Friday, May 4, 2012


date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 06:55:25 -0500
from: "Langston James Goree VI" <>
subject: ENB Briefing Note from The Hague Informals
to: "Climate Change Info Mailing List" <>

Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Informal Briefing Note
Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development
(IISD) (c) (see copyright information at end of Briefing Note)

30 June 2001
New York

Written by Lisa Schipper <>
Edited by Malena Sell <>
Organized by Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI, Director, IISD Reporting
Services <>

Briefing Note on the Open-Ended Informal High Level Consultations at
Scheveningen (The Hague), the Netherlands, 27 - 28 June, 2001

NB: The following material has been acquired through discussions with
participants in the corridors, and should not be considered first-hand

Open-Ended Informal High Level Consultations chaired by UNFCCC COP-6
President Jan Pronk (the Netherlands) were held at the Steigenberger
Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen, near The Hague, the Netherlands on
Wednesday, 27 and Thursday, 28 June 2001. The aim of the Consultations
was to provide an opportunity for Parties to present to the President
their views on his new proposed consolidated negotiating text, and in
particular for Parties to indicate whether these texts constituted a
balanced package with sufficient "wins" for all Parties, as well as to
allow Parties to provide recommendations regarding the organisation of
work during the resumed COP-6, scheduled for 16-27 July in Bonn.

The Parties met in two Plenary sessions each day from approximately 9.30
am to 5.30 pm, which were preceded and followed by meetings of and
between the negotiating groups. All meetings during the Consultations
were closed to NGOs and the press. In contrast to the High Level
Informal Consultations held by President Pronk in New York on 20-21
April 2001, the Consultations in Scheveningen were open to all Parties
to attend. A press briefing by President Pronk was held on Thursday
afternoon at 8.30 pm.

The Consultations were preceded by two days of preparatory consultations
of the G-77/China, and one day of consultations of Annex I Parties.
Between 350 and 370 delegates from between 115 and 130 Parties
participated, including a number of ministers and deputy ministers.

The Consultations

In June 2001 President Pronk launched a new consolidated negotiating
text that represents a newer version of his "Pronk Paper" circulated in
the final days of consultations at The Hague during COP-6 in November
2000. President Pronk said in the press briefing that as a result of
extensive discussion with Parties, the goal for the new text was to
serve as a "knife" to "cut brackets" from the old texts used as a basis
for negotiation during COP-6, which contain approximately 2500 brackets
and total 285 pages. The Consultations loosely followed the "crunch
issues" and the different "boxes" that Pronk had presented at COP-6, but
did not discuss text on guidelines under Kyoto Protocol Articles 5
(methodological issues), 7 (communication of information) and 8 (review
of information), activities implemented jointly or impacts of single

On Wednesday, participants heard general statements addressing Parties'
views on the new consolidated negotiating text in the morning, and
discussed financial issues, in particular those relating to adaptation,
technology transfer, capacity building and Convention Article 4.8 and
4.9 (adverse effects), during the remainder of the day. On Thursday,
Parties discussed mechanisms, land use, land-use change and forestry
(LULUCF), compliance, and governance. Discussions on procedural matters
during COP-6 Part II in Bonn were addressed throughout the
Consultations, with diverging views being expressed, and culminated in a
COP Bureau meeting late on Thursday to resolve the structure for the
July meetings.

In the corridors, while some participants expressed the opinion that it
did not appear that positions had shifted since The Hague, others
underscored that the gap between positions had possibly widened, and
there were signs of entrenchment by some Parties, in particular on the
subjects of LULUCF, sinks in the CDM and the use of nuclear power to
meet commitments. Concern was expressed over the lack of consensus and
hardened positions on LULUCF, with certain Latin American Parties and
members of the Umbrella Group in support of certain parts of Pronk's
proposed text on this issue, and others, including the EU and other
G-77/China Parties opposed to it. The funding issue also appeared to be
a potential barrier that could create problems in Bonn. Further
rumblings were caused by Japan's ambiguity regarding their intentions
for ratifying the Protocol, although Pronk confirmed that no Parties had
stated that they would follow the US and reject the Protocol.

Participants also expressed hope that President Pronk would take a
stronger leadership role, and provide more guidance, rather than
encouraging excessive discussion among Parties on difficult subjects. In
the press briefing, President Pronk said that much remained to be done
on a political level before agreement would be reached, and stressed the
wide distance between positions on several issues.

Procedural Matters and General Concerns

Two procedural issues of concern were highlighted during the two days of
consultations. On the structure of COP-6 Part II, Parties disagreed and
spent several hours discussing how to proceed during the July meetings.
On the question of how to use the new text proposed by President Pronk,
Parties also had divergent views, although no one officially denounced
the efforts of the President as inadequate for moving forward. Two
further issues surfaced as important during the upcoming meetings: the
US proposal for how they will participate in the July negotiations,
having confirmed on several occasions that they have no intention to
ratify the Protocol; and the implications of this position on the
mixture of the Protocol and Convention in the new text, compounded by
the general problem of making agreements under the Convention,
particularly the availability of funds, dependent on the entry into
force of the Protocol.

The structure of COP-6 Part II

One of the aims of the Consultations was to reach an agreement on how to
proceed during COP-6 Part II in Bonn. Pronk had proposed two days of
subsidiary body sessions, followed by the resumed COP-6 starting with a
high level segment of three to four days attended by ministers, leaving
the second week for negotiations on the texts. The G-77/China had
announced a preference for placing the high level segment either at the
end, or at the beginning of the second week, and said that Pronk's
suggested formula recalled the failed structure in The Hague. Annex I
Parties insisted that it was not possible to change the schedule of
ministers at such late notice. The disagreement fuelled discussions into
the evening on Thursday and were inconclusive, leaving the COP Bureau to
resolve the issue. In the press briefing, Pronk announced that the final
decision was to hold continued informal consultations in the first three
days, 16-18 July. The conference will then open on Thursday afternoon,
19 July, with the high level segment scheduled to begin that evening.
President Pronk expressed his hope that the high level segment, which
will run until Sunday evening, will conclude with a declaration, which
will then be turned into legal text during the second week of the

The use of the negotiating text

In the press briefing, President Pronk confirmed that no Parties had
said that the new text could not be used as a basis for discussion, and
said that it had been referred to during the Consultations as a "good
tool". He said there were divergent views on the role of the new text in
the upcoming negotiations. In the corridors, participants underscored
the lack of ownership of the text on the part of the G-77/China, and
suggested that the new text was the result of consultations with mainly
Annex I Parties. It was also suggested that the LULUCF text had been
designed specifically to placate specific Annex I Parties. On the whole,
responses to the new text were positive rather than negative, including
from G-77/China Parties.

Participation of the US in Bonn

The US opening statement on Wednesday morning aimed to clarify their
participation in further negotiations. While underscoring that they have
no intention to ratify the Protocol, and therefore will not participate
in negotiations on this document, they emphasised that they would
participate in all discussions relating to their commitments under the
Convention. They would also participate in discussion on the Protocol if
these might lead to outcomes affecting US trade, or if other
international legal instruments might be violated. They also expressed
concern about "rumblings" of possible taxes being imposed by certain
Parties on those Parties not intending to ratify the Protocol.

The structure of the new text

One issue that was continually highlighted by participants in the
corridors, was the manner in which the new text proposed by President
Pronk mixed elements of the Protocol and the Convention. This concerned
the G-77/China, particularly as the proposed funding bodies are in some
cases dependent on funds generated by activities that cannot be
implemented until the entry into force of the Protocol. This was also an
issue for the US, who would under this scenario not be able to meet
their obligations under the Convention without taking into account
Protocol obligations.

Financial Issues

The discussion on financial issues addressed the procedure for
allocating resources outlined in the new text. The funds are to be
established for the purpose of funding adaptation, technology transfer,
capacity building, activities under Article 4.8 and 4.9 and related to
LDCs, with a proposed total input of US$ 1 billion from all Annex I
Parties. Contributions are calculated based on individual percentages of
the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Annex I Parties in
1990. Parties reacted to several aspects of this, including that without
the ratification of the Protocol by the US, the remaining Parties were
averse to meeting the proposed total amount, which would require them to
contribute an additional amount of approximately US$ 350 million.
Developing countries underscored that the total proposed amount was in
any case too low to assist them sufficiently, while several Annex I
Parties said the amount was too high. No one supported the proposed
climate resources committee.

Russia announced that they were disinclined to contribute at all, and
suggested an alternative basis for calculation based on per capita
emissions. Parties from EIT countries indicated that they would only be
willing to finance adaptation and capacity building in EIT countries.
The US highlighted their disagreement with the proposed governance of
these bodies. A number of Parties expressed some support for an
adaptation fund, and for providing guidance to the GEF to make resources
available for Stage III adaptation activities. However, some Parties
also highlighted their lack of support for the adaptation fund.

A number of Annex I Parties expressed that funding should only be made
available through the GEF. G-77/China Parties did not hold the same

Mechanisms and Compliance

Parties in support of sinks in the CDM restated their positions.
G-77/China restated their position that Annex I Parties should not be
allowed to employ mechanisms unless they had reported, under Protocol
Articles 5, 7 and 8, provision of funding and support for activities
under UNFCCC Article 4.8 and 4.9. Some Annex I Parties expressed their
lack of support for the proposed new text on mechanisms.

The G-77/China supported compliance being handled by the enforcement
branch. Some members of the Umbrella Group emphasised that Parties
should not be punished for non-compliance, and said compliance was
"punitive rather than environmentally restorative".


Many Parties were not in favour of President Pronk's text on LULUCF.
Some members of the Umbrella Group, including Switzerland, Japan and
Canada did express their support. Japan expressed ambiguity over how
content they were with this text, however. The text proposes that a
certain country meeting specific outlined criteria would be exempt from
applying the proposed new discount rate of 85% for the first commitment
period. In the corridors, participants suggested that individual
exceptions of this nature might be the only way forward on this
difficult issue where views diverge significantly.


President Pronk said in the press conference that no new text will be
prepared, and no meetings will be held before the resumed COP-6
beginning on 16 July. He also expressed his conditional hope that
negotiations would lead to a conclusion in Bonn. He said he was "a bit"
more optimistic about the upcoming COP-6 Part II at the end of the two
day Consultations than he had been before these meetings. He
underscored that a package approach was the only way forward, and denied
rumours that only financial issues would be addressed in Bonn, leaving
the other issues to be discussed at COP-7 in Marrakech scheduled for 27
October to 9 November 2001.

With the most pressing issue, that of the procedure at COP-6 Part II
resolved, participants were numerous in expressing their fears for the
meetings. While Parties appeared not to be willing to co-operate more
than at COP-6 on specific issues, several delegates expressed in the
corridors that there was a general sense that Parties were eager to
reach an agreement of some sort.


Copyright note: This is an original work of authorship and protected by
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The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United
States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and
Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for
International Development - DFID, and the Foreign & Commonwealth
Office), the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Danish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Germany (through German Federal
Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of
Development Cooperation - BMZ). General Support for the Bulletin during
2001 is provided by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
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of Finland, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment and
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The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of
the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD.

Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI
Director, IISD Reporting Services
Earth Negotiations Bulletin - /linkages/journal/
Sustainable Developments
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