Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

a

next plenary session, if the three-year term ended between such sessions. At the IPCC's llth Plenary in Rome in December 1995, the Panel decided that the term of office of the current IPCC Bureau should be extended until a new Bureau is elected in time to prepare for and complete the IPCC Third Assessment Report, and that elections for a new Bureau should be held no later than 1997. It is anticipated that the election of a new IPCC Chairman will take place at the IPCC's 12th Plenary in Geneva in September 1996; nine-member Search Committee was created at the March 1996 IPCC Bureau meeting to identify a new IPCC Chair, with the expectation that the chair will take office at the IPCC's 13th Plenary in the fall of 1997. The Search Committee will consist of IPCC Chair Bert Bolin (Sweden), UNEP Executive Director Liz Dowdeswell, WMO Secretary General Patrick Obasi and six regional representatives drawn from the current IPCC Bureau. Members of the IPCC Bureau are elected from among candidates proposed by national governments; voting is normally by consensus.

[blocks in formation]

Answer: The current U.S. Co-Chair of the IPCC's Working
Group II is Dr. Robert Watson, Associate Director for the
Environment, in the White House Office of Science and
Technology Policy.

11. ACCORDING TO COP DECISION 6/ CP.1, SBSTA IS TO BE THE LINK
BETWEEN SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, AND TECHNOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS
AND THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY COMPETENT INTERNATIONAL BODIES
AND THE POLICY-ORIENTED NEEDS OF THE COP. THE FUNCTIONS LISTED
IN ANNEX I OF THE COP DECISION RELATED TO SBSTA SEEM TO BE
EXTENSIVE AND MAYBE OVERWHELMING.

[ocr errors]

HOW WILL SBSTA CARRY OUT THOSE FUNCTIONS AND IN WHAT TIMEFRAME?

[blocks in formation]

Answer (lla, b): In undertaking its work, the SBSTA can rely on several existing national and international organizations and intergovernmental bodies, including the IPCC and the FCCC Secretariat. For example, in the presentations of the IPCC SAR, it is anticipated that a member or members of the IPCC Bureau will make the report. These bodies can, in turn, rely on experts seconded from governments to undertake those tasks deemed essential by the Parties. While the timeframe and work load is ambitious,

Rohrabacher: October 19, 1996 Response

p. 18

agree that the tasks before them are of sufficient urgency to warrant immediate action. Ultimately, it will be Parties to the Convention which will determine the priorities for the work program of the SBSTA and which will second experts as necessary to assure the work program is completed. The conclusions from the second session of the SBSTA indicate the priorities to which Parties have agreed, and list tasks (including work products and timeframes for delivery) that have been requested of the IPCC, of the FCCC Secretariat, and those which require input directly from Parties.

lic. THE US SAID REVIEW OF NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS IS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY. DOES SBSTA AGREE?

Answer: The SBSTA, in its workplan, includes these reviews among its top priorities.

IID. WHAT IS THE TIMETABLE FOR THAT NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS REVIEW?

Answer: The review of national communications is proceeding in two parts: the first part, which was completed last year, was a comparative review of all national communication submitted up to that time (a copy is attached); an update, containing additional material on communications submitted since that time, will be available at COP 2. The second part is a series of in-depth reviews of each national communication, and includes country visits to document material that undergirds individual reports. The U.S. in-depth review was initiated in the spring of 1995 and completed in the Fall of 1995. A copy of the final text is attached. As of the March FCCC Subsidiary Body meetings, the FCCC Secretariat had completed 5 in-depth reviews.

12. THE COP AUTHORIZED SBSTA TO ESTABLISH (WITH SUBSEQUENT
COP APPROVAL) TWO INTERGOVERNMENTAL TECHNICAL ADVISORY PANELS
TO PROVIDE ADVICE ON TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES. THE US
AUGUST STATEMENT IN GENEVA SAID THAT IT WAS "CRITICAL" THAT THE
TECHNICAL ADVISORY PANEL ON METHODOLOGIES BE ESTABLISHED "AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE" AND THAT IT COULD CONSIST OF 20 EXPERTS. AT
THE SAME TIME, THE US SAID THE ADVISORY PANEL ON TECHNOLOGIES
WAS NOT AS URGENT. THE US SAID IT SHOULD HAVE A STEERING GROUP
OF ONLY 10 SUCH EXPERTS, PLUS A SUBSTRUCTURE OF EXPERTS.

12A. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE US IDEAS FOR THE ACTIVITIES AND
PURPOSE OF EACH OF THESE PANELS IN THE AGBM PROCESS AND THE

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Answer: We have urged that these panels not be established in response to the short terms needs of the AGBM, but rather that they should be established to respond to the longer term needs of the convention for technical advice in the development and use of various methodologies and for similar technical advice with respect to the long term potential of a broad spectrum of technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies in March of 1996, no agreement was reached on the establishment of the Technical Advisory Panels. At the session, Parties agreed to submit information on what areas of expertise the panels should include, but not to provide information on the names of experts or additional ideas on the structure of the bodies. The issue will be taken up for further consideration at the next sessions of the SBSTA in July 1996.

12B. WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR YOUR SUGGESTION OF THE NUMBER OF EXPERTS FOR EACH PANEL?

Answer: When the U.S. delegation made its August statement, it believed that the work of the panel on methodologies could be undertaken by a certain number of experts appointed to serve on the panel, and that such experts could largely deal with methodological issues among themselves, without recourse to the advice of a broader number of outside experts. The U.S. delegation accordingly proposed that 20 experts be appointed to this panel, believing that this would be large enough to accommodate the various kinds of expertise needed and to find an appropriate balance of regional interests among the Parties, yet small enough to function efficiently. On the other hand, the U.S. delegation believed that the work of the panel on technologies would be considerably broader and would need to involve a large number of outside experts. Accordingly, the U.S. delegation proposed that only 10 experts be appointed to this panel, believing that 10 members would be sufficient to find an appropriate balance of regional interests among the parties and to function efficiently, but too small actually to perform its tasks without recourse to a broader substructure of technical experts. In other words, by proposing a smaller panel on technologies, the U.S. delegation hoped to ensure appropriate recourse to a broader spectrum of outside technical experts. The issue remains unresolved in the SBSTA, and will be further considered at the next session in July 1996

120. HOW DO THE NUMBERS AFFECT THE ABILITY OF THE US TO HAVE

[merged small][ocr errors]

Answer: If two panels are established, and if each panel numbers between 10 and 20 members, it is likely that the United States, which is currently one of 148 Parties to the convention, would be able to name at least one expert to one of the two panels.

12D. THE US SAID THAT EXPERTS SHOULD BE NOMINATED BY GOVERNMENTS, BUT THEY COULD COME FROM INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT. AS YOU KNOW, "EXPERTS" OFTEN HAVE DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW ON "SCIENTIFIC", "TECHNICAL", OR "ECONOMIC" ISSUES, AND MOST HAVE POLICY PREFERENCES.

12D(i) WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN "EXPERT" FOR THE PANELS AND ANY SUBSTRUCTURE?

Answer: An expert would bring specific technical skills, knowledge and experience to the work of the panel and any substructure.

12D(ii) WHAT CRITERIA WOULD BE USED BY THE US IN SELECTING
SUCH EXPERTS TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE QUALIFIED, TO ENSURE A
BALANCE OF VIEWS ON ISSUES AND POLICIES, AND TO AVOID POTENTIAL
CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROBLEMS?

Answer: To establish their qualifications, we would consider the background (academic and work-related) of candidates; to establish points of view, we would consider their reputations among their peers; to avoid conflicts of interest, we would inform interested candidates of their responsibilities if selected; and urge them to consider any potential conflicts when allowing their names to be put forward.

12D(iii) WHAT IS, IN YOUR VIEW, THE FUNCTION OF THE SUBSTRUCTURE PANELS?

Answer: A substructure under the panel on technologies would enable the panel itself to serve as a kind of steering group, while providing it the ability to consult a necessarily broad spectrum of experts with specific knowledge of technologies in particular fields of endeavor.

12D(iv) WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF THE SUBSTRUCTURE, THE NUMBER OF EXPERTS REQUIRED, AND THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION?

Answer: Whether a specific substructure is established or

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

to consult a very larg number of experts across many sectors. We would rather not restrict the number of experts whose advice is sought with respect to technologies in any particular sector; instead, we would like to encourage as many experts as possible to participate in the work of the convention. The criteria for selection should be "proven technical expertise", as well as willingness and ability to serve.

13. AN INSIDE EPA ARTICLE OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1995 QUOTES AN
ENVIRONMENTALIST AS SAYING THAT "GLOBAL WARMING WILL CONTINUE
UNTIL LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ALSO TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS." HOWEVER, THE BERLIN MANDATE DOES
NOT ADDRESS THE EXPECTED GROWTH IN GREENHOUSE GASES FROM THESE
COUNTRIES. IT MERELY REAFFIRMS THAT THESE COUNTRIES ARE
OBLIGATED TO CARRY OUT COMMITMENTS THEY PLEDGED TO IMPLEMENT
WHEN THEY RATIFIED THE CONVENTION, WHILE EXPRESSLY STATING THAT
THE AGBM PROCESS MAY NOT INTRODUCE ANY NEW COMMITMENTS FOR
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.

13A. WHY DID THE US AGREE TO AN AGBM PROCESS THAT FAILS TO PROVIDE FOR DISCUSSION AND NEGOTIATION OF NEW COMMITMENTS AT ANY TIME BY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO DEAL WITH THIS GROWTH?

Answer: The AGBM process is designed to produce a next step under the convention that will lead to progress toward its ultimate objective; reaching that objective is likely to require quite a number of steps over time. Under the present convention, developing countries have at least three years longer to produce their first national communications concerning the actions that they are taking to mitigate and adapt to climate change than developed countries. The earliest of these developing country communications will thus not be available until 1997. On the other hand, the initial "aim" accepted by developed countries in Article 4.2(a) and (b) extends only to the year 2000, and these countries, in particular, which now account for nearly 60 percent of current global emissions of greenhouse gases, believed it was necessary to begin considering how to deal with their own emissions in the years post 2000. Finally, the language of the Berlin Mandate indicates that developing countries must continue to advance the implementation of their commitments. Inasmuch as these commitments include obligations to take policies and measures, to report on actions and to take climate change considerations into account, where feasible, in their relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions, the United States assumes that significant advances will be made by all Parties -- including developing country Parties in next

« PreviousContinue »