Mandate, development and outlook

During the negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol, the delegation of Brazil presented an approach for distributing the burden of emissions reductions among Annex I Parties based on the effect of their cumulative historical emissions from 1840 on the global-average surface temperature (document FCCC/AGBM/1997/MISC.1/Add.3). The scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal were referred to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) for further consideration.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), at its fourteenth session, took note of the progress report contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2001/INF.2. This document includes the conclusions of an expert meeting on the proposal by Brazil, held in Bonn from 28-30 May 2001. The SBSTA encouraged Parties to pursue and support the research effort on the scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal and to communicate such activities to the secretariat. The SBSTA also requested the secretariat to continue to coordinate the review of this proposal, to facilitate the dissemination of scientific and methodological information on this proposal, to organize another expert meeting to share information on the development of the scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal by Brazil, to broaden participation and to build scientific understanding of this subject before its seventeenth session.

In 2002, Phase I (initial check) and II (sensitivity study) of an experiment to access the contributions to climate change were launched and conducted. The results were presented at an expert meeting in Bracknell/UK, 25-27 Sep 2002. The report of this expert meeting is contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2002/INF.14.

During SBSTA 17 (New Delhi, Oct 2002), inter alia, the SBSTA agreed that work on the scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal by Brazil should be continued by the scientific community and that such work should be of a standard consistent with the practices of peer-reviewed published science (see FCCC/SBSTA/2002/L.24). It invited the scientific community, including scientific and assessment programmes, such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the World Climate Research Programme, the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide information to Parties, and each other, on their interests in the work.  Furthermore, the SBSTA encouraged research institutions and scientists involved to undertake further work on the proposal by Brazil, to make results publicly available and to report the progress of their work at the twentieth session of the SBSTA.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to organize a side event on this issue at the twentieth session, and it decided to review the progress of the work on the scientific and methodological aspects of the proposal by Brazil at its twenty-third session.