Saturday, November 17, 2012

Subsidiary Bodies - Key supports for the COP

There is more to the structure and processes of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties than meets the eye. Here's some additional background on the makeup and procedure of the COP:

The COP is advised by two permanent subsidiary bodies: the SBI and the SBSTA.

The SBI, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, supports the COP and the CMP by reviewing the success of the Convention's resolutions and the Kyoto Protocol. This includes looking over the present parties'  national communications and emission inventories, and reviewing the financial assistance provided to non-Annex I parties (mostly developing countries) to ensure that they were honoring their commitments to resolutions. The parties negotiate in the body to work towards the intentions of the original UNFCCC convention and other agreements. 

The SBSTA (some say "sub-sta"), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, acts as a connecting link between scientific information from expert sources (like the IPCC) and the policies of the COP. The body provides relevant information and advises the COP on scientific research and technology, focusing mainly on impacts and adaptation to climate change, deforestation emissions and impacts on developing countries, environmentally friendly technologies and their transfer, improving the guidelines for reviewing emission inventories from Annex I parties (mostly developed countries), and encouraging collaboration in climate change research.

The COP is the decision-making body of the UNFCCC, therefore its annual meetings are extremely relevant for all Parties. The upcoming conference in Doha, COP18, will be the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties since they began in 1995.

It's less than two weeks until all of these bodies, parties, and acronyms become very real!  We're all very excited and looking forward to attending this conference, and we're spending our last weeks learning the most we can about the negotiations we will observe.


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