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Rohrabacher: October 19, 1996 Response
13B. WHAT STEPS, IF ANY, ARE THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES COMMITTED TO TAKE UNDER THE CONVENTION TO REDUCE EMISSIONS AND IN WHAT TIMEFRAME?
Answer: Developing countries, like all countries that are party to the convention, are committed to taking all of the actions envisioned by Article 4.1 of the convention. In addition, developing countries are also committed to taking the actions envisioned by Article 12.1 of the convention. (A copy of each is attached.)
13C. ARE THOSE COMMITMENTS CONTINGENT UNDER THE CONVENTION ON ANNEX I COUNTRIES PROVIDING MONEY AND TECHNOLOGIES AS DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SEEM TO CONTEND?
Answer: Article 4.7 of the convention provides, "The extent to which developing country Parties will effectively implement their commitments under the Convention will depend on the effective implementation by developed country Parties of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties." The United States regards Article 4.7 as a statement of fact, not as condition precedent.
13D. WHAT SPECIFIC DECISION SHOULD THE AGBM TAKE THAT WOULD RESULT IN ADVANCING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVELOPING COUNTRY COMMITMENTS?
Answer: This issue is under active consideration within the AGBM. A copy of the U.S. intervention on this issue from AGBM-3 in Geneva in March 1996 is attached; it provides our most recent position on this issue.
13E. PLEASE PROVIDE A TABLE IN MILLION METRIC TONS COMPARING ESTIMATES IN WHICH THE US HAS CONFIDENCE, BASED ON ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER REPORTS, OF TOTAL WORLD GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS WITH EMISSIONS FROM THE FORMER SOVIET BLOC, THE US, AND OTHER OECD COUNTRIES, CHINA, INDIA, AND OTHER DEVELOPING NATIONS FOR THE YEARS 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2025 AND 2100.
Answer: Numerous estimates or scenarios of future emissions of greenhouse gases over various time horizons have been developed in recent years. While many of these estimates have provided important insights to those concerned with the
threat of climate change, the phrase "estimates in which the U.S. has confidence" is open to varying interpretations.
All estimates of future emissions depend upon a series of assumptions. For example, future energy related emissions will be influenced by overall economic growth, energy price trends, technology developments, and future behavior. Our past experience with energy forecasts shows that these drivers are difficult to predict over decades, let alone a over a century. No forecast or scenario can be viewed as being dependable in the sense that all of the key assumptions made will be replicated as the future unfolds. The IPCC 1992 scenarios provide a reasonable illustration of the wide range of possible long-run futures for greenhouse gas emissions under business as usual conditions. The very wide ranges (for example, scenarios for emissions in 2100 differ by a factor of 6) are similar to those identified in independent academic studies of emissions uncertainty, such as Nordhaus and Yohe and Edmonds et al. The IPCC 1992 scenarios suggest that the developing countries, most notably China and India, will dominate both emissions and total contributions to enhanced radiative forcing over the next century.
The long run focus of the 1992 scenarios is complemented by short- to medium-run estimates of energy related greenhouse gas emissions. Such estimates are implicit in the energy forecasts and scenarios produced by private and governmental forecasters. The U.S. delegation presentation made at the second meeting of the (Ad-hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate) AGBM on October 30, 1995, reviewed a variety of forecasts, scenarios and projections (a copy of the U.S. AGBM presentation and the 1992 scenario tables are attached for your information). While forecasts differ among themselves, the review suggested several conclusions.
World emissions are projected to rise, with emissions in the developing world growing fastest, emissions in the OECD growing moderately, and emissions in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern European countries transitioning to a market economy remaining below the 1990 level through 2000 and possibly through 2010.
Within the OECD, emissions are projected to grow more rapidly in the Pacific and in North America than in Europe from the present to 2010 or 2020.
14. A STATEMENT OF THE US DELEGATION IN GENEVA IN AUGUST NOTED THAT THE AGBM REQUESTED FOR ITS MARCH 1996 SESSION THAT
STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGIES AND KNOW-HOW THAT COULD ADVANCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BERLIN MANDATE" AND SUGGESTED THAT SUCH AN INVENTORY SHOULD BE PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT.
Answer: Yes. For the SBSTA's February session, the FCCC Secretariat prepared a first draft of such a document which essentially tracks a request made in a decision of the first Conference of the Parties to the FCCC in Berlin, in March 1995. A copy is attached for your reference.
14B. WHAT IS THE CAPABILITY OF EITHER ORGANIZATION TO PROVIDE SUCH A REPORT OR INVENTORY FOR NEXT MARCH OR ANYTIME NEXT YEAR?
Answer: The report is limited by the material the Secretariat had available -- which includes extensive documentation on technologies from the IPCC (in its working Group II), as well as individual submissions by countries, including those in national communications. It is expected that updates to this document and to its underlying database will be regularly provided .
14C. HOW WOULD EITHER ORGANIZATION DECIDE WHETHER SUCH TECHNOLOGIES OR KNOW-HOW ARE EITHER INNOVATIVE OR EFFICIENT OR THAT THEY COULD ADVANCE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MANDATE?
Answer: Clearly, the concepts of "innovativeness" or "efficiency" are relative terms. However, it is possible to set some parameters within the broad range of options, and state whether an individual technology is more or less efficient than the average technology considered. Furthermore, almost all options that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases even if the option is not necessarily applicable to all parties may be used in fulfillment of the Berlin Mandate.
140. JUST AS IMPORTANT, IS THE COST, COST-EFFECTIVENESS, MARKETABILITY, AND USEFULNESS OF SUCH TECHNOLOGIES OR KNOW-HOW, BUT THOSE CRITERIA DO NOT APPEAR TO BE PART OF THE AGBM OR US CRITERIA. WHY NOT?
Answer: The United States fully supports the notion that cost-effectiveness and cost must be considered as we consider technologies and know-how alternatives. In fact, these items are enshrined in the principles in the
15. THE SCHEDULE OF THE AGBM SEEMS TO BE VERY TIGHT AND THE
15A: DID THE US, IN URGING THE 1997 DEADLINE, CONTEMPLATE THAT ONLY FIVE SEPARATE WEEKS WOULD BE PROVIDED FOR THIS EFFORT?
Answer: While the United States was not the originator of the 1997 deadline, we are not opposed to moving forward on this critical problem in this timeframe. Clearly, the extent of agreement on actions may be constrained by the limited time available in formal sessions. We note, however, that the intersessional period is also productive, and provides an opportunity for critical analyses of various options and alternatives that Parties may propose. Furthermore, we note that the Framework Convention itself was negotiated in about sixteen months in six two-week negotiating sessions.
15B. DOES THE US EXPECT THAT COP-2 WILL BE UTILIZED TO FURTHER THE AGBM PROCESS?
Answer: Yes, the United States expects that COP2 will be used to further the AGBM process. COP-2 has been scheduled for July 8-19, 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland; it is anticipated that a Zimbabwean will succeed Germany as president of the COP at that session.
16A. WHAT CONSIDERATION HAVE YOU GIVEN TO THE TYPE OF INSTRUMENT THAT SHOULD BE REPORTED BY THE AGBM?
Answer: We have given considerable thought to the various options for the type of instrument that might emerge from the AGBM process. At this point, we have not foreclosed options as among possible legal instruments (with the exception of an annex, for the reasons described below). As may be recalled, it was the United States that insisted that the Berlin Mandate leave open the question whether the process should lead to a protocol or other type of legal instrument.
16B. WHAT INSTRUMENTS OTHER THAN A PROTOCOL, AN ANNEX, OR
Answer: The two basic possibilities provided for in the Convention are a protocol, pursuant to Article 17, or an amendment, pursuant to Article 15. In our view, an "annex" is not likely to be an appropriate option, as an annex must, according to Article 16(1) of the Convention, be restricted to "lists, forms and any other material of a descriptive nature that is of a scientific, technical, procedural or administrative character." However, a protocol an amendment may include one or more annexes.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF EACH?
Answer: Without coming to a conclusion at this stage whether these features are advantages or disadvantages, we can note various different features as between a protocol and an amendment. For example:
The number of Parties required to adopt a protocol is
DO YOU OPPOSE ANY SPECIFIC INSTRUMENT?
Answer: No, we wish however first to consider the substantive commitment that the Parties will undertake before considering the most appropriate legal instrument in which to reflect them.
Answer: As noted above, we have not foreclosed options as between a protocol and an amendment. We believe it would be