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Summary report, 20–31 October 1997

7th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB 7)

The Subsidiary Bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) met from 20-31 October 1997 at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany. The eighth session of Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM-8), the last session prior to the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-3), opened on 22 October and suspended on 31 October. The seventh sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI-7) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA-7) met from 20-29 October.

Delegates to AGBM-8 continued their discussions on the Chair's consolidated negotiating text for a protocol or another legal instrument. Delegates met in Plenary and "non-group" sessions to debate: quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives; policies and measures; institutions and mechanisms; and the advancement of commitments contained in FCCC Article 4.1.

SBI-7 adopted conclusions on, inter alia, national communications, activities implemented jointly (AIJ), development and transfer of technology, and proposed amendments to the FCCC. SBI also adopted draft decisions for COP-3 on Annex I communications, review of the financial mechanism, the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding with the GEF, COP-4, the financial performance of the Convention, and arrangements for administrative support.

SBSTA-7 produced conclusions on methodological issues and the roster of experts. SBSTA also produced draft decisions for COP-3 on cooperation with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), national communications and AIJ.

To the surprise of some observers, AGBM-8 was clearly viewed by the leading players as little more than a dress rehearsal for Kyoto. The long-awaited entrance of the US emissions target proposals did not distract other players from previously rehearsed opening bids on targets and formulas for quantified emissions limits and reductions. These were followed only by forays into complex sub-plots that gave little away. In closing the meeting, the Chair of AGBM pondered the pace of negotiating dynamics and wondered aloud whether delegates could have arrived at the current point in the process in half the time.


The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the FCCC (COP-1) took place in Berlin from 28 March - 7 April 1995. In addition to reaching agreement on a number of important issues related to the future of the Convention, delegates reached agreement on what many believed to be the central issue before COP-1 - adequacy of commitments. The result was to launch an open-ended Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) to begin a process toward appropriate action for the period beyond 2000, including the strengthening of the commitments of Annex I Parties through the adoption of a protocol or another legal instrument.


At AGBM-1, held in Geneva from 21-25 August 1995, delegates considered several issues, including an analysis and assessment to identify possible policies and measures for Annex I Parties and requests for inputs to subsequent sessions. They debated the nature, content and duration of the analysis and assessment and its relationship to other aspects of the process. Several developed and developing countries stressed that analysis and assessment should be conducted in parallel and not prior to the negotiations, but a few developing countries insisted that more time was needed, particularly to evaluate economic costs.

At AGBM-2, held in Geneva from 30 October - 3 November 1995, debate over the extent of analysis and assessment continued, but delegates also heard new ideas for the structure and form of a possible protocol. Delegates considered: strengthening of commitments in Article 4.2 (a) and (b) regarding policies and measures, as well as quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs) within specified time frames; advancing the implementation of Article 4.1; and possible features of a protocol or another legal instrument.

At AGBM-3, held in Geneva from 5-8 March 1996, delegates heard a number of specific proposals on new commitments for Annex I Parties, including a two-phase CO2 emissions reduction target proposed by Germany. They also discussed how Annex I countries might distribute or share new commitments, and whether those should take the form of an amendment or protocol. Delegates agreed to compile proposals for new commitments for consideration at AGBM-4, and to hold informal roundtable discussions on policies and measures as well as on QELROs.

AGBM-4, held from 8-19 July 1996 in Geneva, completed its in-depth analyses of the likely elements of a protocol or another legal instrument, and appeared ready to move forward to the preparation of a negotiating text at its 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 I Parties on developing countries.

The Second Conference of the Parties (COP-2) met in Geneva from 8-19 July 1996 and produced some important political statements. The COP concluded by noting the "Geneva Declaration," which endorses the IPCC conclusions and calls for legally binding objectives and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. COP-2 also saw a significant shift in position by the US, which for the first time supported a legally binding agreement to fulfill the Berlin Mandate. However, even as Parties prepared to strengthen commitments, COP-2 highlighted the sharpest differences between them.

AGBM-5, which met in Geneva from 9-18 December 1996, considered proposals from 14 Parties or groups of Parties regarding strengthening of commitments, advancing the implementation of Article 4.1, and possible elements of a protocol or another legal instrument. Delegates adopted conclusions requesting the Secretariat to produce a "framework compilation" of proposals for further consideration.

AGBM-6 met from 3-7 March 1997 in Bonn. Delegates met in "non-groups" to exchange views and "streamlined" the framework compilation text by merging or eliminating some overlapping provisions within the myriad of proposals. This brought the process one step, albeit a small one, closer to fulfilling its mandate. Much of the discussion centered on a proposal from the EU for a 15% cut in a "basket" of greenhouse gases by the year 2010 compared to 1990 levels. Nonetheless, other proposals emerged in the eleventh hour, signaling that AGBM-6, despite the hopes of many observers, had yet to foster much progress on several fundamental points.

AGBM-7 met from 28 July - 7 August 1997 in Bonn. A total of 145 Parties and Observer States participated in the session, as well as 691 representatives from NGOs and the media. AGBM-7 further streamlined the negotiating text for a protocol or another legal instrument. In the absence of initial formal proposals for emissions reduction targets by the US and Japan, there was a widespread sense that most of the progress achieved at this session was limited to a reduction in the number of proposals.


The SBI was established by the COP to assist in the review and assessment of the implementation of the Convention and in the preparation and implementation of the COP's decisions. SBI-1 took place from 31 August - 1 September 1995 in Geneva. The SBI addressed a number of issues and recommended that the COP adopt the draft Memorandum of Understanding with the GEF as the financial mechanism, proposing a draft decision on this item to be adopted by COP-2.

At SBI-2, held in Geneva from 27 February - 4 March 1996, delegates considered in-depth reviews of national communications, and matters related to the financial mechanism. While delegates welcomed the GEF Council's adoption of its operational strategy, many noted the need to expedite the process of providing "full agreed costs" for non-Annex I communications or risk serious delay.

At SBI-3, held from 9-16 July 1996 in Geneva, differences were resolved in closed sessions, and were considered for adoption by the open SBI session only after consensus had been reached on: technology transfer; the operating budget of the Secretariat; the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GEF Council and the COP; and national communications from non-Annex I Parties.

SBI-4 met from 9-18 December 1996 in Geneva. Delegates finalized agreement on the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the GEF Council.

Discussions at SBI-5, which met in Bonn from 25-28 February 1997, were complex and often lengthy, but delegates agreed on the timetable and process for review of the programme budget and agreed on the FCCC input to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). SBI-5 could not agree on the review of the financial mechanism or the activities of the GEF.

SBI-6 met from 28 July - 7 August 1997 in Bonn. Delegates to SBI-7 reached agreement on arrangements for intergovernmental meetings and the programme budget, but noted that further discussions on the financial mechanisms and national communications.


SBSTA was established by COP-1 to link: scientific, technical and technological assessments; information provided by competent international bodies; and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. At SBSTA-1, held in Geneva from 28-30 August 1995, delegates confronted technically and politically complex issues including: scientific assessments, national communications and AIJ under the pilot phase. Among the more contentious issues were definition of SBSTA's relationship with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the terms of reference and composition of the technical advisory panels on technologies and methodologies (TAPs) and the elaboration of guidelines for national communications from non-Annex I Parties.

SBSTA-2, held in Geneva from 27 February-4 March 1996, considered the IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR) and the Technical Advisory Panels (TAPs) and could not yet agree on how to absorb or respond to scientific predictions of climate change. Although initial discussions gave the impression that SBSTA-2 would greet the IPCC's predictions with less resistance than in previous FCCC negotiations, oil producers and other developing countries ultimately blocked consensus on specific conclusions about the SAR. Weekend negotiations resulted in a fragile agreement on language defining the divergence of opinion.

At SBSTA-3, held from 9-16 July 1996, delegates discussed the SAR and sent an unfinished draft decision with brackets to the COP for resolution. Decisions were adopted in conjunction with the SBI on Communications from Annex I Parties and on Communications from non-Annex I Parties. Progress was made on a roster of experts and technical panels.

SBSTA-4 met from 9-18 December 1996 in Geneva. Discussions were complex and often difficult, but delegates confirmed future cooperation with the IPCC and agreed to apply the revised IPCC 1996 guidelines for national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. Delegates also agreed to further work on revisions to the Uniform Reporting Format and methodological issues pertaining to AIJ.

At SBSTA-5, which met in Bonn from 25-28 February 1997, delegates considered a number of issues and reached agreement on the Uniform Reporting Format, requested a work plan for an in-depth review of second national communications, and requested a number of reports on technology transfer.

SBSTA-6 met from 28 - 7 July 1997, in Bonn. Discussions centered on methodological issues, such as methods for inventories and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A joint SBSTA/SBI contact group produced a decision for adoption at COP-3 on the division of labor between the two groups.


Three of the subsidiary bodies to the Framework Convention on Climate Change met during the period 20-31 October 1997. Delegates to SBSTA-7 and SBI-7 met from 20-28 October. SBSTA-7 held four Plenary meetings, while SBI-7 held five. A number of informal contact groups also met. Delegates to AGBM-8 met from 22-31 October in Plenary and "non-group" sessions to debate: quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives (QELROs); policies and measures (P&Ms); institutions and mechanisms (I&Ms); and the advancement of commitments contained in FCCC Article 4.1. In closing Plenary, delegates: agreed that AGBM-8 was not "adjourned" but merely "suspended" until 30 November, when AGBM-8 will hold a special session to complete discussions on outstanding issues.



On 22 October, AGBM Chair Raúl Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina) opened the eighth session of the AGBM and reminded delegates that only ten days remained for the AGBM to complete its work. He said a "good dose" of willingness to enter into commitments is required, but noted he was not convinced that it exists in all sectors. He noted that this last session should not repeat well known positions, but make progress in the negotiations.

FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar stated that equity should remain central to the Kyoto result. Climate change adds a new factor to inequality and social stress in the world, weighing most heavily on the poor and vulnerable that are least able to adapt. He said leadership does not mean sacrifice, but making the effort to change direction and take advantage of new opportunities.

TANZANIA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, said Parties stood at a defining moment and members of his group were ready to assume their differentiated responsibilities, in particular the existing commitments in FCCC Article 4.1. He noted that there are to be no new commitments for non-Annex I countries and recalled his group's concerns about adoption of policies and measures that take into account impacts on developing countries. He identified unfulfilled commitments on financial assistance as the stumbling blocks to advancement of developing country commitments. He tabled the G-77/CHINA position on QELROs, which proposes:

• time frames of 2005, 2010 and 2020;

• periodic review by the COP;

• return to 1990 emission levels by 2000;

• reductions in CO2, CH4 and N20 by at least 7.5% of 1990 levels by 2005, by 15% by 2010, and by an additional 20% by 2020, thus leading to a total reduction of 35%;

• efforts to phase-out other GHGs including HFCs, PFCs and SF6;

• achievement of QELROs by domestic measures;

• minimizing adverse impacts on developing country Parties and a Compensation Fund; and

• a Clean Development Fund to assist developing country Parties, funded by contributions from Annex I Parties found in non-compliance with their QELROs.

JAPAN called on all Parties to exercise flexibility in their QELROs proposals and elaborated on the Japanese proposal intended to accommodate divergent views. The proposal is for a 5% base reduction rate for deciding a target for each Annex I country, with target periods of 2008 and 2012. It covers CO2, CH4 and N20. Individual country targets are differentiated by emissions per GDP, emissions per capita and population growth. It also provides for emissions trading and joint implementation. On developing countries, the proposal provides for enhanced efforts through the elaboration of existing commitments and urges more advanced developing countries to assume voluntary commitments. A new process to further discuss commitments by all Parties is proposed for after Kyoto.

LUXEMBOURG, on behalf of the EU, indicated concerns about references in the negotiating text to policies and measures and to advancing the implementation of Article 4.1 and associated financial provisions. He noted that the European Commission had produced a document to demonstrate the feasibility of the EU reduction targets of at least 7.5% and 15% below 1990 levels by 2005 and 2010 respectively.

The UK, also on behalf of the EU, outlined an explanation of the EU's joint or "bubble" approach to emissions obligations, and offered text for insertion into the Chair's negotiating draft. He explained that, for example, the EU-proposed target of 15% reductions would be met jointly, with member States opting for joint implementation. These States would inform the Secretariat of the terms of the agreement for joint implementation five years before the expiry of the target period, with each declaring its share of the overall contribution to reductions. There would also be provisions for amending or rescinding a burden-sharing agreement and for dealing with any failure to meet the total target.

SAMOA, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), supported the G-77/China statement and said all proposals remain on the table, including that of AOSIS. He expressed deep disappointment with Japan's proposals, whose flexibility would render the small effort non-legally binding. He supported the draft article that would permit Parties to assume commitments voluntarily.

ZIMBABWE, on behalf of the African Group, emphasized per capita emissions as a basis of attaining equity. She called a 15% target by 2010 a minimum and demanded leadership from Annex I Parties, especially Japan and the US. She said a penalty clause for failure to meet targets is a necessary incentive.

The US was extremely disappointed that the Chair's text omitted its proposal that all Parties adopt quantified GHG emissions obligations by 2005. Kyoto should be part of a rolling series of negotiations and will be unacceptable if it fails to initiate a process that recognizes the global nature of the problem.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed maintaining the balance of interests, including those of countries with economies in transition. ICELAND pointed to differentiated emission objectives and the need to take account of differences in starting points, economies and resource bases.

The US introduced its position in a QELROs non-group session on 23 October, following an announcement by President Clinton the previous evening. The position contained three elements. The US will commit to a binding target of returning emissions to 1990 levels in a budget period between 2008 and 2012, to reducing net emissions of all GHGs below 1990 levels in the five-year period thereafter (between 2013 and 2018), and working for further reductions in the years beyond that. It also called for a series of flexible market mechanisms, including emissions trading and joint implementation. The US will not assume binding obligations unless key developing countries meaningfully participate. He said this position reflects the fact that if the entire industrialized world reduces emissions, but developing countries continue to grow at their current pace, GHG concentrations will continue to climb.

The US also recalled that President Clinton announced a domestic program, including a US$5 billion series of tax incentives and research investments to encourage energy efficiency and the use of cleaner energy. He also proposed the creation of a domestic market-based system for reducing emissions that will tie national efforts into a global emissions market.

Chair Estrada introduced a consolidated negotiating text (FCCC/AGBM/1997/7) that he hoped would serve as a basis for the completion of a protocol. He noted that very few brackets appeared in the text, mainly on single-year targets or budget periods, flat rates, emissions credits and two alternatives on the governing body of the Protocol. He said Annexes I and II had been used as categories for countries.

The Business and Industry NGOs said that business and industry play a unique role in the implementation of FCCC. He said many business and industry members supported a variety of voluntary national and international initiatives for limiting GHG emissions.

The US and European Business Councils for a Sustainable Energy Future said that the benefits of sustainable energy innovation are not only relevant to climate protection but also to employment, environmental and social policies, geopolitical stability and the national interest of fuel importing countries.

The Climate Action Network said that Japan, and possibly the US, were making proposals for targets and timetables that were ten-year extensions of the target that was agreed upon at COP-2. She indicated that Japan's proposal only succeeds in lowering the overall level of negotiations by shifting the balance in favor of the weakest positions. The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) reported on examples of four successful local action plans to reduce GHG emissions.


On 27 October, delegates met in Plenary to "take stock" of their progress and hear reports from the Chairs of the non-groups. Some delegations provided additional comments. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION suggested that Parties find agreement on the quantitative parameters of the protocol, expanding the "bubble" concept to all Annex I Parties in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The commitments of individual Parties in the bubble could be based on the proposed targets put forward by those Parties. By 2010, an annual average reduction of some 3% could be achieved. Commitments should be achieved in absolute numbers rather than in percentage terms. Any attempt to apply a single criterion could give rise to a desire by some Parties to be taken out of Annex I. The UK, commenting on the Russian proposal, said that the EU proposal for a 15% reduction in emissions was not unilateral.

SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said that US President Clinton's announcement on targets did not provide the leadership expected from the world's wealthiest nation. The US commitment was not a new commitment but an attempt to delay the achievement of a goal that COP-1 had decided was inadequate. He urged President Clinton not to defer responsibility for the duration of three presidential terms.

The EU welcomed the fact that the US and Japan shared its concerns and recognized the potential to reduce GHGs through cost-effective domestic action, but added that this was not properly reflected in the proposed targets. The US figures were lower than Japan's already insufficient targets. Serious negotiations would be needed to produce the outcome the world needs.

The US described its proposal as aggressive and pointed out that some other proposals do not check the growth of trace gases nor protect forests and soil sinks. The proposal was fully compatible with long-term concentration targets that have been put forward by other Parties. Avoiding such concentrations would depend more on developing countries' responses. No other Party was ready to implement its domestic programme so expeditiously. Others had proposed unrealistic targets that fail to address HFCs, PFCs and SF6. The US had also provided the most detailed proposals for compliance. Beginning the process of agreeing on developing country commitments would help them avoid an "emissions-intensive" path of development.


The AGBM Chair's text contained nine articles related to QELROs, two annexes and an attachment. In light of the amount of material to be covered, as well as the contentious nature of the issues, the non-group on QELROs was divided into two sub-groups: one chaired by Luiz Gylvan Meira Filho (Brazil) and the other by Amb. Bo Kjellén (Sweden).

The most heavily bracketed article in the AGBM Chair's text was on commitments (Article 3). The article contained 16 paragraphs, of which nine were completely bracketed. The initial paragraph contained brackets referring to whether [Each of] the Parties would reduce [or limit][its/their][net][aggregate] emissions of GHGs listed in an annex as a basket from [1990 levels] or an [average annual level] for a period to be determined, by [5/15/20] per cent [by 2010] or [over a period] to be determined.

The second paragraph stated that commitments for Annex I Parties would be inscribed in an attachment listing the name of the Party, its emission commitments and the base [year/period]. The third paragraph identified criteria (listed in an annex) to establish commitments for: Annex I countries that were not Parties to the Convention by the date of adoption of the Protocol; countries that had become Annex I Parties subsequent to the adoption of the Protocol; and non-Annex I Parties that had notified their desire to be included in Annex I. Other bracketed paragraphs within Article 3 referred to: budget periods; allocation of budgets; procedures to set budgets; commitments based on net or average annual emissions; emissions credits; and modalities for the accounting of emission budgets. Paragraphs without brackets dealt with: QELROs for Annex I Parties undergoing the process of transition to a market economy; QELROs for Parties that undertake voluntary commitments; "demonstrable progress" by Annex I Parties by the year 2005 toward their commitments; and regular review of listed GHGs by the Meeting of the Parties (MOP).

Other articles in the text related to QELROs referred to national systems for the accurate estimation of GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks (Article 4); emissions trading (Article 5); joint implementation (Article 6); emissions inventories (Article 7); review of national communications (Article 8); procedures and mechanisms to determine and address cases of non-compliance (Article 9); voluntary commitments by non-Annex I Parties (Article 10); and periodic review of the adequacy of commitments (Article 11). The first annex (Annex A) listed policies and measures (P&Ms), the second (Annex B), GHGs and source and sink categories, and the third (Annex C), procedures for the adoption of commitments.

On 30 October, after extensive discussion in non-group meetings and contact groups, a revised text was considered by the AGBM in Plenary. When introducing the text, the QELROs-1 non-group Chair noted that key issues were bracketed and hoped they would be resolved in Kyoto. He said there had been agreement on an article addressing supplementary information for annual inventories of GHGs and national communications by Annex I Parties (Article 7). He pointed out that definition of values and dates under Article 3 was pending, as well as consideration of removals by sinks under QELROs. He hoped the AGBM would address issues on sinks, considering time constraints at Kyoto. A contact group was established to consider the issue further and discuss proposals by New Zealand, Brazil and others. He also called attention to a definition of "net" to be included in the Protocol.

QELROs-2 Chair Bo Kjellén reported that further consultations were taking place on QELROs for Annex I Parties with economies in transition, articles on emissions trading (Article 5) and joint implementation (Article 6) were completely bracketed, an article on national communications (Article 8) was agreed to, except for references to an article on voluntary commitments (Article 10) and to the MOP, and that no agreement had been reached on voluntary commitments.

On 31 October, a revised version of the text was produced for consideration at the closing AGBM session (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.3). The AGBM Chair called attention to three alternatives under Article 3 on QELROs commitments and expressed his hope that they adequately reflected the discussions that had taken place. The UK suggested merging two bracketed alternatives on the establishment of commitments either by using a process set out in Annex C, or by determining uniform commitments for all Annex I Parties. AUSTRALIA said the alternatives should remain separate. A number of delegations commented on the text.

On the three alternatives under Article 3, the AGBM Chair said that making everyone happy was difficult and suggested that they be referred to COP-3 as such. He indicated that disagreement on these issues was duly reflected in the text.

The document referred by the AGBM for consideration at COP-3 contains 10 articles, two annexes and an attachment. Five of the articles, the annexes and the attachment are completely bracketed. A footnote states that the consolidated negotiating text proposed by the AGBM Chair (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.3) at the outset of AGBM-8, remains before the group.

The first paragraph on QELROs commitments for Annex I Parties contains three alternatives. Under the first alternative, Parties shall individually or jointly ensure that their net aggregate anthropogenic CO2 equivalent emissions of GHGs listed in an annex do not exceed their commitments, expressed in terms of emissions budgets inscribed in an attachment. The second alternative determines that each Annex I Party shall ensure that its net aggregate anthropogenic CO2 equivalent emissions of GHGs listed in an annex do not exceed its commitments, expressed in terms of emissions budgets inscribed in an attachment. The third alternative establishes that each Annex I Party shall achieve QELROs within time frames, such as 2005, 2010 and 2020 for its anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of CO2 and other GHGs not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

The second paragraph includes two alternatives for the establishment of Annex I Party commitments: through a process set out in an annex, or through uniform commitments. Two paragraphs on the establishment and implementation of QELROs commitments for Annex I Parties undergoing the process of transition to a market economy are not bracketed. All of the subsequent paragraphs under the article are bracketed and, inter alia, refer to:

• "demonstrable progress" by Annex I Parties in the achievement of their commitments by 2005;

• QELROs for countries that undertake voluntary commitments;

• baselines for the determination of budget periods;

• first and second emission budgets;

• emissions credits and emissions trading;

• calculation of emissions budgets;

• procedures to review the list of GHGs;

• efforts to reduce and limit emissions of GHGs;

• the establishment of a fund to compensate developing country Parties that may suffer social, environmental and/or economic loss as a result of actions to meet QELROs; and

• a clean development fund to assist developing country Parties to achieve sustainable development and contribute to FCCC objectives.

A bracketed Article 3(bis) on QELROs commitments states that any Annex I Parties that have agreed to fulfill their QELROs obligations jointly, shall be deemed to have met those obligations provided that their total combined level of emissions reductions meets the levels as set out in an attachment. Paragraphs under the article address operational aspects of joint fulfillment of obligations. Article 4, on national systems for the estimation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHGs, contains brackets around a paragraph on the use of global warming potentials (GWP) to calculate the CO2 equivalence of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs, specific references to budget periods, and a reference to the role of the MOP in reviewing methodologies.

A bracketed Article 5 (emissions trading) to meet QELROs commitments, inter alia, includes criteria for trading and determines that the MOP shall decide upon modalities, rules and guidelines. A footnote stating that the G-77/CHINA has requested the deletion of this article was included. Bracketed Article 6 on joint implementation contains conditions and guidelines for JI projects, including prior acceptance, approval or endorsement by the participating Parties and the aim of bringing about real, measurable and long-term environmental benefits related to the mitigation of climate change. There is a footnote saying that the G-77/CHINA has requested a deletion of this article, while other Parties, including the EU and the US have indicated that they require further consultations.

Article 7, which is not bracketed, refers to inclusion of supplementary information in Annex I Parties' annual inventories of emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs, with the aim of ensuring compliance with QELROs commitments.

Article 8 on national communications and inventories, remains unbracketed, but includes a footnote indicating that the paragraphs on the role of the SBI and the MOP in this regard is contingent upon decisions on institutions and mechanisms in other parts of the protocol. Another bracketed article (Article 10) refers to voluntary commitments by non-Annex I Parties. A footnote indicates that the G-77/CHINA does not wish to include this article in the Protocol. Article 11, on the periodic review of the implementation of the Protocol with a view to evaluating its impact and effectiveness, remains without brackets, except for a reference to Article 3. Annex B is bracketed, as well as Annex C. The attachment listing the names of Parties, their emissions commitments and base year periods is also bracketed.


In the original consolidated negotiating text by the AGBM Chair, Article 2 indicated that each Annex I Party or Parties acting under voluntary commitments (Article 10), shall:

• adopt and implement P&Ms to assist in the fulfillment of its QELROs;

• minimize adverse effects on other Parties, particularly developing countries;

• aim to implement P&Ms in priority areas identified in an annex;

• cooperate to enhance the individual and combined effectiveness of their P&Ms in accordance with the Convention; and

• cooperate to develop common performance indicators with the aim of improving comparability and transparency of reporting and sharing of information.

It also stated that the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) would, as soon as practicable, make recommendations on the definition of performance indicators.

On 22 October, the non-group, chaired by Bakary Kante (Senegal), discussed proposed amendments put forth by two groups of countries. One group proposed deleting a reference to Article 10. The other group, inter alia, proposed that a process be instituted to develop guidelines for modalities of coordination and cooperation for the implementation of P&Ms. There was a discussion on whether the implementation of P&Ms should "take into account," "mitigate" or "avoid" adverse effects, as well as on the types of effects and who is affected. On 24 and 28 October, the non-group further considered proposals from two groups of countries. Some delegates reported little movement.

On 30 October in Plenary, the Chair of the non-group introduced a paper reflecting the group's work. He said the group reached consensus on one of five sub-paragraphs in the AGBM Chair's draft text. On the chapeau, he noted that a reference to a specific article had been bracketed pending outcomes on voluntary commitments. He said the group had agreed on the first part of a sub-paragraph on the implementation and adoption of P&Ms by Annex I Parties to achieve QELROs, but had disagreed on a part listing P&Ms under an annex. No agreement was reached on language indicating that Annex I Parties shall coordinate the implementation of P&Ms listed under an annex. Two proposed versions of Annex A, which listed P&Ms, were attached to the document.

The US, supported by CANADA, JAPAN AND AUSTRALIA, proposed bracketing text that "the COP/MOP shall assess the application of P&Ms." The EU proposed merging two bracketed alternatives referring to P&Ms listed in Annex A. CANADA, the US and JAPAN said that proposals on annexes had not been negotiated. JAPAN favored an alternative stating that P&Ms shall be adopted in accordance with national circumstances. The EU, the G-77/CHINA and AUSTRALIA agreed that P&Ms should not be listed in an annex but should be incorporated into the Protocol. The US expressed its preference for listing P&Ms under an annex.

The Chair asked for further comments on retention of the COP/MOP assessment sentence, and delegates repeated their positions. The Chair ruled that there was consensus to retain the text, except for three countries. CHINA asked if the text would be communicated to Kyoto with brackets. The Chair said nothing is agreed until everything is. The US raised a point of order that there was no consensus. The Chair said delegates could challenge his decision under the rules of procedure. The US, CANADA and VENEZUELA said there could not be consensus if delegations objected. VENEZUELA challenged the ruling. The Chair noted that a two-thirds vote was required to overturn the ruling and called for a vote.

EGYPT said delegations were referring to unanimity. The Chair's ruling on consensus reflected his sense of the negotiations. The Chair said it was necessary to distinguish between unanimity and consensus. IRAN and KUWAIT requested a legal opinion. The US proposed that the Chair produce a text of his conclusions. He responded that he feared voting on every paragraph and bracket. VENEZUELA accepted that the Chair had taken the sense of the meeting. The Chair said his ruling meant this. MAURITANIA said every decision should be left to Kyoto. SAUDI ARABIA said adoptions at this stage were meaningless as all amendments will be forwarded to Kyoto. The Chair said with the challenge withdrawn there would be no vote. He said it was clear that a group of countries was trying to stop the Convention and the protocol, but he would not be "held hostage" to countries methodically trying to stop progress.

The non-group Chair noted two alternatives for a paragraph on adverse effects of P&Ms. The US proposed a reformulation calling for assessment of the overall effect on climate change and Parties' social, environmental and economic situations. The G-77/CHINA requested a footnote linking the issue to a clean development fund.

On cooperation between Parties to enhance effectiveness, the EU agreed to take up the question of voluntary application of P&Ms in discussions on voluntary commitments, and discuss voluntary accession by non-Annex I countries on a basis easier than quantitative targets.

On 31 October, in closing Plenary, a new version of the text was considered (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.2). The US, supported by CANADA, said he was surprised to see that the alternatives on annexes listing P&Ms had been introduced "wholesale" into the text, and indicated that the annexes in general had not been negotiated. The AGBM Chair noted that two groups of countries agreed that the content of the annexes on P&Ms should appear in the body of the text. The EU said proposals on annexes had been on the table for a long time and reiterated that their content should be incorporated into the text. The US proposed a footnote clarifying that the annexes had not been negotiated and stating that some delegations did not agree to their inclusion in the body of the text. The AGBM Chair said that this would give way to the use of footnotes for every issue and noted that the P&Ms lists were completely bracketed.

Taking into account these comments, delegates accepted the new version of Article 2, which contains two paragraphs. The chapeau and first paragraph state that each of the Parties included in Annex I [or acting under Article 10] shall adopt and implement P&Ms in achieving its commitments regarding QELROs, to achieve sustainable development.

There are two bracketed alternatives listing P&Ms. The first indicates that P&Ms shall be adopted according to national circumstances and includes:

• enhancement of energy efficiency in all sectors;

• protection and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs;

• promotion, development and increased use of renewable forms of energy;

• phasing out of market imperfections that run counter to FCCC objectives; and

• providing a balance between P&Ms aimed at reducing emissions of GHGs in emitting sectors and those aimed at reducing consumption of their products.

The second alternative includes a larger list of P&Ms and does not make a reference to national circumstances. In addition to the P&Ms under the previous alternative, it lists, inter alia, the following:

• develop measures to limit and/or reduce emissions of GHGs in the transport sectors;

• limit or reduce emissions from aviation and marine bunker fuels and work towards introducing fuel aviation taxation;

• integrate climate change considerations into agricultural practices; and

• research, develop and promote transfer of innovative climate-friendly technologies and reduce emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

There is unbracketed language stating that the Meeting of the Parties shall assess the application of P&Ms.

There are two bracketed options on the adverse effects of implementing P&Ms. The first one states that listed P&Ms shall be implemented "in such a way as to avoid" the adverse effects of climate change. P&Ms should also avoid adverse effects upon: international trade and social, environmental and economic impacts on other Parties, especially developing country Parties. There is a footnote indicating that "this matter is linked with the issue of a compensation fund and a clean development fund". This option provides for the COP to take further action, as appropriate, to "promote the implementation of the provisions" of the subparagraph.

The second option speaks of implementing P&Ms "taking into account" the adverse effects of climate change and/or the impacts on developing countries, especially the ones identified by the FCCC as the most vulnerable to climate change. It provides for the MOP to take actions, as appropriate, "with respect to this paragraph."

There is text on the cooperation with other Parties to enhance individual and combined effectiveness of P&Ms, which requests Parties to share experience and exchange information on P&Ms, including developing ways of improving their comparability, transparency and effectiveness. It determines that the MOP shall consider ways to facilitate such cooperation.

There is a bracketed paragraph to the effect that Parties included in Annex I [or acting under Article 10] shall coordinate the implementation of P&Ms and the development of methodologies to assess their effectiveness. It also states that the MOP shall consider ways and means to facilitate such coordination, including by instituting a process to develop recommendations to Parties in the form of guidelines, taking into account national circumstances and relevant work by other bodies. It was decided that this new version of the text would be referred to COP-3 for further consideration and decision.


The non-group on institutions and mechanisms (I&Ms), chaired by Takao Shibata (Japan), discussed the preamble and 13 articles in the AGBM Chair's draft text. The text contained various proposals on: definitions; whether to establish a Meeting of the Parties (MOP) or utilize the Convention COP; the secretariat; subsidiary bodies; a multilateral consultative process (MCP); amendments, procedures for annexes and attachments; voting; regional economic integration organizations as Parties; reservations; and entry into force, withdrawal, and languages.

On 23 October, delegates in the non-group agreed that there was no need to recapitulate elements from the FCCC in the preamble. On the article listing definitions (Article 1), delegates agreed to delete text on the role of the Meeting of the Parties. A regional group introduced a new draft article based on the IPCC's scientific findings. Of the two proposals contained in the negotiating text on the body to oversee the Protocol, the alternative that describes the Conference of the Parties as the supreme body of the Protocol attracted the most support. There was general support for institutional economy through which the existing institutions serve the purposes of the protocol.

On 27 October, the non-group discussed the final articles of the draft negotiating text, including those on ratification, regional economic integration organizations, entry into force and withdrawal. A number of substantive discussions were postponed until decisions determining the overall shape of the protocol have been taken. On provisions for regional economic integration organizations, most participants felt that the issue should be deferred since it is linked to the AGBM's acceptance of the "bubble" concept for meeting commitments. Negotiators concluded that a decision on whether to link entry into force to the number of ratifications alone or to a combination of ratifications and CO2 emissions covered should also be postponed.

On 29 October, the group discussed legal aspects of the "bubble" concept for a shared emissions target for a group of countries. The EU presented its text, noting that the shared target was a matter of compliance. Other delegations disagreed with the position.

On Article 14, which defines the role of the COP and the Meeting of Parties (MOP), a group of countries proposed a reference to an FCCC Article 7 provision that the COP can review "any related instrument." It also requested restoration of bracketed text requiring protocol Parties to provide additional funding in an article on Secretariat services to a protocol. There was general agreement that an article on subsidiary bodies should be aligned with the text on the COP and the MOP.

A contact group presented language that the MOP shall "approve appropriate and effective" non-compliance procedures and mechanisms, but a number of delegations objected. A group of countries said the non-compliance text was linked to the decision on establishing a clean development fund.

In a paragraph on amendments to a protocol, a delegation proposed a footnote that amendments could only apply in light of FCCC Articles 4.2 (a), (b) and (d), and another delegation suggested that approval of amendments should be by double two-thirds majority. Delegates discussed possible meanings of annexes, but a group of countries objected to using annexes and to attachments in a separate article on adding non-Annex I Parties to the protocol.

On 31 October, in the closing Plenary, CANADA said delegates should consider an "early warning system" in the article on non-compliance. CANADA and AUSTRALIA emphasized that a footnote regarding regional economic integration organizations means that the EU "bubble" has not yet been accepted. CANADA supported linking entry into force to both ratifications and emissions, but he said the emissions threshold should be 5 Gigatonnes rather than 3 as in the text. The Chair noted that the total in 1990 was 6.5 Gigatonnes.

AUSTRALIA reminded delegates that it had proposed text on the relationship of the protocol to other agreements. Non-group Chair Shibata said he had the proposal, and others not appearing in the text, "in his pocket" for further discussion.

The revised document on I&Ms (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.4), accepted in closing Plenary, contains the preamble and 14 articles. The preamble notes the FCCC objective, recalls Convention provisions, is guided by its Article 3 and refers to the Berlin Mandate.

Article 14, on the supreme body for the protocol, states that the Convention COP would serve as the MOP. It permits Convention Parties not party to the protocol to be observers and states that protocol decisions would be made by its Parties only. Convention Bureau members not party to the protocol would be substituted by a protocol member. The MOP functions would include:

• periodically examining obligations;

• exchange of information on measures adopted and their effects;

• facilitating coordination of measures by two or more requesting Parties;

• promoting and guiding development of methodologies for inventories and evaluation of measures;

• assessing implementation, in particular environmental, economic and social effects as well as cumulative impacts, and progress toward the Convention objectives; and

• seeking to mobilize additional funding of the financial mechanism.

It also sets procedures for scheduling meetings and participation of observers.

Article 15, on a Secretariat, notes that the FCCC Secretariat shall serve the protocol. A bracketed paragraph requires that distinct costs of Secretariat services to the protocol be met by protocol Parties. The article on subsidiary bodies (Article 16) states that the SBI and SBSTA will also serve the same functions for a protocol and sets procedures for observers and Bureau member substitution similar to the MOP article. Protocol Parties would modify the Convention's MCP from FCCC Article 13 as necessary in the MCP article.

Article 17bis on compliance states that the MOP shall set procedures to determine and address non-compliance cases and develop an indicative list of consequences. It contains a footnote to a sentence that mentions but does not specify binding penalties. The footnote acknowledges the G-77/CHINA proposal to link the article to a clean development fund.

The article on amendments (Article 18) footnotes a proposal that the amendments would apply in light of the adequacy of FCCC Articles 4.2(a), (b) and (d). A proposal for approval by three-fourths majority if consensus cannot be reached has a footnote referencing an alternative proposal contained in document FCCC/AGBM/1997/INF.1. The article also sets adoption and entry into force procedures.

Article 19 on annexes states that annexes are integral and describes possible forms of annexes, procedures for their adoption, voting, and entry into force. Several paragraphs refer to "annexes XY" as exceptions to the rules. A footnote suggests the article may be revisited after further discussion of QELROs.

Article 20 on attachments describes them as integral and sets adoption and entry into force according to the article on amendments. Proposed amendments to the commitment of any Party in an attachment may be adopted only with consent of the Party.

Article 21 on membership of regional economic integration organizations contains a footnote that it will be revisited in light of discussions on the "bubble" concept. The article forbidding reservations to the protocol (Article 23) includes a footnote that one Party, the US, placed a reservation on it.

Article 24 concerning entry into force requires 50 ratifications from Parties combined with CO2 emissions representing no less than 3 Gigatonnes of carbon. A footnote states that there was no agreement on this paragraph.


The AGBM Chair's draft text addressed existing commitments under FCCC Article 4.1 in Article 12 containing a chapeau and 10 operative paragraphs. The article covers:

• emissions inventories, their methodologies and related cooperation;

• mitigation and adaptation programmes;

• technology transfer;

• financial resources for managing sinks and reservoirs;

• cooperation on impact assessments;

• climate consideration in governmental decisions;

• development of data archives and capacity building;

• information exchange;

• education and training; and

• communications to the MOP on implementation of commitments.

An article on financial resources (Article 13) was reviewed by a contact group chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). It referred to the Convention's financial mechanism serving the protocol, provision of additional funding by Annex II Parties, guidance of the financial mechanism by the MOP and multilateral funding sources.

On 23 October, the non-group, chaired by Evans King (Trinidad and Tobago), discussed the chapeau and second paragraph of the AGBM Chair's draft. There was some support for adding a reference to common but differentiated responsibilities. Delegates could not agree on whether to advance commitments "in accordance with" Convention Articles 4.3, 4.5 and 4.7, as favored by developing countries, or "taking into account" those articles, as proposed by developed countries. Delegates disagreed about a portion of a consensus text offered by the non-group Chair in which Parties would work toward sustainable development. A delegation suggested replacing the chapeau with Convention and Berlin Mandate language.

On three sub-paragraphs describing national inventories and related methodologies and cooperation, a delegate debated whether the text constituted a new commitment for developing countries or was a clarification of existing common but differentiated commitments. A regional group suggested combining sub-paragraphs on inventories or methodologies. Another group suggested replacement text for all three. A delegation proposed deleting all references to the Convention and to financial resources. A small group was convened in the evening to try to address the various recommendations.

On 27 October, the non-group discussed a non-paper proposed by its Chair. Delegates were unclear whether the AGBM Chair's consolidated negotiating text remained the basis for negotiations. A delegation indicated that agreement on an initial paragraph containing a reference to the advancement of commitments based on differentiated responsibilities and national priorities would be contingent upon outcomes in other areas. A group of countries said that advancement of existing developing countries' commitments depends on the provision of financial resources and transfer of technology. Some delegates pointed out the lack of progress in negotiations.

On 28 October, the non-group completed its last meeting at AGBM-8 with agreement only on a chapeau. The non-group Chair presented revised texts for most paragraphs in the AGBM Chair's draft Article 12. Delegates discussion focused on three. In a paragraph on national communications, delegates discussed a number of bracketed alternatives. In the paragraph on national programmes, a group of countries said the paragraph represents new commitments for developing countries. A Party suggested that the text fleshes out existing commitments. One Party objected to text on removing obstacles to the "limitation" of anthropogenic emissions. Another proposed "limitation or abatement in the increase" of emissions.

In a paragraph on reporting, a Party proposed moving the text into a separate protocol article. A group of countries said the paragraph should be divided to define Annex-I and non-Annex-I responsibilities. A regional group objected to separating developed and developing country responsibilities in the paragraph. On the draft article on finance (Article 13), the non-group discussed various proposals for bracketed portions of the text without reaching consensus.

On 30 October, in Plenary, the non-group Chair introduced the group's report (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.1) on FCCC Article 4.1. He said that the text can establish the boundaries for future negotiation. There is no agreement on: mitigation and adaptation programmes, technology transfer, or taking account of climate change in policy. He said financing of measures to advance existing non-Annex I Party commitments and their relation to technology transfer is a substantive issue whose resolution will clarify other issues.

A representative of the environmental NGOs said the FCCC Article applies to all Parties. The non-group failed to adequately advance implementation, producing text riddled with qualifications and weak language. Article 4.1 should not be used to negotiate commitments for developing countries through the back door.

The G-77/CHINA objected to a list of "economically justified" mitigation programmes, suggesting it represented new developing country commitments and mirrored the P&Ms annex still under negotiation. She had similar objections to the following subparagraph's adaptation programmes list, preferring to retain the G-77/CHINA's alternative, separately describing Annex I and developing country programmes. JAPAN, the EU and the US preferred to remove brackets from the mitigation list, noting that it is indicative. The US said the list does not contain new commitments, but puts "flesh on the bones" of Article 4.1b.

On transfer of technology, the G-77/CHINA proposed the deletion of a paragraph on promoting effective modalities for transfers because it would introduce unacceptable new commitments under the protocol. She supported an alternative paragraph, based on the FCCC and Agenda 21. The US, supported by JAPAN and CANADA, suggested combining elements in the two paragraphs but objected to references to "financial and fiscal incentives" and "patent-protected environmentally sound technologies."

On procedures to ensure that climate change considerations are taken into account in governmental and intergovernmental decisions, the US recalled NGO support for environmental impact assessment and climate friendly technology. The EU, supported by the US, proposed a reformulation of text on procedures, specifying multilateral development banks. The G-77/CHINA said the commitment should not be subsumed in a protocol with a limited thrust, which would amount to a new commitment. She said the reference to multilateral development banks would introduce a conditionality to financing. On sharing national development information and indicators, the G-77/CHINA objected to the paragraph because it would amount to a new commitment.

Chair Estrada remarked that Parties will have to limit the scope of the protocol below what was agreed in Berlin at some point.

On education and training, the US introduced an amendment on strengthening national level education and training programmes, removed brackets from a reference to training experts "in particular for developing countries", and replaced a reference to methodologies with "modalities."

On communications on implementation of protocol commitments, the G-77/CHINA said that communications should be forwarded to the FCCC Parties. The US explained that FCCC Parties' communications will go to the COP; for protocol Parties, they will go to the protocol body. The G-77/CHINA would not agree to report to any body but the COP.

During the closing Plenary, the US noted that words had been added that had not appeared previously in the document. The PHILIPPINES said brackets around the paragraph on communications to the MOP were missing.

The final document on commitments in FCCC Article 4.1 (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.1/REV.1) contains a chapeau taking account of Parties' common but differentiated responsibilities and specific development priorities. Without introducing new commitments for non-Annex I Parties, it reaffirms and pledges to advance existing commitments taking account of FCCC Articles 4.3, 4.5 and 4.7.

In a paragraph on inventories, Parties would formulate cost-effective [national] and [regional] programmes, reflecting the socio-economic conditions of each Party. Two alternatives address mitigation and adaptation programmes. The first option's mitigation section brackets minimizing effects on other Parties. It contains a bracketed list of measures to remove obstacles to the limitation or abatement of an increase in emissions, including energy efficiency, regulatory reform, improvements in the transport and industrial sectors, management of sinks and reservoirs, agriculture and waste management, and voluntary arrangements with industry. Its list of adaptation measures brackets infrastructure improvements and lists technology deployment, coastal zone management, research, technical capacity building and awareness raising, among others. The second bracketed alternative states that each developed country Party shall incorporate in its programmes the protocol's QELROs and related P&Ms, including details on technology transfer, provision of new and additional financial resources, and assistance in meeting developing countries' adaptation costs. It requires developing country Parties to seek to include in their national communications, as appropriate, information on programmes that contain measures that they believe address climate change and its impacts.

Two alternatives address technology transfer, with most text in at least one set of brackets. The first, a single paragraph, would promote modalities for removing barriers to investment in, development, application and diffusion, including transfer of, environmentally sound technologies, considering policies and programmes for transfer through [financial and fiscal] incentives.

The second alternative has six paragraphs. Among its provisions, this option would take all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, transfer and access to environmentally sound technologies, including technologies in the public domain. It would encourage the private sector through financial and fiscal incentives to enhance access to and transfer of patent-protected technologies, particularly to developing countries. Other provisions would: implement procedures for incorporating climate considerations in government and intergovernmental decisions; promote information sharing on indicators; and mandate cooperation in research and observation, education and training. Parties would communicate information on their implementation to the MOP, using guidelines adopted by the COP or subsequently by the MOP.

The Chair noted in final Plenary that the document on financial resources for existing commitments under Article 4.1 (FCCC/AGBM/1997/CRP.1/REV.1/Add.1) should bracket the final paragraph on MOP decisions. The final text in the finance article takes account of FCCC Article 4, paragraphs 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. It states that Annex II Parties shall provide [new and] additional financial resources to meet the full agreed costs of developing country Parties' activities in inventories, information sharing, research and education and training under the protocol. Annex II Parties would also provide resources for developing country Parties' full incremental costs of protocol measures in mitigation, adaptation and related technology transfer. The bracketed final paragraph states that the MOP shall decide on policies, priorities and eligibility criteria for the protocol's financial mechanism.

The two documents covering existing commitments under Article 4.1 were adopted.


On 31 October, Chair Raúl Estrada-Oyuela opened the last AGBM-8 meeting by requesting that delegates focus on documents on policies and measures, QELROS, institutions and mechanisms and advancement of commitments under FCCC Article 4.1, resulting from comments and amendments by delegations. He said the non-group drafts would be compiled in a single document (FCCC/CP/1997/2) to be presented to COP-3 for finalization. Delegates agreed that the documents presented and discussed would be referred to COP-3.

The US said it should be noted that while brackets reflect disagreement in some cases, in others the absence of brackets also reflects disagreement. Supported by Japan and the EU, but opposed by the G-77/CHINA, he encouraged the Chair to develop his own draft text for consideration alongside the compilation. CHINA said success of any future text lies in its consistency with the Berlin Mandate.

The US requested an examination of how the protocol could pursue world peace while protecting the planet, through a provision on military operations for security and self defense. Negotiations should not create a conflict between the need to secure peace and to reduce GHG emissions.

Delegates discussed a conclusion proposed by the Chair that Annex I Parties would provide the Secretariat with data on indicators in Annex B for time frames mentioned in the Berlin Mandate to facilitate consideration in Kyoto of differentiation criteria. The Chair said he was trying to reach an understanding of how to understand differentiation. The UK said the conclusion should be neutral, indicating that differentiated and flat rates were both on the table. Supported by the US and SWITZERLAND, he asked whether the Secretariat could collect comparable data from international sources. NORWAY said delegations should provide relevant data. ICELAND, JAPAN, and AUSTRALIA said the consideration could be based on available data. The conclusion was adopted requesting that delegations provide the Secretariat with information on data from international sources.

The PHILIPPINES summarized informal negotiations on sinks. He said consultations would continue through a questionnaire on core issues circulated to interested delegations, compiled by fax and e-mail and discussed again by the informal group in Kyoto.

Regarding a "so-called prompt start," the Chair suggested that the COP request that SBI and SBSTA review the Kyoto outcome and propose which body would deal with various elements.

He noted that the Berlin Mandate calls for a protocol or another legal instrument. In addition to the preparation of a negotiating text for a protocol, he will structure the proposals as a possible set of amendments to the FCCC.

The Chair said AGBM-8 would be reconvened on 30 November to continue a number of discussions. He said he would produce the text in the form of a protocol and an oral report to COP-3 that may mention a Brazilian proposal, which contains an alternative calculation of QELROs based on historical emissions. He also said that because he judged evolution of developing country commitments to be beyond the Berlin Mandate, he did not include an evolution proposal in the draft text. He said he would mention that proposal in his presentation of the AGBM report as a point AGBM did not consider.

Rapporteur Daniel Reifsnyder (US) presented the report of the session (FCCC/AGBM/1997/.L1), which he said would be completed with the Secretariat's and Chair's guidance. The report was adopted.

SAMOA, on behalf of AOSIS, said sinks must be resolved, addressing uncertainty and lack of data. He called for early action in the period between adoption and entry into force, including arrangements similar to the Convention's intergovernmental negotiating committee. Economic, social and environmental devastation is a price we cannot afford. He said delegates should not lose sight of the moral dimension, or the repugnance of allowing a few to be sacrificed for others' short-term economic interests.

The G-77/CHINA contrasted developing countries' survival emissions and the luxury emissions of the developed world. Decisions might mean no food on peoples' tables, not a smaller profit margin. He said developed countries must modify producing and consuming lifestyles. He rejected mounting pressure on developing countries to do what developed countries refused to do, and criticized the veiled threat to withhold financial resources and technology transfer if developing countries do not assume the burden.

ZIMBABWE, on behalf of the African Group, stressed equity and said negotiations were hampered by weak proposals and Parties without targets on the table. Stabilization and unquantified targets do not help much at this stage.

JAPAN said he believes other difficulties can be overcome with support from all participants. The EU said its members were disappointed with the little progress here, and regretted the absence or inadequacy of proposals from other industrialized countries. He said the protocol was ambitious, as were the EU targets. The US was disappointed in the lack of conclusions on key issues. He agreed with the EU that a QELROs target should advance countries' efforts. He said he believed the US approach would be an advance.

Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar emphasized a deficit in expected contributions, especially a US$450,000 shortfall in the Kyoto participation fund for developing country delegates.

Chair Estrada said he was trying to understand "exactly where we stand." He said the paper produced for AGBM-8 was an attempt to preserve positions, where he had tried to find compromise. He said it was a pity many things were still missing, such as clearer work on sinks and differentiation. He said he was not yet in a position to assess the value of the negotiating text, but that he would continue seeking common ground and presenting his own versions of texts when he believes it will contribute to the success of delegates' work.

The meeting was suspended until 30 November 1997.



On 20 October, SBI Vice-Chair José Romero (Switzerland), on behalf of SBI Chair Mahmoud Ould El-Ghaouth (Mauritania), reminded delegates of the short time allocated for SBI negotiations at this session and urged them to conclude in a timely manner.

FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar noted the need for support in developing initial national communications and strengthening national capacities. He noted that projects for national communications can "prime the pump" for future investments as much as pilot projects for lowering emissions. Regarding the FCCC core budget, he noted a number of delinquent contributions and additional contributions to the trust fund for participation were needed.

Delegates adopted the SBI agenda (FCCC/SBI/1997/17).


On 21 October, the Secretariat introduced the first compilation and synthesis (FCCC/SBI/1997/19), an addendum containing tables of inventories of anthropogenic emissions and removals (Add.1); and updated information on GHG emissions and projections (INF.4). The synthesis includes information on 18 Parties that submitted their national communications by 15 August 1997, accounting for 59% of total 1990 GHG emissions from Annex I Parties. The synthesis notes that CO2 emissions in 1995 increased in the majority of reporting Parties compared to 1990, the range of increase being from 2% to 10%.

The US supported the development of an electronic reporting programme, and requested a report based on Party suggestions for improvements. He noted that many Parties did not follow the guidelines for reporting on their policies and measures. The EU noted that: some Parties have had difficulty complying with guidelines; non-Annex I experts should participate in the review process; and its communication is being finalized. Both the US and the EU noted the inadequacy of reporting measures for HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

CHINA stated that reporting should focus on CO2 policies and measures should take into account different country situations, and that the report does not adequately address technology transfer. NEW ZEALAND said Parties should nominate a range of experts for reviewing reports. With the EU, she did not support the Secretariat's proposal to discontinue the distribution of executive summaries drawn from the communications. UZBEKISTAN said the participation of national experts from countries with economies in transition and developing countries could provide an opportunity for training.

On 29 October, delegates adopted draft conclusions and a draft decision for COP-3 on Annex I communications (FCCC/ SBI/1997/L.7). In these conclusions the SBI: requested the Secretariat to evaluate the feasibility of compiling available supplementary data from authoritative sources on GHG emissions for the purpose of comparison with national submissions, reporting to SBI-9; expressed its intent to perform an interim assessment of the in-depth reviews of second national communications for SBI-9; and noted with regret that insufficient responses from Annex I Parties did not allow presentation of the schedule of in-depth reviews at SBI-7.

Under the draft decision, COP-3 would call upon Annex I Parties to follow the revised FCCC guidelines and request the Secretariat to prepare a full compilation of second national communications and publish national GHG inventories. COP-3 would decide that in-depth reviews of second national communications will include visits by review teams and executive summaries of the communications will be published as official FCCC documents.


On 20 October, the Secretariat summarized a progress report (FCCC/SBI/1997/INF.3), including an update on preparation of initial non-Annex I national communications. Nine Parties have reported no activities on communications, and no information is available from 15. The conclusions included recommendations for: accelerated submissions; reference by Parties to COP guidelines; appropriate institutional mechanisms; awareness raising; GEF procedural streamlining; a forum for inventory reporting; a provision for reproduction and dissemination of reports; a coordinated strategy for the transfer and development of technologies; development of regional and local methodologies; and regional workshops.

The Chair noted that Parties would also consider input from the GEF and the process for considering non-Annex I communications. On the latter, he invited the US and MALAYSIA to chair a reconvened informal meeting to consider, inter alia, submissions by the EU and Uzbekistan (FCCC/SBI/1997/MISC.8). The EU said that reviews of communications have built confidence and helped in developing second national communications. BRAZIL reported the conclusions of a recent workshop to share Latin American experiences in developing national communications. Participants there highlighted, inter alia, problems with developing methodologies and the need for financial support.

SENEGAL hosted an African regional workshop that brought together more than 100 participants. The US cautioned that consideration of some of the Secretariat report's recommendations should follow submissions by a broader sample of non-Annex I countries. MEXICO announced plans for a regional workshop on preparation of national communications in Central America. JAPAN said it was willing to cooperate with developing countries preparing national communications and noted its recent contributions. ZIMBABWE called for assistance to the African region in making digital information available.

MALAYSIA encouraged the Secretariat to continue its role in coordinating regional activity and suggested that the COP provide guidance to the GEF. CANADA underlined the importance of capacity building, supported more expeditious financial provision by the GEF, and noted the importance of an in-depth review of communications in the context of Article 4.1 commitments. JAMAICA supported a GEF-sponsored regional workshop for CARICOM countries in November.

On 29 October, delegates adopted draft conclusions and a draft decision produced by the contact group (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.8). The draft SBI conclusions request the Secretariat to organize a workshop on a process for considering initial national communications from non-Annex I Parties. The Secretariat is requested to submit its observations on the national communications submitted by non-Annex I Parties by 30 March 1998. The SBI also requested the Secretariat to provide a compilation of comments by Parties at SBI-8.

The draft decision for COP-3 was compiled from three proposals. It contains bracketed language stating that the process of consideration shall assist the Secretariat's determination of the needs of non-Annex I Parties [for the preparation of national communications] or [related to implementation of commitments, in particular those associated with proposed projects and response measures]. On the type of review, the text states that the communications should be subject to an [in depth][technical][assessment] or [review]. Regarding the Secretariat's future work, the decision contains bracketed text on compilation and synthesis [annually], as well as on proposed workshops and the selection of expert review teams. All references to work that the COP would request SBI and SBSTA to perform on national communications are bracketed.


On 20 October, the GEF introduced its report to COP-3 (FCCC/SBI/1997/22), which addressed how it had implemented the guidance provided by previous COPs. She noted that during the 13-month reporting period, total project funding for climate change activities exceeded US$570 million, of which approximately US$155 million was grant financing. She said the report described activities undertaken by the GEF to improve its performance, including a report on the application of the concept of full incremental costs.

The EU said that the review of the financial mechanism should be seen as an ongoing activity of the COP, that EU members had already pressed for replenishment of the GEF, and that it hoped that this meeting would agree to the designation of the GEF as the financial mechanism. The G-77/CHINA reiterated its position on the need to continue dialogue on the designation of the GEF as the FCCC financial mechanism. INDIA pointed to the need to expand the parameters that are used on the ground by the GEF for the preparation of initial communications. Delegates accepted the Vice-Chair's proposal to establish a joint SBSTA/SBI drafting group on the financial mechanism, to be chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda).

On 21 October, the Vice-Chair informed delegations that a proposed Chair's draft decision had been prepared and appeared as Appendix III to document FCCC/SBI/1997/16.

On 29 October, delegates adopted two draft decisions for COP-3 (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.9), produced by the contact group. Under the first decision, the COP would decide to continue the review process through SBI, in accordance with the criteria established in the guidelines adopted by SBI-5. Under the second decision, the COP would note that the GEF Council approved the annex to the Memorandum of Understanding between the COP and the GEF Council and decide to approve the annex, thereby bringing it into force.


On 20 October, delegates considered activities implemented jointly (AIJ) and selected Diego Malpede (Argentina) to chair a working group to prepare recommendations for both SBI and SBSTA. The US said delegates could recognize that the pilot phase is still underway but agree that Parties can take credit from AIJ toward post-2000 commitments, congruent with decisions on methodological issues. The issue is not whether, but how credit is taken. He suggested adopting uniform reporting procedures and work programmes on methodological issues, financing and additionality of financing. The EU said AIJ reporting needs further elaboration. Project baselines, scenarios and emissions reductions should be more detailed. CANADA noted progress in methodologies and benefits gained. She said the lack of incentives for private sector engagement and of methodology for transparency and consistency slowed some areas. She looked forward to a US draft decision, especially on credits and methodologies.

BRAZIL said given parallel negotiations on QELROs and associated methodological issues, the review must be done, but he would not support any COP-3 decision that prejudges methodological work necessary to determine emissions reductions. MALAYSIA said experience so far is not comprehensive enough to make an assessment of AIJ. Only after reporting baselines and methodologies are addressed can delegates consider credits. CHINA said developing country participation, GHG abatement results and investment in AIJ have been limited, so it is premature for COP-3 to make a decision based on "scanty" estimates and analysis. Partners should come forward with secure funding. SAUDI ARABIA said the issue of credits is at the heart of AIJ and should be ruled out for COP-3. ZIMBABWE noted only one project among 53 African governments and said it is premature to talk about trading or credits.

On 21 October, Parties continued discussing the AIJ pilot phase. SRI LANKA noted the obstacles posed by the additionality principle in the AIJ criteria and welcomed a decision by France to delete the additionality condition from its AIJ guidelines. INDIA, supported by VENEZUELA, highlighted the limited scope and geographical distribution of current projects and the narrow information base available for assessment. He said a comprehensive review of the pilot phase would not be possible as envisaged by the COP. He called for more projects utilizing frontline technologies and clear data on GHG reductions, cost effectiveness and contribution to capacity building. AUSTRALIA said Parties must capture the advantages in cost effectiveness and environmental gains. He noted the importance of flexibility in financing AIJ and announced an Australian AIJ initiative with three developing countries.

On 28 October, delegates adopted draft COP decisions on AIJ. The decisions, produced by a joint SBSTA/SBI contact group, were also adopted by SBSTA on 28 October (see page 14).


On 20 October, the SBI Vice-Chair suggested establishing a joint SBI/SBSTA contact group to address development and transfer of technology. The US said it would submit a draft decision requesting that the Secretariat continue disseminating information and expand the technology needs survey, that SBSTA examine government and private sector activities, and that Parties encourage market policies promoting trade and investment in climate-friendly technologies and improved reporting on technical needs and arrangements. On 28 October, SBI delegates adopted the draft COP decision on the development and transfer of technology, which was adopted by SBSTA on 27 October (see page 15).


On 20 October, delegates considered four proposed amendments to the Convention (FCCC/SBI/1997/15). The Vice-Chair asked delegates to decide whether SBI should make recommendations to the COP regarding the amendments. One submitted by Pakistan and Azerbaijan would remove Turkey from Annexes I and II. Pakistan noted Turkey's status as a medium developed country and its fractional emissions compared to the Annex I average. TURKEY said it intends to become a Party, but its burden would be disproportionate given its economic circumstances.

The EU said all OECD members should adopt commitments under a protocol. He opposed the amendment, pending a possible special regime for Turkey, Mexico and the Republic of Korea, or Turkey's indication of a target it would assume.

The REPUBLIC OF KOREA distinguished between the status it shares with Mexico as a non-Annex I Party and that of Turkey. He said it was another matter whether Korea would voluntarily assume emissions reductions. MEXICO said there were no grounds to include Mexico and the Republic of Korea in possible protocol annexes. He rejected attempts to link membership in any organization with Convention obligations.

JAPAN and CANADA said all cases, including Turkey's, should fall within an overall review of Annexes required by December 1998. The US said a recommendation would be easier to develop when the post-2000 regime and various nations' roles become clear.

An amendment proposed by the EU would permit adoption of a protocol by three-fourths majority if consensus is absent, and would apply the protocol provisionally pending its entry into force. The EU said the amendment allows the majority's desire for urgent action to be met. He recommended leaving the amendment on the table for COP-3.

SAUDI ARABIA said the amendment opened the door for many more and that provisional application violated the Convention. VENEZUELA said provisional application was "absurd" and not a proper amendment. The US and CHINA expressed reservations about provisional application. AUSTRALIA said he cannot accept a protocol with economic implications adopted by majority voting. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA opposed the amendment.

An amendment proposed by KUWAIT calls on Annex I Parties to provide financial resources, including technology transfer, determined by the COP to meet the full incremental costs of developing countries' obligations. SAUDI ARABIA said the amendment is the only way to ensure necessary funds are forthcoming. The UK, the US, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN and SWITZERLAND did not accept the amendment.

The Vice-Chair suggested a conclusion noting that proposed amendments be forwarded to COP-3, recommending that the COP take account of views expressed by the SBI. On 29 October, language in the draft report of the meeting stated that SBI would recommend to the COP that any proposed amendments be taken up in the order they were submitted, if appropriate. SAUDI ARABIA proposed deleting "if appropriate," but the EU supported its retention. KUWAIT proposed that all amendments be taken as "a package." Delegates agreed to remove the phrase as "as appropriate."


On 27 October, FCCC Executive Secretary Michael Zammit-Cutajar said discussions with the Japanese Government were on the verge of a successful conclusion. He described the legal understanding that had been reached with Japan. Without prejudice, the Government of Japan will extend to representatives of Parties and others involved in COP-3 such services, facilities, security privileges and immunity as provided to other international and UN conferences in Japan.

JAPAN acknowledged that it had virtually succeeded in concluding issues with the Secretariat.

SBI Chair Mahmoud Ould El-Ghaouth introduced a draft decision to hold COP-4 in Bonn in November 1998 and requests that the Secretariat make necessary arrangements. The decision was adopted.

On the G-77/CHINA's proposed agenda for COP-3's high-level segment, the Chair said the segment would be organized with a traditional first-come, first-served list of speakers. He said the G-77/CHINA proposal could be distributed as an official document, which SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT and CHINA requested.

In the draft report of the meeting, the SBI adopted conclusions under which it reiterated its gratitude to Japan and requested the Secretariat to conclude its arrangements on the basis of the understanding reached between the Executive Secretary and the Government of Japan.


On 29 October, SBI-7 held its final session. Delegates adopted draft conclusions and draft decisions for COP-3. Rapporteur Patricia Iturregui (Peru) presented the draft report of the meeting (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.6 and CRP.9). Delegates adopted draft COP decisions on the financial performance of the Convention in the biennium 1996-1997 (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.11) and on COP-4 (FCCC/SBI/1997/L.10). The SBI also took note of the Secretariat's report on mechanisms for consultation with NGOs (FCCC/SBI/1997/Misc.7) and agreed to consider this issue at SBI-8. The report was adopted, as amended. In closing, the Chair said his successor should ensure that SBI is free of debate, and continues to serve as the FCCC's operational arm.


On 20 October, SBSTA Chair Tibor Faragó (Hungary) urged delegations to make progress on outstanding issues as this would be the last SBSTA session before COP-3. Delegates adopted the agenda, as contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1997/7.


On 23 October, SBSTA held an informal joint session with the IPCC and heard questions from delegates. IPCC Chair Dr. Robert Watson introduced a paper containing 16 IPCC decisions taken at its September meeting. He noted that the Third Assessment Report (TAR) would cover a range of scientific, technical, economic and social issues. It will consist of reports of IPCC Working Groups I (scientific aspects), II (vulnerability of systems) and III (mitigation), and will focus heavily on regional aspects. The three Working Group reports, which will be approved by late 2000 or early 2001, will be integrated into a policy relevant Synthesis Report, which will be completed by the second quarter of 2001.

On 24 October, SBSTA considered two documents prepared by the WMO: a report by the Conference on the World Climate Change Research Program (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/Misc.6) and a document that explores ways to further enhance coordination between the work of international organizations on climatic issues, including monitoring of GHGs in the atmosphere (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/8).

IPCC Chair emeritus Bert Bolin highlighted recent findings. He said climate inertia and the long life of gases means that the full effects of past emissions will occur even if future emissions are reduced, slowing the effect of emissions reductions. Even if Annex I countries reduce emissions 30-90%, global emissions would reach two to three times 1990 levels. He said a slow start is difficult to correct later. He also noted large margins of error in calculating natural sources and sinks, such that an accurate calculation for terrestrial sources and sinks is not presently possible.

IPCC Chair Watson summarized the Panel's report on regional impacts, noting that it assesses vulnerability to climate change because the ability to predict impacts for specific places and times is limited. The report covers 10 regions. Among the key conclusions are: ecosystems, especially forests and coral reefs, are highly sensitive to climate change; billions of people could be affected by exacerbated problems in drinking water supply, sanitation, and drought; food production could decrease in the tropics and subtropics, despite steady global production; significantly adverse effects on small island States and low-lying deltas such as in Bangladesh, Egypt and China could displace tens of millions of people with one meter of sea-level rise; heat stress mortality and vector-borne diseases could increase; and most effects are negative for the most vulnerable developing countries. He also highlighted regional findings.

CANADA, MALAYSIA and the MARSHALL ISLANDS said the COP should address the decline of global observation networks, while SAUDI ARABIA had reservations. The US said the findings emphasize the need for developing countries' participation and that their vulnerability underscores the urgency of action. The MARSHALL ISLANDS said the vulnerability report was a "death sentence" for small island States, and that the TAR must clarify scenarios and determine what is dangerous. CHINA said it is impossible for developing countries to adopt actions for the next 100 years.

ZIMBABWE introduced a report on a joint SBSTA/IPCC meeting on the IPCC's Third Assessment Report. The joint meeting was informed of the IPCC's decisions regarding the scope, structure, content, timing and dissemination of the TAR. On policy relevant questions to be addressed, Parties made the following suggestions: a reference to additional gases that are believed to have a radiative forcing impact, and the importance of monitoring the adequacy of the systematic observation system (US); the use of non-English language references in support of IPCC reports (MONGOLIA); and explanations of the range of uncertainty in IPCC findings (MALAYSIA).

SBSTA delegates asked a number of questions regarding IPCC decisions, such as whether: the IPCC would consider developing an overall environmental objective for the FCCC processes; existing long-term observation and satellite systems were adequate; and the IPCC deadlines for comments were flexible. On the TAR, delegates asked, inter alia, whether: uncertainties in projections and conclusions would be addressed; research methodologies and techniques would be adequately spelled out; and several options and scenarios would be included.

On 28 October, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reported on its increased cooperation with the COP, particularly through research on the impact of aircraft emissions on climate change.

UNEP introduced a report on "The Technology and Economic Assessments Under the Montreal Protocol: Terms of Reference and Future Work." The presentation dealt with the UNEP Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) under the Montreal Protocol, its structure and mandates. He said a number of aspects concerning HCFCs will be considered and that he would be prepared to assist the FCCC.

On the two WMO reports, MONGOLIA and MALAYSIA noted the need to enhance the global observation network. AUSTRALIA said the maintenance of long-term homogenous records is essential for climate monitoring. He urged the GEF to consider further funding of GHG monitoring. CANADA encouraged Parties to sustain and expand the Global Atmosphere Watch network. The EU recommended that the WMO work with the IPCC and others on network design, harmonization and analysis. He urged the GEF to support developing countries' observation capacity. The US said the WMO's concerns about the long-term sustainability of the global monitoring system must be taken seriously. UGANDA said the lack of data on Africa was a serious concern. He called on the GEF to assist.

The Chair introduced his draft conclusions on cooperation with relevant international organizations. The US suggested a reference to SBSTA's desire to give further consideration to observation systems at its next session. On a list of key issues to be addressed in the TAR (Annex I), CHINA added general suggestions on improving assessments by narrowing the range of uncertainties and indicating the limitations of results, and on the advisory nature of reports. On cooperation with the IPCC (Annex II), the UK introduced amendments to specify the nature of the IPCC's prompt responses to SBSTA's requests for input. On observational networks (Annex III), the US introduced two new paragraphs: one recognizing concerns raised by relevant intergovernmental organizations regarding the sustainability of observation systems, and a second requesting that the SBSTA, through the Secretariat and the IPCC, consider the adequacy of observing systems and report to COP-4. With suggestions from UGANDA and MALAYSIA, CANADA introduced a replacement paragraph calling on Parties to provide the necessary resources to reverse the decline in systematic observation networks and support observational system development. These amendments were incorporated into the draft conclusions.

Under SBSTA's draft decision on cooperation with the IPCC, the COP would express appreciation to the IPCC for its contribution to the FCCC process, particularly its prompt response to SBSTA's requests. Under the draft decision on the development of observational networks, the COP would urge Parties to provide the necessary resources to reverse the decline in the existing observational network and support the observation systems through appropriate funding mechanisms. The COP would also request SBSTA to consider the adequacy of these observational systems and report to COP-4.


On 20 October, the Chair highlighted an annex on methodological issues to the first compilation and synthesis of second national communications (FCCC/SBI/1997/19). In the annex, the Secretariat notes that in general Parties presented their inventory data in accordance with the IPCC guidelines. The annex covers issues related to: transparency and comparability; completeness; confidence levels; recalculation of the base year inventory; the use of Global Warming Potentials (GWPs); emissions from the land-use change and forestry sector; and reporting of other GHGs.

The EU noted that the list of various issues that needed further study might not be complete. He said other issues were likely to arise in the near future, based on new Annex I national communications and experiences gained during in-depth reviews. He stated that FCCC guidelines for Annex I national communications would need regular maintenance and improvement. INDIA raised points on the types of gases that ought to be included in inventories and criteria to ensure transparency and comparability.

The US called for recommendations on how to use the IPCC methods and noted that GWPs, although not perfect, may be a suitable method for drawing comparisons. He asked the Secretariat to prepare a list of issues that could be addressed by SBSTA in preparing rules. MALAYSIA questioned the scientific basis for using GWPs and said they do not provide clear GHG inventories. The MARSHALL ISLANDS called for the inclusion of developing country experts on the review teams. The Chair asked the Secretariat to prepare a text for consideration by the joint SBI/SBSTA contact group on this issue.

On 24 October, delegates discussed draft conclusions on national communications from Annex I Parties. Under the draft conclusions, SBSTA invited Parties to submit by 15 March 1998 their views on possible approaches to methodological issues for consideration at SBI-8. SBSTA invited Annex I Parties to make available their complete 1996 GHG inventories by 6 June 1998. SBSTA-9 will consider additions or amendments to the FCCC guidelines for national communications.


On 21 October, delegates considered a progress report on methodological issues (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/9) and a technical paper entitled "Methodological Issues: Temperature Adjustments" (FCCC/TP/1997/2). The progress report elaborates on the issue of adjustments to national GHG inventories and projections, in particular those related to temperature fluctuations. The Secretariat compiled information on adjustments submitted by Parties in the first and second national communications and analyzed the limitations of various methods and their implications.

The EU said individual Parties should choose whether and how to apply adjustments, but should describe their approaches in detail. Parties should report inventories without adjustments. The US said careful construction of baselines and targets compensates for temperature and other fluctuations. Multi-year averaging compensates for short-term fluctuations and requires no adjustments.

MALAYSIA questioned the scientific basis for using GWPs and said they do not provide clear GHG inventories. The Chair asked the Secretariat to prepare a text for consideration by the joint SBI/SBSTA contact group on this issue. TANZANIA presented a draft decision that calls on SBSTA to identify gaps developing countries face in research and development of methodologies, monitoring and assessment capacity, and observational networks. It calls on SBI to eliminate the gaps and provide financial and technical support.

On 28 October, delegates agreed to draft conclusions under which SBSTA requested the Secretariat to prepare a report that identifies the gaps faced by developing countries in research and development on methodologies related to GHG inventories. Following an amendment from the EU, SBSTA further concluded that weather adjustments, in particular temperature adjustments, to national GHG inventory and projections may be a useful tool for assessing the effectiveness of P&Ms. Individual Parties might choose whether adjustments were applied, in addition to reporting unadjusted inventory data, and if so, which methods were chosen.

Delegates also considered a draft decision for adoption by COP-3 (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/L.5) under which the COP reaffirms that Parties should use the Revised 1996 Guidelines for National GHG inventories of the IPCC. The draft decision also contained bracketed text reaffirming that Global Warming Potentials used by Parties should be those provided by the IPCC. The US proposed removing the brackets. CHINA said the paragraph should be deleted. The Chair noted that the AGBM Chair had requested advice from SBSTA and the substance of the answer is independent of any AGBM outcome. MALAYSIA and the EU said a decision on this should await the outcome of the protocol negotiations. Delegates agreed that no draft decision for COP-3 should be produced.


On 20 October, the Secretariat introduced a synthesis report on the AIJ pilot phase (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/12, Add.1, Corr. 1, and Corr.2). The conclusions of the synthesis report state, inter alia: the participation of Parties in AIJ programmes and activities is slowly expanding; the bulk of AIJ is between Annex I Parties, with host countries being economies in transition; the total GHG estimated to be reduced is distributed over various types of activities, such as forestry preservation and afforestation activities; and Parties appear to be approaching the pilot phase cautiously. The Secretariat said there had been 67 AIJ projects during the pilot phase and further project offers were contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1997/Inf.3.

The G-77/CHINA noted the limited spread of projects and suggested that COP-3 would be unable to reach any conclusions on the exercise. The EU called for clearer guidance regarding the definition of a number of information items required during the AIJ pilot phase: the compatibility with and supportiveness of national economic development, socio-economic and environmental priorities; emissions reduction calculations; project lifetime; uncertainty in establishing estimates and measurements; baseline definition; and estimating mitigation costs. ZIMBABWE called for a good spread of AIJ projects by sector, country and region and supported the view that current information could not provide the basis for decisions at COP-3. INDIA noted the absence of precise information on the amount of GHG reductions and costs and agreed that current data were insufficient to reach a judgment on the pilot phase.

MALAYSIA expressed concern that problems still prevail in terms of assessing the pilot phase and underlined the importance of methodological issues. UZBEKISTAN called for the inclusion of a methodological item on determining socio-economic benefits and noted that there were few AIJ projects in his region. SRI LANKA noted the poor response to his country's attempts to find a developed country partner for AIJ, despite the interest of several parties in his country.

The US said the COP should endorse the progress made on AIJ. He said delegates should bear in mind that many projects have yet to receive host country approval, even those meeting all criteria and not seeking credit. He urged SBSTA to address the complexity of the guidelines, and said it should prioritize requirements rather than wait until all complexities are resolved. MAURITIUS said AIJ must be given the chance to expand to more countries and sectors.

SWITZERLAND supported the development of a priority work programme that could be endorsed by the COP. She noted that the lack of capacity in the potential host countries creates a barrier for AIJ's progress. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC supported deferring decisions on AIJ to later meetings when projects are more equitably distributed. BHUTAN said despite its very low capacity, it hopes delegates keep an open mind regarding methodological issues. BURKINA FASO said COP-3 should extend the process. NEPAL said AIJ could be a small but indispensable tool for countries' national programmes and technical training. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said COP-3 could take the necessary decisions on issues such as new forms of AIJ. COSTA RICA said the possibility of credits would bring a desirable number and type of new projects.

On 24 October, the Co-Chair of the AIJ contact group reported that the group had worked from proposals by the US, Norway and Switzerland, which the Co-Chair tried to incorporate. The G-77/CHINA requested more time and later submitted a new proposal. Delegates agreed to allow more time for the contact group to reach consensus.

On 28 October, SBSTA forwarded the synthesis report on AIJ to the COP, and recommended a draft decision to be adopted by COP-3 that reaffirms decision 5/CP.1 on AIJ under the pilot phase, notes the synthesis report, and adopts the uniform reporting format contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1997/INF.3.


On 21 October, delegates considered a report on the experience of the Secretariat in using the roster of experts (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/11), and a document containing nominations to the roster (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/INF.6). The report notes that the current roster contains 312 nominees from 44 Parties, of which 184 are from Annex I Parties and 128 are from non-Annex I Parties. The five most frequently represented fields of expertise are energy technology, natural resources management, mitigation and planning, water resources management, and environmental economics.

The EU noted that Parties should review the information on the current roster and submit additional nominations to the Secretariat, particularly of experts with backgrounds related to the economic and financial aspects of transfer of technology. With regard to the issue of Intergovernmental Technical Advisory Panels (ITAPs), she pointed out that until now SBSTA had not been able to establish the panels, mainly because of difficulties in agreeing on a structure. She said the structure should facilitate a flexible and effective approach and indicated that a number of small working groups could be established to deal with SBSTA's scientific and methodological issues.

The G-77/CHINA reiterated that the establishment of ITAPs is central to SBSTA's work, particularly on technology transfer and know-how. The US said it was premature to take a decision on ITAPs and encouraged better use of the roster through increased participation by experts. The US said nothing precluded putting the EU proposal into effect right away.

JAPAN and ZIMBABWE agreed that although a useful tool, the roster lacked geographical balance, perhaps due to inadequate dissemination of information on the roster in certain regions. MALAYSIA and INDIA noted an emerging consensus that some of the issues need to be studied by groups of experts.

On 28 October, the Chair invited comments on draft conclusions in a paper drawn up by Zimbabwe, Malaysia, India, the US, Canada, and the Netherlands on the Roster of Experts. The NETHERLANDS explained that the essence of the draft conclusions is a request to the Secretariat to continue using the roster for methodological and technical guidance and an invitation to prepare an evaluation before COP-5. The draft conclusions also deal with: ITAPS; expansion of the roster in the field of methodologies; the criteria for utilizing members of the roster; a review of the standardized form for collecting information on nominees; and a request that the Secretariat report on criteria used for selection.

SAUDI ARABIA expressed concern about the possibility of important tasks being dominated by one region. The PHILIPPINES introduced an amendment on criteria for using members of the roster, ensuring that the element of capacity building is fully respected. MALAYSIA pointed out that SBSTA could request, not authorize, that the Secretariat continue using the roster.

SBSTA adopted draft conclusions on the roster of experts. In utilizing the roster, SBSTA requested that the Secretariat, inter alia, take into account certain criteria such as experts' relevant professional backgrounds, balanced regional representation and capacity building. SBSTA also concluded that, to date, "there had not been sufficient experience to fully evaluate the utility of the roster or its use by the Secretariat" and requested further evaluation of the roster for COP-5.


On 21 October, delegates considered the activities of Parties included in Annex II related to transfer of technology (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/13). The report provides a compilation and synthesis of actions taken by reporting Annex II Parties with respect to finance and transfer of technology, and describes how reporting guidelines were followed in preparing national communications. The US said the report demonstrates the extensive amount of work underway, but noted that many countries cannot provide the information required by the guidelines. The EU called upon non-Annex I countries to report on their technology needs and, with MALAYSIA, supported the Secretariat's proposal to revise the guidelines. SRI LANKA said that SBSTA's actions should reflect the spirit of language adopted at UNGASS on transfer of environmentally sound technology. Delegates also discussed a progress report on the development and transfer of technologies (FCCC/SBSTA/1997/10); a technical paper on adaptation technologies (FCCC/TP/1997/3) and a Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) survey of technology information centers. The progress report discusses the technology information needs survey, adaptation technology and information centres and networks.

JAPAN highlighted recent CTI national and regional workshops and, with the EU, noted the need to make the best use of existing institutions and programmes. The EU also stressed the importance of the technological needs survey for non-Annex I Parties and urged Annex I Parties to provide information.

Some developing countries described difficulties in identifying adaptation technology and responding to questionnaires and surveys. They said it was difficult to identify their own technological needs and suggested a study. INDIA described its recent technological advances, including electronic networking systems and regional research centers. MALAYSIA said the Secretariat should promote decision-making tools and develop a technology information center.

The US said that technology is key to solving the climate change threat and creating the right investment environment to attract financing is critical to resolving the technology transfer issue.

On 24 October, the Co-Chair of the contact group on technology transfer reported that the group had not yet reached agreement.

On 28 October, SBSTA considered draft conclusions on development and transfer of technology. Under the draft conclusions, SBSTA: noted the need to accelerate the process of providing information; urged Parties to provide comments on (an) international centre(s); and requested SBI to consider funding options; and agreed to consider at its ninth session additions or amendments to the revised guidelines for national communications. Under the draft decision for COP-3, the COP would, inter alia, request the Secretariat to consult with the GEF and other international organizations on their ability to support the work of (an) international centre(s); request SBI to consider options for funding (an) international centre(s); and urge Parties to create an enabling environment to further stimulate private sector investment in and transfer of environmentally sound technology.


On 28 October, SBSTA approved the draft report of its seventh session, as contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1997/CRP.4. Two annexes to the report of the meeting contain the SBSTA's draft decisions for COP-3 and a list of key policy issues to be addressed in the IPCC TAR. A number of delegations, including the EU, CANADA, MALAYSIA and the US, paid tribute to the Chair for his role in guiding the work of SBSTA.



Nobody at a theatre performance doubts that all the scenes played out at the previous evening's showing will be repeated again down to the last step. Similarly, in negotiations a well-rehearsed choreography must be allowed to unfold, one scene after the other, with the inevitable climax arriving just in time. As surely as air rushes into a vacuum the players fill their allotted performance time and follow well-rehearsed scenarios of pre-negotiation, striking poses, opening lines sometimes accompanied by great fanfare, confrontation and - in a successful performance - resolution.

To the surprise of some observers, AGBM-8 was clearly viewed by the leading players as little more than a preliminary scene in the endgame. The long-awaited grand entrance of the US emissions target did not distract other players from previously rehearsed opening bids on targets and formulas for quantified emission limits and reductions. These were followed only by hesitant forays into complex sub-plots that gave little away.

As one of the main scriptwriters, AGBM Chair Raúl Estrada-Oyuela admitted in closing the meeting that the plot had bogged down. He pondered the studied pace of UN negotiating dynamics and wondered aloud whether negotiators could have arrived at the current point in the process given half the time. With few results, delegates too clearly knew that this show must go on. AGBM-8, however, was to do no more than set the stage for the endgames to be played out in Kyoto both at a resumed AGBM and at COP-3.

Complexity - a running theme in the climate change negotiations - has marked the road from COP-1 in Berlin, where the terms of the AGBM mandate were agreed. This analysis must therefore confine itself to a limited range of useful questions that have been discussed with a cross-section of conference participants and observers. They were asked, firstly, to identify the key issue linkages that have become apparent now that all the main Parties have tabled proposals on QELROs, and secondly, to comment on the state of the negotiations and the prospects for a resolution of outstanding issues in Kyoto. Tied to the second question is the "frantic activity" planned during the intersessional period as Japan throws itself into the host's role as honest broker of a deal with which all the key players can live. Some observers have estimated that climate change-related bilateral and multilateral meetings are scheduled to take place somewhere in the world every day between now and the opening of the COP.


The debates at AGBM-8 were framed by both the Mandate agreed at the COP in 1995 and the founding political debates. It was agreed in Berlin that the current FCCC commitments should be strengthened for Annex I Parties. Industrialized countries would take the lead in elaborating policies and measures and setting quantified limitation and emission reduction objectives within specified time-frames. The shape of the Mandate was determined largely by a breakthrough in negotiations at COP-1 when a number of the key developing countries - China, India and Brazil - supported a statement by the Alliance of Small Island States declaring the current commitments inadequate and calling on industrialized countries to address the problems they had, for the most part, generated. By side-lining the OPEC group in Berlin, other members of the G-77/CHINA moved toward a general recognition of the need to address climate change. However, the price they exacted for supporting the AOSIS proposals was a very definite refusal to accept any new commitments for developing countries in the next round of negotiations, i.e., the AGBM. Part of that deal was an agreement by the US and Australia to drop their insistence that developing countries get involved in new commitments.

As AGBM-8 began, US President Bill Clinton included a call for "meaningful participation" by developing countries in the negotiating position he announced in Washington. With those words, the politics that underpinned agreement back in 1995 resurfaced, with an insistence on G-77/CHINA involvement once again linked to the level of ambition acceptable by the US. There is little doubt that the reference to meaningful participation is one of the more flexible elements in Clinton's package. Indeed it did not go unnoticed that the word "evolution" did not appear in the final US statement to the session, despite repeated US calls in other AGBM sessions to address this idea. AGBM Chair Estrada held fast to his own view, that the discussion on developing country commitments may occur at Kyoto, but not as an element of the protocol. Insofar as evolution is broached at the COP there is some expectation that a number of developing countries will be receptive to a discussion on a schedule if, and only if, they detect meaningful commitment on QELROs by Annex I countries.

The US position was sufficient to "trigger" latent suspicions (viewed as opportunities by others, such as the OPEC group and the industry lobby) among developing country Parties. In response, the G-77/China used every opportunity to distance itself from any attempts to draw developing countries into agreeing to anything that could be interpreted as new commitments. Needless to say, there is no truly common position within a group that straddles positions ranging from AOSIS to OPEC. Observers expect a more fragmented response in Kyoto, with elements within the group prepared to meet the US advances half-way. One avenue may be Article 10 of Chair Estrada's negotiating text which provides for voluntary country-specific emission limitation or reduction commitments by developing countries. Such countries could also participate in joint implementation, with technology-transfer spin-offs and a structure that puts developing countries in the driver's seat to authorize only those cooperative ventures that meet their economic and technological objectives. They might even begin to take part in the early stages of emissions trading with Annex I countries. The US would find the latter particularly meaningful in the context of its ambitions for the emissions trading regime. Another potential avenue for meeting the US desire to bring the developing countries on board is FCCC Article 4.1. Developing country opposition on that score was solid at AGBM-8, and coupled to demands for financial assistance and technology transfer, but some observers say they may show more flexibility in Kyoto.


On the eve of AGBM-8 NGOs organized a workshop for many of the key participants for preliminary discussion on issues likely to emerge during negotiations. They accurately identified three sets of linkages among the issues - elaborating on "the tradeoffs and tensions". These included:

• Possible links between the level of Annex I country emission stabilization/reduction commitments, the degree of flexibility in meeting those commitments, and the opportunities for redistributing commitments; and

• Possible links between Annex I country commitments and Non-Annex I country commitments, within and beyond the current round of negotiations.

Annex I commitments and flexibility: The connection between the level of QELROs ambition and the scope for flexibility in reaching those objectives via joint implementation and emissions trading is clear, even as final details of implementation remain unresolved. The debate over differentiation is similarly enmeshed. One observer suggested that the US is looking for a surfeit of flexibility measures in the AGBM outcome, more than it needs. This may produce an agreement that few people understand and is even less stringent than it looks.

A great deal is expected to hinge on just how "hard nosed the EU is prepared to be." While privately conceding the need for eventual compromise, the EU, with broad support from the G-77/CHINA's strategically parallel reduction proposal and AOSIS, is determined not to negotiate on the basis of the current US offer on QELROs, i.e., stabilization at 1990 levels in the first target period. There is considerable European and developing country determination to get reduction figures. Pressing for ambitious QELROs to match its own bid, the EU has been withholding support for emissions trading, borrowing and banking in an attempt to leverage a more ambitious bid on QELROs "headline" targets from the US, insisting that trading is only warranted if there are stringent targets. It may be worth noting that the headline targets are somewhat misleading in any case. One academic study suggests that there is a 10-20% differential between the target figures for QELROs and actual domestic carbon reductions achievable. The other side of this equation, loopholes in emissions trading, also attracted attention. NGO observers warned that depending on how initial baselines and targets are counted, at least one country could sell emissions that would not represent any actual GHG reduction.

The endgame, however, is expected to be less about whether trading is allowed and more about when it starts and what will be permitted. Similarly there are strategic decisions to be made on whether emissions trading can begin before or after a verification period. In return, some observers have noted, the US may be able to come up with some improvement and support a modest but symbolically important reduction target. Some calculations suggest a reduction within the range proposed by Japan would not add significantly to the current US burden.

Hopeful commentators have suggested that US reductions - with an emissions trading regime factored in - may just be possible. A source close to the US administration's thinking did not rule out an attempt by President Clinton to point the finger at the US Senate in the wake of attacks on his targets, and work for some latitude to improve the offer. He will want to point to concessions on bringing developing countries on board at some point and trading. The EU is supportive of a procedural discussion on the post-Kyoto developments, and expects this to address new commitments for all FCCC Parties.

Having embraced the principle of differentiation within their own group, the EU clearly has nothing in principle against the idea, but is expected to continue its opposition to an overall differentiation approach for Annex I Parties until it is satisfied with the target numbers. The EU will be among the Parties pressing for negotiations on the basis of a flat rate reduction target to apply across the board at the outset in Kyoto. Differentiation, when it does emerge, is expected to be part of the endgame as Chair Estrada's last minutes request for differentiation statistics clearly suggests. In Bonn, leading "differentiators," including Australia, Norway, and Japan, largely refused to move on other issues until the prospects for a differentiated approach to QELROs become clear.

The perceived difficulty with allowing differentiation proposals to fly too early is the regressive impact it has on negotiations: once differentiation takes hold, Parties tend to seize on the opportunity to embark on special pleading, citing national circumstances for a "favorable" place on the sliding scale. The EU is determined to avoid this diversion for as long as possible. Their closing strategy - after a flat rate has been agreed in Kyoto - may be to concede an element of differentiation within a narrow range.

The Japanese proposal, combining an overall reduction target of 5% with scope for differentiation, is likely to provide the outline of the eventual compromise. Well known for their aversion to surprises, the Japanese hosts are thought to have been in close contact with the US while drawing up their proposal. Together with their own domestic imperatives there is little doubt that a guiding criteria for the Japanese offer was also the expectation that the hosts could broker a deal to bring the US and EU positions together. Japan's differentiation component paved the way for a low US target.

Another calculation that could sway the balance is how other countries would fare under the US proposal, which includes gases not counted in the EU target. Observers say the EU's limited response to the US in Bonn may be due in part to its members' need to run the numbers on the US's preferred mix. Such evaluations will have an impact on all Parties' views on reductions, the industrial sectors affected, and thus the political and economic acceptability of any combination of targets, gases and flexibility.


Japan embarked on its attempts to secure a compromise between the EU and the US the moment the AGBM session was adjourned. The business of the session will continue in an intense series of bilaterals and multilaterals right up to COP-3. Members of the US delegation left Bonn to begin a round of visits to European capitals, Japan's Ambassador Tanabe took a flight to Rome, and Europe's powerful Troika group will travel to the US for meetings at the White House and with a number of influential senators. Britain's deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, was reportedly invited to chair an important meeting hosted by Japan, involving Annex I and selected developing countries.

By scheduling a final AGBM session on the eve of COP-3, Chair Estrada has also ensured that he will continue his key role. At the resumed AGBM, he will preside over the first discussions on a new compilation text with some vision of a final compromise on the horizon. Based on that view, he is expected to structure the negotiations differently for Kyoto, in his new role as Chair of the Committee of the Whole at the COP.

A number of Annex I Parties pointed out that success in Kyoto would be difficult solely on the basis of the positions set out in the new compilation text. There was a great deal of uncertainty about the state of negotiations as Parties departed from the session. Estrada said he would take the weekend to read the various positions tabled at the session before reaching any conclusions. It is understood that the FCCC Secretariat has been asked to contemplate the possibility that no final agreement will emerge at COP-3 - although no contingency arrangement has been put in place.


Experienced participants in UN negotiations sense that they have seen this show before - approaching the deadline with a seemingly impossible workload to execute. AGBM-8 could be compared to a complex piece of improvised theatre where the lead players have to imagine a number of final scenes before they receive the script for scene one. A good deal of the detail was tackled in Bonn, however outstanding key political decisions on targets, timetables and formulas for possible differentiation held up any significant change or finalizing of the Chair's negotiating text.

Deemed one of the most important environment and development negotiations in the last ten years, the outcome of the AGBM will become an important indicator of the current state of political will to confront the bigger issues that have driven the FCCC since its inception in 1992. The Alliance of Small Island States raised one of those issues at the closing session Friday, when the Samoan Ambassador reminded Parties of the ethical dimension and pleaded with colleagues not to sacrifice the vulnerable to profit a few. Another participant has pointed out that a weak result in Kyoto with high flexibility and a low target would fail to send a sufficient signal regarding the need to tackle lifestyle change, especially in North America. Indeed, the US effort to gain acceptance of its proposal will demand the ultimate hard sell.

An outcome that permits business as usual and absolves the social development model embraced by the leading industrialized country in the world will undermine a key requirement for sustainable development - the placing of a large question mark over the viability of an unconstrained consumer culture celebrated in the American dream life.


TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PREPARING IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES: A Training Workshop on Preparing National Implementation Strategies will be held in Bolivia from 5-7 November 1997. For more information contact Stephen Gold, CC:TRAIN; tel: +41-22-733-1383; fax: +41-22-733-1383; e-mail:

US NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOPS: The National Workshop on Climate Change Impacts will be held from 10-12 November 1997 in Washington, DC. For information contact the USGCRP Coordination Office; fax: +1-202-358-4103; e-mail:; Internet:

MONTREAL PROTOCOL: The Scientific Assessment Panel Meeting will be held from 12-15 November 1997 in Washington DC. For more information, contact the Convention Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya: +254-2-62-1234/62-3851; fax +254-2-52-1930; e-mail:; Internet:

SCIENTISTS FOR GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY CONFERENCE: This conference, entitled "Sharing the Responsibility" will be held on Saturday, 15 November 1997 at the Mary Ward House in London. Workshops will focus on "Climate Change - The Track to Kyoto," "Non-Lethal Weapons - The Revolution in Flexible Tools of Political Control," and SGR and Grassroots Activity. The conference will feature a live audio/visual link to "The Climate Train" en-route to Kyoto. For more information contact Scientists For Global Responsibility, London; tel: +44-181-871 5175; e-mail:; Internet: .

THIRD CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: The Third Conference of the Parties (COP-3) to the FCCC is scheduled for 1-10 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. A special resumed session of AGBM-8 will be held on 30 November to resolve outstanding issues. For all meetings related to the FCCC, contact the Secretariat in Bonn, Germany; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: Also try the FCCC home page at and UNEP's Information Unit for Conventions at


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