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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d94mar110

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held its ninth session February 7-18 in Geneva. Much of the discussion concerned the adequacy of the current commitment of industrialized countries under the convention, to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The United States, the European Union, and some other countries supported additional agreements concerning emission levels after that date, which are not addressed by the current commitment. Those in opposition included Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. No final decision was made. INC Chair Raul Estrada Oyuela of Argentina claimed substantial progress was made toward strengthening the commitments, while representatives of the energy industry and of non-governmental organizations felt otherwise, according to a report in Intl. Environ. Rptr. (pp. 155-156, Feb. 23).

Other matters included financial mechanisms and joint implementation (projects in which two countries cooperate to lower emissions). Little progress was made on these contentious issues, but guidelines were developed for the national reports on emission reduction programs that industrial countries must submit by next September. (See Energy, Econ. & Clim. Change, pp. 8-9, Feb.; Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 4, Feb. 25. Background for the meeting is discussed in ibid., pp. 1-3, Jan 28.)

The INC has two meetings scheduled for August and next February, during which it will attempt to settle these issues, prior to the first session of the Conference of Parties to the convention, tentatively scheduled for March 1995.

Official INC documents, including meeting reports and discussion papers on joint implementation and other topics, may be obtained from the INC Secretariat, 16, av. J. Trembley, CH-1209 Geneva, Switz. (tel:+41 22 798 8400; fax: +41 22 788 3823).

Climate Change Bulletin, published quarterly by the U.N. and the World Meteorological Organization, contains information on the progress of the climate convention and is available at no charge from the Information Unit on Climate Change (IUCC), UNEP, CP 356, 1219 Ch√Ętelaine, Geneva, Switz. The IUCC also offers fact sheets, videos and other services in several languages.

Two non-governmental organizations have released Independent NGO Evaluations of National Plans for Climate Change Mitigation: First Review, February 1994, examining 14 countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan and Germany. The 43-page report is available at no charge from the U.S. Climate Action Network, 1350 New York Ave. NW, S. 300, Washington DC 20005 (tel: 202-624-9360; fax: 202-783-5917); or from Climate Network Europe, 44 rue du Taciturne, 1040 Brussels, Belg. (tel: +32 2 231 0180; fax: +32 2 230 5713). It is also available in electronic form on Econet, which provides electronic coverage of the INC meetings and key INC documents. Contact IGC Networks, 18 De Boom St., San Francisco CA 94107 (tel: 415-442-0220; fax: 415-546-1794).

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