14 May 1996



Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

Third session

Geneva, 9 - 16 July 1996


Comments from Parties

Positions of the Group of 77 and China, and of

the United States of America

Note by the secretariat

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), at its second session, held at Geneva from 27 February to 4 March 1996, took note of the request by the Philippines (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China) to have their position on the subject of the establishment of intergovernmental technical advisory panel(s) reflected for the record.

The SBSTA further took note of the request by the United States of America to have its position on the same subject reflected for the record.

The two positions are reproduced in the present note. In accordance with the procedure for miscellaneous documents, they are reproduced in the language in which they were received.



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Summary of the Statement of the Philippines and the position

of the Group of 77 and China at the second session of

the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological

Advice on the Establishment of Intergovernmental

Technical Advisory Panels

(Geneva, 27 February to 4 March 1996)

The representative of the Philippines, as Coordinator of the G-77 and China on this item, explained that the Group of 77 and China had spent long hours of discussion, examined all possibilities, made all possible concessions without prejudicing basic interests of the developing countries in the issue of global climate change. The Group was fighting for survival, physical and economic, in the context of the Convention. Climate was global, with varying specificities. A technical advisory panel must reflect all these.

The Group was deeply disappointed that the ITAPs had not been set up despite the Group's willingness to make all possible compromises, short of endangering basic interests.

The Group felt that the ITAPs had an important role to play in the implementation of this Convention, and in advancing the interests of developing countries. It therefore suggested that the Secretariat should undertake the setting-up of a roster of experts, nominated by Parties, with a full curriculum vitae for each. This would allow members time to get their nominations together, a task which is not an easy one for a number of developing countries.

The position of the Group of 77 and China is as follows:

Position of the Group of 77 and China on the establishment of

intergovernmental technical advisory panels (ITAPS)

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

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work, on the basis of the list of tasks attached hereto. The future operations of the panel will be reviewed by the SBSTA 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 nominated by the Government of the Parties;

(b) The panel shall be composed of twenty experts: four from each of the five UN regional groups. The panel shall be co-Chaired by two of its members.

(c) Each regional group shall nominate four experts for the panel within their group, taking into account the initial work programme. The list of these experts would be sent to the Bureau of the SBSTA, which would present it to the SBSTA for adoption. A full curriculum vitae of each proposed expert shall be provided. In finalizing the names of experts, each group may take into account the need for representation of the different areas of expertise bearing in mind the initial work programme.

(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 SBSTA 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. Whenever such specialized tasks that cannot be undertaken by panel members are entrusted, on an ad hoc basis, to experts from the roster, equitable representation should be ensured;

(f) The panel shall organize its own work in accordance with the priorities of the initial work programme. The panel may seek cooperation and advice from other competent international bodies to complement and facilitate its work. Reports from the panel shall be advisory; they will be circulated to all Parties prior to their consideration by the SBSTA. 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 panel meeting as early as practicable after all the UN regional Groups have sent in their nominations, and further authorizes two meetings of the panel to be held in both 1996 and 1997.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

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The SBSTA decides on the following initial work programme in the following order of priority:

1. Technology inventory and assessment and assessment of its development and transfer for non-Annex I Parties:

(a) Specific innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art technologies and know-how

(b) Adaptation technologies and processes

2. Assessment of terms of technology transfer

3. Development of technologies for working out regional climate scenarios and impact assessment, especially socio-economic impacts on non-Annex I Parties.

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Summary of the statement of the United States of America at

the second session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific

and Technological Advice outlining its position on the

Establishment of Intergovernmental Technical

Advisory Panels

(Geneva, 27 February to 4 March 1996)

The delegate of the U.S.A. expressed his appreciation for the efforts by the Chairman with respect to the proposed establishment of the technical Advisory Panels. He recalled Decision 6/CP.1, which called to go beyond the recently completed work of the IPCC, to establish technical advisory panels that would "identify innovative, efficient, and state-of-the-art technologies and know-how, and advise on the ways and means of promoting development and/or transferring such technologies." He indicated four principles for the work of these panels. (1) they must draw extensively from the expertise of the private and public sector, including industry, academia and other NGO organizations; (2) members of the panel must serve as independent experts, not representatives of any Government or region, industry, or private organization; (3) the work of these experts must undergo independent peer review as part of the work process and be presented as objective information to the SBSTA and the AGBM, as appropriate, for use by these bodies in their deliberations; and (4) participants in these panels should reflect geographic and technical balance to insure that concerns and perspectives of all are reflected in their work.

He offered also the following comments:


-- Its mandate should necessarily extend well beyond

COP 3.

-- Initially, the core work of the TAP should focus on an assessment of innovative technologies, though the areas of review should be broader in order to avoid too narrow a focus

among a wide array of technical opportunities with differing

applicabilities that exist throughout the world. The other items on the proposed work program can best be carried out by existing organizations on a time-frame consistent with COP 3.

-- Members of the panel should be "technical and scientific experts, advising in their personal capacities" and therefore they should be selected on the basis of their expertise, seeking to insure that the panel members represent technical and geographical diversity. While geographical diversity is critical to the successful functioning of the TAP, members should serve as independent experts not representing any organization or region.

-- The panel should be permitted the flexibility to operate how best it sees fit (for example, holding workshops, establishing subcommittees, reviewing others' reports, preparing its own reports).

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Summarizing, he thought it to be important to reach a conclusion on the establishment of a technical advisory panel and that the Panel should initiate its work as quickly as feasible. One option, which he believed has considerable merit, is to request that the IPCC initiate these tasks. The IPCC has a proven track record in delivering sound, independent scientific and technical analysis to the SBSTA and the Parties. Under this option, the SBSTA would define the parameters of the work and request that the IPCC take on this effort with increased participation by technical experts from industry and others with hands-on knowledge of relevant technologies.

If, as an alternative, an independent technical advisory panel under SBSTA would be established, the proposal prepared by the Chairman would need to be modified at three points:

1. To establish the 20 members of the TAP, all Parties should submit nominations within 8 weeks to the secretariat, along with supporting information describing the nominees' expertise. In suggesting nominations, Parties should take into consideration the potentially significant demands that will be placed on members of the TAP. The Bureau will sort

through the nominations, in consultation with the Bureau of the IPCC and make recommendations to SBSTA at its next meeting. These recommendations should reflect the technical and geographical diversity critical to the successful functioning of the TAP.

2. The work programme should be refocused to emphasize assessment of the use and transfer of existing and innovative technology and technology transfer. It should be divided into broad categories for investigation, allowing the technical experts involved to identify specific issues and questions that

would be addressed within those broad areas for detailed review. We suggest as a starting point the following areas: (1) energy supply; (2) industrial energy demand; (3) agriculture; (4) buildings; (5) transport; (6) carbon sinks; (7) other

sectors. It would be critical that the expertise of the TAP members would reflect these broad areas of technical knowledge. Members of the TAP with expertise in one of these particular areas would be designated the chair for this area, and be

charged with preparing and implementing a work program specific to that area. The work plan for each area would be approved by the TAP and would focus on issues related to technologies and not on specific policies and measures. It would: identify innovative technological options; evaluate technical, economic and institutional barriers to commercialization; and identify opportunities for, and barriers to technology transfer. the work program in each area would determine the need for and process for establishing subcommittees, identify interim products and propose a timetable for initial reports.

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3. In place of a roster of experts, and in order to facilitate the work of the TAP, Parties should be requested also to submit

nominations, along with qualifications, for participants in each of the seven work areas identified above. The names would be forwarded to the TAP for its consideration as one source in identifying participants for activities they undertake under the work program.

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