The problems associated with the impact of single projects on
emissions in the commitment period were first raised by the delegation of Iceland
during the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol. Iceland expressed concern that,
for Parties with very low emissions baselines, a single project (e.g. construction
of an aluminium smelter) could lead to a disproportionate percentage increase
in emissions. Iceland's concerns were reflected through paragraph 5(d) of decision
1/CP.3 adopted at COP 3 (Kyoto, December 1997), which called for this issue to
be further considered at COP 4 (Buenos Aires, November 1998).
At COP 4, Iceland proposed a draft
decision on the impact of single projects. According to this proposal, single
projects that have a significant proportional impact on emissions in the commitment
period should be reported separately, and not included in national totals, to
the extent that they would cause a Party to exceed its assigned amount. The proposal
explicitly limited this provision to:
- Parties that account for less than 0.05% of total Annex I emissions
- Single projects involving industrial processes that account
for more than 5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of a Party in 1990;
- Single projects where renewable energy is used, resulting in
a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production; and
- Single projects where best environmental practice is used to
minimize process emissions.
A number of Parties requested additional information and clarifications
on Iceland's proposal. These requests, and responses provided by Iceland, have
been compiled in miscellaneous documents (see below).
Discussions on the impact of single projects took place during
COP 4 and at subsequent SBSTA sessions. After informal consultations held at part
I of SBSTA 13 (September, 2000), Parties agreed to consider the issue further
at SBSTA 13 part II (meeting together with COP 6 in The Hague, November 2000).
Following discussions at SBSTA 13 part II, Parties forwarded
a draft decision to COP 6 in The Hague for further consideration, based on a revised
proposal presented by Iceland. This revised draft decision stipulated that the
total industrial process CO2 emissions that a Party may exempt from
its national totals under the proposed provision shall not exceed a cap of [1.6]
million tonnes annually on average over the first commitment period (the square
brackets signify lack of agreement on the figure). Another revision was made following
consultations during COP 6, further specifying that the exempt emissions may not
be transferred or acquired through emissions trading
or "joint implementation" projects.
However, consensus could not be reached on the revised draft
decision and, together with draft texts on other issues, it was referred to a
resumed session of COP 6.