Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 12 No. 277
TUESDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2005
The twenty-fourth session of the IPCC met for a second day on Tuesday. In the morning, delegates discussed further work on aerosols, election procedures, and emission scenarios. In the afternoon, delegates considered emission scenarios, outreach, and procedures for admitting observer organizations to the IPCC. The Financial Task Team met twice to continue discussions of the IPCC programme and budget for 2006-08, as did a contact group on election procedures.
NATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES PROGRAMME
On the proposal of the NGGIP Task Force to hold a follow-up meeting on Emission Estimation of Aerosols Relevant to Climate Change (IPCC-XXIV/Doc. 9), WG I Co-Chair Solomon noted concerns, including: avoiding overlap with the work of WG I; ensuring that the NGGIP works within its mandate and that of the IPCC; and insufficient scientific knowledge for developing methodologies on aerosols. NEW ZEALAND, with AUSTRIA and HUNGARY, and opposed by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, said the IPCC should defer consideration of further work on aerosols until the AR4 is completed. CHINA said aerosols should not be included in emission inventories without better scientific knowledge. The UK, with ARGENTINA and the US, suggested that the IPCC should “have a story” on aerosols, even if that story is the postponement of further work until after the AR4.
NGGIP Task Force Co-Chair Hiraishi said the NGGIP Task Force did not intend to include aerosols in the 2006 Guidelines, or to prepare a research programme on aerosols, rather, it wished to consider how its expertise could assist others with research. He noted that, given uncertainties about further work, the NGGIP Task Force proposal could be postponed. Delegates agreed to postpone consideration of further work until after the AR4 is completed.
Taking up discussions from Monday, Chair Pachauri introduced revised draft rules of procedures for the election of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau, noting that the text should not be seen “ab initio,” bearing in mind that the language is consistent with other IPCC documents and has gone through extensive government scrutiny. On definitions, discussion centered on whether Bureau members are countries or persons, with SWITZERLAND and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION favoring reference to countries, while HUNGARY, CANADA, BELGIUM, the NETHERLANDS and SLOVENIA supported reference to persons. AUSTRIA and the US suggested attending to this in the rules of procedure rather than in the definitions.
SWITZERLAND, with HUNGARY, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, SPAIN and KENYA, and opposed by CHINA, stressed the need for flexibility in organizing the IPCC Bureau and opposed reference to Annex C, which lists the composition of the IPCC Bureau and Task Force Bureau, in the definition of the IPCC Bureau. SWITZERLAND also opposed a reference to Annex C in the rules for composition of the Bureaus. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed the need for members to have government support given the intergovernmental nature of the IPCC. The US, with HUNGARY, noted the importance of clearly defining the functions of a nominations committee.
During contact group discussions in the afternoon and evening, co-chaired by David Warrilow (UK) and Richard Odingo (Kenya), delegates discussed re-election procedures and a rule on cases where a member of the IPCC or Task Force Bureau resigns or is unable to complete the assigned term of office. Co-Chair Warrilow explained that the rule includes a “security check” insofar as the new member would have to be elected by the Panel. On terms of appointment, FRANCE, with AUSTRIA, proposed that the IPCC Bureau nominate a suitable replacement in cases where an IPCC member fails to nominate a replacement candidate or is not confirmed by the Panel. Delegates agreed to extend the time allowed for finding a replacement from three to six months.
On nominations, most delegates supported deletion of a reference to a candidate’s nationality, agreeing that the candidate should be regarded as a representative of the nominating country regardless of his or her nationality.
On election procedures, many delegates supported the use of some WMO formulations for a nominations committee to facilitate voting procedures, and stressed the importance of Regions deciding on their candidates. Delegates also agreed on rules about the size and composition of the IPCC Bureau, the definition of the IPCC Bureau, and other outstanding issues.
IPCC PROGRAMME AND BUDGET FOR 2006-08
The Financial Task Team (FTT) met in the morning and again in the evening after a brief update to plenary on its progress. In the morning, the Secretariat provided information on lead author, working group, and other meetings that were cancelled, postponed, or held back-to-back with other meetings, and the contribution of these meetings to the 2004-05 financial carryover. The FTT made several adjustments to the forecast budget following requests, and the receipt of updated information, from the TSU, the TGICA and the NGGIP Task Force, and in light of decisions taken at IPCC-24.
In the evening FTT meeting, the Secretariat distributed a revised IPCC Programme and Budget for 2006-08, which included the addition of a two-year position for an information officer to assist in the development and implementation of a communications strategy for the AR4. Delegates approved a draft decision on the budget for discussion in plenary on Wednesday and agreed that if additional funding for outreach were to be included in the budget, the request would need to come from the Panel.
FURTHER WORK OF THE IPCC ON EMISSION SCENARIOS
Chair Pachauri introduced this issue, noting the outcomes of the Laxemburg workshop, in particular that the IPCC should play a facilitating and coordinating role in the development of new emission scenarios. He introduced a proposal to establish a Task Group (IPCC-XXIV/Doc. 11), which, with regard to new emission scenarios, would define, inter alia: the coordination role to be provided by the IPCC; deliverables of the emission scenarios development process; the process and timeline for development of new scenarios; and the organizational arrangements of the IPCC’s activities on coordinating, assessing and using scenarios. Under the proposal, the Task Group would present its report to IPCC-25.
HUNGARY underlined the importance of emission scenarios beyond their use by the IPCC, and stressed that the IPCC’s responsibility cannot be reduced to facilitation of the scenario development process. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION underscored the extent to which the IPCC’s work depends upon scenarios. AUSTRIA, NEW ZEALAND and many others highlighted the need for new emission scenarios prior to AR5, while CHINA said new scenarios should only be considered after the AR4 is completed. Many delegates asked for flexibility in the composition of the Task Group proposed by Chair Pachauri. GERMANY and others expressed a preference for the IPCC to undertake emission scenario development, but a willingness to compromise on the IPCC’s “coordinating and facilitating” emission scenario development. Supported by many, the US proposed explicit reference to the Laxemburg workshop in the Task Group mandate. BELGIUM, GREENPEACE and others emphasized the need for coherent assumptions and storylines, comparable scenarios, and a wide range of scenarios including economic, demographic and other social factors. AUSTRALIA cautioned against Task Group micromanagement by the Plenary. The UK underscored continuity with past emission scenarios, in order not to undermine the work upon which the AR4 is based. EGYPT and others noted the need to involve developing countries. CHILE proposed that the IPCC develop methodology guidelines for the development of national emission scenarios, which would help developing countries. DENMARK stressed geo-referencing of scenarios. SPAIN emphasized the need for temporal and spatial disaggregation of scenarios, and CHILE emphasized the relevance of regional scenarios for decision makers. KENYA expressed worries about the ownership of scenarios developed by other institutions, and associated budgetary implications. MOROCCO, noting the risk of scenario proliferation, proposed a work group to clarify a procedure for preparing scenarios that would serve to differentiate between IPCC and non-IPCC scenarios. Chair Pachauri proposed to include comments from the plenary in the IPCC-24 report. Delegates approved this Task Force proposal.
IPCC Secretary Christ presented a progress report on outreach activities and a consultancy report entitled Framework Communications Strategy for Release and Dissemination of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. She noted the new IPCC web site could be online before the close of IPCC-24.
Many delegates highlighted the importance of disseminating IPCC information to the broadest possible audience. The NETHERLANDS, with support from many others, cited the need to engage developing countries. UGANDA and NIGERIA added that non-electronic forms of communication should also be used when distributing documents to many developing countries. In response to comments by SWEDEN and FINLAND on their translation of IPCC documents into their own languages, IPCC Secretary Christ urged countries to share such translations with the IPCC Secretariat.
CANADA, with ARGENTINA, FRANCE and others, stressed the need for the IPCC to use international events to disseminate information, and for individual governments to disseminate information nationally. The US, with SWITZERLAND and ARGENTINA, cautioned that outreach activities must not become marketing mechanisms, as that would extend beyond the IPCCï¿½s role. FRANCE, BELGIUM, and Chair Pachauri spoke against the release of any products prior to IPCC approval.
Delegates agreed that the Outreach Task Group would begin meeting again. Chair Pachauri asked John Stone and Lucka Kajfez-Bogataj (Slovenia) to co-chair the Task Group, and invited Austria, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Chile, Costa Rica, Belgium, and any other interested parties to participate. The first meeting of the Task Group is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
IPCC Secretary Christ introduced a proposal for a Policy and Process for Admitting Observer Organizations to the IPCC (IPCC-XXIV/Doc.10). The NETHERLANDS suggested including several additional conditions for admitting organizations. CHINA said the policy must be consistent with the principles of the IPCC, and proposed establishing a work group on the issue. HUNGARY, the US, AUSTRIA and SWITZERLAND emphasized the role of observer organizations in facilitating transparency and confidence in organizations. Deliberations will continue in plenary on Wednesday.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Several delegates noted that disagreements regarding election procedures seemed to reflect diverging views of the IPCCï¿½s dual roles as a scientific and an intergovernmental body. One observer, noting the polarized positions on election procedures, expressed pessimism about whether the issue would be resolved at IPCC-24. From the reported success of an evening contact group on the issue, he could prove to be wrong.
ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS:
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary and Analysis of WGIII-8
and IPCC-24 will be available on Friday, 30 September 2005 on line: