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Reporting on LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol

 

A.  Definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines for LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol

COP 4 (November 1998) considered the report (FCCC/CP/1998/INF.4) on a SBSTA workshop on data availability based on definitions used by Parties and international organizations in relation to Article 3.3 and the submissions by Parties (FCCC/CP/1998/MISC.1 and Add.1 and Add.2 and FCCC/CP/1998/MISC.9 and Add.1 and Add.2).  The COP decided to recommend draft decisions, for adoption by COP/MOP at its first session, on definitions related to activities under Article 3.3 and modalities, rules and guidelines as to how, and which additional human-induced activities might be included under Article 3.4, and to do so after the IPCC Special Report on LULUCF had been completed and considered by the SBSTA (see pdf-icon decision 9/CP.4).

COP 5 (October/November 1999) endorsed a work programme and a decision-making framework on LULUCF to enable these draft decisions (recommended at COP 4) to be adopted by COP 6 (November 2000) (see decision pdf-icon 16/CP.5).  As part of the negotiations, SBSTA invited Parties to submit country-specific data and information on the LULUCF sector according to a standard format agreed at SBSTA 12 (June 2000).  Work continued inter-sessionally with several SBSTA workshops convened on LULUCF.  The IPCC Special Report on LULUCF was formally presented to SBSTA 12.

Parties failed to reach agreement on LULUCF matters at COP 6 in The Hague (November 2000), as part of a package of decisions under the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.  Negotiating texts on LULUCF issues were forwarded to a resumed session of COP 6 for further consideration (pdf-icon FCCC/CP/2000/5/Add.3 (Vol. IV)).

At COP 6 part II (July 2001), Parties adopted the Bonn Agreement on the implementation of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, registering political agreement on key issues, including those on LULUCF.  The most important issues regarding LULUCF included definitions for all activities under Article 3.3 and 3.4, and rules by which activities under Article 3.4 will operate for the first commitment period. A draft decision text was finalized and later adopted at COP 7.

COP 7 (October/November 2001) adopted a decision on LULUCF and related issues as part of the Marrakesh Accords (refer to pdf-icon Decision 11/CP.7).  This decision by COP 7 recommended that the COP/MOP, at its first session, adopt a decision on land use, land-use change and forestry.  This decision has now been adopted by the COP/MOP, at its first session, as decision pdf-icon 16/CMP.1.

Decision pdf-icon 16/CMP.1 consists of three main elements: 

  • A set of principles to govern the treatment of LULUCF activities;
  • A common definition for “Forest,” plus definitions for activities under Article 3.3 and agreed activities under Article 3.4; and
  • modalities, rules and guidelines relating to the accounting of activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4.
 
B.  Reporting LULULCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
 

Discussions on the use of the IPCC good practice guidance for LULUCF in the preparation of national GHG inventories at SBSTA 19 (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/15, paragraph 24(b)–(e)) did not include any related discussion to the Kyoto Protocol.  Parties needed some time to further consider the IPCC good practice guidance for LULUCF and decided to postpone a decision on this matter until COP 10.  The SBSTA took note of the information contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2003/INF.11 on a draft common reporting format (CRF) for LULUCF under the Kyoto Protocol. Following submissions by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/MISC.1), these draft tables of the CRF for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol were updated to facilitate further consideration of this topic at SBSTA 20.

SBSTA 20 (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/6, paragraphs 11–19) considered and elaborated the updated draft tables of the CRF for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol, contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2004/INF.1, taking into account the submissions by Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/MISC.1). SBSTA 21 (FCCC/SBSTA/2004/13, paragraphs 26–28) finalized the elaboration of these tables of the CRF for LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol and recommended a draft decision, including a draft decision to be forwarded to COP/MOP at its first session, for adoption by COP 10 (December 2004). 

The decision on “Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol” (pdf-icon decision 15/CP.10) was adopted by the COP at its tenth session. The decision encouraged Annex I Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol to submit in 2007, on a voluntary basis, estimates of GHGs from activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4, using the tables of the CRF as well as follow the guidance on supplementary information on these LULUCF activities contained in this decision (the tables of the CRF are available in document FCCC/CP/2004/10/Add.2, pages 47–61).  Following this, Parties were invited to submit their views on these tables of the CRF and accounts of their experiences on the use of these tables. 

The draft decision on “Good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol”, attached to decision pdf-icon 15/CP.10, was adopted by the COP/MOP, at its first session, as decision pdf-icon 17/CMP.1.  This COP/MOP decision decided that Annex I Parties that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol shall apply the IPCC good practice guidance for LULUCF, in a manner consistent with the Kyoto Protocol, in their provision of information on GHG emissions and removals from LULUCF activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4 for the first commitment period.  After the SBSTA, at its twenty-seventh session (December 2007), has considered the views by Parties relating to their experiences on the use of these CRF tables, these tables will be updated and incorporated in an annex to this decision.

 

C.  Completion of the technical guidance on methodologies for adjustments under the Kyoto Protocol

 

The SBSTA, at its twenty-second session (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/4, paragraphs 34–40), completed the pdf-icon technical guidance on methodologies for adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol that includes guidance on adjustments for estimates of anthropogenic emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and forestry.  The original technical guidance, as adopted by pdf-icon decision 20/CP.9, included all other inventory sectors except LULUCF.  This additional guidance on methodologies for adjustments would be applicable to emissions and removals of LULUCF in the base year for the purpose of establishing the assigned amount under Article 3, paragraph 7 and for estimates of emissions and removals from activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4.

The COP/MOP, at its first session, adopted a decision (pdf-icon 21/CMP.1) on issues relating to adjustments under Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Kyoto Protocol.  In addition, the secretariat established a process that enabled expert review teams to gain experience with the methods for adjustments of LULUCF estimates during the inventory review period of 2007–2008.

 
D.  Criteria for cases of failure to submit information relating to GHG estimates of LULUCF activities under the Kyoto Protocol
 

The SBSTA, at its twenty-third session (FCCC/SBSTA/2005/10, paragraphs 48–52), developed criteria for cases of failure to submit information relating to estimates of greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Kyoto Protocol, similar to those described in paragraph 3 of decision pdf-icon 15/CMP.1, and recommended a decision on this matter for adoption by COP/MOP at its first session.

By this decision (pdf-icon 18/CMP.1), an Annex I Party shall not issue removal units (RMU) for a specific activity under Article 3, paragraph 3 or a specific elected activity under Article 3, paragraph 4, associated with the year of the commitment period, if the magnitude of the adjustments to that activity exceeds 9 per cent for that year.

More information on adjustments under Article 5.2 and criteria for cases of failure can be found at the following weblink on “Guidelines under Articles 5, 7 and 8: Methodological Issues, Reporting and Review under the Kyoto Protocol”

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