AOSIS Report of the 22nd Sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC

2005-06-13 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Climate

1. Introduction
1.1 The twenty-second sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB 22) of the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place from
19-27 May 2005, at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, Germany. Approximately 1600
participants attended the meeting.
1.2 As Vice-Chairman of the AOSIS coordinating for the AOSIS group at the SB
sessions in Bonn, the Tuvalu Delegation is honoured to prepare and circulate this
AOSIS Report of the subsidiary bodies’ sessions in Bonn.
2. General Overview
2.1 SB -22 was preceded by the Seminar of Government Experts on future
actions on climate change. There were a number of interesting presentations at
this meeting. It was evident that a number of developing countries are willing to
consider some sort of obligation in the second commitment period. What this
obligation may look like remains to be seen. My delegation gave a presentation on
future actions relating to both mitigation and adaptation. The paper was a
presentation of ideas and hopefully will generate further thinking within AOSIS and
outside as well. If you would like a copy of our presentation, just send Ian an email
and he will forward a copy to you.
2.2 The most disappointing aspect of SB-22 was the treatment of the Mauritius
Strategy. The approach taken by the US and other Umbrella Group countries is
extremely disappointing. There can be no denying that there are many strong links
between the outcomes of the International Meeting in Mauritius and ongoing work
under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
But the distasteful approach taken by the US and others clearly marks the divide in
world politics in relation to climate change. It is apparent that the US and some
others are concerned about their obligations to meet the costs of adaptation (and
may also fear litigation action by SIDS with respect to damage from climate
change). This fear played out at COP 10, Mauritius and now SBSTA. We need to
hold strong on this issue and highlight the extreme vulnerability of SIDS.
2.3 I am grateful to the EU for their support and to Sok Appadu of Mauritius for
his tireless efforts to hold the G-77/China together despite some strong misgivings
coming especially from China and India. It would also appear that we have some
work to do to ensure that SIDS specific elements are encapsulated in the 5 year
work programme on adaptation. I would like to thank all the AOSIS representatives
for their efforts regarding the work programme on adaptation. Finally it is very good
to see that we have AOSIS representatives in influential positions. I would like to
pass on my personal congratulations to the Jamaican delegation for their excellent
work in chairing the G-77/China. It is very refreshing to have an AOSIS
representative rather than someone from OPEC chairing this gathering. It was also
very pleasing to see Amjad Abdulla (Maldives) chairing the SBSTA meeting until
Chair Benrageb arrived later in the session.
2.4 The following is a run through of the Subsidiary Bodies Agenda with the key
conclusions and some comments from me.
Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice
Agenda Item 3: The scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of
impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change.
Outcome: After lengthy consultations and an in-session workshop SBSTA did not
finalize the programme, and a draft decision and an annex on the SBSTA
programme remain bracketed.
Comment: It would appear that this agenda item has a number of complexities:
First we have reluctance by some key countries to support immediate action on
adaptation. Those that want a sectoral approach seem to fit within this camp.
Then we have the OPEC countries who want to include response measures within the
work programme (with no legal mandate to do so) and finally we have a group of
developing countries who do not wish to acknowledge the particular vulnerabilities
of SIDS. Adaptation is a very important issue for AOSIS countries and this is
reflected in the strong involvement of AOSIS countries during the SBSTA.
As homework for the next session we need to clearly spell out a timeframe of
activities for the 5 year work programme, terms of reference for an ad hoc working
group and a special work sub-programme for SIDS that have been identified in the
Mauritius Strategy and other fora. It would be useful if we produced a paper on this
before the next SBSTA and I will be chasing people to help me with this paper,
later this year.
Agenda Item 4: Scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of
mitigation of climate change
Outcome: Discussions focused on two main areas: reporting by the Secretariat on
lessons learned from previous mitigation workshops; and the holding of a presessional workshop on mitigation at SBSTA 23. SBSTA took note of the
submissions from Parties contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2005/MISC.2 and
Adds.1-2 and requested the Secretariat to prepare, by 15 July 2005, a concise
report on the topics presented at the in-session workshops held to date.
Comment: It appears that a number of Annex I countries are playing a two
pronged approach to discussions on mitigation. First they are pursuing the issue
through the Seminar of Government Experts and secondly through the SBSTA
agenda item on Mitigation. The SBSTA agenda item predates the SOGE and may
be seen by some as an insurance policy for discussions on future actions if further
discussions under the concept of the SOGE fail to continue. This agenda item did
not spark a great deal of interest among AOSIS member countries. Maybe we
need to rethink this approach and start a two-pronged approach ourselves (see
also later discussion on future actions).
Agenda Item 5(a): Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and
maritime transport.
Outcome: SBSTA adopted brief conclusion (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/L.11/Rev.1),
noting that SBSTA 22 did not complete its consideration of this issue, and will
resume discussions at SBSTA 23. This is despite the fact that EU, US, Canada,
Australia, Russian Federation, Argentina, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Ukraine, Japan,
Norway, AOSIS and the Environmental Integrity Group support a more detailed
conclusion which requested an inter-sessional workshop, in early 2007, to discuss
inventory issues, including improving the quality of reporting on emissions
estimates for aviation and maritime transport. Only the OPEC countries blocked
this compromise conclusion (with a little help from India).
Comment: This continues to be a very thorny issue. Emissions from bunker fuels
are an import source of greenhouse gas emissions which is not properly captured
in the Kyoto Protocol and should be included in some future regime. Nevertheless,
the topic does create some issues for AOSIS countries due to the fact that a
number of AOSIS countries hold shipping registries and own or partly own airlines.
I am sure that it is possible to develop a regime for getting emissions reductions
from these sectors without necessarily harming AOSIS countries. We clearly need
to explore this further and I would like to establish an AOSIS Bunker Fuel
Discussion Group to work on developing such a regime.
Agenda Item 5b: Implications of Project Activities under the CDM for
Achieving the Aims of Other Environmental Treaties:
Outcome: SBSTA invited Parties and admitted observers and relevant
intergovernmental organizations to submit to the Secretariat, by 5 August 2005,
their inputs on the implications for the achievement of the objective of the Montreal
Protocol of the establishment of new HCFC-22 facilities to obtain credits for HFC-23 burning,
and on the means to address such implications. SBSTA further
requested the Secretariat to compile the submissions and inputs by the CDM EB
for consideration at SB 23.
Comment: This is very technical issue and I thank those AOSIS members that
participated in this discussion. We need to prepare a submission on this issue by
the prescribed deadline.
5(c) Completion of Technical Guidance on Methodologies for Adjustments
under the Kyoto Protocol
Outcome: This item involved a technical review of the procedures and methods
for use by expert review teams to calculate adjustments, including tables of
“conservativeness factors” for LULUCF activities in Annex B countries. SBSTA
recommended a draft COP decision (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/L.2/Add.1), which
includes a draft COP/MOP decision and an annex containing the technical
guidance on methodologies for adjustments under LULUCF. It requested the
Secretariat to establish a process to allow expert review teams to gain experience
with adjustments for LULUCF during the inventory review process in 2007-2008.
Comment: This again was a very technical issue and I thank Mr Ian Fry of the
Tuvalu Delegation and those AOSIS representatives who participated in these
discussions. It is important that we continue to ensure that Annex B countries do
use sinks as means of escaping their emissions reductions commitments.
5(d) Registry Systems under the Kyoto Protocol
Outcome: SBSTA also commended the work of the Secretariat in identifying
checks to be performed by the international transaction log (ITL) as contained in
document FCCC/SBSTA/2005/INF.3 and noted that the Secretariat expects the
ITL to be ready for the initialization of communications by other registry systems in
the third quarter of 2006.
Comment: While this is yet another one of those technical issues, it is interesting
to note that CDM projects cannot participate in the EU carbon market until the ITL
is up and running. For those countries wishing to seek EU CDM projects a greater
interest in this agenda item may be necessary.
Agenda Item 6: Development and Transfer of Technologies
Outcome: SBSTA agreed on terms of reference to guide the Expert Group on
Technology Transfer in preparing recommendations for enhancing the
implementation of UNFCCC Article 4.5 (technology transfer). The SBSTA
welcomed the report of the EGTT Chair and collaboration between UNEP and
UNDP on the analysis of the technology needs assessments (TNAs). The SBSTA
also took note of the workshop for innovative financing of development and
transfer of technologies, planned for October 2005. It also noted the adaptation
technologies seminar to be held in Trinidad and Tobago from 14-16 June 2005
and encouraged the EGTT to continue to consider issues relating to diffusion and
transfer of advanced, cleaner and more efficient, affordable and cost-effective
energy technologies.
Comment: There appears to be good work coming out of the EGTT and I would
like to thank Kishan for his hard work in this area. We need to consider a
replacement for Kishan as his term of office has come to an end.
Agenda Item 7: “Good practices” in Policies and Measures among Parties
included in Annex I to the Convention
Outcomes: SBSTA noted options for using web-based approaches for sharing
information and experiences on “good practices” among Annex I Parties. SBSTA
also welcomed the round-table discussion, recalled the upcoming Secretariat
report on “good practices” and agreed to consider next steps at SBSTA 24.
Comment: The agenda item seems to grind along without making any substantial
progress, thanks to the blocking action of OPEC countries and the US. We missed
our expert input from the Marshall Islands. Hopefully Yumi will be ready to take on
this challenge at COP 11.

Agenda Item 8: Research Needs Relating to the Convention
Outcomes: SBSTA invited submissions by Parties on research needs and
priorities; requested the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report of research
needs and requested the Secretariat to organize a side event at SB 24 to enhance
communication between climate change research organizations and SBSTA. In
the draft COP decision, the COP recognized the pre-eminent and independent role
of the IPCC and urged Annex I Parties to further strengthen the engagement of
research institutions from developing countries.
Comment: This is an important area for AOSIS countries particular in relation to
global observation systems and making them relevant for SIDS. I want to thank
Carlos and others for their work on this agenda item.
9 (a) Cooperation with Relevant International Organizations: Special Report
of the IPCC on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and Global Climate System:
Hydroflurocarbons and Perfluocarbons.
Outcomes: SBSTA encouraged Parties to use the information in the ‘Special
Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues
Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons’ when developing and
implementing national climate change strategies. SBSTA invited Parties to submit
to the UNFCCC Secretariat, by 13 February 2006, their views on aspects of the
report relevant to the UNFCCC’s objective.
Comment: While there was a last minute attempt to derail this agenda item by our
good colleagues from OPEC, it managed to get through unscathed.
Agenda Item 9(b)(i) International Meeting to Review the Implementation of
the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island
Developing States
Outcome: This was one of the last agenda items considered in the whole SB
meeting and reflects the tenacity of our AOSIS colleagues and the irresponsibility
of the US and others of the Umbrella Group in trying to block any progress on this
issue. In the end, there was no conclusion on this Agenda item. In fact there was
no conclusion at all from the SBSTA Chair.
Comment: I am very disappointed with the UNFCCC Secretariat (absolutely no
reflection on Phillip Weech who did a sterling job) for providing the advice to the
SBSTA Chair to place the issue in limbo. Old Umbrella Group delegates who now
work in senior Secretariat positions appear to be having difficulty in swapping
roles. We are now left in a procedural dilemma regarding how this agenda item will
continue. I will write to the Executive Secretary indicating our understanding that
this agenda item will be taken up at SB23. I will also try and contact other key
Parties, primarily the EU to do the same.
Agenda Item 9(b)(ii) Global Climate Observing Systems:
Outcomes: SBSTA agreed to consider the report on progress towards
implementing the initial ocean climate observing system, prepared by the GCOS
Secretariat and the report on analysis of data exchange issues in global
atmospheric and hydrological networks (WMO/DT 1255 GCOS96) and agreed to
consider these reports in the context of consideration of the Implementation Plan
for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC at SBSTA
23. Parties are also invited to submit their views on these reports by 15 September
Comment: I will be chasing up colleagues to make sure we have an AOSIS
submission on this important topic.
10(a) Other Matters: Issues Relating to the Implementation of Article 2,
paragraph 3 of the Kyoto Protocol
Outcome: SBSTA noted that it did not complete its consideration of issues relating
to Protocol Article 2.3, and agreed to continue consideration of these issues at
Subsidiary Body for Implementation
Agenda Item 3(a): National Communications from Parties not included in
Annex I to the Convention
Outcome: The SBI agreed to include a draft decision recommended for adoption
by COP 11, stating that non-Annex I Parties shall make all efforts to submit second
and, where appropriate, third national communications, within four years of initial
disbursement for the actual preparation of the national communication, on an
agreed full-cost basis. The COP decision noted that Parties may use an extension
of up to one year for submission, after informing the Secretariat; and that any
extensions shall not imply additional financial resources from the GEF. LDCs may
submit their second national communications at their discretion.
Comment: This has been a long fought out battle. I extend many thanks to our
AOSIS colleagues who worked on this and a special thanks to Sok Appadu of
Mauritius who co-chaired this discussion (and managed to successfully juggle time
commitments with other agenda items).
Agenda Item 3(b) Work of the Consultative Group of Experts on National
Communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention
Outcome: The SBI noted recommendations in the CGE report (FCCC/SBI/2005/7)
on further improvement of training materials and on future training workshops.
SBSTA also noted that the CGE’s meetings are critical. A CGE workshop on
mitigation is tentatively scheduled to be held in the Republic of Korea from 26-30
September 2005.
Comment: The meeting in Korea, if it happens, could be quite important in the
context of discussions on future actions on climate change. The nature of invitation
to these meeting is quite haphazard. If AOSIS members are invited, please let me
know so that we can coordinate our response to this issue. We also need to make
sure that the CGE has good representation from AOSIS members.
Agenda Item 3(c) Compilation and Synthesis and Initial National
Outcome: SBI recommendation to COP 11 requests the GEF, in accordance with
Article 12.4 and decision 11/CP.1 (funding for adaptation), to assist, if requested,
non-Annex I Parties in formulating and developing project proposals identified in
their national communications, when Parties are formulating national programmes
to address climate change issues. Bilateral and multilateral assistance
programmes are invited to offer similar assistance.
Comment: You may note that the recommended decision refers to helping NonAnnex I countries develop proposals rather than implement projects. We still seem
to be facing ongoing procedural blockages for funding adaptation projects.
Nevertheless the presentation by Boni Biagini, Program Manager, Climate
Change, the Global Environment Facility helped in resolving some of our
difficulties, though we are still faced with problems with respect to showing global
benefits with adaptation projects. If you were not present during Boni’s
presentation at the AOSIS morning meeting in the last week, send a note to Ian
and he will send you a copy of her Powerpoint
presentation which she circulated recently.
Agenda Item 3(d) Provision of Financial and Technical Support
Outcome: The SBI requested Parties that have not submitted initial national
communications to do so as soon as possible.
Agenda Item 4(a) Financial Mechanism: Special Climate Change Fund
Outcome: SBI was not able to reach an agreement, and the draft COP decision
(FCCC/SBI/2005/L.13) was forwarded to SB 23 for further consideration. Much of
the text remains bracketed, particularly the paragraphs that identify priority areas
for the Fund.
Comment: As colleagues are aware this agenda item refers to items 2(c) and 2(d)
of Decision 7/CP.7 relating to 2(c) energy, transport, agriculture forestry and waste
management and 2(d) diversifying economies. Needless to say the issue of
whether the SCCF should pay to assist countries to diversify their economies (i.e.
supporting OPEC) is highly contentious and needless to say somewhat ridiculous.

We will need to watch this carefully so that priority actions for adaptation to the
impacts of climate change are not undermined by the necessity to consider
economic diversification.
Agenda Item 5(a) Implementation of Article 4, paragraphs 8 and 9, of the
Convention: Matters relating to Least Developed Countries
Outcome: SBI concluded with a draft COP Decision with the key elements
referring to a decision that full-cost funding shall be provided by the LDC Fund to
meet the additional costs – defined as “the costs imposed on vulnerable countries
to meet their immediate adaptation need” – of activities to adopt to the adverse
effects of climate change as identified and prioritized in the NAPAs. The draft
decision also requests that the GEF develop a co-financing scale for supporting
activities identified in the NAPAs, taking into account the circumstances of LDCs.
Comment: This decision was a spill over from COP 10 and marked a low point of
the meeting in Buenos Aires. I am pleased to see that a draft decision has been
made and I thank all those LDC/AOSIS countries that participated in this
discussion. In the end I think it was text that came from LDC/AOSIS that found the
right compromise to allow Parties to agree on a draft decision.
Agenda Item 6(a): Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings: Eleventh
Session of the Conference of Parties
Outcome: SBI thanked the Government of Canada for offering to host COP 11
and COP/MOP 1 and requested the host country to facilitate the issuance of visas
to ensure Parties’ effective participation. SBI endorsed the dates of 7-9 December,
2005, for the high-level segment of COP 11 and COP/MOP 1
Comment: Please remember to bring very warm clothing with you to Montreal.
Agenda Item 6(b) First session of the Conference of Parties serving as the
meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol:
Outcome: SBI asked the Executive Secretary to take note of Parties’ views on
possible elements for the provisional agendas of COP 11 and COP/MOP 1.
Comment: I will make sure I will contact the Executive Secretary to ensure that
the Mauritius Strategy is included in the agenda. It may also be useful to request to
have another Seminar of Government Experts or similar process. If you have
thoughts on this please let me know.
Agenda Item 6(c) Future Sessional Periods
Outcome: SBI recommended changing the dates of COP 13 from November 2007
to 3-14 December 2007 to allow for the IPCC to finish its Fourth Assessment
Comment: I am pleased to see that COP 13 has been delayed to allow the IPCC
to finish its FAR.
Agenda Item 6(d) Organization of the Intergovernmental Process
Outcome: SBI took note of the workshop held during SBI 21 and noted the
increasing difficulties facing the intergovernmental process in terms of extensive
agendas and other problems, and invited Parties to submit their views on options
for further improvements by 15 November 2005.
Comment: I will write to the Executive Secretary expressing our concern about the
number of in-sessional workshops which are run parallel with contact groups and
informal consultations, making it difficult for small delegations to cover all issues.
Agenda Item 6(e) Observer organizations in the Convention process
Outcome: The SBI asked the UNFCCC Secretariat to identify ways to enhance
further the participation of observer organizations, drawing on outcomes of the
wider UN process.
Agenda Item 7(a) Administrative and Financial Matters: Budget Performance
for the Biennium 2004-2005
Outcome: The SBI noted with concern the shortfall in supplementary funding in
comparison with requirements, which have led to delays in implementation of key
activities, and decides to discuss this matter further at SB 23.
Comment: Through pressure from the US, matters relating to the Kyoto Protocol
are now being funded by supplementary funding.

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Sub Topic: Cross-cutting


Meeting: SB22