Proceedings of the Seminar of Governmental Experts (CD ROM)
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Q & A 2
A complete coverage of the question and answer session that took place after the presentations by experts from South Africa, Norway, the European Commission, and the United States of America can be found at <> `

The issues raised during the discussion included the role of technology, emissions from aviation, emissions from transport (including aviation) and the commercial sector, the role of land use, land-use change and forestry, emissions trading, clean development mechanism and joint implementation, and possible elements/structure of a future regime.

One participant noted that tackling climate change requires substantial changes in the way energy is used, and that technologies should be brought to the markets that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. It was also recognized that some countries invest substantial amounts of money in research and development on climate issues. In attempting to establish what links can be found between energy security and mitigating climate change a participant asked what are the most appropriate and effective means for accelerating technology deployment for meeting the ultimate objective of the Convention. A question was also asked on the potential for research conducted by actors other than governments.

Further clarification was requested by some participants on various issues, including future action for curbing GHG emission from the aviation sector, the role of forests as a fundamental element for reducing the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment, the prospects of the emission trading scheme and investments in CDM and JI beyond 2012, and the prospects for including the transport sector as part of the emissions trading scheme in the European Union.

The panel experts explained that existing technologies could make a contribution through the use of taxes and incentives for introducing more energy efficient products, such as motor vehicles, in the market. They added that similar instruments, such as the appliance standards of the European Union, help to promote energy-efficient technologies in the market and this in turn impacts on energy security.

In response to the concern about emissions from the aviation sector, it was mentioned that the European Union is studying this sector with a view to preparing an official communication on this in 2005. It was also highlighted that a stakeholder conference in scheduled for June 2005 to address emissions trading, charges and taxes as well as the effects on climate of emissions from aviation. At the same time it was underlined that there would be a need to tackle this sector in a future international climate regime beyond 2012. One expert stressed the need for technology advancements in developed countries and acceleration in technology transfer to assist developing countries in addressing the problem of growing emissions from aviation.

One expert noted that forestry was partially covered in the Kyoto Protocol and that deforestation will need to be addressed in the future, not only because it accounts for 20–25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, but also because it is linked to biodiversity and water management issues. One expert suggested that forests be include in future protocols, but with a regime that is simple enough to be able to track compliance, and one that includes as many countries as possible, and multistage approaches. Another expert recommended caution in determining how to use forestry in water stressed countries, given that for some developing countries, it is an adaptation and vulnerability issue and not a solution in the form of “sinks”. It was further stressed that any future regime for forests should take into account national circumstances and challenges of all developing countries.

With respect to transport issues, the participants were informed about the European climate change programme which contains measures in the transport sector, some of which are expensive, with a cost of more than EUR 20/tonne CO2. It was also noted that the current level of taxes on transport fuels were on average around 100 E/per tonne of carbon. As a way forward, one expert noted the need to act in the coming decades to improve energy efficiency by working together with industry, and to explore further charges for transport such as those linked to congestion charges in London and in Germany (for freight).