Summary report, 28 August – 1 September 1995
1st Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 1)
The first Conference of the Parties (COP 1) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), which was held in Berlin from 28 March to 7 April 1995, requested the Secretariat to make arrangements for sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). COP 1 characterized the role of the SBSTA as the link between scientific, technical and technological assessments, the information provided by competent international bodies, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. The SBSTA is expected to develop recommendations on the following issues: scientific assessments; national communications from Annex I Parties; methodologies; first communications from non-Annex I Parties; activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase; transfer of technology; allocation and control of international bunker fuels; possible contributions to the "Berlin Mandate" process; cooperation with competent international bodies, including the IPCC; proposals on longer term activities; and a workshop on NGO inputs. During the course of its first meeting, the SBSTA also attempted to establish intergovernmental technical advisory panels on technologies (TAP-T) and methodologies (TAP-M).
COP 1 characterized the role of the SBI as developing recommendations to assist the COP in the review and assessment of the implementation of the Convention and in the preparation and implementation of its decisions. The SBI is expected to develop recommendations on the following issues: national communications from Annex I Parties; first communications from non-Annex I Parties; matters relating to the financial mechanism; transfer of technology; activities implemented jointly under the pilot phase; institutional and budgetary matters; methodological issues; technical cooperation activities of the Secretariat and its partners; proposals on long-term activities and organizational arrangements; proposals for future cooperation between the SBI, the SBSTA and the IPCC; and possible contributions to the "Berlin Mandate" process. The SBI also considered the draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the COP and the GEF Council, prepared by the Secretariat in consultation with the GEF Secretariat and contained in document FCCC/SBI/1995/3.
SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE:: 28 - 30 AUGUST 1995
The first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 1) was opened by the Chair of the SBSTA, Mr. Tibor Farago (Hungary). He noted that the roles of the subsidiary bodies could be broadly characterized as follows: the SBSTA would be the link between the scientific and technological assessments, the information provided by competent international bodies and the policy-oriented needs of the COP and the SBI would develop recommendations to assist the COP in its review and assessment of the implementation of the Convention and in the preparation of its decisions. He said that the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM 1) had sent an urgent request regarding the preparation of a task-list. He added that the division of labor between the subsidiary bodies, as contained in document FCC/SB/1995/Inf.1, was a good basis for cooperation between the bodies. He introduced the Vice Chair, Mr. Soobaraj Nayroo Sok Appadu (Mauritius) and the Rapporteur, Mr. Victor Chub (Uzbekistan).
The Executive Secretary of the Permanent Secretariat, Mr. Michael Zammit-Cutajar noted that the decisions of COP 1 were reflected in the proposed programme of work contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1995/2. He stated that it was important to have both a clear division of labor between the two subsidiary bodies and a schedule for upcoming meetings of the SBSTA, taking into consideration the requests made by the AGBM. He reminded delegates that the IPCC and its assessments, particularly with regard to technological and methodological issues, was an important resource. He added that the technical advisory panels (TAPs) should be able to respond to flexible needs and be adequately financed. He noted that lessons from the Montreal Protocol should be tempered by the fact that the range of technical issues under consideration by that body were narrower than those under consideration by the SBSTA. He added that the upcoming NGO Workshop was an opportunity to decide what mechanisms would work. He pointed out that the approved budget for 1996-1997 included a contribution of US$620,000 for work that requested from the IPCC and hence the "ball was in the court" of the Convention's bodies. He concluded by stating that the Secretariat had organized a technical discussion on activities implemented jointly (AIJ) to be held after the second day's evening session. The Chair asked delegates to consider the provisional agenda as contained in FCCC/SBSTA/1995/1, which was adopted.
ELABORATION AND SCHEDULING OF THE PROGRAMME OF WORK, 1996-1997
The Chair asked delegates to consider the SBSTA's proposed programme of work, contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1995/2. He stated that the SBSTA was expected to develop recommendation on the following: scientific assessments; national communications from Annex I Parties; methodologies; first communications from non-Annex I Parties; AIJ under the pilot phase; transfer of technology; allocation and control of international bunker fuels; possible contributions to the "Berlin Mandate" process; cooperation with competent international bodies, including the IPCC; proposals on longer-term activities and organizational arrangements; workshop on non-governmental inputs; and report on the work of the SBSTA to COP 2. The Chair added a new item to the programme of work, namely the establishment of intergovernmental technical assessment panels (TAPs). The Chair then proposed convening two drafting groups. The first would draft a list of requests to the IPCC, while the second would refine the terms of reference for the tTAPs.
The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that given the limited number of developing country delegates it would be hard to work simultaneously in drafting groups and Plenary. The US and JAPAN welcomed the proposal for two drafting groups. SAUDI ARABIA suggested postponing the formation of drafting groups. AUSTRALIA said that it was not easy to agree to set up drafting groups without adequate Plenary discussions. The PHILIPPINES reiterated that the work should be prioritized and that the G-77 could not participate in drafting groups outside the Plenary. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, supported the existing schedule and suggested postponing the establishment of drafting groups. The Chair said that there would be no drafting groups.
Delegates proceeded to speak at length on issues related to the SBSTA's agenda. The US said that the SBSTA should define its relationship with the IPCC and consider how to obtain appropriate technical information through the TAPs. The IPCC said that its second report was being completed and noted that a principle task of the IPCC is to provide independent assessment and analysis and that the SBSTA is a vital channel of communication between the COP and the IPCC. He said that the IPCC's role is one of research and assessment.
CANADA identified possible subjects for updates in short-term assessments. SAUDI ARABIA said that the SBSTA cannot approve any material not yet approved by the IPCC's Plenary. The Chair commented that this meeting was a planning session, not a scientific session. AUSTRALIA, supported by URUGUAY, cautioned against duplicating the work of the IPCC and said that the panels will ensure that SBSTA will continue to get non-politicized science.
INDIA said that in order to reduce scientific uncertainties, the role of particulate materials in the atmosphere and tropospheric ozone would need to be addressed. He supported funding mechanisms that support national inventories. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), supporting the G-77 and China, said that SBSTA needs to prioritize and pay attention to scientific assessments, national communications from Annex I Parties, and technology transfer. The MALDIVES doubted whether SBSTA could meet its goals and suggested omitting discussion on AIJ and bunker fuels in favor of discussion on transfer of technology. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA cautioned against elevating particular paragraphs and said that if emphasis was being placed on "scientific uncertainty" then perhaps Article 3.3 on precauthionary measures should also be considered. AUSTRALIA noted several priority areas for SBSTA including: work towards a protocol; in-depth review of Annex I Parties communications and preparation of guidelines for non-Annex I Parties; and the synthesis of IPCC findings.
The Chair then invited statements from representatives of IGOs. The WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) informed SBSTA on the inter-agency effort to develop a framework for international climate related programmes, namely the Climate Agenda. He said that the WMO would extend its full support to the scientific and technical activities related to the FCCC. The INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) highlighted the peaceful use of nuclear energy. He said that it was wise to use nuclear power to avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and offered to contribute on the issues of transfer of technology and bunker fuels.
The INTERNATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION (IOC) of UNESCO, said that the interrelationship between climate and oceans was one of IOC's highest priorities and informed delegates about a number of workshops on this matter. He said that at COP 1, the IOC had offered to be one of the sources of information and continued to be ready to cooperate. The Co-Chair of the Technology and Assessment Panel of the MONTREAL PROTOCOL stated that although climate change may require entirely different policy approaches, a description of the principles by which the Montreal Protocol operate might be useful. He said the panel had 450 technical experts from 40 countries who provided objective technical information.
The CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK (CAN) said that one of the key items on the SBSTA agenda was the TAPs. She supported the establishment of TAPs of about 20 government nominated experts perceived to be operating independently, with a focus on providing technical assessments. She recommended the establishment of TAPs by the end of 1995 and said that the IPCC should maintain its independence. She added that the workshop on NGO inputs should not narrow inputs and asked for movement from "rhetoric to action."
In all, delegates discussed issues related to the elaboration and scheduling of work initially for the entire three day period allocated to SBSTA 1. SBSTA continued to hold both informal consultations and a late evening Plenary on the final day of the week, which was initially allocated to the SBI. In their discussions, delegates did not address each of the items in the order in which they were listed in the proposed programme of work (FCCC/SBSTA/1995/2). Furthermore, the Chair proposed linking discussions on particular items, such as scientific assessments and methodologies, to facilitate the discussion. However, delegates did not always focus on the subjects at hand, which served to complicate an already complicated agenda.
SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENTS AND METHODOLOGIES
The Chair noted the SBSTA's need to consider scientific assessments and provide guidance to COP and AGBM on the IPCC reports. The Chair also stressed the urgency of the issue of methodologies with regard to national communications from Annex I Parties. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, stated that the SBSTA was a standing body and did not have to discuss all topics at SBSTA 1. BENIN, supported by UGANDA and CHAD, said that scientific assessments were difficult for developing countries in Africa and stressed the need to improve human resource development. The US said that the SBSTA should not duplicate the IPCC, but should convert IPCC findings into a form appropriate for the COP. He urged the SBSTA to ask the IPCC to provide its work on methodologies so that SBSTA could review and make it available to all Parties.
SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the SBSTA should provide scientific and technical advice and develop frameworks and methodologies to satisfy the Convention. He supported the development of proposals for cooperation with competent international bodies. SWITZERLAND addressed the need for a clear division of work on methodologies between the SBSTA, TAP-M and the IPCC. She highlighted past IPCC work on methodologies and favored its continuation. CANADA noted that guidelines have been useful in preparing national communications and supported a TAP-M for the SBSTA. He said that the OECD/IEA joint project on national communications was a valuable source of information.
AUSTRALIA said that the scientific basis for decisions must remain objective and non-politicized. She stated that the establishment of TAP-M was a priority for SBSTA 1 and suggested that the SBSTA request a compilation of work underway. MALAYSIA noted that the COP needed a mechanism to provide continuous inputs of scientific information. He said the IPCC should remain the agency responsible for updating and refining methodologies. PERU noted that many developed countries have expressed confidence in the work of the IPCC because these countries had financed its experts. He said that developing countries have only had marginal participation.
CHINA noted that developing country participation in the IPCC could be improved. He said that SBSTA should give timely, "high-quality and holistic" advice to the COP, but not become another IPCC. JAPAN supported the IPCC's provision of short-term updates and the division of labor between the IPCC, the SBSTA and the TAPs. URUGUAY said that training activities in developing countries needed to be included. He said that the SBSTA needed to promote the development of technologies useful for developing countries. SAUDI ARABIA recommended that the SBSTA seek guidance in preparing its report in order to ensure objectivity, transparency and to reflect divergent views.
INDIA said that new questions had emerged, including the "thermostat effect," which were not adequately covered by the IPCC. He said that the IPCC's transparency should continue and suggested that the summary document intended for SBSTA 2 be prepared jointly by the SBSTA and IPCC. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said that the success of SBSTA's work would depend on the mutually complementary work done by the IPCC and other related organizations. BANGLADESH said that the SBSTA could use various international organizations but should confirm the objectivity of any analysis provided.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, said that the SBSTA could request the IPCC to evaluate impacts and global warming potentials. He requested additional information on land and marine resource use for small island States. SWITZERLAND said that the requests made by the AGBM to the SBSTA required the efficient use of the intersessional period and the close cooperation of the bureaus of both bodies. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that SBSTA should work immediately on national communications and contributions to the Berlin Mandate process. CANADA said that summaries of intermediate reviews should be prepared and suggested that SBSTA consider AIJ.
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM ANNEX I PARTIES AND COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES: PROGRESS REPORT ON IN-DEPTH REVIEWS
The Chair suggested merging discussion on national communications from Annex I Parties with discussion on the brief progress report on in-depth reviews undertaken to date, as contained in FCCC/SB/1995/1. He asked delegates to focus on the procedural aspects of the following: scientific and technical aspects in the review, effectiveness of policies and measures, and the preparation of guidelines on national communications.
AUSTRALIA supported the Secretariat's progress report on in-depth reviews and encouraged the Secretariat to continue. She said that SBSTA 2 should consider a draft synthesis report and recommended a comprehensive approach to all GHG sources. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that all EU members had submitted their national communications and the EU had presented a synthesis report at COP 1. The EU, supported by CANADA and JAPAN, supported the compilation of a synthesis report and the continuation of in-depth reviews. The US said that the SBSTA's ongoing review of national communications would provide key information on individual policies and measures. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, supported the inclusion of in-depth reviews of Annex I Parties' national communications as a standing item on the SBSTA's agenda. CHINA stated that Annex II Parties should include measures on the transfer of technology for consideration by SBSTA. ZIMBABWE noted that non-Annex I Parties do not have a fixed time to report and agreed that the process should be accelerated.
The INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AGENCY (IEA) stated that international statistics, including the work done by the UN Statistical Office, were available and SBSTA could use these to evaluate national communications. The Secretariat noted that each team of IPCC experts has at least one developing country member, adding that only 29 Parties had made nominations, and that the IPCC aims to involve as many Parties as possible. The Chair said there would be informal consultations on these items and all comments would be incorporated in a draft paper. The PHILIPPINES and AUSTRALIA noted that these issues will have to be revisited in Plenary.
ESTABLISHMENT OF TAP-T AND TAP-M
The Chair noted that this was an urgent matter for SBSTA to consider in the light of COP 1. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, supported the nomination of 21-30 government experts in the TAPs. He recommended that the terms of office be "staggered" to promote continuity and noted that establishment of sub-committees should not be ruled out. The US said that regarding the organization of TAPs, it was not clear whether TAPs should work in parallel. He stated that since methodological issues were connected to Annex I Parties at least half of the experts in TAP-M should come from Annex I Parties. He said that TAP-M should consist of 20 experts and its meetings should be open to all IGOs and NGOs accredited to the COP. TAP-T should have an entirely different structure as there was the need to involve a greater number of experts. He proposed that TAP-T have a managerial steering group composed of about 10 experts nominated by governments. He added that private sector expertise was important.
SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that it would be very difficult to cover the wide range of technical and scientific issues with only 15 experts. He suggested that the number of permanent experts could be restricted and more external experts could be included. He said that these external experts should be selected by the SBSTA's bureau, based on nominations by the Parties. NEW ZEALAND said that the TAPs should be established as soon as possible, adding that geographic balance and experience must both be incorporated. She supported broadening the structure of the TAPs to include all technologies. PERU said that panels must be established at this session. He stated that greater weight should be given to the TAP-T, and suggested 25-30 experts, three-year terms, and funding for developing countries.
CANADA stated that panels should be composed of government-appointed experts. He said that TAP-M should not cover incremental costs or any financial issue and both TAPs should report to SBSTA 2. JAPAN said that the SBSTA should focus on technology identification, assessment and development, rather than technology transfer. He suggested devising a flexible approach without a fixed number of experts. CHINA said the panels would have to be intergovernmental in nature and be composed of 20 government-nominated experts. He recommended the selection of experts on the basis of regional consultations. The Chair said that if governments were to nominate and select the experts, these panels might not be created until the SBSTA 2. He once again asked delegates to propose specific mandates for the panels.
POLAND, supported by UZBEKISTAN, said that subgroups were useful and suggested that a deadline for nominating experts be presented at the AGBM 2. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION suggested various criteria for individual and collective measures including volume of emissions per capita, emissions per territory and emissions per GNP taking into consideration the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility." He supported the US on the membership of panels and said national experts could be provided to both TAPs. INDIA preferred open-ended membership, which should be limited according to the number of experts each country could send. He suggested that the terms of reference for the TAP-T mention "low-cost" or "cost-effective" technologies. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA suggested flexible membership and said that TAP-T should concentrate only on assessing technologies and not on their transfer. The Chair, noting the diverging views, said that open-ended membership and financing were "problematic."
SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the panels should have different structures, with TAP-T as the smaller, ad hoc body and TAP-M as the larger body that draws from other fora. He said that SBSTA should develop a programme of work for TAP-T to meet according to the issues identified, and proposed that a compilation be prepared for SBSTA 2. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by KUWAIT, stated that the TAPs should be open-ended. He said that it was too early for the proposed level of detail on the terms of reference and added that the economic impacts of measures should included. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77, said that TAPs should be intergovernmental, with government-nominated members numbering no more than 15. She also expressed concern regarding the funding of the TAPs and said that the participation of developing countries must be ensured. ARGENTINA, supported by FIJI, suggested 20-member TAPs, appointed by governments, with geographic representation. He also said the Secretariat should begin collecting information on technology transfer.
FRANCE, supporting the EU, said that the TAP-M should develop common methodologies to assess cost-effectiveness and comparability of national policies. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, put forward an initial list of suggestions for the TAPs concerning timing, carbon cycles, associated impacts of climate change, assistance for the development of national capabilities and adaptation measures. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC said that the socio-economic impacts of climate change on developing countries need to be addressed. The IAEA suggested that competent IGOs be asked to nominate experts for both TAPs and said that IAEA would provide two experts at no cost. URUGUAY said that it was inappropriate to consider IGO participation in the panels at this stage. The Chair said that he would hold "pragmatic" consultations for a draft on TAPs that would be considered during Plenary.
DRAFT PROPOSAL ON TAPS: The Chair distributed a proposal on the establishment of Intergovernmental Technical Advisory Panels on 30 August 1995. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that due to the lack of time, the decisions should be "applied but not adopted," similar to the Rules of Procedure at COP 1. She said that there should be no differentiation, such as a steering committee, among the TAPs and that the TAPs should begin on an "equal footing," have the same number of members and terms of reference and be responsible only to the SBSTA. She reiterated the intention to revisit the issue. The Chair said that there would be separate documents for TAP-M and TAP-T with different terms of reference, but for now they would be in full symmetry.
The US disagreed with the G-77 and China, regarding the "equal footing" for the panels. He stated that Annex I Parties' assessments would be under review and subject to more obligations, and hence the composition of the panels should reflect this. He also stated that the TAPs should have one Co-Chair each drawn from Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, reiterated that acceptance was ad referendum. She said that the funding for developing country participation in the TAPs, and the reference to representatives of Parties attending as observers, should not be deleted. JAPAN said that the composition of the TAPs should take into account geographical consideration, expertise, the balance between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties and the nomination by the SBSTA's Bureau if regional coordinators could not agree, which the Chair said could be included. He said that there was no need to specify that Parties could attend as observers because the TAPs were open and this was the right of any Party. He said that membership for TAP-T could be flexible but because of the nature of the work, there was no need for the TAPs to be on an "equal footing."
The Chair said that perhaps consensus on substance was impossible at this stage and appealed for practical advice on inviting governments to nominate experts. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the TAPs should start work as soon as possible and supported the US proposal on different composition for the TAPs and that one of the Co-Chairs be from an Annex I Party. Regarding TAP-M, the EU supported economic assessments. She said that TAP-T should not evaluate the Convention's objectives but evaluate the basis for the SBI to carry out evaluations. The Chair said that the Secretariat could add an "option 3" with a lengthier term of office. The Chair suggested as a compromise of 10-15 member TAPs between the EU's five-member and the G-77 and China 20-30 member TAPs.
AUSTRALIA said that compromise might not be possible in the remaining 17 minutes. The Chair said letters inviting governmental nominations to the TAPs did not need an immediate resolution on the pending issue of membership. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, reminded all delegates that the draft was being accepted ad referendum. AUSTRALIA inquired on what basis the invitations would be issued and asked whether the issue of the TAPs would be opened again during SBSTA 2. The Chair once again appealed for "solutions not questions." SWITZERLAND said that there was no use of forming panels only to disband them later and suggested that discussion on TAPs could be conducted in parallel with SBI 1. In the final four minutes, PERU supporting Switzerland, asked the Chair to continue informal consultations and requested the allocation of half an hour of SBI's meeting time for SBSTA Plenary. The SBI Chair, Mr. Mohamed M. Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania), offered SBSTA the opportunity to hold informal consultations on Thursday and a Friday afternoon Plenary.
TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
The Chair said that this was an urgent matter to be considered by the SBSTA and its proposed TAP-T. He suggested that discussions focus on procedural issues. CHINA, citing numerous articles of the FCCC, said that technology transfer was critical in meeting the Convention's objectives. He recalled that developed countries had made advances in clean and cost-effective energy technologies and could greatly improve the global environment. He cited the need for new and renewable energy sources, with regard to mitigation activities, and the need for the identification of relevant technologies, with regard to adaptation activities. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, stated that the SBSTA should focus on technology development and assessment adding that the COP would focus on transfer of technology, including terms and conditions of transfer. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, emphasized the importance of this issue to developing countries and requested the Secretariat to prepare text on this issue. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, said that the SBSTA and TAP-T should identify the best available technologies in the energy, transport, industrial, forestry and waste management sectors. He said that the assessment of mitigation and adaptation technologies should be coordinated with the GEF. He said that the obligation to transfer technology should be extended to the negotiation of terms whereby the intellectual property rights associated with the technology was also made available.
AIJ UNDER THE PILOT PHASE
The Chair reminded delegates that the Secretariat had compiled the views from the Parties on a framework for reporting AIJ under the pilot phase, as contained in FCCC/SBSTA/1995/Misc.1. The US considered the rapid development of an AIJ programme to be of major importance toward the Convention's continuing progress. He proposed the development of a reporting framework for global benefits and national experiences that could be reported at COP 2, and could lead to standardized submittals on AIJ before COP 3. He said the US has begun a multi-project activity. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, and supported by AUSTRALIA and CANADA, recalled that COP will review the progress of the pilot phase of AIJ and urged the Secretariat to compile information on this topic before the next session. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, reminded delegates that the phrase was "AIJ" and not "JI" and that there substantive differences between the two. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, supported the Philippines and added that this should not be reopened for discussion by the SBSTA. The Chair reminded delegates that this was a planning session and that technical matters relating to AIJ could be discussed at the technical panel on "Reporting Framework for AIJ under the Pilot Phase," which was held on the evening of 29 August 1995.
COOPERATION WITH COMPETENT INTERNATIONAL BODIES, INCLUDING THE IPCC
The Chair stated that the SBSTA was required to serve as a link between competent international bodies and the COP. He noted that the SBSTA was required to submit proposals to the COP on the cooperation between the subsidiary bodies and IPCC and asked for a clear mandate to communicate with international bodies and the IPCC.
CANADA described the work done by the joint OECD/IEA project on national communications. He said that this project was established in 1993 at the request of Annex I Parties and has provided analysis, coordinated workshops and information to help Annex I Parties to meet their reporting commitments under the FCCC. The US said that the IPCC should continue to be one of the primary bodies providing independent and credible scientific information process as it uses the best experts from both developed and developing countries. He noted that the AGBM and COP would need the IPCC to provide reports within a six-month time frame and said that there should be close cooperation between the IPCC and SBSTA. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the IPCC should concentrate on advising government on climatic change. He said that the subsidiary bodies should provide specific information to the COP and AGBM based on the work done by the IPCC and encouraged the establishment of informal process of "joint work."
The Vice-Chair later introduced an initial list of areas where the IPCC could provide relevant inputs to the Convention Bodies. CHINA, supported by INDIA, suggested the "detection of anthropogenic climate change," needed to be put into a historical perspective. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, noted that the reference to adaptation measures had been omitted. She added that the IPCC is already working on these and requested their results as inputs to the SBSTA. The US, supported by INDIA, CANADA and JAPAN, said the list should acknowledge the need for open and effective communications and that high priority should be given to regular joint meetings between SBSTA and the IPCC. He also noted the need to differentiate between the long- and short-term work of the IPCC.
SAUDI ARABIA said that a reference regarding emissions from bunker fuels would be part of the SBSTA work and should not be included here. URUGUAY disagreed with China, and suggested a reference to the detection of climate change and trends therein due to non-anthropogenic causes as well as a reference to oceanographic information. SPAIN, on behalf of EU, proposed that methodologies should not include statistical adjustments. She suggested adding "evaluations of individual and aggregate effects of measures undertaken pursuant to the Convention." TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, stated that the SBSTA should ask the IPCC to provide global warming rates, emission trajectories up to 2020, and global warming potentials. He supported the request to include adaptation measures and asked China to reconsider its suggestion. GERMANY, supported by AUSTRALIA, stated that close cooperation between the IPCC and SBSTA was crucial, stressing the need to maintain a clear division of labor between them. He disagreed with the Saudi proposal and stated that the proposed reference to oceanographic information was already covered.
FIRST COMMUNICATIONS FROM NON-ANNEX I PARTIES
The Chair stated that the SBSTA was expected to develop recommendations on the preparation of guidelines for national communications from non-Annex I Parties. He asked delegates to consider both the G-77 and China approach paper, contained in A/AC.237/Misc.40, and the submission made by the UK, contained in document FCCC/SB/1995/Misc.1. He noted that the elaboration of guidelines should start as early as possible because a number of non-Annex I Parties had to submit their first national communications in 1997.
The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that there were diverse capacities within developing countries regarding technology and finances. She said that the submission of non-Annex I Parties' communications was contingent upon fulfillment of Article 4 of the FCCC. She proposed a two-stage approach for the preparation of guidelines and noted that the reference to "national reporting" in the UK submission should be altered to "national communications."
SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the guidelines for non-Annex I Parties communications should be flexible so as to take into account the wide diversity among developing countries. He said that this should be a priority item because some developing countries were in the process of approaching the GEF for funds. He requested the Secretariat to develop specific proposals on guidelines for consideration at SBSTA 2.
MALAYSIA requested the Secretariat to prepare possible "guidelines" at SBSTA 2 and a document identifying the technical difficulties faced by developing countries in preparing their first communications. CHINA said that initial communications from non-Annex I Parties were contingent upon Annex I Parties fulfilling their financial and technological commitments under the FCCC. He said that the modalities and coverage for Annex I Parties do not apply to non-Annex I Parties. He added that he was "shocked" to see studies on methane emissions in China and India that were not based on field work in these countries. He welcomed bilateral and multilateral assistance in preparing national communications in the spirit of North-South partnership.
The Chair reminded delegates yet again that time was a "precious resource" and asked them to focus on specific procedural matters. BENIN said that guidelines should be prepared as soon as possible, adding that workshops could be held to facilitate the preparation of these guidelines. URUGUAY, noting that the responsibility for anthropogenic emissions did not rest with developing countries, suggested that this issue be considered by SBSTA 2. The US said that there was benefit to seeking compatible approaches between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties. He concurred with the need to meet the "agreed full costs" of preparing first national communications from non-Annex I Parties.
AUSTRALIA, supporting the EU on the preparation of guidelines, said that the national communications of all Parties was central to the FCCC and that the development of guidelines should be undertaken in a timely fashion. She stated that the GEF mechanism included provisions for the preparation of national communications. NIGERIA said that modalities, training and funds for preparing non-Annex I Parties' national communications needed to be addressed. BRAZIL said that basis for the Secretariat's work on guidelines could be found in the approach paper submitted by the G-77 and China. He suggested that the format should be flexible and allow for "the agreed full costs" to be met by the GEF. INDIA said that there was no substitute for countries conducting their own inventories and funds should be provided accordingly. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, endorsed the preparation of guidelines for consideration by SBSTA.
WORKSHOP ON NON-GOVERNMENTAL INPUTS
The Chair referred to Annex III/Decision 6 of COP 1, which mentions a workshop for NGO inputs. NEW ZEALAND, supported by the US, the EU, the NETHERLANDS, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN and ARGENTINA, suggested that the workshop be held in conjunction with the subsidiary body and AGBM meetings in February, and recommended a report from the meeting. SAUDI ARABIA said that SBSTA should not engage in any details at this stage and cautioned against scheduling the workshop during the Ramadan period. SWITZERLAND added that the responsibility for organization should be given to the Secretariat and that the workshop should discuss a business consultative mechanism. Both Switzerland and the Netherlands offered financial support for the workshop. MALAYSIA, the PHILIPPINES, ARGENTINA and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO said that widest possible NGO participation should be sought and requested that the Secretariat provide financial resources to ensure participation of developing country NGOs.
Plenary began at 6:00 pm on 1 September 1995, after a full day of informal consultations. The Executive Secretary introduced three "formal" documents: an addendum to the Draft report of AGBM 1, contained in document FCCC/AGBM/1995/L.1/Add.1; the draft conclusion on cooperation with competent international bodies, including the IPCC, contained in FCCC/SBSTA/1995/L.1; and, draft conclusions on the programme of work and other matters arising from the decision of the COP, contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1995/L.2. He also introduced documents containing the "updated results" of informal consultations, held on the last day, concerning the programme of work and other matters, dated and timed 1 September 14:08, and cooperation with competent international bodies, dated and timed 1 September 14:15. He noted that compilation of the results of informal consolations on the programme of work and other matters were held with the assistance of Germany.
GERMANY explained the amendments to the document, including inter alia: in paragraph VI, delete a specific reference to the OECD and IEA as international bodies to be consulted by SBSTA; in paragraph VII(A), allow for consideration of papers submitted by delegations for the Secretariat's recommendations on guidelines for national communications; in paragraph VIII, impose a deadline of 15 November 1995 for submissions from Parties for the Secretariat's compilation document on AIJ; in paragraph VIII, on AIJ, and paragraph XII, on transfer of technology, add elaborative sentences to balance the two issues; and, in paragraph XVI, Workshop on NGO inputs, provide assistance for developing country NGOs and add "The views expressed by Parties will be taken into account in preparing for the workshop."
The US expressed thanks to Germany for her "adroit handling" of the text and supported the redraft despite "strong views" on paragraph VII(d), requests to the Secretariat. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, appreciating the efforts made by Germany, suggested adding in paragraph VII(a) on requests to the Secretariat: "Taking into account the views expressed by the Parties and the paper submitted by the G-77 and China." On paragraph XVI, workshop on non-governmental inputs, she proposed amending the reference to NGO participation to read: "Adequate participation of NGOs from developing countries would have to be promoted and assistance be provided."
SWITZERLAND suggested deleting "state-of-the-art" in paragraph XII as it was not part of the language agreed to at COP 1 and replacing "address" with "mitigating and adapting to" in the last line. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that the word "state-of-the-art" was included in the SBSTA report. AUSTRALIA was prepared to accept the redrafted text as it was read initially, in the spirit of compromise, but added that an explicit reference to the G-77 and China paper could be made without precluding others by referring to the specific document number. She said that the workshop sought to involve the adequate participation of all NGOs from both developed and developing countries and asked the G-77 and China to reconsider.
The Chair suggested a paragraph-by-paragraph reading. SAUDI ARABIA proposed replacing "finalize" with "adopt" in the first sentence of the first paragraph referring to IPCC's second assessment report. In paragraph VII(a), on requests to the Secretariat, CHINA said that the G-77 and China approach paper was the only paper submitted by non-Annex I Parties. The Chair's proposal, "papers submitted by the Parties, including document A/AC.237/Misc.40" was accepted. In last line of paragraph XII, on transfer of technology, the Chair suggested retaining "state of the art" and replacing "address" with "mitigating and adapting to" before climate change. TRINIDAD and TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS, requested a specific reference stating that the workshop last "for at least three days," but NEW ZEALAND and SAUDI ARABIA objected and the request was withdrawn.
The SBSTA then considered the updated draft conclusions on cooperation with competent international bodies, dated 1 September 14:08. The amendments include, inter alia, an additional sentence in paragraph II noting "The Bureau of SBSTA will hold joint meetings with the officers of IPCC and report to each of its sessions on the outcome of these consultations with IPCC" and an additional paragraph IV (bis) stating that following consideration by SBSTA of the IPCC's Second Assessment, the Secretariat should prepare a list of priority areas and time-frames in which IPCC inputs are required. The Annex to the conclusions contains the initial list of areas on which IPCC could provide relevant inputs. The amendments to the Annex include, inter alia: in the chapeau, add a sentence stating, "each issue is an important element of the Third Assessment Report, and some may be appropriate for an interim or special report"; add paragraph II(bis), stating "Development and assessment of methodological and technological aspects of transfer of technology"; in paragraph III, concerning the development of methodologies, include "projections in the estimation of present and future greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming potentials as well as the evaluation of [individual and] aggregated effects of measures...."; in paragraph IV, add "technical and socio-economic" to the bases for further interpreting Article 2; in paragraph X, specify that "the environmental and socio-economic" effects of policies and measures will be analyzed; add paragraph XII, "Modeling of different atmospheric stabilization scenarios"; and, add paragraph XIV, "Identification of technical and socio-economic aspects of Articles 4.8, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Convention."
The Chair once again suggested a paragraph-by-paragraph reading. On paragraph I(bis) on SBSTA's cooperation with competent international bodies, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION said that the sentence did not specify which international organizations were competent. The Chair said that during informal consultations it became clear that any list of organizations would be either endless or difficult to accept. POLAND and SAUDI ARABIA suggested amending the last sentence of paragraph 2 on IPCC assistance, which now reads, "The Bureau of SBSTA will request the IPCC Bureau to hold joint meetings and report to each of its sessions on the outcome of these meetings."
With regard to paragraph III on the development and refinement of methodologies, AUSTRALIA said that brackets on "individual and" should be deleted but Kuwait disagreed. CANADA proposed replacing "projections in the estimation of present and future greenhouse gas emissions" with "in the estimation of present and projections of greenhouse gas emissions" and deleting "[individual and] aggregated." The PHILIPPINES accepted the first Canadian amendment but preferred to retain "individual" without brackets, with the addition of a specific reference to the Convention. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, preferred to retain the language without brackets. The text was accepted as amended by CANADA.
In paragraph X, on the analysis of environmental and socio-economic effects, SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, proposed replacing "environmental and socio-economic" with "aggregated." CHINA did not support this. The Chair's proposal to delete this paragraph was accepted.
POLAND proposed replacing the text in paragraph XII on modeling with text from the FCCC: "Modeling of different scenarios of the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere." SAUDI ARABIA proposed deleting the entire paragraph. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRALIA, and the PHILIPPINES supported the Polish amendment. The Chair suggested appending the amended paragraph XII to the end of paragraph IV on scientific, technical and socio-economic bases. SAUDI ARABIA accepted the linkage of the paragraphs but proposed adding "possible" before the amended paragraph XII. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, supported by AUSTRALIA, said that it was impossible to accept the inclusion of the word "possible." The word "necessary" was accepted as a compromise.
The Chair then introduced a "working paper" on the establishment of TAPs, along with an annex containing tasks for immediate actions, and stated that SBSTA had not reached a consensus on this. He asked what should be done before SBSTA 2. He added that without agreement, the first session of these panels would not be organized and the process would be postponed. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, and supported by ZIMBABWE, BRAZIL and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, recalled the original willingness of the G-77 to apply but not accept the Chair's original proposals to allow the TAPs to begin. She noted that the G-77 provided suggestions and made every effort, and expressed regret that the TAPs are not able to start to their work.
JAPAN expressed disappointment that no agreement was reached, but proposed that further negotiations be conducted during the intersessional period prior to the October AGBM meeting. AUSTRALIA was also disappointed that a favorable compromise could not be reached and requested guidance on the follow-up process of consultations. SAUDI ARABIA, supported by KUWAIT, supported the continuation of consultations but said that the AGBM 2 already had a heavy schedule. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, supported holding consultations before AGBM 2. The Chair first proposed that the SBSTA request the Secretariat to compile submissions on the TAPs received from Parties received by 15 November 1995 and also proposed a continuation of consultations on the TAPs with a view to holding a half-day session during the week of the AGBM 2. SAUDI ARABIA said its AGBM "team" would not be the same its SBSTA one and preferred not to continue consultations at AGBM 2. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, was in favor of holding informal consultations during AGBM 2. ZIMBABWE, supported by BRAZIL, noted that a procedure of initial nominations of experts was a constructive use of time. The Chair amended his proposal replacing "15 November" with "30 October" and deleting the reference to convening a half-day session. Both amendments were eventually accepted after several clarifications sought by SAUDI ARABIA. The US and CHINA said that identifying experts without a clear understanding of the TAPs could not be done on the basis of informal consultations. The Chair concluded the session by withdrawing his proposal on the submission of experts by governments.
In concluding, the Executive Secretary stated that the deadlines for inputs to the AGBM was still 8 September 1995 and added that the decision not to establish panels or a workshop on AIJ had "in a sense" facilitated budgeting tasks. He raised the question of funding for the two workshops resulting from this meeting, and expressed concern about "earmarking" contributions as well as what would happen when the COP left the UN budgeting system. The SBSTA Plenary was gavelled to a close at 9:25 pm.
SUBSIDIARY BODY FOR IMPLEMENTATION: : 31 AUGUST 1995
The Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), Mr. Mohamed M. Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania), noted that this first meeting of the SBI (SBI 1) would be operational and not deliberative. He restricted his introduction so that SBI could begin work. The Executive Secretary, Mr. Michael Zammit-Cutajar, noted that the schedule would impose constant pressure on the SBI and reminded delegates that SBI 1 was purely organizational and would address difficult issues such as the financial mechanism at later sessions. The Chair circulated a revised schedule of work for the SBI, which included the following: communications from Annex I Parties: progress report on in-depth review; institutional and budgetary matters; matters relating to the financial mechanism; and the elaboration and scheduling of the programme of work, 1996-1997.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM ANNEX I PARTIES: PROGRESS REPORT ON IN-DEPTH REVIEWS
The Secretariat introduced document FCCC/SB/1995/1, Communications from Annex I Parties: progress report on in-depth review, noting that eight in-depth reviews have been completed. Delegates were informed that to date only 29 Parties have nominated national experts to participate in the in-depth reviews.
The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that in-depth reviews should be received as soon as possible. She added that non-Annex I Parties were also committed to their obligations. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that all 15 EU members have completed their national communications, and that three have undergone in-depth reviews. MALAYSIA asked questions regarding statistical adjustments and comparability of in-depth reviews. The US noted that in-depth reviews form an essential part of the process, and urged the SBSTA and the SBI to undertake this topic as a matter of urgency.
CANADA noted that its in-depth review experience had been positive and suggested that a document compiling experiences with the process of in-depth review be prepared for SBI 2. JAPAN said that the results of reviews had been fruitful, and requested a synthesis report. AUSTRALIA said that an Australian expert will be nominated for the review teams. She stressed the need to receive all outstanding national communications and produce a synthesis report.
MAURITIUS invited the Secretariat to recirculate letters of invitation for expert participation in the review process. ZIMBABWE looked forward to the inclusion of developing country experts in the review and a paper on the difficulties faced by non-Annex I Parties in preparing their national communications. The Executive Secretary noted that the reviews attempt to understand how the communications are done and examine the unadjusted values. He added that the review teams do not make "value judgements." On comparability, he said the Secretariat provides guidance on how to complete the reviews.
PERU said it might be useful to appoint more experts for review work. THAILAND said that it had not nominated any expert on the understanding that there were a limited number developing country participating in the review process. The Executive Secretary said that delegates were invited to request their governments to nominate experts for the review work. URUGUAY asked what mechanism would facilitate the review process.
The PHILIPPINES, supported by ETHIOPIA, said that since developing countries numbered over 130, additional space should be provided for developing country experts. The Chair said that governments could nominate experts directly to the Secretariat and urged delegates not to continue discussing this matter. FIJI and CHAD asked how much time experts would spend on this review and the time limit for submissions of names. The Executive Secretary said that an expert could count on being away on a country visit for at least one week.
INSTITUTIONAL AND BUDGETARY MATTERS
The Executive Secretary introduced the issue of extrabudgetary funds, as contained in FCCC/SBI/1995/4. He pointed out that additional contributions had been made and were reflected in the tables attached to the document. He raised concern about the lack of funding for developing countries, but also noted that of the 53 countries offered funding, 17 did not take advantage of the offer. He said that if the funds currently pledged were paid in time, an additional amount of US$150,000 could fund 110 developing countries. He added that the Secretariat would have to be gradually built up to meet growing requirements and mentioned the need to plan for the relocation to Bonn.
URUGUAY was interested in supporting regional action programmes. The Executive Secretary said that subregional approaches were a useful idea. The Chair said that Parties and the Executive Secretary were invited to consider these matters. The US said that SBSTA's draft conclusions and the formation of the TAPs had budgetary implications and requested information on these prior to taking decisions. The Chair said that if there were proposals that could not be "budgetarily" anticipated these would be flagged. He said that the COP had requested the UN General Assembly to "pick up the tab" for six weeks of meetings in 1996 and four weeks of meetings in 1997.
The US, supported by GERMANY, proposed that an additional two weeks be requested. GERMANY expressed concern over the decreasing number of delegates from developing countries and countries with economies in transition and announced a contribution of US$150,000 to the voluntary fund. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC and CHAD said that parallel meetings were a problem for smaller delegations, but endorsed the proposal for two extra weeks.
The Executive Secretary thanked Germany for the additional contribution. He stressed that the meetings would not be parallel and that the COP Bureau would discuss this in October. The Executive Secretary said that the provision of conference services by the UNGA was the fundamental issue for the FCCC process. He noted that arrangements for the administrative support were under consultations with the UN Department of Administration Management and said a report would be submitted for SBI 2. The Chair said that delegates should allow the Executive Secretary to continue consultations. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, concurred. BENIN asked whether it was possible to fund two delegates from each developing country. The Executive Secretary said that the choice was to fund one delegate from 110 countries or two from 55 countries and that it was preferable to include as large a number of developing countries. The Chair proposed adding a recommendation that SBI request two additional weeks to the UNGA at its 50th session.
MATTERS RELATING TO THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM
Mr. Tahar Hadj-Sadok of the Secretariat introduced the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the COP and the GEF Council, as contained in document FCCC/SBI/1995/3. He said that the Secretariats of both bodies had considered this matter and that the GEF Council had provided information on its most recent meetings. He then introduced Ms. Patricia Bliss-Guest of the GEF. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, asked whether this matter could be considered in more detail in the afternoon session. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, welcomed the draft MOU and said that the draft was "balanced" and had been approved at the fifth GEF Council meeting. He encouraged the GEF to carry out its work in the field of climate change.
BRAZIL highlighted difficulties with the Brazilian submission to the GEF on preparing a national inventory. He said that a national inventory would require funds of US$7 million and that the GEF had been requested to provide US$3 million in this regard. He noted that the GEF had agreed to provide US$1.5 million which was "the absolute minimum," but added that the GEF had recently stated that its draft operational strategy did not envisage the provision of such large sums for enabling activities. He said that Brazil would insist on its proposal, which would contribute to decreasing the level of uncertainty on the carbon cycle and deforestation. The Chair said that this was "news" to him as GEF Council member and because the operational strategy was still a draft.
JAPAN supported the format and content of the MOU. He inquired about the issue of consistency of the MOUs for both the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions raised at the fifth GEF Council. BANGLADESH said that the GEF definition of "incremental costs" should include "new and additional funding" and costs for LDC's mitigation measures. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, inquired about the status of the draft operational strategy, as contained in FCCC/SBI/1995/3/Add.1, emphasizing that it focused on mitigation, which was not a responsibility for non-Annex I Parties. She proposed that the G-77 and China amendments be appended to the annex of the MOU.
Bliss-Guest said that the operational strategy was still a draft and that the GEF Secretariat was preparing a revised strategy based on issues raised by Council members and others. She was unable clarify the Brazilian proposal because it was part of ongoing consultations between Brazil and a GEF implementing agency. She said that the GEF decision to fund or not to fund any project would be reported to the COP and the COP could then consider the matter. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, suggested that the draft operational strategy focus on adaptation measures in light of Decision 11 of COP 1. PERU highlighted the time lost in the reconsideration of projects and proposed referring this to the GEF. The GEF said that its membership exceeded the number of Parties to the FCCC and that it was taking into consideration all views. The Chair said all decisions in the GEF would conform with the decisions of the COP. He said that each Convention had its own objectives and that discussions on the MOUs of the FCCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity would depend on their respective COPs. With these comments, document FCCC/SBI/1995/3/Add.1, on the arrangements between the COP and the operating entity or entities and the financial mechanism, and document FCCC/SBI/1995/3, on the Memorandum of Understanding, were approved.
ELABORATION AND SCHEDULING OF THE PROGRAMME OF WORK, 1996-1997
The Secretariat introduced the proposed programme of work, contained in document FCCC/SBI/1995/2, and a draft decision on agenda submitted by the Chair, contained in document FCCC/SBI/1995/L.2. SPAIN, on behalf of the EU, said that the bureaus of the two subsidiary bodies must work in close coordination to avoid delays. He said that the SBI has an important role to play in in-depth reviews and on initial communications from non-Annex I Parties and should ensure transparency. On the financial mechanisms, he mentioned that COP I only agreed on initial guidance and the SBI needed to compile information. Regarding transfer of technology, he said that the SBI should only focus on developing country Parties and only the most promising technologies. As for AIJ, he recalled that the COP should review these in the pilot phase. Regarding possible contributions to the Berlin Mandate process, he said that work requested by the AGBM should be considered a matter of priority.
JAPAN emphasized the importance of the issue of technology transfer. He noted the work done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other organizations on environmental technology transfer. He suggested that it was useful to have a database on "on-going" activities related to transfer of technology. MALAYSIA supported the creation of a report on inventory of technologies referred to in the programme of work and the SBI's work on AIJ. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA said that technology transfer should be a standing item on the SBI agenda. INDIA and CHINA said that technology transfer was an important issue that was reflected in the "irrefutable intent" of the FCCC. ZIMBABWE stressed the need for appropriate technologies for developing countries and the need for the SBI to consider the inputs of Southern NGOs to the NGO workshop.
Document FCCC/SBI/1995/L.2, entitled "Requests the Secretariat to revise the scheduling of the programme of work in light of the results of first session of SBSTA," and document FCCC/SBI/1995/2, Elaboration and scheduling of the programme of work, were adopted with minor amendments.
A representative from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), on behalf of the Climate Action Network (CAN), said that most Annex I countries have failed to develop and implement adequate national programmes and that most existing programmes are well behind schedule, but noted that the SBI is the forum in which Parties can reflect on mid-course corrections. She said that the SBI's short-term priorities should include providing guidance for Annex I Parties' second national communications and establishing appropriate working relations with the GEF.
The Chair then asked whether the SBI preferred to meet the following morning to approve an outline of the Report of the meeting, or to authorize the Rapporteur, Mr. Jorge Benavides de la Sotta (Peru) to incorporate the conclusions of the meeting and allow SBSTA negotiations to continue. Following assurances from the Chair that the report would contain nothing that was not discussed, the SBI chose to have the report completed and circulated. The Chair stated that the report will be considered as adopted and noted that because its elements have been adopted, there was no need to formally adopt the report at this stage.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES
COP 1 characterized the role of the SBSTA as the link between scientific and technical assessments, information provided by competent international bodies and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. COP 1 also characterized the role of the SBI as developing recommendations to assist the COP in the review and assessment of the implementation of the Convention and in the preparation of the COP's decisions. The first session of the SBSTA (SBSTA 1), following a week-long meeting on the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate, presented delegates with a weighty programme of work, including several issues that were both technically and politically difficult to resolve, and only three days in which to meet. Those who hoped that SBSTA 1 could maintain at least some of the momentum of past meetings might have been discouraged by SBSTA's pace and output. Delegates at SBSTA confronted a daunting array of technically complex issues. SBSTA was expected to develop recommendations on many issues including: scientific assessments, national communications from Annex I Parties, methodologies, first communications from non-Annex I Parties, activities implemented jointly, cooperation with competent international bodies including the IPCC, technology transfer and the workshop on NGO inputs. SBSTA 1 did not have the time to consider all the issues originally slated for consideration such as allocation and control of international bunker fuels. Delegates were unable to avoid the overlapping nature of issues and often found it difficult to focus discussions on discrete agenda items. The Chair's attempts to steer discussions towards procedural rather than substantive issues did not meet with much success.
In addition, SBSTA 1 had the difficult task of deciding on the establishment of the TAPs. Even though delegates referred to decision 6 of COP 1, calling for the establishment of TAP-T and TAP-M, subject to confirmation by COP 2, they were unable to reach consensus on essentials such as the composition, terms of reference and office of the TAPs. Plenary discussions revealed the divergence of opinions between developed and developing countries on almost all issues related to the establishment of the TAPs. Despite many hours of informal consultations, and a final evening Plenary originally allocated to SBI, there was no eleventh-hour compromise. Many delegates were disappointed that the TAPs were not established. However, until the US and the G-77 are able to reach a compromise on the size and composition of the TAPs, these panels may only remain a good idea.
In comparison, the work of the SBI was conducted with relative ease. Although originally allocated two days, the SBI was able to work through its agenda in one day, largely due to informal consultations that the Chair held in advance of the meeting. Delegates discussed and adopted recommendations on the elaboration of the programme of work, matters related to the financial mechanism, including the draft MOU between the COP and the GEF council, and institutional and budgetary matters. The work of the SBI is central to the success of the FCCC and future sessions might prove to be difficult going. In upcoming sessions, both subsidiary bodies will be faced with the need to consider specific proposals that challenge the political will of Parties. Actions and decisions taken or avoided at AGBM 2 and SBSTA 2 will reflect not only the credibility of the "Berlin Mandate" Process but also the FCCC.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: The 50th session of the UN General Assembly begins on 19 September 1995. When the Second Committee addresses climate change, one of the issues will be the COP's request for the General Assembly to "pick up the tab" for at least six weeks of meetings in 1996 and four weeks of meetings in 1997.
AD HOC GROUP ON THE BERLIN MANDATE: The second meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate will take place from 30 October to 3 November 1995 in Geneva. The AGBM will consider the following Secretariat reports: a compilation of submissions from Parties; the first edition of an annotated compilation of information relevant to the Berlin Mandate process; lists of issues identified by Parties; and a synthesized listing of policies and measures identified in Annex I Parties' national communications.
SBI AND SBSTA: The next meeting of the two subsidiary bodies is scheduled to take place from 26 February to 1 March 1996.