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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d93oct112

Much work was started but little was settled at the August meeting in Geneva of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Framework Convention on Climate Change. As expected, much of the discussion related to joint implementation, the principle that allows two countries (typically one industrialized and one not) to cooperate in reducing their combined greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. and some other developed countries favor joint implementation as an option. But the European Community said that joint implementation projects between developed and developing countries should not count toward national emission reduction goals before the year 2000. Many of the developing countries are wary of launching such projects with developed countries, fearing that the result would be a delay of emission reductions in the latter. Another concern is that developed countries would first take advantage of the most cost-effective emission reductions in an undeveloped country, making any subsequent reductions there more difficult. A document laying out these views will prepared as a basis for further discussion.

Other topics discussed included funding arrangements through the Global Environment Facility, methods for calculating greenhouse gas inventories, administrative structure, and preparation for reviewing the adequacy of industrial countries' commitments to greenhouse gas reductions once the convention enters into force. The last topic is likely to be difficult, because it requires resolving some of the ambiguity deliberately built into the convention's language that made it acceptable to most countries.

Before the next meeting of the INC, scheduled for February in Geneva, 50 countries will have probably ratified the convention, causing it to enter into force 90 days later. National action plans for emission reductions in developed countries would be due within six months of that date; about 10 have been submitted so far. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties is tentatively scheduled for early April of 1995 in Berlin.

For detailed accounts of the meeting see Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 611-613, Aug. 25 1993; Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Sep. 10 1993; Climate Watch, pp. 2-3, Sep 1993. (a bulletin of the Global Climate Coalition, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, S. 1500 N. Tower, Washington DC 20004); and Trust and Verify, pp. 1-3, Sep. (a bulletin of the Verification Technol. Info. Ctr., Carrara House, 20 Embankment Pl., London WC2N 6NN, UK, an independent organization involved in climate convention implementation).

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