Global Environment

The Tenth Asia Pacific Seminar on Climate Change

[CHAIRMAN'S SUMMARY]

July 9-13, 2000, Penang, Malaysia


  1. Attendance
  2. Objectives of the Seminar
  3. Seminar Proceedings
  4. Opening Session
  5. CDM and the Asia-Pacific region
  6. Technology transfer
  7. APNET
  8. IPCC reports on i) Land Use, Land -Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), ii) Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management In National Greenhouse Gas Inventories
  9. Regional cooperative initiatives on climate change

1. The Tenth Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change was held in Penang, Malaysia, from July 9-13, 2000. The Seminar was organized by the Environment Agency of Japan, Malaysian Meteorological Service, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Attendance

2. The Seminar was attended by experts from twenty-one countries, which included Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tuvalu, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The Seminar was also attended by representatives of eight organizations: namely ESCAP, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), UNFCCC secretariat, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). A number of resource personnel also attended the Seminar, including the authors of IPCC reports, and representatives from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Det Norske Veritas, Nomura Research Institute Ltd, Tokyo Gas Co, Ltd and JGC Corporation.

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Objectives of the Seminar

3. The major objectives of the Seminar were to:

  • (a) exchange and discuss views on the Kyoto Mechanisms, with a focus on technical and institutional issues related to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), including project cycle, baselines, monitoring and verification, and registry and reporting, so as to enable the countries in Asia and the Pacific to prepare for CDM projects in advance;
  • (b) exchange experiences on technology transfer in the region and discuss ways and means for its improvement. Participants discussed the IPCC Special Report on Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer and the outcomes of the Asia- Pacific regional workshop on transfer of technology held in January 2000 in Cebu, Philippines;
  • (c) exchange scientific information, particularly on recent IPCC activities, including the reports on i) land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and ii) good practice guidance and uncertainty management in national greenhouse gas inventories;
  • (d) exchange and discuss views on regional cooperative initiatives on climate change in Asia and the Pacific facilitated by various international organizations. Those who have experience with Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) were also expected to deliver their views;
  • (e) discuss how to further promote the regional information network on climate change, the Asia-Pacific Network on Climate Change (APNET).

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Seminar Proceedings

4. At the opening ceremony, Dr. Lim Joo Tick, Director-General, Malaysian Meteorological Service made the welcoming address. He pointed out that the three previous years had seen the highest average temperatures recorded, and that climate change had an effect on precipitation patterns, sea-level rise and coastal erosion. He emphasized the importance that scientific data be obtained through global observation systems and that the role of scientific bodies on climate change, such as IPCC and Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START) was pivotal.

5. Mr. Hironori Hamanaka, Director-General, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency of Japan, expressed his sincere appreciation to the Government of Malaysia for hosting this seminar. He emphasized the importance of the success of COP6 in order to facilitate the enactment of the Kyoto Protocol by no later than 2002. He expressed his hope that this seminar would help the participating countries to deepen their understanding of key negotiation issues and contribute to the success of COP6.

6. The Hon. Datuk Law Hieng Ding, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Malaysia introduced Malaysia's initiatives in addressing climate change and emphasized the need for developed countries to intensify their efforts to facilitate the transfer of and access to technologies. He hoped that the Ministers who would be present at ECO ASIA 2000 in September of 2000would renew their commitments to address the adverse impacts of climate change.

7. The Seminar elected Mr. Chow Kok Kee, Deputy Director-General, Malaysian Meteorological Service and the Chairman of the Contact Group of the Kyoto Mechanisms of UNFCCC as Chairperson, Dr. Richard Bradley, Senior Advisor for Global Change, Office of Policy, U.S. Department of Energy, USA, Dr. Damdin Dagvadorj, Scientific Secretary, National Agency for Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment Monitoring (NAHMEM), Mongolia and Mr. Gunardi, Staff to the Deputy Minister for Environmental Management, State Ministry of Environment, Indonesia, as Vice-chairpersons, and Prof. Kazu Kato, Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan as Rapporteur.

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Opening Session

8. In her keynote address, Ms. Christine Zumkeller, UNFCCC secretariat, outlined the current status of negotiations towards COP6. She emphasized that the success of COP6 depended on a balanced outcome from the perspectives of both non-Annex I Parties and Annex I Parties. This would include: decisions ensuring adequate support and encouragement for developing countries' efforts, such as for the transfer of technology, capacity building, responses to the impacts of climate change as well as to the effects of response measures; and decisions on issues, such as Articles 5, 7 and 8, sinks, mechanisms and compliance, which would lead to the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Annex I Parties. She presented elements of the work plan up to COP6 and beyond. The participants expressed their wish that the negotiation be intensified in order to achieve success at COP6. They pointed out that a lot of work still needed to be done and that coherence needed to be ensured.

9. Mr. Masakazu Ichimura, ESCAP, presented the various efforts of ESCAP to facilitate further regional and sub-regional cooperative actions, in particular the development of the Draft Regional Action Programme 2001-2005 with a focus on climate change. This will be adopted at the upcoming Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific to be held in September 2000. The Seminar reaffirmed that information on regional and sub-regional initiatives should be shared among the countries. Mr. Shigemoto Kajihara, Japan, introduced the results of recent workshops and seminars on best practices, which aim to share and disseminate experience and information about policies and measures to prevent climate change. He provided the definitions and characteristics of "good practices," various examples of "good practices," and several barriers to implementation of "good practices."

10. The participants discussed the difficulties involved in coordinating climate change related polices with other national development priorities. However, the participants also noted that GHG mitigation measures could bring about not only GHG emissions reduction but also other environmental and social-economic benefits, such as improvement of local environment and creation of employment opportunities. In this acknowledgement, the importance of learning from other countries' experiences with successful implementation of policies and measures was recognized.

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CDM and the Asia-Pacific region

11. Ms. Zumkeller, UNFCCC secretariat, provided an update on the negotiations on mechanisms. She laid out the range of mechanisms-related technical and political issues that needed to be further discussed, such as fungibility, supplementarity, liability, baselines and additionality, eligibility criteria for CDM projects and institutional issues regarding CDM. Mr. Chow, Malaysia, reported on the progress of negotiation on the mechanisms and presented general requirements for successful CDM projects in the context of the CDM project cycle. He stressed that the decision to be adopted at COP6 should consist of simple rules and modalities that would, however, ensure environmental integrity. Noting that it could be some years before the CDM institutions could be formally endorsed by the COP/moP, he also mentioned the need for a transition process for these institutions if Parties wish to see a prompt start of CDM. The work programme beyond COP6 would include work on a potential CDM reference manual. Dr. Naoki Matsuo, IGES, made a detailed presentation on baselines for CDM projects that included technical issues such as time-dependence, system boundary, and standardization of baselines including benchmarking. Mr. Stephane Willems, OECD, introduced recent OECD/IEA case studies in baseline methodologies and discussed the possibility of defining guidance on baseline determination that would be valid across sectors, as well as barriers to that effort.

12. Dr. Trygve Larsen, Det Norske Veritas, described the importance of independent validation of project design and monitoring & verification plans (MVP), based on the DNV experience of GHG emission reduction projects. Mr. Murray Ward, New Zealand, outlined the purposes and basic structure for a proposed system of registries that will provide a transparent accounting and reporting system for assigned amount, including CERs from CDM projects. He stressed that proper accounting for assigned amount, including that of ensuring that no units may be held in more than one registry account, is fundamental to maintaining the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol.

13. The participants considered that technical issues in designing CDM, such as determination of baselines, are crucial in order to ensure the environmental integrity of CDM. The participants took note of the complex and challenging nature of baseline determination and supported the idea of learning by doing. Concerns about costs for determining the baselines were raised and there was a call for a balance between environmental credibility and transaction costs. Multi-project baselines might be one of the answers, particularly for small-scale CDM projects.

14. The Seminar exchanged views regarding the equitable distribution of CDM projects, the use of ODA for financing CDM projects, the transition of existing AIJ projects to CDM projects, and project eligibility. The Seminar noted the specific situation of some countries that have limited capacity and are less attractive for private sector investments. Some participants mentioned that the use of ODA could be a possible means of addressing balanced distribution of CDM projects.

15. The Seminar discussed issues related to verification and certification of CDM projects and recognized the need for the accreditation of operational entities at both national and regional levels as well as the need to minimize transaction costs. Some participants stressed the importance of initiating institutional arrangements at the national level as a prerequisite condition for successful implementation of CDM projects. Several participants emphasized the importance of transparency in project information so as to ensure the credibility of CDM projects.

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Technology transfer

16. Ms. Wanna Tanunchaiwatana, UNFCCC secretariat, presented the status of the transfer of technology consultation process. She highlighted the outcome of the Asia-Pacific regional workshop on transfer of technology consultation process occurring between the 17th and the 19th of January 2000 in Cebu, Philippines. The workshop had produced a list of possible elements of a framework for meaningful and effective actions to enhance the implementation of Article 4.5 of the Convention. These potential elements, inter alia, will be considered at the thirteenth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) with a view to recommending a decision for adoption at COP6. The participants welcomed the presentation by Dr. Sukuma Devotta, a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer, which elaborated various aspects of technology transfer, such as its significance, current trends, barriers and measures for enhancing technology transfer by the private sector. He said that the report highlighted the fact that technology transfer is a complex process that requires an integrated approach involving various stakeholders.

17. A series of presentations were made on opportunities, barriers, needs and concerns for technology transfer. Mr. Lei Tijun, China, introduced country-driven technology needs assessment in the field of power generation. He stressed the importance of listing priority technologies that each developing country may need and each developed country can transfer, and the need for eliminating political and trade related barriers. Mr. Makoto Ashino, JICA, described the broad range of JICA's activities including capacity building and technology transfer for combating climate change. He emphasized that technology transfer should be recipient country driven and stressed the importance of needs assessment by recipient countries and co-ordination within recipient governments, especially in donor coordinating agencies, in order to prioritize climate change-related technology transfer in their countries. Dr. Mahendra Kumar, SPREP, outlined barriers, needs and measures regarding technology transfer, particularly adaptation technology, from the perspective of Pacific small island states. He stressed the need for capacity building, awareness enhancement, information dissemination and assessments of vulnerability and adaptation. Finally, on behalf of Dr. Rae-kwon Chung, Korea, the chairperson presented a "win-win paradigm for technology transfer" to be obtained by enhancing R&D programmes, with participation by both developed and developing countries and by creating a market for environmentally sound technologies (ESTs).

18. The Seminar reaffirmed the importance of enhancing implementation of Article 4.5 of the Convention. The participants exchanged views on various needs and barriers inherent to the transfer of ESTs, taking note of different circumstances of countries in the region. The Seminar recognized the important roles of the private and public sectors in transferring ESTs. The participants noted that adaptation technology covers a number of sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, water resources and human health and that various organizations have their own programmes to support R&D activities in these fields. Some participants noted the potential of mitigating GHG emissions through demand side management and fuel efficiency. They also stressed the importance of prioritizing targeted areas for transfer of technology to address their specific needs, which vary from one country to another. The Seminar emphasized the need for promoting transfer of technology that has multiple benefits and the importance of creating an appropriate enabling environment.

19. Ms. Tanunchaiwatana, UNFCCC secretariat, chaired the panel on possible elements of a framework for meaningful and effective actions in support of Article 4.5 of the Convention. Mr. Chow, Malaysia, emphasized that technology transfer under the Convention was different from that carried out under the traditional market-based transfer. He suggested that a review system be set up under the Convention to examine technology transfer and further the needs of developing countries. Dr. Bradley, USA, highlighted the role of the private sector and identified technology needs assessment and technology information as the key elements. He considered CDM to be a means for transfer of clean technology to developing countries. Dr. Kumar, SPREP, proposed various actions including technology needs assessment, the establishment of a technology information network both for mitigation and adaptation measures, capacity building and enhancement of endogenous technology capacity. Ms. Li , GEF described various initiatives being taken by GEF to transfer technology under the Convention.

20. Some participants noted the need for effective information flow and capacity building. They determined that joint R&D, particularly assessments of vulnerability and adaptation, could enhance capabilities. The use of existing resources in the region, such as the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) and the Technical Support Unit of IPCC National GHG Inventories Programme was also suggested. The participants also suggested learning from success and failure stories.

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APNET

21. Mr. Hiroyuki Inami, Nomura Research Institute Limited, presented the current status and future activities of APNET, which was established based on an agreement reached at the eighth Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change. In his presentation, he outlined several options for enhancing the use of APNET, such as the creation of a mechanism to improve information collection and updating within APNET, a message board for information exchange and a capacity building programme for more effective information exchange through the Internet.

22. The Seminar expressed appreciation to the Environment Agency of Japan for managing APNET and recognized it as a "living example of technology transfer." The participants discussed the means for increasing use of APNET. They noted the importance of setting up national websites. For those countries that do not have servers, their websites could reside on the APNET server and be updated regularly by electronic means. The Seminar welcomed the proposal for cooperation between APNET and the UNFCCC secretariat in carrying out capacity building activities. The Environment Agency of Japan pointed out that capacity building programmes should be designed to fit the needs of the countries in the region and proposed to conduct a questionnaire survey before its implementation. The Seminar expressed its appreciation to the Environment Agency of Japan for providing such a capacity building programme.

23. The participants also pointed out that potential users should be contacted by the APNET secretariat and encouraged to use APNET. The Seminar also requested the APNET secretariat to examine the creation of message boards for several key issues.

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IPCC reports on i) Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), ii) Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

24. Dr. Yoshiki Yamagata, Japan, presented an overview of the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). The report explained several definitional options for afforestation, reforestation and deforestation (ARD) activities, and options for eligible activity under Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol. He explained the implications of different options for calculating carbon stock change and the global potential of such activities. He pointed out that many issues still remain and the deliberations on LULUCF activities should take into account the ultimate objective of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, which is to stabilize atmospheric concentration of GHGs.

25. Some participants stressed the importance of capacity building in calling for increased regional involvement of scientists in the IPCC process. Some participants noted the need to maintain an appropriate balance between emissions reduction and sequestration through sink-related activities. Some participants also engaged in controversial and challenging debates regarding the outcomes of different scenarios, which are dependent on the definition of sink-related activities in Articles 3.3 and 3.4. Some other participants suggested that the inclusion of sink activities in CDM could be a way to address the issue of equitable distribution of CDM projects, particularly in regions where energy-related GHG reduction opportunities are limited.

26. Mr. Kiyoto Tanabe, IGES, outlined the "IPCC Report on Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories." He stressed the importance of this report as an elaboration of the revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines as endorsed at SBSTA 12. He also indicated that utilizing the knowledge contained in the report would contribute to enhancing the reliability of GHG inventories of not only Annex I Parties but also non-Annex I Parties.

27. The participants recognized this report as a useful tool in carrying out comprehensive inventory works and also appreciated the IPCC initiatives toward a global emissions factor database. Some participants pointed out the fundamental importance of maintaining an accurate inventory in conjunction with appropriately designed registries in order to ensure environmental integrity in implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Several participants expressed the need for more capacity building and financial support for developing countries in the area of inventory related activities, such as determination of the GHG emissions factor and identification of emissions sources. The Seminar noted the important role of the Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties not included in Annex I in facilitating exchange of experience and information. Some participants suggested that APN could play an important role in the promotion of joint research on GHG inventory.

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Regional cooperative initiatives on climate change

28. Ms. Song Li, GEF, presented GEF's new developments, such as second national communication and capacity building in priority areas, the Capacity Development Initiative (CDI), and the operational program on integrated ecosystem management (OP#12). Several participants expressed considerable interest in these initiatives.

29. Dr. Michael Harrison, Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) Project Office, WMO, presented WMO's activities in climate variability and illustrated their crucial role and links to climate change concerns, with particular regard to improvements in forecasts and in developing adaptation methodologies. He stressed the importance of developing a scientific basis for providing forecasts on all time scales and for making decisions based on the forecasts. Some participants acknowledged the importance of the scientific work done by WMO and IPCC, and concluded that scientists in the region should become more actively involved, and that financial assistance to their efforts should be intensified.

30. Ms. Gulnara Zubkova, Uzbekistan, presented an overall picture of Uzbekistan's activities in addressing climate change, including identification of barriers and future plans for implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. She stressed the importance of capacity building, vulnerability assessment, development of observation systems for the estimation of the regional impacts of climate change, the necessity of updating the standard IPCC software and for spreading ESTs on non-commercial basis.

31. Mr. Takahiro Nagata, Tokyo Gas Company Limited and Mr. Nobuo Kakizaki and Mr. Mike Salazar, JGC Corporation, presented concrete examples of mitigation projects implemented in the region. Mr. Nagata outlined the co-generation project with absorption chiller introduced at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He introduced several options for calculating the amount of carbon dioxide emissions reduction achieved by the project. Mr. Kakizaki and Mr. Salazar explained food industry waste management projects as potential CDM projects. They proposed the implementation of small-scale CDM projects with less transaction costs, relying on the establishment of non-profit third parties and utilization of engineering companies for assisting project development and implementation. Mr. Chow, Malaysia, presented a briefing related to the AIJ programme of Malaysia, including institutional arrangements, procedures and possible projects categories. He noted that the governments play a leading role in promoting AIJ and CDM, such as in capacity building for the private sector.

32. The Seminar exchanged views on current AIJ projects and issues related to the assessment of additionality and the availability of domestic finance as well as on perceptions of the private sector regarding the potential of future CDM projects. The Seminar noted that there was a hesitation on the part of the private sector to expand its engagement in AIJ and prospective CDM projects as long as the rules and modalities for CDM remained unaccepted by the Conference of the Parties. All parties agreed that an early agreement was considered desirable in order to allow the private sector to develop its capacity and to ensure the prompt preparation of CDM projects.

33. The Seminar thanked the Malaysian Meteorological Service, the Environment Agency of Japan and ESCAP for organizing the Seminar, and recognized the benefits of exchanging views and experiences among the countries in the Asia Pacific region. It was recommended that the major results of the Seminar should be reported to the ECO ASIA 2000 and the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, to be held in September of 2000 in Kitakyushu City, Japan. The Chairperson's Summary of the Seminar was also to be disseminated as widely as possible.

34. The participants welcomed the offer of Mr. Teruaki Okuno, Director-General of Environment Bureau, City of Kitakyushu, Japan to host the Eleventh Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change in the summer of 2001 in Kitakyushu City.

Penang, Malaysia, July 13, 2000

Chairperson: Chow Kok Keebr

The Eleventh Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change

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