Daily report for 25 May 2005

22nd Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 22)

On Wednesday, delegates met in numerous contact groups and informal meetings throughout the day and into the evening. SBSTA contact groups and informal meetings were held on various issues, including technology transfer, mitigation, adaptation, emissions from aviation and maritime transport, research needs relating to the Convention, and Small Island Developing States and the Mauritius Strategy. SBI contact groups and informal meetings were held to discuss the submission of non-Annex I communications, the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), and LDCs.


SPECIAL CLIMATE CHANGE FUND (SCCF): Following agreement on the SBI Chair’s request not to propose new language but rather to work from the existing text, delegates discussed ways to remove the remaining brackets on priority and focal areas for the Fund. Portugal, for the EU, and South Africa, for the G-77/CHINA, expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached. However, delegates were unable to make significant progress. Areas of disagreement included a proposal by the EU, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, that the SCCF be used to “support technical assistance.” Following consultations with the Co-Chairs, it was decided that negotiations would cease, and that the text would be given to the SBI Chair, with a recommendation that it be forwarded to COP 11 for its consideration.

NON-ANNEX I COMMUNICATIONS: Informal consultations on national communications from non-Annex I Parties convened in the morning. The G-77/CHINA summarized discussions leading up to Australia’s proposal to combine a submission window with a possible extension period. He reiterated his understanding that the starting point for the submission period was four years, with the possibility of a one-year extension, without any implications for GEF funding. The EU offered to drop any reference to the length of the submission period, retaining only text noting that any extensions will not imply additional financial resources from the GEF. The consultations were adjourned until the afternoon, while Parties from GEF donor countries verified that the draft language circulated had no implications for GEF guidance. On reconvening, the EU, CANADA, JAPAN, US, AUSTRALIA and the G-77/CHINA agreed to the draft decision. The US added that, while she was pleased to have reached agreement, there were elements missing from the draft decision that should be kept in mind for a future negotiation.

The draft decision, as agreed, acknowledges the importance of updating inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks, and the importance of measures to facilitate adequate adaptation. It decides, inter alia: that non-Annex I Parties shall make all efforts to submit their second and, where appropriate, third national communication, within four years of initial disbursement of finance; that Parties, if necessary and based on national circumstances, may use an extension of up to one year for submission and that any extensions shall not imply additional GEF funding; that LDCs may submit second national communications at their discretion; and that further discussion will take place on implementation of UNFCCC Article 12.5 (national communications) at COP 15. SAUDI ARABIA was offered reassurance that the decision does not set a deadline of “before 2006” for applications for financing subsequent communications for Parties that have had an initial disbursement more than five years ago. With agreement on the text, the consultations were closed.

RESEARCH NEEDS RELATING TO THE CONVENTION: In the morning, delegates met in informal consultations to draft SBSTA conclusions and COP decisions, which were later presented to the contact group. Co-Chairs Castellari and Cigarán presented the two draft texts, noting that these were based on previous conclusions and discussions held since SB 16, and that the draft texts aimed to establish dialogue between the research community and SBSTA. In the draft conclusions, SBSTA stresses the need for research into technologies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. After making minor editorial changes, delegates agreed to the draft SBSTA conclusions and draft COP decisions.

MATTERS RELATING TO THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: Delegates continued informal discussions on draft COP 11/MOP 1 decisions in the morning. They reconvened in a contact group throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Debate centered on an EU proposal, supported by NORWAY, CANADA and JAPAN, that the text should indicate that the LDC Fund should provide additional costs required to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change as identified and prioritized in the NAPAs. Delegates also debated other issues, including how to reference the application of a co-financing model for NAPA activities. CANADA, supported by several parties, proposed that such a model should be developed by the GEF “taking into account the circumstances of LDCs.” The contact group was suspended at 11:40 pm and will reconvene on Thursday.

ADAPTATION: Delegates met for informal consultations in the morning and afternoon on the five-year programme of work on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change. They also continued discussions in a contact group in the late afternoon and evening, where Co-Chair Shevlin presented draft text for general comments. On the objectives of the programme, the G-77/CHINA proposed alternative text stressing practical actions and the needs of the most vulnerable. The EU and the US objected to this reference, saying that the programme of work should be relevant to all parties. Further areas of disagreement included whether and where to include reference to Decision 1/CP.10, or to the section within 1/CP.10 that relates to SBSTA. On issues to be addressed by the work programme, the G-77/CHINA called for reference to both adaptation and vulnerability assessments. Consultations were continuing as of 11:00 pm.

MITIGATION: Delegates met informally to consider the Co-Chairs’ draft conclusions. Agreement was reached on the Secretariat reporting on lessons learned from the mitigation workshops, and on invitations to Parties to submit their views on these lessons and on future steps under this agenda item. However, differences persisted on whether or not to provide an opportunity for Parties to make presentations on these issues at SB 23, and on what format this would take. The EU, JAPAN and CANADA, opposed by G-77/CHINA, US and AUSTRALIA, proposed a pre-session workshop. Consultations will continue Thursday morning.

EMISSIONS FROM INTERNATIONAL AVIATION AND MARITIME TRANSPORT: Informal consultations were facilitated by José Romero (Switzerland), with delegates considering draft conclusions. Highlighting various methodological and other issues, the EU suggested setting out a process, which might include a workshop or other experts’ event. Some other Parties, including the US, questioned whether or not a workshop was needed. SAUDI ARABIA objected to the EU proposal, preferring shorter text that did not elaborate on the issue.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: Delegates met throughout the day in two informal sessions and in a small group setting. The morning session focused on the terms of reference of the EGTT. Agreement was reached on the paragraph on involvement of the private sector. However, little progress was reported on the other outstanding issues: assessment of implementation of COP decisions, the review of progress made under the framework, and consideration of long-term strategies for technology transfer.

During the afternoon session, Parties addressed draft conclusions, paragraph-by-paragraph. Agreement was reached on text referring to the TT:Clear technology information clearing house, the follow-up workshop for innovative options for financing, engaging the private sector, and inviting additional financial support. Delegates also agreed to delete a request to SBI regarding the SCCF and the GEF. Disagreements persisted on text referring to UNDP and the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI), publicly-owned and public domain technologies, adaptation technologies, and the consideration of specific technologies. Consultations will resume Thursday.

SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: Informal consultations continued, with delegates considering text on how SBSTA, SBI and/or the COP might address the issue of further implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. An attempt at a compromise formulation was proposed by Australia, which suggested text inviting Parties to submit “views on further implementation of relevant aspects of the Mauritius Declaration and Strategy through ongoing work of the SBI and SBSTA as appropriate.” Further consultations will be held.

CDM AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL TREATIES: Draft conclusions were finalized by Chair Børsting on the implications of project activities under the CDM for the achievement of objectives of other environmental conventions and protocols, as no further comments were received by Wednesday midday. The Chair's draft conclusions, inter alia, request the Secretariat to prepare an options paper with relevant inputs from submissions by Parties and by the Executive Board of the CDM.


Delegates were celebrating in several contact groups Wednesday at the completion of their work. In particular, the conclusion of discussions on non-Annex I Parties’ submissions of national communications, which have been under negotiation for two and a half years, resulted in “a collective sigh of relief,” according to one observer.

Meanwhile the decision to forward ongoing debates over the Special Climate Change Fund to Montreal was a sign of SB 22’s “technical” and “low key” nature, according to several participants. “At this stage, anything remotely political or problematic will likely end up on the COP or COP/MOP’s plate,” said one delegate.

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