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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d93may93

At the seventh meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) held in New York City in March (the first since the Clinton Administration took office), U.S. representative Madeleine Albright announced that the Administration will conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. policy on climate change. It intends to determine whether the U.S. can at least stabilize its greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2000, and to complete a revised national action plan before the next INC meeting in August. While the statement clearly signals a change in attitude from that of the Bush Administration, the use of the term "greenhouse emissions" rather than "carbon emissions" suggests that President Clinton may have backed off his campaign promise to stabilize CO2 emissions by the year 2000 (Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 4, Mar. 26). In an account of the INC meeting in its new monthly bulletin Climate Watch, the Global Climate Coalition (1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, S. 1500 N. Tower, Washington DC 20004; 202-637-3158), which represents industry, discusses its support for the policy review, emphasizing the need to examine the various economic consequences of proposed actions.

The main topic of the INC meeting was a set of proposals from the "Group of 77" developing countries regarding the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Developing countries favor an arrangement which gives them a voice in the funding mechanisms intended to help them attain the goals of the climate convention, and favor a structure resembling the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund. Little progress was made on this and related topics, and discussions will continue in working group meetings and at the next INC meeting in August. (See meeting accounts in the Mar. 24 Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 195-196 and 198, and an article (pp. 233-237) by D.M. Goldberg of the Center for International Environmental Law (Washington, D.C.), which discusses the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund as a model for climate convention funding.

At an international meeting on climate research, held in April in Geneva under U.N. sponsorship, 53 countries pledged to improve climate research programs and reporting techniques, particularly in developing countries. The aim of the conference was to improve the ability to predict climate. A meeting account in ibid. (pp. 282-283, Apr. 21) again brings up the debate over funding mechanisms, which will be crucial to developing countries attempting to improve their climate services.

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