|A complete coverage of the question and answer session that took place after the presentations by experts from Canada, Japan, Morocco and India can be found at <unfccc.int>
Issues raised during the discussion included the increase of emissions in Annex I Parties, effective options for technology transfer through the clean development mechanism and other institutions, and business confidence in the context of dealing with climate change commitments.
On the issue raised in one of the presentations on the increase of emissions in Annex I countries, participants were told that there are many policies and measures adopted by the European Union that are delivering real emission reductions, including the recently launched European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. It was also noted that these measures are being implemented according to the objectives of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in that they deal with sustainable energy consumption and production and energy for the poor. It was also pointed out that emission reductions in countries with economies in transition were due to economic recession during the process of transition to a market economy in these countries and that more than 50 per cent of the reductions were achieved through strong policies and measures such as privatization and liberalization of the electricity markets. In other countries one third of the overall emission reductions resulted from a shift in energy use to natural gas.
One participant stressed the importance of adopting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, highlighting the historical contribution by developed countries to the climate change problem.
Several participants addressed seeking new, innovative ways of dealing with climate change, the need for clear, long-term frameworks to drive investment by the private sector in cleaner technologies, and what elements in the Kyoto Protocol could be used for the future climate change regime. One expert suggested that certain technologies be moved into the public domain, given that the pace of commercially driven technology transfer is not sufficient to deal with the climate change problem, and called for the seminar to focus on the efforts made by Annex I Parties and their results to this end.
Others stressed the importance of strengthening the multilateral approach in dealing with climate change. An expert acknowledged that there are many similarities in the ways Parties deal with climate change despite differences in national circumstances. It was also proposed that there is a need to continue exchanging ideas on the role of the subsidiary bodies now that the Kyoto Protocol has entered into force.
Discussions also centered on how some countries are cooperating with the business community to implement the Kyoto Protocol, especially on the issues of providing certainty and business confidence after 2012 and time frames for setting long-term frameworks for business investments.
One expert requested clarification on how the CDM will be applied in reducing 2 per cent of the emissions reduction target in European Union countries. On the CDM itself, it was pointed out that it is a important mechanism for developing countries to participate in the UNFCCC. However, there was a bottleneck as far as the number of projects submitted to the Executive Board was concerned and an equitable regional distribution of projects, given that Africa was grossly under represented.
One expert noted that the business community in Japan was committed to supporting the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and that there exists a good dialogue between the government and business and all major utilities in implementing several types of voluntary programmes. Another informed the seminar that Canada has had consultations with many climate change stakeholders including the business community for more than 10 years and that consultations with business have become more intensive during the past two years. As a result of these consultations new approaches to dealing with climate change have been adopted, and the emissions intensity approach is being used to account for the differences in the emission sectors and their growth rates. The question of providing certainty for long-term business operations in the context of dealing with climate change is also being addressed.