AOSIS prepares for the COP13/CMP3 of the UNFCCC2007-11-07 AOSIS Download PDF
The AOSIS Preparatory Meeting for the UNFCCC Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) and the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties as the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 3) was held in St. Kitts-Nevis on 7 to 10 November 2007. OPENING CEREMONY The opening ceremony was held at Frigate Bay Resort on 7 November. Delegates were welcomed by Mr. Randolph Edmead, Director (Ag.) of the St. Kitts-Nevis Department of Physical Planning and Environment. Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Senior Advisor, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions of the United Nations Environmental Programme explained that UNEP had been pleased to contribute to the organization of the four regional UNFCCC COP 13/CMP 3 preparatory meetings. Ms. Wanna Tanunchaiwatna, Manager of the Technology Support Mechanism of the UNFCCC Secretariat on behalf of Ms. June Budhooram thanked the Government of St. KittsNevis for hosting the meeting. Dr. Linus Spencer Thomas, Economic Policy Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Planning, Grenada on behalf of the Chair of AOSIS welcomed all the participants, in particular those from the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions. The feature address was delivered by the Honourable Nigel Carty, Minister of State with responsibility for Sustainable Development, Technology and Finance of St. Kitts-Nevis. Ms. June Hughes, UNFCCC Focal Point of the host country delivered the Vote of Thanks. WORKSHOP INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Mr. Leon Charles, co-facilitator, Grenada, provided an overview of the workshop. He noted that Bali would be the beginning, not the end of the process. It was important that AOSIS have a clear, detailed negotiating position going into Bali. The group should ensure that there were enough persons to cover all the issues and the various workshops and consultations. It was imperative that the group develop processes for arriving at decisions. He then enumerated the strengths and weaknesses of AOSIS. AOSIS had a legitimate and important voice in the climate change process. It was recognized as the most vulnerable group of countries with genuine issues and concerns. Among its weaknesses, he listed its isolationist approach, wherein no attempt was made to network with potential partners or to build support for its positions. He said that its positions were not always clearly thought through. Principles were not translated into practical action. It did not have clearly articulated objectives that could be achieved through alternate routes. On many occasions negotiators resorted to national or personal positions. The group had a limited number of persons to follow agenda items and the group had no method to follow up on decisions. He hoped the workshop would deliver a strategic framework to guide negotiations, clearly articulated negotiating positions on the key issues to be discussed further in Bali, strategies for engaging with key negotiating partners, and an organized AOSIS team for Bali. He noted that this was not designed to be an information exchange workshop. The workshop would use a thematic approach. Each topic would be treated strategically and not as a set of discrete agenda items. This would enable participants to exploit the synergies among the topics. It would permit detailed treatment using the available personnel. This process would increase and build the capacities of the regions across each topic. The plenary session at the end would provide a venue to share information and endorse positions. As a result all delegations would be able to participate in all topics. There was a risk that some discussions would have to be repeated in the plenary. The meeting debated the proposed process of the meeting and decided that the presentations on all the thematic areas be made in plenary before breaking out into the five working groups: mitigation, adaptation, technology, financing, and implementation measures. SESSION ONE: Developing The Strategic Framework Mr. Dan Bondi Ogolla, Chief Legal Adviser of the UNFCCC Secretariat delivered a presentation of the Key Issues for Bali and Beyond. He began by reviewing the key conclusions of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. He then noted the political will on climate change that seemed to be emerging. Climate change was now being discussed at the highest political levels. The UN Security Council had discussed it in March 2007. A UN High Level Event on Climate Change had been convened in September. The G8 Summit had discussed it in June, and an Informal Ministerial Consultation had occurred in October. There was broad consensus that Bali should produce a framework for a post 2012 regime. A decision was required which would determine the form and scope of the future Dialogue process. The deadline to complete the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group (AWG) should also be set. He noted that the next COP/MOP would undertake the second review of the Kyoto Protocol. That work had to begin in Bali if the review were to be meaningful. Ms. Wanna Tanunchaiwatana, UNFCCC continued the presentation explaining the processes and terminology used in UNFCCC negotiations. She then proceeded to explain some of the SBSTA issues that would be discussed in Bali. In Development and Transfer of Technology, the future of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) would be decided. The development of performance indicators to monitor progress in technology transfer would be considered as well as ways and means to address the financial requirements of technology transfer. The Secretariat would report on progress made in implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP). The outcomes of the two workshops held to address deforestation in developing countries would be presented. A draft decision on key elements, capacity building, pilot projects, resources and policy approaches was expected. In Research and Systematic Observations (RSO), Parties would negotiate a decision on revised reporting guidelines on GCOS for Annex I Parties. 3 Ms. June Budooram, Manager, Support to Non-Annex I Parties, UNFCCC Secretariat presented some of the issues to be discussed by the SBI. It would begin the Fourth Review of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention (GEF) and provide further guidance to the GEF. The GEF would present its annual report. Negotiations would continue on activating the Adaptation Fund of the Kyoto Protocol. Discussions would be held on implementation of Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention as well as implementation of Decision 1/CP.10. Matters related to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) would be debated including the mandate of the LDC Expert Group (LEG), the LDC fund and NAPAs. Discussions would be held addressing Article 6 of the Convention, i.e. capacity building. The New Delhi Work Programme would be reviewed and possibly extended. This included a review of CCiNet, a UNFCC web portal. The GEF and UNFCCC Secretariats would present their proposals for monitoring and evaluation of capacity building. Capacity building for Economies in Transition (EITs) and also under the Kyoto Protocol would be discussed. The functions, operations and budget performance of the Secretariat for 2006/07 would be reviewed. The privileges and immunities of individuals serving on bodies under the Kyoto Protocol would also be reviewed. In the general discussions which followed, the Secretariat advised that there was no need for a UN General Assembly decision to establish a new process to negotiate a post 2012 regime. The COP as the supreme organ of the Convention had the authority to do so. Samoa pointed out that the GEF Council would soon be meeting and that constituencies needed to express their concerns at that time. It was noted that 2009 was the deadline for negotiations to be concluded on a post 2012 regime to ensure that there was no break in commitment periods. Dr. Spencer Thomas of Grenada delivered a presentation on AOSIS and the New International Climate Change Regime. He explained that the priorities of the Members were conditioned by their vulnerability and their need to ensure the well-being of their citizens. Their responses had been to attempt to enhance their capacities and resilience. This required the development of methodologies and mechanisms for adaptation and the financial resources to implement these measures. He noted the need for the international community to undertake concrete and immediate actions to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. This would reduce the amount of adaptation that AOSIS members would have to undertake. SESSION TWO: Basic Principles And Strategies For Multilateral Negotiations Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Senior Adviser, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP delivered this presentation. He covered topics such as the mechanics of negotiation, the terminology used, the development of a good negotiator, and the important players in the process. He stressed the need for all delegates and delegations to prepare properly for negotiations. The information he presented was available along with other resources at www.unep.org/dec/information_resources/publications.asp. Discussions followed on the effectiveness of the UNFCCC process. It was noted that it was a complex process that became more intricate as each COP adopted more decisions. Public awareness had increased and as a result held the promise for more effective implementation. However, it was noted that the Convention had no enforcement mechanism. 4 SESSION THREE: Developing The Negotiating Positions: Thematic Analysis On the COP/MOP Preparatory Workshop, Dr. Thomas noted that it would include the development of negotiating positions and the need for clarity, establishing negotiation leverage, developing a communication mechanism and establishing a management process. The representative of Cape Verde pointed out that the issue of desertification was most important to them. This issue could be used to elicit the support of West African countries. Mr. Dan Bondi Ogolla, UNFCCC then began his presentation on the Mitigation Theme. He reviewed the Dialogue and AWG processes and the need for these to be coordinated. He then explained the Russian Proposal on unilateral commitments which had a procedural and a substantive component. He went on to the Belarus Proposal for a CMP decision for provisional application of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. He explained that Saudi Arabia would push for a decision on the Compliance Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol. Non-annex I Parties appear to support Saudi Arabia while Annex I Parties strongly oppose it. They preferred to discuss this under Article 9 of the Protocol. Ms. Maria Jose Sanz, Programme Officer of Adaptation, Technology and Science Programme, UNFCCC Secretariat provided an update on the topic of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries. She noted the methodological concerns on leakage, non-permanence, scale, flooding the carbon market, and the likelihood that Annex I countries would reduce their domestic efforts to reduce their emissions. She noted that the central problem was the control of illegal logging. There was a need to devise policy approaches and develop positive incentives. Financial mechanisms and other incentives had to be devised. The Parties had submitted several proposals which would be considered and would form the basis of a possible decision. Ms. June Budhooram, UNFCCC was the resource person for Adaptation. She noted that this continued to gain prominence and was one of the building blocks for a future international agreement. The findings of the IPCC AR4 would be discussed. Progress on implementation of the NWP would be discussed as well as the need for the establishment of a Group of Experts on Adaptation. There were several crosscutting issues that would be addressed including resources, research and systematic observations, capacity building and national communications. An expected outcome of the NWP was enhanced capacity to undertake vulnerability and adaptation assessments. The NWP was also expected to catalyse innovative actions by Parties and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs). The issue of the adverse impacts of response measures would be a contentious one once again. Mr. Clifford Mahlung of Jamaica was the resource person for Financial Mechanisms. The Fourth Review of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention (GEF) would be undertaken. The UNFCCC Secretariat had launched an Investment and Financing Project in May 2007 which focused on the needs of developing countries. The GEF would present its annual report and the COP would provide new guidance to the GEF. Regarding the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol, the only outstanding issue to make it operational was the institutional arrangements. A conservative estimate on the size of the fund was US$250 million and it was expected to grow to US$1.6 billion by 2012. The GEF was the only institution which had expressed an interest in managing the fund. Developing countries should ensure that it worked in their best interest, that it not be dominated by the GEF Council, that access to the fund not be subjected to additionality criteria, that the needs of particularly vulnerable countries be taken into consideration, that it fund concrete adaptation projects, and that it allow voluntary contributions to the fund. Ms. Wanna Tanunchaiwatana, UNFCCC was the resource person on Technology. Bali should endorse a set of actions for enhancing the implementation of technology transfer framework, agree on a new set of terms of reference for the EGTT or the new group to be formed, agree on the mechanism to monitor progress on implementation, and agree on the establishment of a Technology Fund. Mr. Paul Desanker, Team Leader, Capacity Building and Outreach, UNFCCC Secretariat was the resource person for Implementation Measures. He described the outcome of the workshop on monitoring and evaluation of capacity building which had just concluded in Antigua and Barbuda, including the need to establish regional nodes of CCiNet and for the development of a new work programme. The participants then went into closed meetings to discuss the five thematic areas in separate simultaneous sessions. The results of their deliberations were presented in a closed Plenary Session of AOSIS and formed the basis of the group’s negotiating position for Bali. SESSION THREE (CONT): Human Dimension Of Global Climate Change Ms. Iruthan Adam and Mr. Edward Cameron of the Republic of the Maldives made a presentation on the ministerial meeting in the Maldives to be held on 13 and 14 November 2007. The rationale behind the Maldives Initiative is that it is time that people be put back at the centre of the climate change process. A draft Declaration and Statement had been prepared and circulated to Members of AOSIS. There was much concern that the issue of human rights would predominate this meeting and could become a divisive issue within the group. In addition, this topic would clutter an already packed agenda in Bali. The Maldives delegation noted that this would be a tool for advocacy, that the timing could have been better and that a much simpler Declaration would be tabled in the Maldives. SESSION FOUR: Organizational Issues Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, UNEP presented on Engaging Potential Negotiating Partners. He highlighted the need to identify the key negotiating groups, the importance of networking, identifying friendly coalitions and presented the attributes of a good negotiator. Mr. Carlos Fuller, Belize reported on the UNEP COP 13 Preparatory Meeting for GRULAC, and Mr. Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea reported on the Preparatory Meeting for Asia. Ms. Wanna Tanunchaiwatana, UNFCCC presented the Basic Requirements for an Effective Media Strategy. She said that over 650 news organizations would be present in Bali. The BBC and CNN would each have over 20 members of staff. She recommended that AOSIS develop a communication strategy and name a communication officer with contact details to liaise with the Secretariat and the media. A senior diplomat who could communicate with the media on all issues should also be named. AOSIS should produce regular products such as press releases, fact sheets and brochures. Target group within the countries should be 6 identified and their concerns should be highlighted. Many celebrities would be at the COP including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, former US Vice President and Noble Laureate Al Gore and actor Leonardo De Caprio. They should be engaged to repeat the AOSIS messages. The Secretariat had appointed Mr. John Hay (J. Hay@unfccc.int) as its media contact person at the COP. Ms. June Budhooram reminded participants of the Finance Ministers Meeting to be held in Bali. This was by invitation only and was for the Asian Ministers of Finance. She also informed the meeting that the reports on the assessment of funding to assist countries in meeting their targets as well as the report on the GEF to the COP will be available next week. Further, she advised that in 2008 the Secretariat would provide resources for developing countries to arrive a day earlier at SB28 for regional consultations prior to the meeting of G77 and China. The participants then went into closed meetings to discuss the logistical and administrative arrangements for Bali. FORMAL CLOSING As there was no other business, the Secretariat was invited to take part in the formal closing of the meeting. Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Senior Advisor, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) informed that UNEP will try and invest more in these preparatory meetings but it is dependent on the needs that the group may have. Hence, the meeting was advised to let UNEP know how they may assist the group further. Mr. Dan Bondi Ogolla, Chief Legal Adviser of the UNFCCC Secretariat thanked the organisers of this meeting, UNEP for the financing and the facilitators and chairs for their inputs. He reiterated that it is useful to have negotiating positions first in order to present others with a unified position and therefore must thank UNEP for this initiative in supporting the regional groups to undertake this preparatory meeting. He also thanked the St. Kitts authorities for ensuring that the Secretariat was accommodated and the participants for their enthusiasm. He expressed the hope that this will count towards an effective participation at Bali. Mr. Joseph McGann, MACC Project Manager/Technical Leader expressed thanks to the organizers on behalf of the Centre and MACC for putting this meeting together. He informed that initially they were hesitant as they were uncertain when or where this process would start but it worked out in the end as a win-win situation for them in that it provided an opportunity for their NFPS to be prepared in terms of the regional positions. He advised that the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre would have a booth at the COP and would organize a side event at 6 PM on 10 December to which all AOSIS Members were invited. The representative from the Solomon Islands, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands thanked UNEP and UNFCCC for their support in brining the group together. The hope was expressed that this process be institutionalized. The host, St. Kitts was thanked for working tirelessly behind the scenes and the Chair, Grenada for its leadership in taking the meeting through the many issues that were discussed. Ms. Karen Smith (Barbados) on behalf of CARICOM expressed her appreciation to UNEP and the UNFCCC Secretariat for organizing the meeting and to the Government of St. KittsNevis for hosting the event. On behalf of all the delegates she indicated that the group wished that this would become a regular event. Special thanks were expressed to Grenada for their leadership at the workshop. Final thanks were expressed by June Hughes on its government’s behalf to UNEP, SPREP, MACC and UNFCCC for making this meeting possible.
Sub Topic: Cross-cutting