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Thirteenth Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC
Lyon, France; 4 - 15 September 2000


Highlights from Friday, 15 September: On to the Hague and COP-6 . . .
On the final day of SB-13 in Lyon, the Joint Working Group on Compliance and the contact group on Articles 4.8/4.9 of the Convention and Article 3.14 of the Protocol met in morning sessions. SBSTA and SBI met in separate sessions to adopt decisions and a joint meeting of the subsidiary bodies met in an evening session. At approximately 10:45 pm, Chair John Ashe suspended SB-13 until COP-6. COP-6 will take place in the Hague form 13-24 November
Photo: SBI Chair John Ashe, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar, and SBSTA Chair Harold Dovland meet with the press. Story and RealAudio below.

Final Press Conference
In a press conference with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar (top photo, on the left), SBSTA Chair Harold Dovland (top right) and SBI Chair John Ashe (bottom photo, left), Cutajar said that "key countries must start demonstrating real political leadership in order to ensure strong and effective action is launched to control greenhouse gas emissions." Outstanding issues were highlighted, including: how to define carbon "sinks"; how much credit developed countries can earn from investments in other countries through the Clean Development Mechanisms; how the non-compliance regime should work; what specific actions will be taken to address the special concerns of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change; and how much financial and technological support will go to developing countries. It was also stated that consensus started to emerge on how to review information supplied by governments about their emissions. The most recent ratifications of the Kyoto Protocol, made during the Millennium Summit, were Guinea, Kiribati, Lesotho, and Mexico. This brings the total of ratifications to 29, all by developing countries. To date, Mexico is the largest emitt
er of greenhouse gases to have ratified the Protocol, ranking 14th amongst emmiters in 1997.

RealAudio from the press conference:

Final SBI Plenary

Burkina Faso, speaking for the Africa Group, congratulated Chair Ashe on SBI's work. He underscored the need to pay particular attention to the needs and situations of LDCs. Noting that LDCs did not feel adequately involved in the work of the GEF, he said the SBI should request the GEF to focus in particular on Africa, taking into account the specific needs of each country, and taking a sub-regional approach to capacity building. He expressed the hope that COP-6 would produce a successful outcome.

Chair Ashe noted a request by the G-77/China to elaborate a further document based on the first one to provide information on trends in greenhouse gases in Annex I countries in both tables and graphics in time for COP-6. The US expressed concern at this issue being introduced at this stage. Following brief informal consultations at the foot of the dias (above), delegates accepted a proposal requesting the Secretariat to further elaborate the document in the form of tables and graphics at COP-6, without prejudice for further compilation at SBSTA-14. Draft conclusions on national communications from Annex I Parties will be presented at SBI-13 part II.

Final Joint Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies

SBI Chair Ashe opened the final joint SBI/SBSTA meeting on the evening of Friday, 15 September at 9:30. Parties expressed their appreciation to the Government of France and the City of Lyon for hosting SB-13.

The Indigenous Peoples' Group noted that there are 350-400 million who identify themselves as indigenous peoples. He expressed opposition to the use of sinks in the CDM, suggesting it would result in a violation of the rights of indigenous peoples. He said negotiations must involve full participation of indigenous peoples and called for a working group to be formed to address indigenous people's issues.

The Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), speaking on behalf of the business community, highlighted that actions taken by business and industry would be fundamental to Parties achieving the commitments agreed to in Kyoto. Regarding the mechanisms, he suggested: keeping the process and procedures for the project-based mechanisms clear and concise; minimizing transaction costs; not limiting the eligibility and use of any technologies in implementing the Protocol; and ensuring there are no limits, ceiling or share of the proceeds type fees apart from in the CDM. He expressed concern at the lengthy texts currently before SB-13 containing many unresolved issues, and at the significant amount of work required for a successful outcome at COP-6.

Regarding mechanisms, India, on behalf of the G-77/China, stressed that the debate must not be fragmented into sub-processes, not only for logistical reasons but also to ensure proper treatment of all the issues.

Regarding capacity building, Croatia expressed concern over the number of brackets in the text and called for progress in the area of finance to enable capacity building in EITs. France, for the EU (left), said it was vital that capacity building in EITs be ensured in conditions not restricted to the Convention, but taking into account preparations to enable countries to meet their commitments.

Vanuatu, speaking for the Least Developed Countries, noted that this group had only established itself recently. He called on all developed countries to implement their FCCC obligations, and requested that a workshop be organized for LDCs to focus on key issues in the lead-up to COP-6.

In response to the request made by Vanuatu, Executive Secretary Zammit Cutajar said that funding was available, although the issue of timing would have to be addressed. He suggested that the workshop either take place in October or immediately prior to COP-6. He also drew delegates' attention to the fact that there had been a number of recent ratifications of the Kyoto Protocol. This means that more than half of the 55 countries required, in order for the Protocol to enter into force, have now ratified.

In his closing statement, Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/ China, expressed disappointment that more progress had not been achieved at this critical session in Lyon. He asked whether developed countries intended to accommodate the priorities of developing countries. He called for transparency in negotiations, and insisted that each Party at COP-6 be involved in the decision-making process.

Saudi Arabia and Brazil expressed support for recognizing the needs and situations of LDCs. Right: The Saudi Arabian delegation

SBI Chair Ashe noted that participants had worked very hard, narrowing differences and producing negotiating texts on most issues that he hoped would pave the way for a set of decisions at COP-6. However, he also drew attention to the considerable amount of work remaining in the lead-up to COP-6, and at COP-6 itself. He hoped that results achieved in Novemsber would trigger ratification of the Protocol and further strengthen implementation of the FCCC. He informed delegates that part II of SB-13 would resume at The Hague, and suspended the meeting at 10:45 pm

Following these statements, the Secretariat announced informal consultations during the intersessional period prior to COP-6 relating to:
- Protocol Articles 5, 7 and 8 (6-8 October, Bonn);
- LULUCF (9-11 October, Viterbo, Italy);
- Compliance (12-14 October, New Delhi);
- Mechanisms (16-18 October, New Delhi);
- adverse effects (tentatively scheduled for 19-22 October, Geneva).

(note: RealAudio of the above announcement included in Chair Ashe's statement)

Miscellaneous photos

ENB writers Angela Churie (center) and Lavanya Rajamani (right) speak with SBI Chair John Ashe about his impressions of the week's negotiations

ENBers Lavanya Rajamani (far left), Andrei Henry and Malena Sell (far right) interview Ian Fry (Tuvalu)

(From left to right) ENB writers Jon Hanks (South Africa), Lisa Schipper (Sweden), and Chris Spence (New Zealand) sporting the latest in French fashion for back-of-plenary dwellers...

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