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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs > Releases > Remarks > Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Remarks 2005

Intervention by the United States at COP 11

Dr. Harlan L. Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative and Alternate Head of the U.S. Delegation
Remarks to the Conference of the Parties Plenary: Agenda Item 2
Washington, DC
November 28, 2005

Thank you, Mr. President.

At the outset, we wish to congratulate you on your election. We also wish to thank Canada for hosting this eleventh Conference of the Parties under the Framework Convention, which is also the first meeting of the Parties under the Kyoto Protocol.

This is the first time that the Conference of the Parties under the Framework Convention has taken place concurrently with the meeting of the Parties under the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, to ensure the effective operation of these two bodies, it will be important to maintain a clear separation between Convention issues and Kyoto Protocol issues, in light of the legally distinct nature of these separate instruments.

At the 19th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, all Convention Parties agreed on the manner in which the separation between Convention and Protocol issues will be implemented at this first meeting of Kyoto Parties. Convention Parties observed that this first meeting would be something of an experiment and that we may need to adjust the approach for future meetings. We look to you, Mr. President, and to the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies to implement these arrangements in an effective manner, and we look forward to reviewing their effectiveness with respect to future meetings.

The conclusions from SBI-19 do not address how the determination will be made as to whether an issue falls under the Framework Convention or the Kyoto Protocol. We see three considerations:

First, if an issue is directly linked to a specific article of the Convention or of the Protocol, it clearly falls under that instrument.

Second, if an issue arises as the result of a decision under the Convention or under the Protocol, the issue should relate to the instrument under which the decision was taken. For example, the report on Carbon Capture and Storage was called for under a decision of the COP/moP. Accordingly, it should be seen as an issue under the Kyoto Protocol, not the Convention. In this regard, we acknowledge that past COP decisions generated Protocol issues. In the future, however, COP decisions will generate only Convention issues.

Third, if the substance of an issue is tied to the Framework Convention or to the Kyoto Protocol, the issue or decision should relate to the instrument to which the substance is tied. For example, COP decision 13/CP.7 on Policies and Measures (PAMs) is tied directly to the Kyoto Protocol by references to article 2, paragraph 1(b) of the Kyoto Protocol. Alternatively, an agenda item may be linked to one instrument or the other if it deals substantively with activities relating to one body or the other for example, Capacity Building under the Convention.

Of course, as with all other issues, the authority of a contact group derives from the plenary. If an issue is referred to a contact group established under the Framework Convention, that contact group would have no authority to consider aspects that may relate to the Kyoto Protocol, and vice versa.

Thank you, Mr. President. We look forward to working with you over the next two weeks.

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