5 February 1996

Original: ENGLISH


Second session

Geneva, 27 February - 4 March 1995

Item 3 of the provisional agenda




Report by the Chairman on his informal consultations

1. At its first session, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) requested its Chairman to continue consultations regarding the establishment of intergovernmental technical advisory panels on methodologies and technologies (FCCC/SBSTA/1995/3, para. 29). The SBSTA also requested the secretariat to compile the submissions received from Parties by 30 October 1995 on this issue.

2. The secretariat received submissions from Fiji, Kuwait, Nigeria, Spain (on behalf of the European Community), and the United States of America. These submissions are contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/1995/MISC.3 and Add.1.

3. The Chairman conducted consultations with representatives of Parties during the second session of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM), held in Geneva between 30 October and 3 November 1995. Following these consultations, the Chairman of the SBSTA made available an informal paper on 2 November 1995, during the second session of the AGBM. The informal paper suggested that a single panel be established on a provisional basis combining the functions of the two panels hitherto envisaged. It provided for the composition of the panel, the nomination process for its members, a roster of experts, the operations of the panel, and a draft programme of work.

4. Based on his consultations and further to his informal paper, the Chairman recommends:


(a) That the draft decision entitled "Establishment of an intergovernmental technical advisory panel" annexed hereto, including a work programme with provisional tasks, be considered by the SBSTA for adoption at its second session;

(b) That the secretariat proceed to invite nominations for the panel and for a roster of experts to assist with specialized tasks.

5. The annexed draft decision is based upon the informal paper distributed by the Chairman during the second session of the AGBM. The chapeau of the informal paper is embodied in paragraph (1) of the draft decision and a new paragraph (6) has been added which authorizes the convening of four meetings during the period 1996-1997. In several cases, the order of the material has been altered to improve the structure of the paragraphs.

6. The work programme is essential to the establishment of the panel. Therefore, Parties should carefully consider its elements, deadlines, and products. The list of provisional tasks that may be considered for a work programme was developed for the period up to the third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 3), bearing in mind the decisions of COP 1, the AGBM process, and the special needs of the Parties for information on methodologies and innovative and environmentally sound technologies. This list does not follow a particular order of importance or urgency.

7. The work programme that the SBSTA adopts should reflect the most important needs of the Convention bodies, as well as the limited resources and the relatively short period in which to carry out the work. Parties may wish to limit the work programme initially to just a few (for example, 3-5) methodological and technological tasks, with others addressed as part of a long-term programme, if the panel is made permanent. In this regard, Parties should note that several of the provisional tasks, particularly Nos. 4, 5, and possibly 6 and 8, are related to potential revisions of guidelines and methods for preparing national communications (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/3/Add.1). The SBSTA may wish to take into account that information from these tasks would be needed by the fourth session of the SBSTA, at the latest, since this will be the last session at which the SBSTA may adopt technical modifications to the guidelines and methods for national communications due in April 1997. Elements Nos. 1, 2 and 7 represent a deepening of the technology inventory and assessment activities initiated by decision 13/CP.1.(1) In considering these potential activities, Parties may wish to refer to the discussion contained in the initial report prepared by the secretariat on the technology inventory and assessment (FCCC/SBSTA/1996/4). The report identifies questions concerning the use of information on technologies that may be helpful in considering priorities. Furthermore, the priority of task 3 on the technological aspects of policy guidance to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), needs to be assessed.

8. Elements Nos. 2 (a), 10 and 11 were included in the list with the expectation that the Parties would identify special topics of particular interest during discussions at the third session of the AGBM or at the second session of the SBSTA on the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the in-depth review reports. As with the topics identified above, Parties should carefully consider whether the aspects of the IPCC report and the in-depth review reports would be appropriate for immediate or longer term consideration by the panel, and, if so, what aspects should be dealt with.

9. Some other aspects of the operations of the panel would need to be addressed:

(a) At its third session, the SBSTA would have to consider a proposal by its Bureau regarding a list of nominees before a formal meeting of the panel could be held. However, it would be desirable for the panel to hold an informal organizational meeting before that session, so that a preliminary report could be made available for COP 2. The secretariat could begin to transmit relevant information to the nominees as soon as they are identified by the Bureau;

(b) There is a provision of about US$250,000 annually for the panels in the budget of the Trust Fund for Participation in the UNFCCC Process. This figure was based on two panels of which 10 members would be funded for two meetings per year, or a similar combination. It was also assumed that meetings would take place outside the sessions of the SBSTA or the COP. However, some tasks, such as reviewing reports, could be undertaken without the need for meetings and all possible means would be utilized to communicate information among the members outside the meetings. The adequacy of this provision will need to be reviewed once decisions are taken on the number and frequency of panel meetings, participation therein, and the tasks to be performed;

(c) With respect to the way in which the panel will be organized, there are several aspects to be considered. First, the panel would report to the SBSTA and the tasks it undertakes would be those identified by the SBSTA. Second, the panel should be responsible for the technical content of its reports and how they are produced. In this context, the panel would act independently. Finally, the panel may need to function in different modes. On occasion, for instance, the panel may simply review and comment on reports prepared by others; at other times, it may review information from various sources and prepare its own report. An example of the former could be the IPCC inventory methodologies, while an example of the latter could be an assessment of non-grid electrical supply systems for Parties not included in Annex I;

(d) Whether the panel would make "recommendations" to the SBSTA would depend upon the needs of the SBSTA. The SBSTA may wish to specify whether it prefers to receive a synthesis report, options, recommendations, or any other form of information. In all cases reports would be advisory and it would be for the SBSTA to decide how to use them.





Establishment of an intergovernmental technical advisory panel

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice,

Recalling the relevant provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in particular, Articles 9 and 4.1(c) and (e),

Pursuant to the relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties at its first session, in particular, decisions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 13, and to the relevant conclusions of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (FCCC/AGBM/1995/2/conclusions (j),(k) and (l)),

1. Decides that:

(a) An intergovernmental technical advisory panel on methodologies and technologies is hereby established on a provisional basis, functioning under the terms of reference of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, decision 6/CP.1. It will implement the initial programme of work, on the basis of the list of tasks attached hereto. The future operations of the panel will be reviewed by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in 1997. The members of the panel will serve for the period leading up to the third session of the Conference of the Parties; they will be technical and scientific experts, advising in their personal capacities;

(b) The panel shall be composed of twenty experts: two from each of the five United Nations regional groups, five from Annex I Parties, and five from non-Annex I Parties. The panel shall be co-chaired by two of its members, one from the Parties listed in Annex I to the Convention and one from the non-Annex I Parties;

(c) Each regional group shall identify two Parties to propose one or more experts for the panel, taking into account the initial work programme. The Annex I and non-Annex I Parties may either identify Parties from their respective groups to propose one or more experts or they may directly propose experts for the panel. A full curriculum vitae of each proposed expert shall be provided. The Bureau of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice shall propose a list of experts as members of the panel, for consideration by that subsidiary body, taking into account the need for representation of the different areas of expertise, bearing in mind the work programme, and, as necessary, consulting with the Parties and/or groups of Parties;

(d) The terms of the panel members may be extended, taking into account the need for stability, the need to rotate members, and the review by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in 1997;

(e) A roster of experts, nominated by Parties, shall be maintained for specialized tasks that cannot be undertaken by panel members. Each Party may nominate up to ten experts for the roster and will provide a full curriculum vitae of each nominee;

(f) The panel shall organize its own work to address the work programme, within the limits of the resources available. The panel may seek advice from other competent international bodies to facilitate its work. Reports from the panel shall be advisory; they will be circulated to all Parties prior to their consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. The panel shall operate in a cost-effective manner, taking advantage of all possible means to communicate among members and to facilitate its work.

2. Authorizes its Bureau to convene an initial informal panel meeting, as soon as practicable before its third session, recognizing that all nominees are subject to confirmation at that session, and further authorizes two meetings of the panel to be held in both 1996 and 1997.

3. Notes that funding for participation in the panel meetings shall be offered to expert participants from eligible Parties in accordance with normal practice and subject to the availability of resources.

Annex to the draft decision



This work programme responds to decisions of the first session of the Conference of the Parties, and to the conclusions of the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). The list is provisional and may be modified at future sessions of the SBSTA. The SBSTA is invited to indicate priorities within this list by filling in the column "possible deadline", and to further specify expected products. The future operations of the panel will be reviewed by the SBSTA in 1997.



Possible deadline


1. Technology inventory




2. Assessment of specific innovative technologies for:

(a) Needs identified by the AGBM

(b) Annex I Parties (e.g., transport)

(c) Non-Annex I Parties (e.g., non-grid electrical supply systems)

(d) All Parties

Use of renewables

Enhancing the capacity of sinks


conclusion (l)




3. Technological aspects of policy guidance to the Global Environment Facility



4. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change inventory methodologies for all sources and sinks



Technical recommendations

5. Technical aspects of national communications (e.g., statistical adjustments, electricity transfers)



Technical recommendations for national communications

6. Technical aspects of activities implemented jointly



7. Adaptation technologies and processes



8. Methods for projecting and estimating the effects of measures (on national emissions) (2)



Draft guidance document (as appropriate models and measures)

9. Information on terms under which transfer of technology could take place



10. Aspects of the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as indicated by




conclusion (j)


11. Aspects of national communications and in-depth reviews as indicated by the SBSTA


conclusion (k)


- - - - -

1. For decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its first session, see document FCCC/CP/1995/7/Add.1.

2. * On the assumption that the IPCC focuses on aggregate effects of global measures.