Read in: French

Summary report, 9–18 December 1996

5th Session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate and 4th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 4)

The subsidiary bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met inGeneva from 9-18 December 1996. The fifth session of the Ad Hoc Group on theBerlin Mandate (AGBM-5) met from 9-13 December, the fourth session of the SubsidiaryBody for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA-4) and the third session of theAd Hoc Group on Article 13 (AG13-3) met from 16-18 December 1996. Thefourth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI-4) met from 10-11December 1996. Informal roundtables were convened on 9 December, to discussproposals from Parties, and on 17 December, to discuss Activities Implemented Jointly(AIJ).

AGBM-5 considered proposals from 14 Parties or groups of Parties regarding thestrengthening the commitments in Articles 4.2(a) and (b), advancing the implementationof Article 4.1 and possible elements of a protocol or other legal instrument. Delegatesexpressed a wide range of views on polices and measures (P&Ms) and quantifiedemission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROS) and on the form and scope of apossible protocol. AGBM-5 adopted conclusions requesting the Secretariat to produce a“framework compilation” of proposals for further consideration.

SBSTA-4 discussed a number of issues including: cooperation with theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the longer-term programme ofwork; possible revisions to guidelines for non-Annex I countries’ communications;national communications from Annex I Parties; activities implemented jointly (AIJ); andtechnology transfer. Discussions were complex and often difficult, but SBSTA-4confirmed future cooperation with the IPCC, agreed to apply the revised IPCC 1996guidelines for national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and agreed to further work onrevisions to the Uniform Reporting Format and methodogical issues pertaining to AIJ.

SBI-4 finalized agreement on the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)between the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Council of the GlobalEnvironmental Facility (GEF). AG13-3 considered responses to a questionnaire relatingto a multilateral consultative process (MCP). While delegates did not agree to anyconclusions, they further elaborated their positions on a possible MCP and agreed tocontinue consideration at their next meeting in February.


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted on 9 May1992, and was opened for signature at the UN Conference on Environment andDevelopment in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, where it received 155 signatures. TheConvention entered into force on 21 March 1994, 90 days after receipt of the 50thratification. The Convention has now been ratified by almost 160 countries.


The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention onClimate Change (COP-1) took place in Berlin from 28 March - 7 April 1995. Delegatesreached agreement on what many believed to be the central issue before COP-1 —adequacy of commitments. The result was a mandate to launch a process towardappropriate action for the period beyond the year 2000, including strengthening of thecommitments of developed countries. Delegates also reached agreement on a number ofother important issues, including the establishment of a pilot phase for implementation ofjoint projects, the location of the Permanent Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, the budget forthe Secretariat, financial procedures and the establishment of the subsidiary bodies.Delegates, however, did not reach consensus on the rules of procedure. This critical issue,including a decision on the voting rules and the composition of the Bureau, was deferreduntil COP-2.


COP-1 established an open-ended Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM)to begin a process to enable it to take appropriate action for the period beyond 2000,including the strengthening of the commitments of Annex I Parties through the adoptionof a protocol or another legal instrument.

At AGBM-1, held in Geneva from 21-25 August 1995, delegates considered severalissues, including an analysis and assessment to identify possible policies and measuresfor Annex I Parties and requests for inputs to subsequent sessions. They debated thenature, content and duration of the analysis and assessment and its relationship to otheraspects of the process. Several developed and developing countries stressed that analysisand assessment should be conducted in parallel and not prior to the negotiations, but afew developing countries insisted that more time was needed, particularly to evaluateeconomic costs.

At AGBM-2, held in Geneva from 30 October - 3 November 1995, debate over the extentof analysis and assessment continued, but delegates also heard new ideas for the structureand form of a possible protocol. Delegates considered: strengthening of commitments inArticle 4.2 (a) and (b) regarding policies and measures, as well as Quantified EmissionLimitation and Reduction Objectives (QELROs) within specified time-frames; advancingthe implementation of Article 4.1; and possible features of a protocol or another legalinstrument.

At AGBM-3, held in Geneva from 5-8 March 1996, delegates heard a number of specificproposals on new commitments for Annex I Parties, including a two-phase C02 emissionsreduction target proposed by Germany. They also discussed how Annex I countries mightdistribute or share new commitments, and whether those should take the form of anamendment or protocol. Delegates agreed to compile proposals for new commitments forconsideration at AGBM-4, and to hold informal roundtable discussions on policies andmeasures as well as on QELROs.

AGBM-4, held from 8-19 July 1996 in Geneva, again considered strengthening thecommitments in Article 4.2 (a) and (b); implementation of Article 4.1; the possiblefeatures of a protocol or other legal instrument; and the Berlin Mandate process. AGBM-4 completed its in-depth analyses of the likely elements of a protocol or other legalinstrument, and appeared ready to move forward to the preparation of a negotiating text atits next session. Most of the discussions dealt with approaches to policies and measures,QELROs, and an assessment of the likely impact of new commitments for Annex IParties on developing countries.


The SBSTA was established by COP-1 to link scientific, technical and technologicalassessments, information provided by competent international bodies, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP.

SBSTA-1 was held in Geneva from 28-30 August 1995. Delegates confronted technicallyand politically complex issues, including: scientific assessments, nationalcommunications from Annex I Parties, methodologies, first communications from non-Annex I Parties, and AIJ under the pilot phase. The SBSTA was supposed to establishintergovernmental technical advisory panels on technologies (TAP-T) and methodologies(TAP-M), however, it did not have time to consider all of these issues. Among the morecontentious issues were definition of SBSTA’s relationship with the IPCC, the terms ofreference and composition of the TAPs and the elaboration of guidelines for nationalcommunications from non-Annex I Parties. Delegates successfully identified areas forcooperation with the IPCC, agreed on a division of labor with the SBI on technologytransfer issues, and requested the Secretariat to organize a workshop on non-governmental inputs. No progress was made on the formation of the TAPs and delegateshad to resume this discussion at SBSTA-2.

SBSTA-2, held in Geneva from 27 February-4 March 1996, considered scientificassessment and cooperation, including the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR),reporting by Annex I and non-Annex I Parties, AIJ and the Technical Advisory Panels(TAPs). The main result was that Parties documented that they could not yet agree onhow to absorb or respond to scientific predictions of climate change. Although initialdiscussions gave the impression that SBSTA-2 would greet the IPCC’s predictions withless resistance than in previous FCCC negotiations, oil producers and other developingcountries ultimately blocked consensus on specific conclusions about the SAR. Weekendnegotiations resulted in a fragile agreement on language defining the divergence ofopinion. Three paragraphs in the SBSTA’s report list points of contention, alternatelyhighlighting the urgency and uncertainty in the IPCC report of a “discernible humaninfluence” on climate change. One line of the SBSTA’s conclusions tells the story of theTAPs: at this stage the SBSTA could not agree on modalities.

At SBSTA-3, held from 9-16 July 1996, delegates discussed the SAR and sent anunfinished draft decision with brackets (FCCC/CP/1996/L.11) to the COP for resolution.The draft decision provides advice on how the SAR can be used for implementation.Decisions were adopted in conjunction with the SBI on Communications from Annex IParties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.13 and Add. 1) and on Communications from non-Annex IParties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.12). The SBI and the SBSTA also agreed on a decision on AIJ(FCCC/CP/1996/L.7). Progress was made on a roster of experts and technical panels andthe SBSTA also agreed to reconsider NGO consultation mechanisms and cooperationwith the IPCC.


The SBI was established by the COP to assist in the review and assessment of theimplementation of the Convention and in the preparation and implementation of theCOP’s decisions. SBI-1 took place from 31 August - 1 September 1995 in Geneva. TheSBI addressed: communications from Annex I Parties; a progress report on in-depthreview; institutional and budgetary matters; matters relating to the financial mechanism;and the elaboration and scheduling of the programme of work for 1996-1997. Delegatesrecommended that the COP adopt the draft Memorandum of Understanding with the GEFas the financial mechanism, and proposed a draft decision on this item to be adopted byCOP-2.

At SBI-2, held in Geneva from 27 February - 4 March 1996, delegates considered in-depth reviews of national communications, matters related to the financial mechanism,financial and technical cooperation, transfer of technology, arrangements for therelocation of the Secretariat to Bonn, and COP-2. While delegates welcomed the GEFCouncil’s adoption of its operational strategy, many noted the need to expedite theprocess of providing “full agreed costs” for non-Annex I communications or risk seriousdelays. Developing countries frequently noted that providing funds to the GEF andproviding funds to countries were not the same thing. SBI’s review of in-depth reportsrevealed that many delegations found the national communications in need ofcomparability and consistency. The problem of membership distribution provokedseveral lengthy debates on the composition of the Bureau, a question pending since COP-1. Despite numerous consultations, the issue remained outstanding.

At SBI-3, held 9-16 July 1996 in Geneva, little discussion of difficult issues took placeduring open sessions. Delegates noted their objections to several draft decisions, whichwere referred immediately to contact groups by the Chair. Differences were resolved inclosed sessions by Parties, and were considered for adoption by the open SBI sessiononly after consensus had been reached. Contact group issues included: technologytransfer; the operating budget of the Secretariat; legal issues concerning relocation of theSecretariat to Bonn and the possibility of setting up a liaison office with the Secretariat atUN Headquarters in New York; guidance to the GEF Council; the Annex to theMemorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GEF Council and the COP; andnational communications from non-Annex I Parties. The contact groups were able toresolve all outstanding issues with the exception of the Annex to the MOU. The SBI’sdecisions, as well as an explanation of the unresolved MOU issue, are contained in thereport of SBI-3 (FCCC/SBI/1996/L.3).


AG13 was set up to consider the establishment of a multilateral consultative processavailable to Parties to resolve questions on implementation. AG13-1, held from 30-31October 1995 in Geneva, decided to request Parties, non-Parties, and intergovernmentaland non-governmental organizations to make written submissions in response to aquestionnaire on a multilateral consultative process (FCCC/AG13/1995/2, para. 17).Nineteen Parties, one non-party and ten NGOs submitted responses, which are containedin FCCC/AG13/1996/MISC.1 and MISC.2. The documents provide a spectrum of viewson the multilateral consultative process and identify common areas of understanding.

At AG13-2, held 10 July 1996 in Geneva, delegates discussed a multilateral consultativeprocess (MCP) for the FCCC. Participants received a synthesis of responses to aquestionnaire on establishing an MCP under Article 13 (FCCC/AG13/1996/1) to beconsidered at the Group’s December session. The EU recommended a draft decisionextending the AG13 mandate to COP-3 and a role in examining ways to apply an MCP toa protocol in cooperation with the AGBM. Delegates later adopted this draft decision.The meeting then adopted the Chair’s draft text on linkages between AG-13 and AGBM,asking the COP to decide that the AGBM may seek such advice as may be deemednecessary from AG-13.


The Second Conference of the Parties (COP-2) met in Geneva from 8-19 July 1996. Morethan 1500 participants from governments, intergovernmental organizations and NGOsparticipated. While many of the more contentious issues, such as treatment of the IPCCSecond Assessment Report (SAR), were left unresolved, COP-2 did produce someimportant political statements. The COP concluded by noting the “Geneva Declaration,”which endorses the IPCC conclusions and calls for legally-binding objectives andsignificant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Conference also saw a significant shift in position by the US, which for the first timesupported a legally-binding agreement to fulfill the Berlin Mandate. However, even asParties prepared to strengthen commitments, COP-2 highlighted the sharpest differencesyet between delegations. The strong declarations of support for the SAR were far fromunanimous, suggesting the need for substantial work in future sessions of the COP’ssubsidiary bodies before December 1997 when COP-3 meets in Kyoto, Japan.


The fifth session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) opened onMonday, 9 December 1996. Delegates had the following documents before them: theprovisional agenda and annotations (FCCC/AGBM/1996/9); a synthesis of proposals byParties on the strengthening of the commitments in Articles 4.2(a) and (b), advancing theimplementation of Article 4.1 and possible elements of a protocol or another legalinstrument (FCCC/AGBM/ 1996/10); proposals from Parties(FCCC/AGBM/1996/Misc.2); and four addenda containing additional proposals(FCCC/AGBM/ 1996/Misc.2/Add. 1, 2, 3 and 4). Fourteen Parties or groups of Partiessubmitted proposals.

AGBM Chair Ral Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina) recalled that delegates have called for areduction in the number of options available for policies and measures since AGBM-2and said this session must focus on that goal as well as on reducing the number of optionsfor QELROS. He said that maintaining a “patchwork of possibilities” will hinder theadoption of definitive positions and make implementation more difficult. He expressedhope that the synthesis document would guide delegates’ work.

FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutayar noted that Parties are giving carefulthought to the proposals’ content. He said the synthesis document shows how much is onthe table and indicates the direction of future work. Delegates will have to decide whichoptions to set aside, which ones are mutually exclusive and which ones should beconsidered for further work. The result will send a strong signal to markets, investors andconsumers as to the direction of governmental policy over the next decades.

Bert Bolin, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presentedthe IPCC Technical Paper on Technologies, Policies and Measures for MitigatingClimate Change. He said that different pathways can be chosen to reach stable emissionconcentrations and presented a comparison of the possible stabilization levels, cumulativeemissions and conventional and potential reserves of fossil fuels. He stated that anagreement on further limitations of greenhouse gas emissions requires decisions on:which level of equivalent C02 stabilization might be appropriate; the implications of sucha level for permissible cumulative global C02 emissions; and how to apportion thepermissible cumulative C02 emissions between countries.

The agenda and organization of the work of the session were then adopted. Mr. SuphavitPiamphongsant (Thailand) was appointed Rapporteur of AGBM-5.


On Tuesday, 10 December, the AGBM considered Agenda Item 3, Strengtheningcommitments in Article 4.2(a) and (b): policies and measures (P&Ms) and quantifiedemission limitation and reduction objectives within specified time frames (QELROs).

POLICIES AND MEASURES: Regarding P&Ms, the synthesis document(FCCC/AGBM/1996/10) notes that two general approaches have been discussed withinthe AGBM: a menu approach, wherein Annex I Parties could choose from a listaccording to national circumstances; and a mandatory approach, under which a new legalinstrument would require certain common and/or coordinated P&Ms. The document alsostates that proposals on P&Ms address three areas: mechanisms for implementation,policy objectives to be pursued by P&Ms and specific P&Ms for inclusion in a protocolor another legal instrument.

Delegates expressed differing opinions regarding the approach to P&Ms. The EU,supported by SWITZERLAND, favored adopting a mandatory approach, under which thenew legal instrument would require certain common and coordinated P&Ms. The EUproposed three separate annexes to the protocol, drawing distinctions between mandatory,coordinated and optional P&Ms. He also proposed an “Annex X” for those Parties thatadopt and implement these P&Ms. Responding to numerous questions, the EU clarifiedthat Annex X could include all Annex I countries and new OECD members. Non-Annex Icountries could also be included on a voluntary basis. Supported by BRAZIL,AUSTRALIA, VENEZUELA, SAUDI ARABIA and CANADA, the US opposedharmonized measures and advocated flexibility through national programmes geared tonational circumstances.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by CHINA, INDIA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA,BRAZIL, MALAYSIA, SAUDI ARABIA, GHANA, SAMOA, the MARSHALLISLANDS, VENEZUELA, MEXICO, ZIMBABWE, SENEGAL, IRAN, NIGERIA,THAILAND, MAURITIUS, the PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, ALGERIA,CHILE and KUWAIT, stressed that the AGBM’s work must remain within the BerlinMandate. He expressed concern that P&M proposals did not focus solely on Annex IParties’ commitments and stressed that developing countries’ implementation dependedon developed countries fulfilling their commitments. He referred to the concept of“Annex X Parties”, the separation of P&Ms and QELROS and concepts such as emissionbanking, emission permits and AIJ as attempts to stray from commitments.

Both developed and developing countries highlighted the need for flexible approachesand the importance of economic considerations. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA,CANADA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND and MAURITIUS supported a menu approach toprovide flexibility for countries with differing economic positions and national contexts.MEXICO and CHILE supported a flexible approach with some binding commitments.NEW ZEALAND highlighted the need for least-cost solutions and advocated market-based instruments. SWITZERLAND noted that some common measures, such as taxationof aviation fuel, are necessary and important for small countries with limited homemarkets. CANADA and AUSTRALIA also suggested that activities to combat climatechange need to be beneficial for the economy and that action should not impinge oncompetitiveness. THAILAND questioned the concept of “cost effectiveness” inmitigating climate change.

BRAZIL supported common policies in sectors of an international nature and, supportedby MEXICO and IRAN, cautioned against policies that would impose barriers tointernational trade and negatively affect non-Annex I countries. SAUDI ARABIA,supported by KUWAIT and ALGERIA, suggested that proposals of P&Ms should beaccompanied by an analysis of their impacts on developing countries, in particular withregard to economic growth and international trade. MAURITIUS supported voluntaryagreements for the elaboration of mechanisms of P&Ms and asked whether taxes andemissions permits would apply to Annex I countries only.

Delegates also noted other considerations. NEW ZEALAND noted the need forrefinement of policy objectives. CANADA supported “less intrusive” mechanisms forimplementing P&Ms, including education and information sharing. CANADA, SAMOA,the MARSHALL ISLANDS and MAURITIUS favored a combined approach fornegotiating P&Ms and QELROS. SAMOA, on behalf of Alliance of Small Island States(AOSIS), called for a coordination mechanism for discussing and implementing P&Ms.IRAN argued that P&Ms should include information and technology exchange.VENEZUELA highlighted the advantages offered by utilizing fossil fuels whiledeveloping technology to minimize their impacts on climate.

QELROS: The synthesis document (FCCC/AGBM/1996/10) addresses severalissues regarding QELROs, including: legal character; coverage; level and timing;distribution of commitments; and flexibility.

On the legal character of QELROs, NORWAY, ICELAND, the MARSHALL ISLANDS,the EU, CHILE, EGYPT, MOROCCO, MAURITIUS and SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS,called for legally-binding commitments for Annex I countries, but MOROCCO cautionedagainst negative impacts on developing countries. ARGENTINA and NEW ZEALANDcalled for mechanisms for compliance and dispute settlement. A number of countries,including NORWAY, urged a degree of flexibility for Annex I countries. The USsuggested “hard commitments to soft targets,” wherein commitments would focus on thedevelopment of a programme, implementation of P&Ms, reporting and review.VENEZUELA recommended defining the legal nature once objectives were quantified.

On the coverage for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the EU, the US, EGYPT, IRANand MAURITIUS favored covering all GHGs. The MARSHALL ISLANDS preferred tocover only C02 gases. NORWAY, supported by CANADA and NEW ZEALAND, calledfor a single objective relating to all greenhouse gases through the use of a “basket”approach containing as many greenhouse gases as possible. ARGENTINA, supported byVENEZUELA and CHILE, preferred a “gas-by-gas approach”.

On the level and timing of QELROs, SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, the MARSHALLISLANDS, the MALDIVES and MAURITIUS referred to the AOSIS draft protocol,which requires Annex I Parties to reduce 1990 C02 emission levels by at least 20 percentby the year 2005. SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, the MARSHALL ISLANDS and the EUpromoted early action while the US supported a longer time-horizon. FRANCE suggestedan ultimate per capita reduction in C02 compatible with convergence at a globalreduction of 7 percent by 2010. EGYPT preferred a uniform level of emissions.ICELAND and JAPAN proposed multi-year targets and VENEZUELA opposed theintroduction of targets and timetables. ARGENTINA suggested not only focusing onpercentages and time frames but also on standards for economic efficiency.

On the distribution of commitments, the US proposed flat rate reductions that would bindall Annex I Parties to the same QELROs. A number of Parties, including NORWAY,RUSSIA, ICELAND, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, CHILE, FRANCE, theREPUBLIC OF KOREA, IRAN and EGYPT, called for differentiation among Annex Icountries in order to take account of differences in national circumstances and economicburdens. Several delegations highlighted the importance of equity and flexibledistribution. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION highlighted Article 4.6, which calls forflexibility for countries with economies in transition. ARGENTINA proposed settingobjectives for regional groups and further study of differentiation. SAMOA, on behalf ofAOSIS, said there was insufficient time to negotiate differentiation.

NORWAY, ICELAND and AUSTRALIA suggested establishing indicators as a basis fordifferentiation. NORWAY proposed common levels of greenhouse gas emissions per unitof GDP, greenhouse gas emissions per capita and GDP per capita. AUSTRALIAsuggested considering GDP growth of the economy, population growth, fossil fuel tradeand emission intensity of exports. VENEZUELA and IRAN suggested including historicresponsibility for concentration of greenhouse gases. BRAZIL favored calculating theburden starting from a baseline year. AUSTRALIA suggested that indicators could benegotiated through a bottom-up approach.

Regarding flexibility, FRANCE reminded Parties of the importance of minimizing costsin achieving objectives and proposed flexibility in meeting their QELROs. With theREPUBLIC OF KOREA, he noted the need for joint or coordinated P&Ms at theinternational level. NORWAY, CANADA, the US, the EU and FRANCE supported theidea of allowing Annex I countries to meet their commitments through jointimplementation (JI). VENEZUELA cautioned that AIJ and JI were distinct concepts andthat JI should only be considered with respect to other Annex I countries. BRAZIL urgedthat JI credit should apply only if both countries had emissions targets. ARGENTINAstated that flexibility should not be a “blank cheque”.

The idea of emissions trading to achieve flexibility was supported by delegations such asNORWAY, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND and FRANCE. The EU said that emissionspermits could not replace P&Ms. AUSTRALIA said that trading regimes would need toaddress equity concerns. CANADA and NEW ZEALAND supported cumulative oraggregate targets. The US proposed emissions banking or borrowing. EGYPT warnedthat borrowing could constitute an excuse to delay action. MALAYSIA suggested thatborrowers should pay interest, which could be used to set up a fund to safeguard countriesagainst the effects of climate change.

The CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK, representing environmental NGOs, called onCOP-3 to adopt a protocol imposing legally-binding commitments by industrializedcountries to cut C02 by 20 percent by 2005 and adopt aggressive targets thereafter. TheINTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES,representing local authorities, noted that local governments began setting emissionstargets five years ago and called for international targets as an initial step towardsstrategy.


On Wednesday, 11 December, delegates considered Agenda Item 4 on continuing toadvance the implementation of existing commitments in Article 4.1. The Chair describedthe issue of “Annex X” as an internal discussion among the OECD countries that shouldnot require further discussion in this session.

The synthesis document (FCCC/AGBM/1996/10) notes, inter alia, that the AGBMmay wish to note work already done to advance implementation through the preparationof national guidelines. The document states that Parties have made proposals foradditional action on: national inventories; climate change response strategies; technologydevelopment and transfer; adaptation; inclusion of climate change considerations inpolicy initiatives; research and development; education and training; communication ofinformation; and financial assistance.

A number of developing countries focused on the fulfillment of commitments bydeveloped countries. The G-77/CHINA, supported by MALAYSIA, the MARSHALLISLANDS, MICRONESIA, IRAN, INDIA, the PHILIPPINES, VENEZUELA,NIGERIA, BRAZIL, INDONESIA and THAILAND, emphasized that all sections ofArticle 4.1 must be considered equally and in an integrated manner. She expressedconcern that developed countries might not pursue their full commitments, as outlined inArticle 4.2, and referred to the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR), which showsthat most emissions have originated from developed countries while per capita emissionsin developing countries are relatively small. She emphasized Articles 4.3 and 4.7, whichstate that developed countries shall provide new and additional financial resources andshall transfer technology to developing countries. She also stressed that AIJ should not beseen as a solution to Article 4.1. THAILAND opposed the imposition of newcommitments on non-Annex I countries by Annex I countries, which have not fulfilledtheir own commitments. VENEZUELA called for a regular review on the adequacy ofcommitments.

Many developing countries also highlighted national efforts and specified areas forstronger developed country assistance. MEXICO is currently developing a national actionplan and stressed timely access to technologies and financial support. INDIA saiddeveloping countries are already engaging in sustainable social and economicdevelopment. IRAN said, on national inventories, that developing countries have donemore than required and developed countries have not done enough. MICRONESIA calledfor support in capacity building, particularly in the area of monitoring sea level rise. TheMARSHALL ISLANDS and NIGERIA stressed that technology transfer is pivotal to theConvention. MALAYSIA expressed disappointment with some Parties’ focus on nationalcommunications and inventories and stressed the need for research and systematicobservation.

Developed countries expressed a range of views on further commitments. NORWAYopposed further commitments for developing countries, calling on Annex I countries toadvance the implementation of existing commitments on technology transfer andfinancial assistance. These requirements and a further investigation into incentivemeasures and cooperative structures would be crucial to the success of policies such asAIJ. The EU stressed the need for cooperative efforts between all Parties in the areas ofdevelopment, application and diffusion of technologies, practices and process; AIJ; andconsistency between programmes of multilateral development banks and the privatesector and the objectives of the FCCC. He requested the Chair to include these elements,as contained in the EU’s draft protocol, in the document to be prepared for AGBM-6.

The US agreed that the focus would remain on developed country commitments, butnoted the increase of greenhouse gas emissions by developing countries and emphasizedthat future steps under the Convention must include all Parties. He suggested specifyingdates by which all Parties should meet their QELROS, which could vary withfactors such as the level of development. He proposed developing guidelines for revisingannexes to better select common but differentiated responsibilities and establishing agraduation mechanism for movement between Annex I and II, as per Article 4.2(f), aspart of the new instrument. AUSTRALIA stated that non-Annex I Parties’ nationalguidelines are eagerly awaited as per the Berlin Mandate’s call for all Parties to continuetheir commitments under Article 4.1 and requested COP-3 to consider longer termcommitments.

On AIJ and JI, the PHILIPPINES noted that JI should be applicable to Annex I countriesonly and called for a reporting framework for JI to evaluate the benefits derived.ZIMBABWE urged Annex I countries to avoid allowing AIJ or JI projects to become“business as usual” and to take account of developing countries’ own developmentstrategies. VENEZUELA and THAILAND said that technology transfer cannot dependon AIJ activities because these are still in a pilot stage. CANADA characterized JI as a“win-win” method for both developed and developing countries that can supply state ofthe art technologies. MALAYSIA expressed concern regarding AIJ as a means toadvance Article 4.1.

Delegations also raised other points regarding commitments. The RUSSIANFEDERATION called for flexibility in implementation for countries with economies intransition, which need to stabilize sustainable economic development. He supportedcalculating annual emissions on a percentage basis from the baseline year of 1990, butproposed 2010 as the target year to allow for a long-term approach on investment.TURKEY noted its status as a non-signatory because it is listed in both Annex I and II,although UNDP considers it a developing country


On 11-12 December, the AGBM discussed Agenda Item 5, possible features of a protocolor another legal instrument. The synthesis document (FCCC/AGBM/1996/10) highlightsseveral issues, including: the form and scope of the instrument; communication andreview of information and commitments; annexes; voluntary application of commitmentsby non-Annex I Parties; institutions and institutional support; dispute settlement andcompliance; and action after COP-3.

FORM AND SCOPE OF THE INSTRUMENT: The EU supported a protocol tobuild on FCCC commitments and objectives and give the Berlin Mandate quantifiedtargets and timetables. He said the EU’s proposed protocol meets these requirements andcan evolve over time. SWITZERLAND and CHILE also favored a protocol. The G-77/CHINA, supported by VENEZUELA, NIGERIA, INDIA, SAUDI ARABIA,MEXICO, GAMBIA, MALAYSIA and MOROCCO, stressed that the instrument shouldnot deviate from the Berlin Mandate. SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, noted that thestructure and language of the AOSIS draft protocol accords with the Convention.SENEGAL, the MARSHALL ISLANDS, the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, thePHILIPPINES and HONDURAS specifically supported the AOSIS draft protocol. Anumber of countries, such as the US, NEW ZEALAND and SAUDI ARABIA said thatthe substance of the instrument should determine its form and possible features.

COMMUNICATION AND REVIEW OF INFORMATION: The EU stated thatits protocol proposal includes differing timetables for national communications by AnnexI and non-Annex I Parties and progressive enhancement of commitments. The US urged astrengthening of national and international mechanisms for the review of information onimplementation. The G-77/CHINA noted that the preamble of the Berlin Mandate focuseson review of commitments under Articles 4.2(a) and (b), stating that the scope of the newinstrument should include P&Ms, QELROs and continuing commitments under Article4.1. CANADA said that reporting should take place within specified time frames and beaddressed by the SBI. The US also supported a time frame for reviewing and updatingcommitments.

ANNEXES: A number of views were expressed on possible annexes to theinstrument. The US did not see a need for annexes on P&Ms. CANADA favored anannex describing commitments clearly in order to facilitate their rapid adjustment.CHILE stated that a differentiation of commitments should be made clear in the body ofthe protocol rather than in an annex, and said an annex could cover quantification.MALAYSIA called for annexes with provisions to ensure the commitments of Article 4.1and regular review of these provisions. NIGERIA opposed the establishment of any newannexes that create a new category of Parties.

VOLUNTARY APPLICATION OF COMMITMENTS FOR NON-ANNEX IPARTIES: NIGERIA, IRAN, SENEGAL and MOROCCO opposed newcommitments for non-Annex I Parties. The US and NEW ZEALAND stated that theywould not object to voluntary commitments from non-Annex I Parties. The US alsosuggested providing non-Parties with positive incentives to join the regime.AUSTRALIA called for the review process to account for factors such as thoseconsidered in setting commitments, new scientific information and changes incircumstances. IRAN called for an analysis of socio-economic impacts on developingcountries before judging the adequacy of commitments. CHILE emphasized that thefulfillment of any additional commitments by the developing world depends on Annex Icountries abiding by their commitments. SENEGAL noted that African countries havealready made serious sacrifices to apply the FCCC but lack sufficient resources.HONDURAS stressed that the efforts made by developing countries are as important asthose of Annex I countries.

INSTITUTIONS: The EU, the G-77/CHINA, VENEZUELA, SWITZERLAND,the US, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SAUDI ARABIA and MALAYSIA stated apreference for economy of institutions such as use of the same COP, SBSTA andSecretariat. INDIA and CANADA also favored drawing heavily from existinginstitutions. SWITZERLAND suggested that Parties to the Convention and Parties to theprotocol should hold meetings in conjunction, but the US and NEW ZEALAND specifiedthat only Parties to the protocol should take decisions on it. MOROCCO noted thatfinancial resources should be provided for any institutions that will service theinstrument.

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT AND COMPLIANCE: The EU noted that itsprotocol proposal includes establishment of a multilateral consultative process (MCP) forboth review of compliance and dispute settlement under the FCCC. INDIA noted thatwhen a non-Annex I Party or its policies are affected by Annex I country actions, such aswhen intellectual property rights affect terms of trade, those actions should be consideredunder Article 13 (MCP) rather than Article 14 (dispute resolution). SWITZERLANDfavored the establishment of a process to assess compliance with the protocol. KUWAITcalled for an examination of the connection between the proposed protocol and the workof AG13. CANADA said that the linkage to Article 13 must be reviewed. The USadvocated a clear structure for commitments and for objectively measurable targets.

PREPARATION OF A SYNTHESIS DOCUMENT: CHINA, supported byINDIA, SRI LANKA, VENEZUELA, MOROCCO, CHILE, SAMOA, GAMBIA,GHANA and JAPAN, requested a compilation synthesis of all proposals to be distributedin January. CHINA and INDIA requested that the sources of the proposals be noted in thecompilation. SIERRA LEONE said a draft text for a protocol should be available in timefor AGBM-6. GHANA, SENEGAL and VENEZUELA noted that time is needed foradditional suggestions for the compilation and, with SRI LANKA and the DOMINICANREPUBLIC, called for a framework compilation to circulate to capitals before AGBM-6.SAUDI ARABIA cautioned that this process should not preclude submissions at a laterstage. CHILE noted that a text would encourage signs of political will to compromise in anew negotiation phase. The EU reiterated its request to include elements from its proposalin the synthesis.

Delegations also commented on a number of other points. NIGERIA noted the needs ofAfrican countries and called for the inclusion of paragraphs on economic damage to non-Annex I countries from actions by Annex I Parties. IRAN and BURKINA FASO calledfor language on technology transfer and provision of financial resources in the new legalinstrument. NEW ZEALAND commented that the new instrument should pave the wayfor future global action, but MOROCCO and SAUDI ARABIA stated that action afterCOP-3 exceeds the Berlin Mandate. KUWAIT also noted that the rules of procedure forthe FCCC are still not adopted, which may affect the outcome of the AGBM process.


On Thursday afternoon, 12 December, AGBM-5 met informally to consider the Chair’sdraft conclusions, which contain four sections.

Sub-item (a) notes that the AGBM reiterated that the protocol or another legalinstrument to be adopted at COP-3 should implement fully the terms of the BerlinMandate, and underlined that the Berlin Mandate process will not introduce any newcommitments for Parties not included in Annex I.

CHINA and the PHILIPPINES proposed retaining sub-item (a) as is. NIGERIA said theparagraph should remain as is because numerous delegations had specifically emphasizedno new commitments for developing countries and CHINA said that some proposals hadattempted to introduce commitments for developing countries. CHINA, INDIA andKUWAIT also supported noting the sources of proposals as a means to trace the historyof the proposals. The US, supported by the EU, opposed singling out the phrase from theBerlin Mandate that specifies no new commitments for developing countries, in theconclusions.

The Chair proposed noting the reservation of the US. The US clarified that it had anobjection, not a reservation, and the EU reiterated its concern. CANADA proposeddeleting the reference or including all of paragraph 2(b) of the Berlin Mandate. The UKproposed including a reference from the Geneva Declaration, but the Chair noted that notall Parties had supported the Declaration. Delegates included the complete text ofparagraph 2(b) of the Berlin Mandate, which states that the process will not introducenew commitments for non-Annex I Parties but will reaffirm existing commitments inArticle 4.1 and continue to advance the implementation of these commitments in order toachieve sustainable development, taking into account Articles 4.3, 4.5 and 4.7.

Sub-item (b) requests the Chair and the Secretariat to prepare a frameworkcompilation, incorporating textual proposals from Parties as well as other proposals fromParties for the elements of a protocol or another legal instrument, and identifying thesources. The paper will receive in-depth consideration and serve as a basis for furtherproposals from Parties at AGBM-6.

MALAYSIA, supported by CHINA and the PHILIPPINES, said that including elementsoutside the Berlin Mandate in the framework compilation will sidetrack negotiations andsuggested specifying that the compilation should be based on the Berlin Mandate. TheUS said that the Convention was developed on the basis of proposals that did not identifythe sources, and, supported by NORWAY, cautioned against establishing a new practice.

Sub-item (b) was amended to state that the framework compilation will receive in-depthconsideration and serve as the basis for further proposals at and following AGBM-6,bearing in mind the need to circulate text in all UN languages by 1 June 1997.

Sub-item (c) invites Parties to submit further proposals, especially proposalsincorporating draft text for the instrument, and requests the Secretariat to issue suchproposals in a miscellaneous document. Proposals received by 15 January 1997 will betaken into account in the preparation of the framework compilation.

The US noted that other proposals will receive consideration beyond AGBM-6. Sub-item(c) was accepted without amendment.

Sub-item (d) requests the Chair to explore with interested delegations theconcept of differentiation and criteria for differentiation with a view to applying a numberof parameters and bringing the results to an informal round table to be convened atAGBM-6.

INDIA and KUWAIT supported specifying that differentiation, as mentioned in sub-item(d), applies to Annex I countries.

The US and CANADA noted that while differentiation is important, other concepts are aswell. Sub-item (d) was amended to note that differentation “as applicable to Annex Icountries” will be explored.


The Chair then convened a formal meeting on Thursday, 12 December to adopt theconclusions and the report of the meeting. No formal report was prepared. Delegatesagreed to adopt an outline of the report and empowered the rapporteur to complete thereport, subject to review at AGBM-6. The Chair noted that, according to his informalconsultations, AGBM-5 achieved more progress than is immediately apparent and there ismuch common ground to be developed. He noted that statements until this meeting werein general terms and that the next document will bring AGBM to more concretediscussions.


Chair Tibor Farago (Hungary) opened the fourth session of the Subsidiary Body forScientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA-4) on Monday, 16 December. He notedSBSTA’s previous success on issues such as national communications, methodologicalissues, guidelines for communications from Annex I Parties, technology assessment andtransfer and cooperation with other bodies. He also noted that there has been less successon scientific issues, election of officers, a roster of experts and adoption of the rules ofprocedure.


On Agenda Item 3, Cooperation with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), the Secretariat introduced document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/18, which identifies thefollowing issues for SBSTA’s consideration: the need for consultation on the IPCC workprogramme, long-term emission profiles and harvested wood products. IPCC Chair BertBolin reported on the status of the six technical papers that the IPCC had agreed toproduce and listed other areas of current IPCC work. He noted that the IPCC has deferredwork on harvested wood products to SBSTA because it concerns international trade,which is related to allocation issues.

GUIDELINES FOR NATIONAL GHG INVENTORIES: The Revised 1996IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories were introduced(FCCC/SBSTA/1996/18/Add. 1) for consideration and possible adoption. Revisedguidelines have been established for the following sectors: fuel combustion, industrialprocesses, land-use change and forestry, agricultural soils and waste.

A number of countries expressed their appreciation for the cooperation between theSBSTA and the IPCC. Many countries, including INDIA, JAPAN, the RUSSIANFEDERATION, ZIMBABWE, CANADA, NORWAY, the EU and MALAYSIA,supported the adoption of the Revised 1996 Guidelines for emission inventories. TheRUSSIAN FEDERATION called for closer scrutiny of the global warming potential(GWP) of CFC substitutes. A number of Parties made statements on the approach bywhich emissions related to the consumption of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 are to be reported.The “potential approach,” as favored by the US and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, woulduse annual data on production, exports, imports and destruction. The emission estimatesso derived do not take into consideration storage and release of chemicals over time.

The “actual approach,” in contrast, attempts to account for the time lag betweenconsumption and emissions. JAPAN, NORWAY and the EU favored the “actualemission approach,” but also encouraged the submission of data using the “potentialapproach.” The EU stated that Parties should report the best available estimate of actualemissions, to the extent that national circumstances permit. LATVIA supportedROMANIA and POLAND in stressing the need for comparability of methodologies.

Parties then discussed when they should begin using the Revised Guidelines forreporting. JAPAN, INDIA, the EU, NEW ZEALAND and JAPAN stated that the RevisedGuidelines should be applied to recalculate 1990 base year GHG inventories and allsubsequent years. A number of countries, including LATVIA, stated that their secondinventories are being prepared and that it would be too complicated to recalculate them.AOSIS, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, NORWAY,CANADA, AUSTRALIA, GAMBIA and IRAN supported a more flexible approach, bywhich the revised methods would be applied as a supplement to the 1995 IPCCGuidelines on a voluntary basis for inventories due in April 1997 and on a mandatorybasis for 1998 and 1999. Inventories due after 1999 would use only the RevisedGuidelines. The US urged to test the revised methods for validity and workability andapply them, where possible, by 1997.

AUSTRALIA, INDIA, the EU, CANADA and NEW ZEALAND supported the use ofthe Revised Guidelines by both Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Some countries,including CHINA, IRAN and POLAND, did not support this position. MICRONESIA,ROMANIA and the MARSHALL ISLANDS urged flexibility for developing countries toapply the revised guidelines. MAURITIUS suggested a simplified inventorymethodology, given the limited expertise of African countries. CANADA agreed withJAPAN and HUNGARY that further distribution of the guidelines and methodology wasnecessary.

IPCC WORK PROGRAMME: An initial list of items on which the IPCC couldprovide input to the SBSTA was presented in the annex to documentFCCC/SBSTA/1996/18.

Numerous countries, including AUSTRALIA and the US, supported the workprogramme. ZIMBABWE urged SBSTA to request the IPCC to conduct awarenessprogrammes through workshops at regional levels. CHINA noted the importance ofArticle 4.8, on the special needs of vulnerable countries for study of regional sectoralimpacts of climate change. MAURITIUS, on behalf of the African Group, called forlong-term sustained monitoring and projects leading to vulnerability assessment andadaptation methods and for more developing country scientists’ involvement in the IPCC.MALAYSIA, CHINA, the PHILIPPINES and INDIA favored prioritizing regionalscenarios on climate change to facilitate developing countries’ work on nationalcommunications. The US, supported by CANADA, pointed to the need to considerFCCC resources for the work of the IPCC.

The EU asked that the full range of issues covered in the SAR be considered in the ThirdAssessment Report (TAR). The US urged the IPCC to remain flexible and responsive toSBSTA. CHINA and IRAN proposed that the TAR contain a section on the impact ofactivities by Annex I on non-Annex I countries. KUWAIT urged that IPCC studies bebased on proposals by Parties, adhere to the Berlin Mandate and not refer tocommitments of non-Annex I Parties. MAURITIUS asked for computer technology toenhance developing country participation in the IPCC and increase public awareness ofthe results of the SAR. MICRONESIA requested representation of small islanddeveloping States (SIDS) in the IPCC and expert groups.

LONG-TERM EMISSIONS PROFILES: The IPCC sought the SBSTA’s viewson assumptions concerning economic, social and other goals of Parties between 2000 and2010 and beyond that were likely to affect GHG emissions from energy and other sectors.

CANADA and the US called for realistic scenarios. The EU suggested using extendedand illustrative profiles to represent the proposals, which range from a 0.5 percentreduction per annum after 2000 to a 20 percent reduction by 2005 followed by a twopercent reduction per annum thereafter. CHINA called for a focus on the cumulativeconcentration of GHG emissions. The US proposed a clear distinction between “protocol”proposals and sensitivity studies, and called for the latter using all combinations ofcountry participation.

HARVESTED WOOD PRODUCTS: The IPCC consulted the SBSTA on thedirection of its work on emissions associated with harvested wood products. JAPAN, theEU and the MARSHALL ISLANDS supported the idea of an IPCC expert meeting onharvested products. A number of other countries, including CANADA and the RUSSIANFEDERATION, also urged further work on this issue. MALAYSIA requested theSBSTA to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or the InternationalTropical Timber Organization (ITTO) on wood products and queried how to takeanthropogenic forest fires into account in national reporting. AUSTRALIA asked forwork on anthropogenic emissions in the context of land use change and the forestry sectorand noted similarities between harvested wood products, traded emissions and bunkerfuels.

CONCLUSIONS: During its final session, the SBSTA considered the Chair’sdraft conclusions on cooperation with the IPCC, based on the results of informalconsultations. The draft conclusions took note of the revised schedule of work and urgedthe IPCC to give high priority to the development of regional scenarios and regionalimpacts of climate change and, as added by KUWAIT, to economic impact assessmentsof new commitments by Annex I countries. The conclusions urged the IPCC to develop aflexible work programmme and requested Parties to submit comments on the TAR by 30May 1997. GERMANY added a reference to the early 1997 IPCC discussion paper on thepreparation of the TAR. The SBSTA also requested the Secretariat, with the IPCC andother organizations, to ensure wide dissemination of the Revised Guidelines for NationalGHG Inventories to all Parties.

The Chair’s draft conclusions on emission profiles note divergent views regarding format,timing, content and sensitivity studies to be used in developing profiles, and requestParties to make their submissions on this item by 15 January 1997. The SBSTA alsorequests the IPCC to make a presentation on the development of emission profiles andpossible implications to the climate system at SBSTA-5. Extensive discussion took placeon future SBSTA and IPCC work on emission profiles.

The conclusions state that SBSTA-5 would continue to elaborate on profiles, based onproposals submitted by Parties, with a view to giving clear guidance to the IPCC on thedevelopment of long-term emission profiles. The EU, supported by TRINIDAD ANDTOBAGO, ARGENTINA, CANADA, SWITZERLAND, GERMANY and the US,proposed requesting the IPCC to complete this work on the basis of these submissions inconsultation with the Joint Working Group of officers of the FCCC and the IPCC. TheChair moved to adopt the conclusions as amended, but SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT andNIGERIA strongly opposed this proposal and called its adoption “illegal.” BRAZIL’ssuggested text that maintained the EU proposal and added that the SBSTA wouldcontinue to work on this issue during its fifth session, which was adopted.

The Chair’s draft conclusions on the application of the 1996 Revised IPCC Guidelines forNational GHG Inventories note the additional data, information and simplifiedmethodologies they contained. CHINA, the PHILIPPINES and KUWAIT opposed theEU’s preference to “approve and adopt” the Revised Guidelines. The US suggested thatthe SBSTA “take note” of the Revised Guidelines adopted by the IPCC and “decides thatthey should be used as follows”: Annex I countries should apply them for their 1997inventories on a voluntary basis and on a mandatory basis for their 1998 inventories.They should also use them to recalculate the base year inventory and submit updated timeseries data for the years in between. Economies in transition may apply the revisedguidelines one year later than other Annex I Parties.

Following comments from the EU and the PHILIPPINES on non-Annex I Parties’ use ofguidelines and methodologies for inventories, ARGENTINA suggested text encouragingnon-Annex I Parties’ to apply the revised 1996 guidelines in communicating theirnational GHG inventories. SBSTA also encouraged Parties to report actual emissions ofHFCs, PFCs and SF6 and figures for potential emissions. CHINA insisted that Partiesthat are not in a position to report actual figures should be “encouraged” rather thanrequested to report potential emissions. The SBSTA requested the Secretariat to prepare astudy on methodologies for assessing emissions from harvested wood products.


On Tuesday, 17 December, the SBSTA considered Agenda Item 4(a), Longer-termprogramme of work (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/16 and Add.1). Delegates specificallyconsidered priorities for methodological work, implications for the budget and necessaryinstitutional and financial arrangements.

PRIORITIES FOR METHODOLOGICAL WORK: Numerous countries,including NEW ZEALAND, ECUADOR, the EU and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION,supported the document’s list of methodological issues that warrant special consideration.These include methods for (i) assessing mitigation measures and policies; (ii) projectingemissions; (iii) evaluating and monitoring the effectiveness of specific P&Ms; (iv)assessing mitigation technologies; and (v) evaluating AIJ and developing the concept ofJI. The US said that no single method would be universally applicable and called on theSBSTA to avoid duplicating efforts, in particular with the IPCC. He suggested thatgovernments nominate experts to be included in the process of developingmethodologies.

MICRONESIA, supported by the MARSHALL ISLANDS, expressed concern aboutchanneling GEF funds and urged that higher priority be given to adaptation methodology.AUSTRALIA suggested giving the highest priority to methods for assessing mitigationand emissions projections. He urged the SBSTA to monitor real changes in GHGconcentration in the atmosphere, and to include this issue under methodological topics.ECUADOR suggested giving priority to methods for projecting emissions and forevaluating AIJ. NEW ZEALAND prioritized methods for assessing mitigation measures,projecting emissions and evaluating the effectiveness of P&Ms. He reminded the IPCCnot to engage in policy recommendations.

The EU urged the SBSTA to play a supervisory role for methodological work andrequested that the Secretariat review means of funding work on methodologies.AUSTRALIA suggested additions to the Secretariat’s budget. The MARSHALLISLANDS concurred with this and, supported by ECUADOR, suggested requesting thegoverning bodies of international organizations to give a high priority to work in supportof the FCCC process.

Informal consultations led to a draft conclusion, noting a need for work onmethodological issues relating to climate change, encouraging cooperation on this withother bodies and requesting the Secretariat to prepare an initial draft work plan utilizingexpert advice. In adopting the text, language referring to methodological issues “relatedto AIJ” was deleted. KUWAIT proposed adding socio-economic analysis to the list ofmethodological topics proposed. The EU objected, but withdrew its objection in lieu ofdeferring the entire conclusion to SBSTA-5.

POSSIBLE REVISIONS TO THE GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION OFCOMMUNICATIONS BY PARTIES INCLUDED IN ANNEX I OF THECONVENTION: On Agenda Item 4(b), Possible revisions to the guidelines for thepreparation of communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, theSecretariat introduced three documents. Documents FCCC/SBSTA/1996/9/Add.1 andAdd.2 highlight electricity trade, bunker fuels, use of global warming potentials (GWPs),accounting for land-use change and forestry, temperature adjustments, and presentoptions for action. Document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/MISC.5 contains comments fromParties.

The MARSHALL ISLANDS, NORWAY, MICRONESIA and INDIA favored deferringconsideration of this issue and requesting Parties to submit comments. The MARSHALLISLANDS and INDIA said they would allow provision of supplementary informationbased on the documents. AUSTRALIA supported the revisions to guidelines but calledfor work on defining anthropogenic emissions.

The issue of adjustment was raised not only regarding temperature adjustment, but alsoregarding electricity trade and bunker fuels. Unadjusted reporting was generallypreferred, with supplemental adjusted figures. DENMARK noted that his countryexperiences random electricity emissions fluctuations due to climatic factors. Hesupported the continued use of reporting on actual, as well as adjusted levels ofemissions, to correct for these fluctuations.

On the electricity trade, the US noted inconsistencies in reporting on imports and exportsdue to ad hoc adjustments, and called for emissions accounting where generated.Data on the trade and related emissions should be supplemental. He proposed that theSecretariat prepare a paper on electricity trading. AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALANDalso favored the use of unadjusted figures. AUSTRALIA noted that electricity trading ispart of the general issue of trade in high carbon intensive commodities.

On international bunker fuels, the US recommended unadjusted inventories but saidsupplemental data could include averaging over some period in order to estimate progresstowards targets. Supported by NORWAY, he noted the need for a methodology forconsistent emissions allocation. The US and NEW ZEALAND recommended narrowingthe number of options for further action. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION also urgedfurther work, particularly with other international organizations. MICRONESIA soughtclarification on bunker fuels with regard to regionally- specific emission factors andsuggested a roundtable on bunker fuels for SBSTA-5.

On temperature adjustments, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, INDIA and JAPAN favoredunadjusted emissions reporting in inventories and a separate method for treatingadjustments. JAPAN called for a unified approach to be discussed by the IPCC.AUSTRALIA highlighted that temperature adjustments are based on cyclical fluxes likeother climatic events and, therefore, should follow the same conceptual approach. Heproposed developing common national performance indicators within SBSTA’s workprogrammme and having countries use these along with specific national ones.

On global warming potentials (GWPs), INDIA expressed concern about inconsistenciesin their use and asked for comparability in reports. JAPAN suggested that Parties usingGWPs utilize the GWP guidelines adopted at COP-2, but preferred reporting on GHGsgas-by-gas. NEW ZEALAND echoed this call for caution on GWP use.

On land use and forestry, MICRONESIA called for clearer definitions. AUSTRALIAnoted that P&Ms cover all relevant sources, sinks and reservoirs of GHGs and, therefore,favored aggregating activities in all sectors for a “net” emissions figure. However,JAPAN noted methodological problems in this category and NEW ZEALAND said theissue of subtraction depends on resolving other issues. Both JAPAN and NEWZEALAND favored the “net approach”, but until these problems are resolved JAPANstated a preference for use of gross figures.

CONCLUSIONS: In the final session of the SBSTA on Wednesday, 18December, conclusions were adopted that defer a decision on revising the guidelines to afuture session and request further work on reporting on bunker and aviation fuelemissions, electricity related emissions, and technical and policy issues related toemissions adjustments and trade. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, on behalf of AOSIS,proposed deleting language making the option for no allocation of bunker fuels a“priority” for action. Following an EU objection, the option for no allocation will be“considered”. The conclusion was adopted as amended.


The Secretariat gave an oral report on national communications for Annex I Parties,stating that 31 In-Depth Reviews have been undertaken so far, 16 of which have beenissued and published. Responding to a request by AUSTRALIA, the Secretariat latercirculated the report as a conference document (FCCC/SBSTA/ 1996/CRP.5). There wereno further interventions on this issue.

In its final session, SBSTA adopted conclusions, taking note of the report and progressmade in national communications of Annex I Parties, urging Parties to submit theirnational communications on time, and encouraging those that have not yet nominatedexperts to do so.


On activities implemented jointly (AIJ) under the pilot phase, the Secretariat introducedthe following documents: the Uniform Reporting Format(URF)(FCCC/SBSTA/1996/15); an update on AIJ (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/17); andmethodological issues on AIJ projects (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/19).

The US, JAPAN and AUSTRALIA strongly supported AIJ. MAURITIUS, on behalf ofthe African Group, BELIZE and CHILE supported AIJ as a supplement to the FCCC.The PHILIPPINES noted misconceptions on AIJ and CHINA, MALAYSIA and INDIAnoted the “blurring” of AIJ and JI. MALAYSIA, BELIZE, the PHILIPPINES,UGANDA, INDIA and CHILE opposed AIJ as a means of or conditionality fortechnology transfer or other bilateral assistance. INDIA requested a Secretariat report onthe status of technology transfer.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by MAURITIUS, IRAN, ZIMBABWE, the RUSSIANFEDERATION, MOROCCO and the PHILIPPINES, called for AIJ to be consistent withnational development plans and priorities, particularly in the development of a commonreporting framework. ZIMBABWE emphasized the voluntary nature of AIJ. MOROCCOand ARGENTINA stressed the need for project approval by both partner governments.UGANDA underscored the good will of the business community and public awareness onclimate issues.

UNIFORM REPORTING FORMAT: Modifications to language in theSecretariat’s document on URF were requested. VENEZUELA highlighted: calculationof costs and benefits to the host country’s economy; comparison of effects on eachpartner country; and evaluation of AIJ’s potential to reduce emissions cost-effectively.CANADA highlighted non-environmental benefits and opposed the inclusion ofconfidential details in the tables. He suggested the use of narrative text in reports.CHINA, supported by the US, called for language rejecting credits for AIJ emissionsreductions during the pilot phase. JAPAN proposed language on project implementationstatus and the provision of information from the sub-national level. TheINTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY called for the inclusion of data on technologyused in AIJ projects in the URF.

AUSTRALIA, MICRONESIA and ARGENTINA differentiated projects underdevelopment from those being implemented. The EU and COSTA RICA favoredapproved third-party reviews and requested preparation of a workplan for AIJ reportingtasks. The US, COSTA RICA and MICRONESIA called for an electronic template forreporting, clear rules for participation and a schedule for submissions. In the discussionson the update, MALAYSIA warned against conversion of bilateral projects into AIJprojects and ZIMBABWE drew attention to two AIJ projects in his country and a futurenational workshop.

METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: Some developing countries criticized theimplicit assumption of benefits from AIJ in the Secretariat’s document. Supported byMAURITIUS, CHINA, IRAN, MALAYSIA, MOROCCO and ARGENTINA, the G-77/CHINA called for deletion of references to modalities for crediting. The US felt thatthe pilot phase should assess all issues of AIJ, including credits. AUSTRALIA proposedcriteria for AIJ including crediting, cost-effectiveness of projects and additionality.

The PHILIPPINES, UGANDA, INDIA, SWITZERLAND, MAURITIUS and the EUhighlighted AIJ additionality to Annex II countries’ commitments. The G-77/CHINAstressed inclusion of financial additionality among methodological issues. The EU alsounderscored environmental additionality and monitoring and verification procedures.MAURITIUS, supported by MOROCCO and ZIMBABWE, welcomed AIJ contributionsto capacity building in developing countries, if they adhere to national objectives, andasked the Secretariat to facilitate the initiation of AIJ projects to African countries.SWITZERLAND also called for identifying and meeting host countries’ needs.

INDIA noted the need to take financial considerations into account in discussingmethodologies. CANADA stressed minimization of transaction costs. ANTIGUA ANDBARBUDA called for methodologies to address adaptation issues. MICRONESIA calledfor methodologies to help countries determine emission reduction projections andsupported SWITZERLAND’s request that the Secretariat develop a directory related toAIJ work.

CONCLUSIONS: During the SBSTA’s last session on Wednesday, 18December, delegates discussed how to recognize agreements reached in a contact groupon elements of the URF, while leaving open the possibility for further discussion of otherelements and on methodologies. A draft conclusion on continuing this work wasproposed. The conclusions, as amended, ask for a revision of the URF reflecting “sectionsthat were agreed in the contact group” and leaving unchanged sections that could not beaddressed. It invites Parties to submit views on the unresolved issues. AUSTRALIA andthe US proposed language on convening a contact group during SBSTA-5 to further thiswork. ZIMBABWE proposed specifying the voluntary nature of AIJ, and CHINAproposed making specific reference to reports from Parties “participating in the pilotphase of AIJ.” The conclusions, as amended, were adopted.


On Agenda Item 7, Development and transfer of technologies, the Secretariat presentedan oral report highlighting identification of technology needs and various activitiesunderway. He noted document FCCC/SBSTA/1997/MISC.1 on this topic, which will bepresented at SBSTA-5, and document FCCC/SBSTA/1996/CRP.2, listing nominationsfor a roster of experts. SAUDI ARABIA requested a written version of the Secretariat’soral report, which the Secretariat agreed to provide.

The G-77/CHINA, supported by INDIA and CHINA, stressed the importance of thistopic for all countries, and expressed deep concern over the continuing lack of progressand the fact that most technology transfer is being undertaken within the AIJ framework.The Secretariat noted that work on this takes place in cooperation with other bodies. Henoted work on addressing technology transfer in communications from Annex I Parties.

INDIA, supported by CHINA, noted that there were no experts nominated from somecountries. CHINA noted that groups preparing documents on technology transfer shouldnote that technology transfer refers to environmentally sound technologies, as defined inAgenda 21; full systems of technologies and know-how, which fall within nationalpriorities. He reminded Parties to include information on what they have done ontechnology transfer in their national communications and called for a Secretariatcompilation of this information from Annex II Parties in order to facilitate COPdecisions. The adopted conclusions call for an intensification of Secretariat work on theseissues, but note that only one country has submitted initial information on technologyneeds in request to a COP-2 decision and, therefore, extends the deadline.


A framework for the report of SBSTA-4 was adopted at the final meeting on 18December 1996 at 9:30 p.m. It will be completed at a later stage. On Agenda Item 2, theelection of officers, the Chair reported on Monday morning that an agreement had beenreached as a result of informal consultations. Some delegations expressed concern overthe agreement and the Chair postponed the announcement about the election. Later thatday, he announced that the election would be postponed until SBSTA-5 due to difficultiesin reaching balanced regional representation.


The fourth session of SBI (SBI-4) was convened from 10-11 December 1996. Delegatesconsidered Agenda Item 3(a), the only item on the SBI’s agenda, concerning the Annexto the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Conference of the Parties(COP) and the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The MOU wasapproved at SBI-2 and included a provision for an annex on the determination of fundingnecessary and available for the implementation of the Convention. The secretariat drafteda proposal for the MOU and the annex, which was adopted by the GEF Council prior toCOP-2 (FCCC/CP/1996/9).

At COP-2, SBI-3 considered the annex adopted by the GEF (GEF-adopted annex), aswell as an alternative annex proposed by the G-77/China (FCCC/SBI/1996/L.4), butfailed to reach agreement. COP-2, in decision 13/CP.2, requested SBI-4 to consider theGEF-adopted annex and the G-77/China’s proposed annex. At the opening of SBI-4, theG-77/China submitted a revised draft proposal. Delegates also had before them writtencomments submitted by Gambia, the EU and the US (FCCC/SBI/1966/Misc.1).

The GEF-adopted annex recalls Article 11.3(d) of the Convention, which calls forarrangements to determine in a predictable and identifiable manner the amounts offunding necessary and available for implementation. It notes that in anticipation of areplenishment of the GEF, the COP will make an assessment of the amount of fundsnecessary to assist developing countries in fulfilling their commitments, taking intoaccount: the information communicated to the COP under Article 12 (communication ofinformation); national programmes formulated under Article 4.1(b) of the Convention;and information communicated to the COP from the GEF on the number of eligibleprogrammes and projects, the number that were approved and the number that wereturned down owing to a lack of resources.

The G-77/China proposal, in addition to recalling Article 11.3(d), also recalls Article 4.7,which notes that developing country implementation depends upon the fulfillment ofdeveloped country commitments regarding financial resources, and Article 4.8, whichrefers to meeting the needs of developing countries arising from the impacts of climatechange. It also recommends taking into account the funds necessary to meet: the fullagreed costs incurred in preparing developing countries’ national communications underArticle 12.1, based on the guidelines adopted at COP-2; the full incremental costs ofmeasures covered by Article 4.1; and the costs of adaptation to the adverse effects ofclimate change. The proposal also calls on the GEF to indicate the rationale by which theamount described as “new and additional” is regarded as such, vis--vis othersources of official development assistance.

SBI Chair Mohamed Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania) stated that he favored an efficientshort session, without reopening a formal debate. He called for an informal session to findsolutions in less than two days so that extra time could be devoted to AGBM. Hepresented two options: delegates could work with the GEF-adopted annex and makechanges based on the G-77/China proposal or draft a new proposal.

The PHILIPPINES noted that the G-77/China draft proposal would avoid inconsistencywith the Convention. She said the GEF-adopted annex refers only to Article 4.1(b)(national programmes), which amounts to “picking and choosing” rather than includingall sections of the Article. She noted other inconsistencies in the GEF-adopted annex inrelation to Article 4.3 on full incremental costs and new and additional resources. Shesaid the G-77/China proposal responds to the needs of developing countries and notedthat the GEF must act in conformity with the FCCC. ARGENTINA, INDIA, IRAN andKUWAIT supported the G-77/China proposal.

Several Parties expressed confusion regarding the G-77/China proposal and requestedclarification. The PHILIPPINES described the proposal’s provisions in detail andhighlighted the importance of funding the agreed full costs for national communicationsand agreed full incremental costs for all commitments under Article 4.1. INDIA said theproposal recalled more articles of the Convention than the GEF-adopted annex. It alsoclarifies the factors that determine when funds should be given, incorporates the idea thatthe COP, rather than the GEF, shall determine the funding required, and calls for moretransparency regarding the reasons for project rejection.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION noted that the G-77/China proposal did not accuratelyreflect the language of the Convention. She said the proposed language on adaptationrefers to all developing countries while the Convention refers only to those that are“particularly vulnerable.” CANADA and ITALY also raised questions on the Conventionlanguage used in the proposal. SWEDEN reminded delegates that decisions on guidanceto the GEF clearly state that national communications will be financed.

JAPAN said that many delegations present at this meeting were also present at thenegotiations for the GEF-adopted annex and the text should not be reopened. He alsonoted that the roles of the COP and the GEF were spelled out in the MOU and there wasno need to reproduce paragraphs from the Convention. The US supported retaining thespecific reference to national programmes because it provided a context for projects. PastGEF projects have been approved on an ad hoc basis but a coherent approach isemerging. COSTA RICA offered to chair a contact group on the issue.

On Wednesday, 11 December, Amb. Manuel Dengo (Costa Rica) presented the contactgroup’s draft decision and draft annex. In the draft decision, the SBI adopts the annex,which is derived from the GEF-adopted annex, and transmits it to the GEF Council forexpeditous approval so that SBI-5 can recommend its adoption by COP-3.

The draft annex notes that the COP will make an assessment of the amount of fundsnecessary to assist developing countries, taking into account the funds necessary for boththe agreed full costs incurred in preparing national communications and the informationcommunicated to the COP under Article 12 of the Convention. The draft annex states thatconsideration must also be given to the funds necessary for meeting the agreed fullincremental costs of implementing measures covered by Article 4.1, but with a footnotethat specifically mentions national plans or programmes. It also notes that the GEFreplenishment negotiations will take into account “fully and comprehensively” the COP’sassessment.

The US and the GEF stated that the GEF Council may not be able to approve the annexas quickly as anticipated and deleted the dates from the decision. The decision and annexwere then adopted. The Chair noted that a number of informal appeals were made toregional groups at SBI-4 for flexibility regarding the issue of the SBI Bureau, but that theissue will be deferred until SBI-5.


Chair Patrick Szll (UNITED KINGDOM) opened the third session of the Ad HocGroup on Article 13 (AG13-3) on Monday, 16 December, and recalled that AG13-1decided to request Parties, non-Parties, intergovernmental and non-governmentalorganizations to make written submissions to a questionnaire relating to a multilateralconsultative process (FCCC/AG13/1995/2, para.17). Delegates had before them theresponses to the questionnaire (FCCC/AG13/1996/Misc.1 and Add.1, and Misc.2 andAdd.1) and a synthesis of the responses prepared by the Secretariat(FCCC/AG13/1996/1).

The synthesis document notes responses from 19 Parties, one non-Party and 10 NGOs.The document provides a spectrum of views on the establishment of a multilateralconsultative process (MCP) and identifies emerging areas of consensus. It outlines theresponses to questions on: the definition and scope of the process; the relationship ofArticle 13 to Convention’s institutions and processes; the legal and proceduralconsiderations; and other issues.

The Chair noted that AG13 has completed one year of work and has focused onpreparatory rather than substantive issues. He reported that AG13 has received authorityfrom the COP to continue its work, but noted that the process is neither clear nor simple.The key question to be addressed over the next year will be the fundamental character ofthe regime. Szll noted the panel presentation held at AG13-2 and his conclusions, whichare annexed to the report of AG13-2 (FCCC/AG13/1996/2). The Chair also reported theelection of Victor Chub (Uzbekistan) as Vice-Chair and Andrej Kranjc (Slovenia) asRapporteur. The Chair also distributed a paper containing elements of an MCP (elementspaper), which addresses the possible characteristics, functions, institutional arrangementsand procedures for an MCP.

CHARACTERISTICS: Under characteristics, the paper focuses on defining thefollowing for a future MCP: nature (facilitative, cooperative, transparent); objective (findsolutions, non-confrontational, non-compliance, preventive); expertise (legal, economic);application (optional, compulsory); and evolution (static, dynamic, flexible).

In the discussion that followed, many delegates emphasized that their comments werepreliminary in nature. Several delegations stressed that the work of AG13 must be basedon the language of Article 13 and noted that the open nature of the Article allows Partiesto define its structure. Delegations also noted that the MCP should be non-binding, non-adversarial and non-judicial. Delegates urged for an MCP that is cooperative, transparent,practical and timely. Many also noted the need to coordinate with the SBI and cautionedagainst duplicating the work of the SBSTA. CANADA and JAPAN noted that it must beflexible and evolve over time. The EU, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CANADA andAUSTRIA highlighted an MCP’s potential to prevent disputes.

Differing positions emerged on other aspects of an MCP. The EU suggested a newstanding body that would consider implementation questions, although decision-makingpower should remain with the COP. SWITZERLAND called for a permanent body withapproximately 10 members that are appointed by the COP. CHINA stated there was noneed to establish a new body. The EU drew comparisons to the non-complianceprocedures under the Montreal Protocol, while the RUSSIAN FEDERATIONcharacterized the non-compliance procedures as “extremely complicated.”

COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, said that review mechanisms of the SBIand the SBSTA should be used in the AG13 process. CHINA noted that an MCP shouldbe invoked only by Parties, involve discussions between Parties and should not “passjudgment” on implementation efforts. CANADA said an MCP could involve arepresentative group of Parties with expert input, if needed. The RUSSIANFEDERATION suggested that an MCP could be a special ad hoc group of expertson legal and economic questions. JAPAN noted that the process should only involve alimited number of Parties, otherwise the SBI should be involved.

On Tuesday, 17 December, delegates provided additional statements on characteristics.CANADA said that Parties should be free to raise their own implementation issues. Shesaid that referring to the performance of other Parties presents difficulties. ThePHILIPPINES cautioned against derogating the balance within the Convention and saidan MCP should be a consultative process and nothing else. She said addressingcompliance is by its nature confrontational. CHINA reiterated that it was not urgent toestablish an MCP.

Regarding an MCP’s area of expertise, MOROCCO said that legal, economic, social andtechnical issues should be addressed. SWITZERLAND said technical and scientificissues could be addressed unless it would duplicate other bodies’ work. The US andCANADA suggested drawing from a roster of experts for consultation. Most countriesagreed that the application of an MCP should be optional rather than compulsory, andstressed flexibility to accommodate future needs. The EU noted that some elementsregarding the characteristics of an MCP need further consideration before it can befinalized. She offered to draft a paper on points of convergence that have alreadyemerged. CHINA and KUWAIT said it is premature to draw conclusions.

FUNCTIONS: AG13 then considered an MCP’s functions. The Chair’s list ofelements on functions addresses ways to define the “questions regardingimplementation.” It contains sub-items on: the advisory or supervisory role of an MCP(cooperation and support, noncompliance); the specific or general nature of the issues tobe addressed (country performance, interpretation); the areas of competence(communications, obligations, issues); and the relationship to other Convention bodies,processes and articles.

Parties presented different views regarding an advisory or supervisory approach. Somecalled for a supportive and assisting function, whereas others supported a review processon the performance of individual Parties. The EU stated that an MCP is needed to solvethe performance problems of individual Parties. In no case would COP decision-makingauthority be reduced. AUSTRIA noted that if an MCP advises Parties on solvingproblems then questions of individual performance must be part of the procedure. Manycountries, including CANADA, VENEZUELA, AUSTRALIA, IRAN and SLOVENIA,supported an advisory approach. MOROCCO said an MCP could play both an advisoryand a supervisory role. CHINA said an MCP must provide recommendations and be non-supervisory and non-judgmental. The US noted that Article 8.2(c) empowers theSecretariat to provide support to Parties and urged delegates to keep an open mind. TheNETHERLANDS suggested that an MCP should function as a “help desk” where a Partywith a problem can seek advice.

On the nature of issues to be addressed, the US expressed concern on having an MCPinterpret the Convention and noted that this issue needs careful consideration. CANADAnoted that only Article 14 refers to interpretation and issues might be referred to an MCPvia Article 13. VENEZUELA said that interpretation should be left to the COP. FRANCEresponded that the possible role in interpretation should not be excluded. AUSTRALIAsaid an MCP could play a role in interpreting or clarifying obligations through practicalassistance rather than judicial-style interpretation. CHINA stated that many differences ofopinion are due to misinformation and an MCP could allow Parties to exchange views oninterpretation.

On the relationship of an MCP to other bodies, processes and articles, many delegatescautioned against duplicating the work of the SBI. MOROCCO said an MCP shouldadopt recommendations and report to the COP independently of the SBSTA and the SBI.KUWAIT noted the importance of identifying the areas of concern for an MCP and saidthat many of the issues presented here fall under existing bodies. On therelationship between Articles 13 and 14, JAPAN, VENEZUELA, MOROCCO andSLOVENIA noted that Articles 13 and 14 are clearly different. CHILE noted that Article14 requires Parties to settle disputes through negotiation or “any other peaceful means”and an MCP could provide this type of advisory service.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: On institutional arrangements, theChair’s elements paper addresses a future MCP’s: establishment (new institution, existingbody); nature (ad hoc, standing); size (open-ended, limited in size, geographicalrepresentation); and constitution (government representatives, experts, roster). It alsoproposes that delegates consider a combination of all the elements contained in the paper.Delegates commented on the institutional arrangements and several reiterated that theirremarks were only preliminary.

Many delegates proposed the establishment of some type of body, with a numberpreferring a standing body or committee, with membership on a rotational basis, toprovide a sense of reliability. CANADA, ITALY, the EU, ZIMBABWE, SLOVENIA,the PHILIPPINES and CHILE supported a standing committee. Others envisioned anad hoc group formed to address issues on an “as needed” basis. The RUSSIANFEDERATION favored an ad hoc group of experts to expedite work on SBIdocuments. JAPAN preferred an ad hoc group to address issues as identified bythe SBI. The NETHERLANDS cautioned that associating the committee too closely withthe SBI would hamper its freedom of movement. KUWAIT stated that the creation ofanother institution would be burdensome and noted that any group formed should belinked to the SBI. The INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED SYSTEMSANALYSIS (IIASA) noted that delegates can have both a committee and an adhoc group, and provided examples of this approach from the Montreal Protocol andthe International Labor Organization.

Equitable geographic distribution was a frequently mentioned consideration, although anumber of delegations noted it would be difficult to achieve. CANADA, the EU,ZIMBABWE, ITALY, MOROCCO, the PHILIPPINES and CHILE called for equitablegeographic representation. The PHILIPPINES and CHINA proposed forming an open-ended group, but cautioned that limiting the size could also limit equitable geographicaldistribution. The US urged delegates to consider criteria other than equitable geographicdistribution. He suggested using existing categories such as Annex I countries, countrieswith economies in transition, developing countries and least developed countries. He alsosuggested rotating seats; representation for the Party requesting assistance; and exofficio seats for Chairs of other subsidiary bodies. JAPAN supported using othercriteria and the NETHERLANDS supported further consideration of ex officiorepresentation for SBI and SBSTA.

Many Parties preferred using government representatives or government-appointedexperts. Some also called for a roster from which to select experts depending on thenature of the problem. Some delegates proposed a combination of these elements. TheEU suggested including members from various fields, such as legal, economic, social,technical, environmental, scientific and technological. ZIMBABWE stated that individualParties should decide whether committee members are delegates, national NGOs orothers. CHINA preferred governmental officials who are experts on Article 13. ITALYproposed ensuring stability through the election of a president and a vice-president, andappointing members on the principle of rotation, with two-year memberships. KUWAITsuggested drawing experts from the SBSTA and the IPCC.

PROCEDURES: On procedures, the Chair’s elements paper addresses:establishment of the process (COP decision, amendment, protocol); the governing bodyfor the process (COP, SBI, other); the procedure for raising issues (Parties, SBI, COP,Secretariat); the result of the process (recommendations to SBI or the COP); and thefrequency of deliberations.

A majority of delegations stated that a COP decision was the most appropriate action forestablishing the process. On a governing body, most delegates stated that the COP wouldact as final arbiter, while many stated that the SBI could serve as a useful intermediary. Anumber of delegations noted that the ability to raise issues should be limited to Parties.KUWAIT, IRAN and INDIA said that issues taken up should be restricted to thosesubmitted by Parties and subsidiary bodies. Delegates agreed that an MCP shouldproduce recommendations, but expressed different views on whether to forward therecommendations to the SBI or directly to the COP.

CONCLUSIONS: On Wednesday, 18 December, the Chair presented his draftconclusions and a revised elements paper. Delegates also considered an EU-proposeddraft report on points of convergence on the characteristics of an MCP and the draftreport of the meeting. The Chair reminded delegates to regard this meeting and theFebruary 1997 meeting as two parts of a single whole. This meeting was only intended totake stock, but the February meeting will not have the luxury of being so “looselywoven.”

The Chair’s draft conclusions state that AG13-3: reiterates that the work of the group isconducted within the framework set by Article 13; notes that the elements, which will belisted in an annex to the report of the meeting, are recorded without prejudice to anydecision on the establishment of an MCP; invites Parties to submit any further proposals;and requests the Secretariat to issue any proposals received by 15 February 1997.

On the revised elements paper, the US suggested that an additional objective for an MCPis to “provide assistance to Parties” and to include scientific and technological issues asan area of expertise. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION proposed specifically addressing the“mandate” of an MCP at future meetings. IRAN proposed amending “geographicalrepresentation” to “equitable” geographical representation. CANADA, supported by theRUSSIAN FEDERATION, proposed deleting a “protocol” as a possible way ofestablishing an MCP. The elements paper was adopted as amended.

The EU’s proposed report on points of convergence states that a “high degree ofsome convergence” was recorded with regard to characteristics, such as: the nature shouldbe facilitative, co-operative, non-confrontational, transparent and non-judicial; theobjective should be to assist Parties in questions of implementing the Convention, solveproblems and prevent potential disputes; the evolution of the process should be flexible;duplication of existing institutions and procedures should be avoided in designing theprocedure; the process should be separate and without prejudice to Article 14; and theMCP should be advisory in nature. The proposed report further notes that many Partiesstated further elaboration of the MCP would imply dealing with interpretation mattersand that caution would be needed in this area.

CHINA, the PHILIPPINES, IRAN, JAPAN, THAILAND, CHILE, the RUSSIANFEDERATION, GAMBIA, KUWAIT and MOROCCO said it would be premature tomake conclusions on areas of convergence because the process is still evolving andcontributions have been preliminary. The EU withdrew its informal proposal.

Delegates then considered the draft report of the meeting (FCCC/AG13/1996/L.1). TheUS, referring to the summary of the Chair’s opening statement, recalled that the Chairhad noted the “potential” link between the work of the AG13 and the AGBM. He alsoproposed deleting a reference to the process “to be established” because delegates havenot agreed that a process should be established. The report was adopted, as amended.


FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The next meetingsof the subsidiary bodies to the FCCC are scheduled for 24 February - 7 March 1997.SBSTA-5, SBI-4 and AG13-4 will be held 25-28 February and AGBM-6 will be held 3-7March. The subsidiary bodies will meet again from 28 July - 7 August 1997 and from 20-31 October 1997. All of these meetings will take place in Bonn. COP-3 is scheduled totake place in Kyoto, Japan, from 1-12 December 1997. For information contact the FCCCSecretariat in Bonn, Germany, tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; Also try the Secretariats’ home page at andUNEP’s Information Unit for Conventions at

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE PREPARATION OF CLIMATECHANGE ACTION PLANS: This workshop, co-sponsored by the IndonesianMinistry of the Environment and the US Country Studies Program, is scheduled forJanuary 1997. The workshop will provide a forum for countries to share their experiencesand preliminary results from their planning activities, as well as training and technicalassistance to countries on the preparation of climate change action plans. Participation isopen to all countries. For information contact: Sandy Guill, USCSP, P.O. Box 63, 1000Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, USA, tel: +1-202-426-1464; fax:+1-202-426-1540 or 1551; e-mail:

CONFERENCE ON AIJ FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF DEVELOPINGCOUNTRIES: At the initiative of the Netherlands, Development Alternatives isorganizing a Conference on AIJ from the perspective of developing countries from 8-10January 1997 in New Delhi, India. The objectives of the Conference are: to evaluateactivities that are planned to be implemented jointly by Annex I and non-Annex I Parties;to assess learning experiences from current and proposed projects; to promote the role ofthe private sector and NGOs in AIJ; and to contribute to formulating a methodology todesign a pilot phase AIJ project and develop indicators to measure local and globalbenefits. For more information contact: K. Chatterjee, Conference Coordinator,Development Alternatives, B-32 Qutab Institutional Area, Hauz Khaz, New Delhi110016, India, tel: +91 11 66 5370 or +91 11 65 7938; fax: +91 11 68 66031;

WORKSHOPS ON THE SADC POWER POOL AND C02 ABATEMENTOPPORTUNITIES FOR ZIMBABWE: These workshops, scheduled for the secondand fourth quarters of 1997, will be held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and are sponsored by theGerman Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The workshops will focus on thecreation of a common project output base and provide a forum for exchange betweenpolicy makers and technical resource persons. For more information, contact HolgerLiptow, Energy Division, GTZ; tel: +49-6196-79-3282; fax: +49-6169-79-7144;

CC:TRAIN TRAINING WORKSHOPS: The CC:TRAIN programme intends toconduct a series of training workshops during the first and second quarter of 1997. Theworkshops will focus on vulnerability and adaptation assessment; mitigation analysis;national GHG emissions inventories and national implementation strategies. Forinformation contact Stephen Gold, Technical Coordinator, CC:TRAIN; tel: (+41 22) 789-5850; fax: (+41 22) 733-1383; e-mail:


FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The next meetingsof the subsidiary bodies to the FCCC are scheduled for 24 February - 7 March 1997.SBSTA-5, SBI-4 and AG13-4 will be held 25-28 February and AGBM-6 will be held 3-7March. The subsidiary bodies will meet again from 28 July - 7 August 1997 and from 20-31 October 1997. All of these meetings will take place in Bonn. COP-3 is scheduled totake place in Kyoto, Japan, from 1-12 December 1997. For information contact the FCCCSecretariat in Bonn, Germany, tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; Also try the Secretariats’ home page at andUNEP’s Information Unit for Conventions at

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE PREPARATION OF CLIMATECHANGE ACTION PLANS: This workshop, co-sponsored by the IndonesianMinistry of the Environment and the US Country Studies Program, is scheduled forJanuary 1997. The workshop will provide a forum for countries to share their experiencesand preliminary results from their planning activities, as well as training and technicalassistance to countries on the preparation of climate change action plans. Participation isopen to all countries. For information contact: Sandy Guill, USCSP, P.O. Box 63, 1000Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585, USA, tel: +1-202-426-1464; fax:+1-202-426-1540 or 1551; e-mail:

CONFERENCE ON AIJ FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF DEVELOPINGCOUNTRIES: At the initiative of the Netherlands, Development Alternatives isorganizing a Conference on AIJ from the perspective of developing countries from 8-10January 1997 in New Delhi, India. The objectives of the Conference are: to evaluateactivities that are planned to be implemented jointly by Annex I and non-Annex I Parties;to assess learning experiences from current and proposed projects; to promote the role ofthe private sector and NGOs in AIJ; and to contribute to formulating a methodology todesign a pilot phase AIJ project and develop indicators to measure local and globalbenefits. For more information contact: K. Chatterjee, Conference Coordinator,Development Alternatives, B-32 Qutab Institutional Area, Hauz Khaz, New Delhi110016, India, tel: +91 11 66 5370 or +91 11 65 7938; fax: +91 11 68 66031;

WORKSHOPS ON THE SADC POWER POOL AND C02 ABATEMENTOPPORTUNITIES FOR ZIMBABWE: These workshops, scheduled for the secondand fourth quarters of 1997, will be held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and are sponsored by theGerman Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The workshops will focus on thecreation of a common project output base and provide a forum for exchange betweenpolicy makers and technical resource persons. For more information, contact HolgerLiptow, Energy Division, GTZ; tel: +49-6196-79-3282; fax: +49-6169-79-7144;

CC:TRAIN TRAINING WORKSHOPS: The CC:TRAIN programme intends toconduct a series of training workshops during the first and second quarter of 1997. Theworkshops will focus on vulnerability and adaptation assessment; mitigation analysis;national GHG emissions inventories and national implementation strategies. Forinformation contact Stephen Gold, Technical Coordinator, CC:TRAIN; tel: (+41 22) 789-5850; fax: (+41 22) 733-1383; e-mail:


CSD: The CSD Intersessional Working Group, which will address preparationsfor the upcoming Special Session of the UN General Assembly, is scheduled to meetfrom 24 February - 7 March 1997. The fifth session of the CSD is scheduled for 7-25April 1997. The Special Session of the UN General Assembly for review of theimplementation of Agenda 21 is scheduled for 23-27 June 1997. For information on theCSD contact: Andrey Vasilyev, UN Division for Sustainable Development, tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: Also try the UN Departmentfor Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development’s (DPCSD) Home Page at

FOURTH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS:IPF-4 will be held in New York from 11-21 February 1997. For more informationcontact: Elizabeth Barsk-Rundquist. tel: +1-212 963-3263; fax: +1-212-963-1795; Also try the UN Department for Policy Coordination andSustainable Development (DPCSD) Home Page at


GEF COUNCIL: The proposed schedule of GEF Council Meetings in 1997includes: 18-19 May, NGO Consultation; 20-22 May, GEF Council Meeting; 2-3November, NGO Consultation; and 4-6 November, GEF Council Meeting. For moreinformation contact Marie Morgan at the GEF Secretariat, tel: +1-202-473-1128; fax: +1-202-522-3240. Also try the GEF web site at:

Further information