ECO GENEVA (INC10) #1 Aug 22 94 (24 
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 ECO GENEVA (INC10) #1 Aug 22 94 (24

                          ECO NEWSLETTER

                CLIMATE TALKS GENEVA - AUGUST 1994
                          NGO NEWSLETTER

                              INC 10

                         August 22, 1994
                             ISSUE #1

                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

.1            Berlin - Breaking the Ice?
.2            Southern NGOs Insist on Commitments
.3            The Ticking Clock
.4            Toronto Target for Central & Eastern Europe
.5            Video {*filter*} Shock at Palais
.6            Getting out of the Closet
.7            Accountability: First Review of Climate Action Plans
.8            NGOs Attending INC 10
.9            US NGO Priorities for INC 10
.10           Announcements
.11           Contacts
.12           Credits

ECO has been published by Non-Governmental Environmental Groups
at major international conferences since the Stockholm
Environment Conference in 1972. This issue is produced
cooperatively by groups attending the Climate Talks in Geneva,
August, 1994.


Berlin - Breaking the Ice?

Go Germany go! Will Germany make a proposal for a protocol before
the deadline? Will another government?

Intense speculation is mounting that Germany is on the verge of
putting forward a proposal for a protocol, which might contain
significant reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions. This
is the kind of leadership the INC process has desperately been
looking for. Germany, as an OECD country and host country of the
First Conference of the Parties (COP1) is in a particularly
strong position to move the climate negotiations forward in a
decisive manner. This will be the first UN Conference hosted on
German soil, which gives the German government a big stake in the
outcome. Expectations among NGOs are mounting.

Germany's Environment Minister Klaus Toepfer publicly stated last
week that the German government will propose a protocol to
strengthen the Convention. Apparently discussions are still under
way among the different German ministries involved. The
Environment Ministry is said to be in favour of a strong
proposal, while the Economics Ministry is said to be opposing
Toepfer's plans, and is trying to water them down. The Transport
Ministry is not participating in the INC. Germany currently holds
the EU Presidency, and negotiations with other EU countries are
also likely to be crucial.

OECD NGOs have been urging COP1 to adopt the Toronto target of a
20% CO2 reduction by the year 2005 for Annex I countries. The
Wuppertal Institute, in a report this month to the German
Environment ministry, on options for further developments for the
FCCC, makes the same recommendation.

For a protocol to be adopted at COP1, a government must make a
formal proposal, including text for a protocol, very soon after
INC 10. The Climate Convention sets a deadline for this: the INC
Secretariat must circulate the proposal to the Parties to the
Convention six months in advance of COP1 P before the 28th of
September. The Secretariat will obviously need to receive the
proposal some time before the 28th, to allow time for translation
and distribution. This makes INC 10 absolutely crucial. Any
government considering a protocol will have to consult with other
governments at INC 10: to gauge the level of support and to
discuss the contents of its proposal.

NGOs urge Germany to do its utmost to propose a protocol, with a
significant reduction target(s) for industrialized countries, or
- if Germany fails to do this - another government must step into
the breach.

A protocol proposal without a significant reduction target for
industrialized countries will have very little value at this
stage of the INC process. Likewise, if the German Government
fails to address such a target at INC 10, they will have missed
the chance of making Berlin a real summit.


Southern NGOs Insist on Commitments

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) belonging to five Climate
Action Networks (i.e Latin America, Africa, South Asia, South
East Asia and the Pacific) met in Manila from 15-17th August 1994
to discuss climate change issues such as global warming, sea
level rise, increased frequency of typhoons, and droughts. This
meeting marked the first time Southern NGOs had met together to
articulate common positions on these issues, and to consider
approaches to the international climate negotiations now underway.

The participants agreed that the most critical issue facing
countries today is the immediate and substantial reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide) which cause
climate change. This was also the ultimate objective of the U~
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was agreed
upon at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 and has now been ratified
by more than 80 countries.

In order to fulfil this objective, the participants called on the
signatories of the Convention to implement fully Article 4 which
specifically deals with commitments by all countries. The
countries in Annex I (mainly developed countries and countries
with economies in transition~ must demonstrate real commitments
to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels as
soon as possible. In addition, Annex II countries (which are
mainly developed countries) are to financially assist developing
countries which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse
effects of climate change to meet their costs of adaptation
responses to these effects.

The Climate Action Networks from the South unanimously agreed to
push this position at the forthcoming meeting of the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting on climate change
which beg-ins in Geneva next Monday (22 August) as well as the
first Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP1) which
will meet in Berlin in March 1995.

The participants also agreed that if these commitments were not
forthcoming by the time of the COP1, then the Convention would
have little prospect of resolving the global climate change
problem and therefore it would be meaningless for developing
countries to continue to remain Parties to the Convention. The
participants urged all developing country Parties to withdraw
fro~ the Convention under these circumstances. Having agreed to
improve cooperation among the networks present, the participants
urged all entities in the South to act pro-actively on the
climate change issue.

The participants mandated representatives from the networks to
carry this message loud and clear to all delegates at these
international meetings.


The ticking clock

Extreme weather events continue to be reported from around the
globe, as Greenpeace report in their update to their 'Climate
Time Bomb'. Some of the highlights since April this year include:

% China - After 16 months of drought in Mongolia, (China's
"Drought of the Century") fires raged through 50,000 hectares of
pine forest in April. Huge dust storms swept through the
Daxing'anling mountains killing 50,000 livestock.

% South Pacific - researchers from the University of Sydney
reported mass c{*filter*}bleaching across all species down to 25
metres in all three sites studied. The bleaching event was
probably worse than 1991.

% Taiwan - rice production was hit by the worst drought in 40
years. Researchers from Tunghai University reported temperature
increases of 0.5-1.43 degrees C throughout the country in recent

% Australia - massive dust storms hit southeast Australia as high
temperatures, crop devastation from a plague of mice (brought on
by mild winters), and drought combined to strip between 20 and 30
million tons of top soil .

% Deep Atlantic warming - American and Spanish researchers report
that over the last 35 years the deep ocean along the 24!N
meridian in the sub-tropical Atlantic is warming at a rate of 1
degree C per century. Data from three transatlantic surveys in
1957, 1981 and 1992 show a consistent warming between 800 and
2,500 metre depths. Ocean circulation patterns do not appear to
have changed.

% China - Worst flooding for 40 years kills at least 165 people
in Jiangxi and Jujian Provinces.

% Bangkok Rain - more than 460 mm fell in six hours on the Thai
capitol this May.

% Uganda - scientists report that drought in Uganda has
intensified in recent years and that this may lead to serious">food shortages and possible famine as crops fail.


Toronto Target for Central and Eastern Europe

By Emil Bedi

All Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries signed FCCC; some,
like Hungary and the Czech Republic, have ratified it; others are
in process of ratification (Poland and Slovakia). These countries
have thereby at least committed themselves to stabilise CO2
emissions; however NGOs from the CEE want their governments to
adopt the Toronto target. The recent decline in GDP and energy
consumption in CEE countries has resulted in CO2 emissions
dropping by 20-40% from 1990 levels, so adopting stabilisation
target by the year 2000 at the 1990 level would mean a commitment
to increase emissions by 20-40% within the next six years!

It is clear that the increases in GDP that governments in the
region expect in the near future must not result in higher energy
consumption and a return to previous emission patterns. At present
there exists an enormous potential for energy savings in the
region, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions could be
achieved at minimal cost.

For example, on the supply side, one of the most cost-effective
measures for replacing existing old and inefficient heating and
power plants is the development of combined heat and power
production (CHP). More than 95% of all heating and power plants
in CEE are working at an efficiency of around 30%. Nearly 70% of
the energy content of fuels used is lost in the form of waste
heat. CHP production could increase energy efficiency by up to
80%, therefore reducing CO2 emissions at the point of energy
production by more than 50%.

Shortage of capital and high interest rates, however, make it
impossible to finance decentralised small energy efficiency
projects. This is why some CEE NGOs are pressing their
governments to introduce a carbon/energy tax. Targeting revenues
from such a tax could fund incentives for energy conservation
measures and renewable energy projects. Even a small tax on coal,
natural gas, petrol and uranium could create considerable
revenues in each country.

A crucial problem at present is the revitalisation of nuclear
power in CEE countries: western capital seems increasingly
attracted to the nuclear sector, rather than to other energy
options. Sustainable energy research is grossly underfunded,
despite the great potential for generating many more jobs than
the Western nuclear companies could create.

The political and economic changes taking place in CEE countries
present a unique opportunity to re-orient energy policy, and to
avoid a return to previous emission levels. The development of
renewable energy and energy efficiency can be difficult for
highly centralized administrations P however, NGOs could play a
leading role in promoting this option.

Emil Bedi is with the Slovakia Foundation for Alternative Energy.


Video {*filter*} Shock at Palais

The Greenpeace video of last years US College of Insurance
conference on Climate change and the insurance industry gets a
showing at the INC today.

It graphically illustrates the finance industry's fears about
climate change. In it, Frank Nutter, President of the Reinsurance
Association of America, says that "Changes in the number,
frequency and severity of natural catastrophes are threatening to
bankrupt the industry." Eugene Lecompte, President of the US
National Committee on Property Insurance, comments, "Is climate
change one of the most important issues facing the insurance
industry today? Quite simply, yes." Despite industry having $160
billion surplus, "two events could take maybe 70 or 80 billion of
that away and you'd cripple the industry. It wouldn't be able to
take on new risks. It wouldn't have the capacity to underwrite
the business of the future. We'd have massive, massive
availability problems."

IPCC's own Professor Pier Vellinga comments that "The insurance
sector could well be the first victim of climate change," adding,
"this might affect the stock market. That is the scenario that
many of us fear. That through the insurance sector, the whole
financial sector will be affected by climate change."

Insurance Industry and Climate Change showing 2pm today (Monday)
in Room XXVII followed by a discussion with Dr Jeremy Leggett,
Director of Science for the Greenpeace Climate Campaign.


Getting Out of the Closet

The urgency of the climate change problem as scientific evidence
mounts is beyond question. But policy development is lagging,
despite the German C.S.D chairman Toepfer announcing last week
that he wants a draft protocol for the September deadline. His
proposal has to be taken seriously, but only if it includes a
specific reduction target with timetable - a common sense
requirement, despite striking horror into the faces of some

But if Toepfer is thinking of reduction targets and timetables,
he is not alone. The International Energy Agency 1994 update
notes that; Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg and
New Zealand have already come out in favour of the Toronto
target, at the national level. Germany says it wants to exceed
this with a 25-30% reduction on 1987 levels by 2005; and Belgium
and the Netherlands are looking for reductions of up to 5% on
1990 levels by 2000.

It's time that these OECD countries came out of their closets at
INC 10 - otherwise the Berlin Protocol will not be worth the
paper it's printed on.


Accountability: First Review of Climate Action Plans

Surprisingly, the first issue on this agenda is already
controversial. A demonstrated willingness to support a strong and
open review of national communications is a key indicator that
Annex I countries are meeting their Convention obligations.
Experts from 30 Annex I countries met in Paris (22-24 June) to
discuss options for the first review of national climate reports
(most of which are due on Sept 21st this year).

A key sticking point emerged, however, over whether teams of
foreign experts should visit countries to assess first reports,
or whether a "desk" paper review is sufficient. The few countries
arguing against a more thorough review said that developing
countries will get put off by "intrusive" scrutinisation. This,
however, seems to be a convenient argument that ignores developed
country obligations under Article 4.2(b), i.e that they will
indeed act first. Surely this argument should be relayed by the
non-Annex I countries themselves.

One key sector that is being ignored for input into this process
is the NGO community. At INC 9, NGOs presented independent
evaluations of national communications, and are planning the same
for INC 10 (on August 23). This aptly demonstrates one aspect of
the key contribution that the NGO community can make to the
review process.


NGOs Attending INC10

Andrew Deutz Woods Hole Research Center, USA
Kiochi Watanabe WWF Japan
Jonathon Loh WWF International
Emil Bed Found't for Alternative Energy, Slovakia
Reinhold Pope Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain
Dirk Hoffman Green League Berlin & Climate Forum 95
Jeniffer Morgan CAN US
Sally Cavanagh CAN UK
Hermann Ott Wuppertal Institute
Stephian Singer WWF Germany
Larrs Georg Jensen WWF Denmark
Hermann Joel Climate Forum Berlin
Kirsty Hamilton Greenpeace International
Jeremy Legget Greenpeace UK
Ferdinand Selmidt A SEED Germany
Angela Oels A SEED Germany
Shana Mertens CAN Europe
Lise Backer CAN Europe
Dwight Van Winkle CAJA Japan
Gurmit Singh Malaysian Climate Core Group
Sarah Russell WWF International
Yasuko Matsumoto Greenpeace Japan
Joy Hyvannen WWF International
Delia Villagrasa WWF International

% Other CAN attendees will be added in future issues


US NGO Priorities for INC 10

In July US CAN submitted a letter to the Clinton Administration
outlining priorities for INC10. In the letter US groups state
that a protocol incorporating a requirement for industrial
countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below
1990 levels by 2005 should be adopted at COP1. In the event that
it is impossible to reach agreement on a protocol at COP1, US CAN
states that the US. should work to ready a resolution or
resolutions to:

% establish a clear process for negotiating a protocol by COP3
(1997). The terms of reference for the protocol negotiations
should clearly establish the goal of the negotiations as being to
reach agreement on a requirement to reduce industrialized country
emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2005.

% require parties to report by COP2 on their emissions
projections through 2010 and to report on measures they have
adopted that will continue the trend of reduced emissions after

% require parties to report by COP2 on the GHG implications of
their bilateral assistance including financing provided by their
export credit agencies and private sector lending. Additionally,
the World Bank, the regional development banks and the IMF should
be requested to report to the Parties on the greenhouse gas
implications of their financing, preferably in inventory form.
These institutions should further be requested to develop climate
change policies included as part of their environmental review

These points are only a part of what was included in the letter
and what should be utilized to fulfill Clinton's commitment to
"continue the trend of reduced emissions" after 2000.



Mon 22

11am. Greenpeace Press Briefing for Climate Time Bomb Report
Update. at the Restaurant Vieux-Bois, Avenue de la Paix 12.

2.00pm. Greenpeace Video Showing: 'Insurance Industry and Climate
Change' followed by discussion. Palais de Nations, Salle XXVII.

2:30pm. Press Conference with Bert Bolin, Chairman of IPCC.
Palais de Nations. *

Tues 23 .

11.45am. NGO Meeting with Mohammed El-Ashry, Chief Executive
Officer, Global Environment Facility. Palais de Nations, Salle

12:00pm. Climate Action Network(CAN) Press Conference
(refreshments provided) - Launch of CAN Protocol. *

1-3pm. VERTIC workshop on Reporting & Review Processes in the
Climate Change Convention. Palais de Nations, Salle XXVII.

6:30-8:30pm. CAN workshop with NGO panel on Update of NGO
evaluation of Industrialised Countries' National Communications &
Presentation of CAN Protocol. Palais de Nations. *

Weds 24

2:00pm International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI) Panel on Ecological Marshall Plan. Palais de Nations. *

6:30pm Workshop hosted by Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Use. Palais de Nations. *

Thurs 25 August

2-3pm. Briefing by Interim Secretariat for Desertification Treaty
on NGO Access and Involvement with Treaty. Palais de Nations. *

6:30pm. ICLEI Panel on Local & Municipality Workshop links with
INC Process. *

* Venue to be confirmed.



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Fri, 07 Feb 1997 05:43:00 GMT
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