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STATEMENT BY MS. ALISON DRAYTON, HEAD OF DELEGATION OF GUYANA, ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA, AT THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES TO THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
30 June 2008 / 04:15

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, On behalf of the Group of 77 & China, I would like to extend our congratulations on your election as President of the Conference of Parties at its Fifth session. We consider that we are well poised for a successful and productive meeting and the Group is working hard to contribute towards positive outcomes on all issues before us.

We were encouraged by the remarks on the opening day by Chancellor Schroeder of the Federal Republic of Germany noting the importance of climate change in this important country. Our appreciation also goes to the Executive Secretary and the Convention Secretariat for their contribution to enable all of us in discussing wide-ranging issues. Buenos Aires Plan of Action: The Fourth Conference of Parties in November 1998 adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. We now have to consider the question of how we are going to initiate action on these various issues and this is likely to take some time to resolve. Substantial progress in different elements of the Plan has to be achieved so that the Conference of Parties will be in a position to adopt major decisions at its Sixth session. The Group is confident that the Fifth session in Bonn under your Presidency will make a substantial contribution in our road to the Hague meeting.

Mr. President, I do not have to repeat that the challenge before developing countries is to catalyze sustainable development, while the Annex I Countries have to curtail the enormous levels of greenhouse gases emissions in the past few decades. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change affirms the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between the developed and the developing countries. The Convention recognizes that the overriding priority of the developing countries are poverty eradication and social economic development, consequent to which their emissions would grow. The extent to which the developing countries can effectively implement their commitments will depend in large part on the effective implementation by our partners of their commitments relating to provision of financial resources and transfer of technology. Recognizing the necessary urgency of action required to mitigate climate change the Group was quick to focus on the three Kyoto mechanisms and provided its position at the Subsidiary Body meetings in June of this year. Here in Bonn, the Group, in accordance with the priority agreed by COP-4, has made a submission on the clean development mechanism. Differences in the nature and scope, purpose and participation of the three mechanisms must be born in mind.

The Group believes that the principles and nature and scope should be decided first; the operational, methodological and other questions relating to modalities and institutional arrangements could then be decided accordingly. It should be left to the host governments to decide whether or not a particular project meets with their sustainable development objectives and strategies, including areas and choice of technologies. Activities Implemented Jointly: Concerning AIJ, one of the elements which was identified for inclusion in the review process of the AIJ pilot phase is the geographical imbalance in the distribution of AIJ activities. Recognizing the need to gain practical experience in the hosting of projects, the Group supports the continuation of the AIJ pilot phase. Very few developing countries have participated in AIJ, and Africa and Small Island Developing States have been particularly disadvantaged in this respect. Even now that attempts are being made to remedy this situation, most of the projects are still in the planning stage and have yet to be implemented. We need particular focus on the necessary institutional framework for project based activities and the support for related capacity-building measures. On non-Annex I communications.

Mr. President, the successful implementation of the Kyoto Protocol depends upon the provision of national communications, and the Convention provides that the full agreed cost be covered by Annex II Parties. As you may have noted, the provision of financial assistance has not been a smooth affair. Most of the countries find that the resources provided have been insufficient to help them fully fulfil their commitments and many of us have had to draw from already scarce national resources in order to maintain the necessary institutional support for the communications. Capacity- building: Capacity building, including education, training, public awareness and research, is an overarching necessity at all levels for the developing countries to participate adequately in the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Capacity building in developing countries, particularly the least developed countries and the small islands states are constrained by, among others, lack of access to necessary technologies and know how; lack of appropriate institutions, lack of financial resources, and lack of regular forums to exchange ideas and build positions amongst ourselves. It is a continuous process that must be undertaken at all levels, including long-term planning, and strengthening relevant institutions like the FCCC focal points, centers of excellences, sub-regional and regional institutions and human resource development in order to provide expertise in the areas relating to the implementation of the Convention and Protocol processes. Within this context, the G77 and China welcomes the decision to address capacity building needs of developing countries in a comprehensive manner, while taking into account the special concerns and specific needs of the least developed countries and also the particular vulnerability of these countries and small island states to climate change. I therefore wish to emphasize that we would be extremely disappointed if progress in this area were to be held up in any way. Compliance: The Group of 77 and China recognizes that extensive work on compliance still needs to be done before COP6.

The establishment of a comprehensive, efficient and fair compliance system is imperative to ensure the successful implementation of the Protocol and as a first priority aim at ensuring that the emission reduction targets set out in Article 3 are met by Annex B Parties. The discussions in the Joint Working Group have been substantive in nature and indeed fruitful. We do believe that the time spent here on a detailed analysis of the various positions will assist us in the future to reach agreement on a compliance system that would serve the Parties and the Protocol well. It is the intention of the Group of 77 and China to participate constructively in future deliberations.

Mr. President, The developed countries have not achieved any degree of success in fulfilling their commitments under the Convention for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The latest data points to the fact that, in most cases, the emissions of Annex I Parties have registered significant increases in the recent years. This can not but give rise to serious doubt regarding their willingness and capacity to adhere to the obligations under the Convention and the Protocol. There has also not been any tangible progress in their extending support to the considerable efforts of the developing countries in dealing with climate change, despite the provisions of the Convention and the Protocol relating to resource transfers and the transfer of technology. The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate that climate change issues can be discussed only in a framework of equity. The Group stands ready to contribute to your efforts in carrying forward the process.

Thank you, Mr. President.