Submission on Political and Procedural Issues

Associated with Article 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol Related to the Decision of the COP4 Submission to UNFCCC

by the Government of Japan



The Government of Japan submitted information related to Article 3.3 on August 26, 1998, and that related to Article 3.4 on October 26, 1998, to SBSTA. It is of prime importance that both of those submissions be fully taken into consideration and discussed in drafting the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (SRLUCF). The GOJ, however, has not submitted any information related to gProject-based activitiesh and gthe Guidelines for reporting under the Kyoto Protocolh so far, both of which were determined to be discussed in the SRLUCF. Therefore the GOJ is taking this opportunity to submit some additional information on these issues to SBSTA.

With respect to political and procedural issues associated with Article 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol, the allocation of responsibility between the IPCC and SBSTA will pose a problem throughout the process. However, it seems to be impractical to make a mutually exclusive division of roles. It will be important to give consideration as to how they can establish a complementary relationship which will bring great progress, ensuring the principle that IPCC should take charge of scientific aspects while SBSTA should be in charge of political issues. In that sense, it would be and have been good practice to hold the IPCC Lead Authors meetings back to back with the SBSTA workshops related to Article 3.3 and 3.4.


Regarding project-based activities related to sinks, it will be important to develop the scientific understanding in the discussion of Chapter 6 of SRLUCF, and that results will be fully taken into account in the parallel discussions by SBSTA on political issues. Taking this into consideration, SBSTA should clearly request to the IPCC what is necessary to be provided by SRLUCF.

With regard to project-based activities related to sinks, there are some important issues including that he following ones, that should be discussed from a political viewpoint taking into account scientific discussions.

- Consistent accounting methods with that of country level activities

- Appropriate consideration of issues such as leakage, uncertainty and additionality.

At the same time, however, in addition to respecting these points, it is important to establish a well-balanced system by ensuring simplified procedures and minimizing transaction cost to consequently maximize the effect of reducing CO2 emissions and/or enhancing CO2 removals by facilitating implementation of sink projects.


In the consideration of the reporting guidelines, firstly, it must be respected that the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI) by IPCC was established in order to develop further discussion of scientific issues associated with inventories. It is therefore necessary to keep consistency between the scientific discussion conducted by the TFI and the description of the Chapter 7 of SRLUCF. For example, TFI experts should participate in considering the processes of SRLUCF.

Secondly, it should be also noted that there are two guidelines for reporting currently which include sink matters, the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the Revised Guidelines for the Preparation of National Communications by Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention. It is required not only to define clearly the relationship among both these guidelines, gadjustmenth under Article 5 and gsupplementary informationh under Article 7, but also to specify the items to be addressed by each of them respectively. In addition, gGood Practiceh on reducing CO2 emissions and/or enhancing CO2 removals by sinks through LUCF activities should be discussed to supplement the IPCC Guidelines. It will be necessary to discuss how to treat them in the relationship with the reporting guidelines. Regarding these reporting issues, SBSTA must specify what IPCC should be requested to provide in SRLUCF.

Finally, SBSTA should request that scientific discussions on reporting methods in the chapter 7 of SRLUCF adequately reflect the scientific discussions on definitions of ARD activities under the Article 3.3, additional activities under the Article 3.4 and sink projects in the respected chapters of SRLUCF. Taking these into considerations, SBSTA should have political considerations on these issues.