INC Geneva June 1991

As in the prenegotiation period, the U.S. negotiating positions remained stable in the first half of 1991. The United States continued to emphasize its five principles as it prepared for INC II. Though a National Academy of Sciences report in March 1991 claimed that the United States could substantially reduce emissions through conservation and energy efficiency measures, the Bush administration adhered to "the gloomiest economic forecasts of a 3 percent decline in national income to achieve the European goals of a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide . . ."151 The United States continued to focus on uncertainty and to oppose emission reductions in the proposed climate convention.

The positions of the participants changed little if at all in the intervening months between INC I and II. Both French and German position papers provided in advance of INC II stressed the importance of North-first action, global responses, and the need for binding carbon dioxide emission targets.152 The U.S. position paper, on the other hand, stressed global participation, emphasized the need for development assistance, and omitted any mention of carbon dioxide targets.153 With little altered in the positions, INC II saw little progress. The 127 states that attended the Geneva meeting continued to debate South-North issues and hard targets.154 Working group one (focused on commitments and developmental assistance) predictably had "a divergence of views," as "several delegations considered that specific commitment should be included; others felt that commitments of this nature should not be sought at the present stage."155 In terms of development assistance, the principle of assistance (both financial and technological) was not contentious, but the necessity of a new fund and a new institution was debated.156

Working group two (focused on legal mechanisms and implementation) discussed the practicalities of financial and technological aid. One common theme was that "lessons learned from the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol were relevant to the establishment of mechanisms under a climate change convention."157 However, as in working group one, debate ensued on the need for new funds and institutions but was not resolved.158

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