COP 7   29/10 - 9/11 2001 MARRAKESH, MOROCCO



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Impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period: Proposal from Iceland


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 in 1990;
  • 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.

Latest developments
At COP 6 part II, Parties completed their work on this issue, reaching agreement on the revised draft decision, including the proposed cap of 1.6 million tonnes and the prohibition on the use of exempt emissions to participate in emissions trading or "joint implementation". The completed decision was forwarded to COP 7 (Marrakesh, October/November 2001) for adoption.
Next steps
COP 7 is expected to formally adopt the completed decision on the impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period.
Documents prepared for the upcoming session
FCCC/CP/2001/5/Add.1 Completed decision on the impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period
Key decisions and conclusions
Decision 16/CP.4 Impact of single projects on emissions in the commitment period
Decision 1/CP.3 Adoption of the Kyoto Protocol (paragraph 5(d))
SBSTA 11 report para. 60
SBSTA 9 report Para. 42
Key documents for earlier sessions
FCCC/CP/2001/2/Add.5 Consolidated negotiating text proposed by the President for COP 6 part II
FCCC/CP/2000/5/Add.3 (Vol.IV) Text forwarded to COP 6 part II by COP 6 part I
FCCC/CP/2000/INF.3 (Vol.IV) Text forwarded by SBSTA/SBI 13 part II to COP 6 part I (also on the table for COP 6 part II)
FCCC/CP/1998/MISC.11/Add.1 Draft decision proposed by Iceland at COP 4
Other documents
FCCC/SBSTA/1999/MISC.3 and Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1 Analyses of the information provided by the delegation of Iceland. Submissions by Parties and responses by Iceland
FCCC/CP/1998/MISC.11 Response by Iceland to issues raised by other Parties
FCCC/SB/1998/MISC.1, Add.2 and Add.4 Submissions by Iceland, including responses to issues raised by other Parties during SBSTA 8 (June 1998)
This agenda item is supported by the Methodology and Science sub-programme