBSTA: SBSTA will meet at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in the Beethoven Room.
AG13: AG13 will meet at 11:00 am in the Maritim Room.
SBI: SBI will meet at 3:00 pm in the Maritim Room.