The 32nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was held from 11-14 October 2010 in Busan, Republic of Korea. The approximately 300 participants focused on two primary tasks: revising the scope of the synthesis report (SYR) for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5); and addressing the recommendations of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) Review of the IPCC processes and procedures. The Panel adopted a number of decisions in response to the IAC Review, including on treatment of grey literature and uncertainty, and processes to address errors in previous reports. The Panel also agreed to establish task groups on processes and procedures, communications, conflict of interest policy and management and governance to address recommendations that required further examination. They also accepted a revised outline for the AR5 SYR.
Participants also addressed the communications strategy and replacement of members of the IPCC Bureau. Progress reports were presented on the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN), the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI) and the IPCC Peace Prize Scholarship Fund. The Panel observed one minute of silence in memory of Stephen Schneider and Igor Shiklomanov, and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced that the AR5 would be dedicated to Stephen Schneider, who “embodied the IPCC.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IPCC
The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Its purpose is to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the risks associated with human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC does not undertake new research, nor does it monitor climate-related data, but it conducts assessments on the basis of published and peer-reviewed scientific and technical literature.
The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group (WG) I addresses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change; WG II addresses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, impacts of climate change and adaptation options; and WG III addresses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Each WG has two Co-Chairs and six Vice-Chairs, except WG III, which for the Fifth Assessment cycle has three Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs guide the WGs in fulfilling the mandates given to them by the Panel and are assisted in this task by Technical Support Units (TSUs).
The IPCC also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI). The Task Force oversees the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme, which aims to develop and refine an internationally agreed methodology and software for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals, and to encourage the use of this methodology by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The IPCC Bureau is elected by the Panel for the duration of the preparation of an IPCC assessment report (approximately six years). Its role is to assist the IPCC Chair in planning, coordinating and monitoring the work of the IPCC. The Bureau is composed of climate change experts representing all regions. Currently, the Bureau comprises 31 members: the Chair of the IPCC, the Co-Chairs of the three WGs and the Bureau of the TFI (TFB), the IPCC Vice-Chairs, and the Vice-Chairs of the three WGs. The IPCC Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and is hosted by the WMO.
IPCC PRODUCTS: Since its inception, the IPCC has prepared a series of comprehensive assessments, special reports and technical papers that provide scientific information on climate change to the international community, including policymakers and the public, and are subject to extensive review by experts and governments. This information has played an important role in the framing of national and international policies.
The IPCC has so far undertaken four comprehensive assessments of climate change, each playing a key role in advancing negotiations under the UNFCCC: the First Assessment Report was completed in 1990; the Second Assessment Report in 1995; the Third Assessment Report in 2001; and the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. At its 28th session in 2008, the IPCC decided to undertake a Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and to complete it in 2014.
The AR4 is structured into three volumes, one for each of the WGs. Each volume is comprised of a Summary for Policymakers (SPM), a Technical Summary and an underlying assessment report. All sections of the AR4 underwent a thorough review process, which took place in three stages: a first review by experts; a second review by experts and governments; and a third review by governments. Each SPM was approved line-by-line by the Panel. The AR4 also includes a Synthesis Report (SYR), highlighting the most relevant aspects of the three WG reports, and a SPM of the SYR, which was approved line-by-line by the Panel. Overall, more than 450 lead authors, 800 contributing authors, 2500 expert reviewers and 130 governments participated in the elaboration of the AR4.
In addition to the comprehensive assessments, the IPCC produces special reports, methodology reports and technical papers, focusing on specific issues related to climate change. Special reports prepared by the IPCC include: The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability (1997); Aviation and the Global Atmosphere (1999); Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (2000); Methodological and Technical Issues in Technology Transfer (2000); Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System (2005); and Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (2005). Work is currently underway on two more special reports: one on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN), carried out under the leadership of WG III and to be released in 2011; and the other on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) under WG I, which will be finalized in 2011. Technical papers have been prepared on Climate Change and Biodiversity (2002) and on Climate Change and Water (2008), among others.
The IPCC also produces methodology reports or guidelines to assist countries in reporting on greenhouse gases. The IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories were first released in 1994 and a revised set was completed in 1996. Additional Good Practice Guidance reports were approved by the Panel in 2000 and 2003. The latest version, the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, was approved by the Panel in 2006.
For all this work and its efforts to “build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations that are needed to counteract such change,” the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with former US Vice President Al Gore, in December 2007.
IPCC-28: This session was held from 9-10 April 2008, in Budapest, Hungary, with discussions centering on the future of the IPCC, including key aspects of its work programme such as WG structure, main type and timing of future reports, and the future structure of the IPCC Bureau and the TFB. At this session, the IPCC agreed to prepare the AR5 and to retain the current structure of its WGs. In order to enable significant use of new scenarios in the AR5, the Panel requested the Bureau to ensure delivery of the WG I report by early 2013 and completion of the other WG reports and the SYR at the earliest feasible date in 2014. The Panel also agreed to prepare the SRREN Report to be completed by 2010.
IPCC-29: This session, which commemorated the IPCC’s 20th anniversary, was held from 31 August to 4 September 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. At this time, the Panel elected the new IPCC Bureau and the TFB, and reelected Rajendra Pachauri as IPCC Chair. The Panel also continued its discussions on the future of the IPCC and agreed to create a scholarship fund for young climate change scientists from developing countries with the funds from the Nobel Prize. It also asked the Bureau to consider a scoping meeting on the SREX Report, which took place from 23-26 March 2009 in Oslo, Norway.
IPCC-30: This session was held from 21-23 April 2009 in Antalya, Turkey. At the meeting, the Panel focused mainly on the near-term future of the IPCC and the scoping of the AR5, and developed a number of proposals in this regard. The proposals relevant to the scope of the report were forwarded as guidance to the AR5 scoping meeting, which was held in Venice, Italy, from 13-17 July 2009. It also gathered climate change experts to propose the chapter outlines of WG contributions to the AR5.
IPCC-31: This session was held from 26-29 October 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. Discussions focused on approval of the proposed chapter outlines developed by participants at the Venice scoping meeting. The Panel also considered progress on the implementation of decisions taken at IPCC-30 regarding involvement of scientists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, use of electronic technologies and the longer-term future of the IPCC.
INTERACADEMY COUNCIL REVIEW: In response to public criticism of the IPCC related to inaccuracies in the AR4, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri requested the InterAcademy Council (IAC) to conduct an independent review of the IPCC processes and procedures and to present recommendations to strengthen the IPCC and ensure the ongoing quality of its reports. In May 2010, the IAC Board appointed a twelve-member Review Committee, chaired by Harold Shapiro, President Emeritus, Princeton University. The Review Committee convened three times between May and July 2010 to gather different perspectives from IPCC members, UN officials and other experts. Interviews and a questionnaire made available to the public via the internet also provided input into the process. Following a review of the draft report, the final report was approved in August 2010.
The IAC Review makes recommendations regarding: management structure; a communications strategy, including a plan to respond to crises; transparency, including criteria for selecting participants and the type of scientific and technical information to be assessed; and consistency in how the WGs characterize uncertainty.
IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri opened the 32nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-32) on Monday, 11 October 2010, highlighting progress on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), including the selection of 831 authors and review editors. He noted that the past year had been a challenging period for the IPCC, but underscored that the InterAcademy Council (IAC) had concluded that “the IPCC can claim many accomplishments to its credit,” and that “the assessment process is successful overall.” Noting the need to take action during this session, Chair Pachauri emphasized a government-driven and transparent process to address the IAC recommendations.
Lee Maanee, Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea, highlighted the Republic of Korea’s vision of global green growth and its commitment to reduce emissions by 30% relative to business-as-usual by 2020. He also emphasized the importance of international cooperation and the need to share experiences and expertise.
Former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo, Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Republic of Korea, noted that although the recent UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Tianjin cloud prospects for an outcome in Cancun and that a post-Kyoto agreement is nowhere in sight, the change of public perception on the need to tackle climate change is remarkable. He noted the GGGI’s goal of sharing with emerging economies practical solutions to reduce emissions without impacting their development potential and called for delegates to support Korea’s current bid to host the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2012.
Chun Byung-Seong, Korea Meteorological Association (KMA), noted that Korea is not exempt from the global trend of increased extreme events that are dominating the headlines and airwaves. He discussed the KMA’s work on detailed climate change scenarios in the Korean peninsula and at the regional scale.
Hur Nam-sik, Mayor of Busan, highlighted Korea’s green growth model and noted Busan is host to a number of organizations, including the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Climate Center.
Peter Gilruth, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), presented a statement on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, noting that this meeting is about leadership and restoring public confidence in and strengthening of the IPCC.
Jeremiah Lengoasa, Deputy Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), discussed WMO programmes, including the World Climate Research Programme and Global Climate Observing Systems, and said that, in essence, all programmes contribute to the work of the IPCC.
In a recorded message, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said the IPCC is the rock on which governments build climate change policies. She stressed that the IPCC’s role in bringing clarity on climate change science has never been more urgent or essential, as recent confusion has detracted from governments’ will to act. She drew attention to the high expectations and impacts of the AR5 on the UNFCCC negotiation process.
The Panel then adopted the agenda (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.1).
APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT REPORT OF THE 31ST SESSION
On Monday morning, the Panel took up approval of the draft report of IPCC-31 (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.2, Rev.1). A reference to the work of the group addressing the future of the IPCC at IPCC-31 was corrected to reflect its completion after having produced a set of recommendations, which will be taken up again towards the end of the assessment cycle. With this correction, the report was adopted.
IPCC PROGRAMME AND BUDGET FOR 2010-2014
This agenda item (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.3, Add.1 and Add.2) was taken up by the Panel in plenary on Monday morning and further addressed by the Financial Task Team (FTT), co-chaired by Conchita Martinez (Spain) and Ismail El Gizouli (Sudan).
In plenary, Renate Christ, IPCC Secretary, gave an overview of the draft IPCC Trust Fund programme and budget. She said that expenditures have increased and are expected to surpass the allocated budget and emphasized the importance of parties’ contributions to the IPCC Trust Fund.
Australia, supported by Germany, called for addressing the structural foundations of the budget beyond government contributions and for a sound look at priorities, in particular given financial constraints in national economies around the world. Supported by Germany, he called for attention to the budgetary implications of decisions made at this session. Clarifying a question by Belgium, Secretary Christ said the Panel had decided on the voluntary nature of contributions and that it was up to the Panel to reconsider this decision. The UK, with Germany and the US, called for recognition of historical contributions, including in-kind contributions to the Technical Support Units (TSUs). Norway called attention to its provision of CHF200,000 to the trust fund, with emphasis on participation by developing countries, and for the SREX Report, noting its intention to provide support for holding a meeting on this report in a developing country. Spain noted an increase in its contribution of 30-35%.
During the closing plenary, the FTT report highlighted the group’s recommendations to improve completeness and transparency and noted protracted discussions on travel-related matters. The FTT also drew attention to the fact that the Panel will be facing budgetary pressures in 2012 as a result of AR5. Switzerland and the Co-Chair of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI) raised further questions regarding transparency and clarity in the budget as originally presented. A proposal by the Secretariat for a temporary P-5 position to manage the IPCC scholarship programme was not accepted.
IPCC Conclusions: In its conclusions, the Panel requested the Secretariat to: maintain a list of all in-kind activities to the extent feasible as an appendix to future budget documents; maintain a list of underlying costing assumptions; and provide a strategic programme and budget presentation to the FTT at IPCC-33, examining projected income, projected budget and project expenditure by source for the duration of the AR5 cycle. The Panel also requested the Chair to write to the WMO Secretary-General to stress the importance of effective and efficient travel arrangements related to IPCC business, and called on developed country members to pay the travel costs for experts from their country in accordance with past practice. Highlighting that the budget is increasing and that the pressure of resource needs will increase during the AR5 period, with the budget expected to exceed CHF10 million in 2011, the Panel further: noted the need to align the budget with any matters arising from plenary decisions on the IAC Review at IPCC-33; noted the importance of ensuring alignment of the programmes with the budget across the AR5 cycle; and called on countries to maintain and increase their level of contributions.
IPCC 5TH ASSESSMENT REPORT (AR5)
SCOPE, CONTENT AND PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE AR5 SYNTHESIS REPORT: The scope, content and process for the preparation of the AR5 Synthesis Report (SYR) (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.4) was first taken up in plenary on Monday morning where participants made general statements regarding the scope, length and timing of the SYR. The discussion centered mainly on the revision of an SYR outline developed at a dedicated SYR scoping meeting held in Liège, Belgium, in August 2010. The proposed outline included five topics: (1) Observed changes and their causes; (2) Future changes (in the short and long-term); (3) Responses; (4) Transformations and changes in systems; and (5) Science supporting UNFCCC Article 2.
On the scope, Germany and others supported the proposed separate topic on UNFCCC Article 2, with the UK and Norway suggesting to introduce it after Topic 2 (future changes) and before discussing transformation pathways. In contrast, the US, Canada and Australia said UNFCCC Article 2 should be embedded within the structure, and not be included as a separate topic.
The UK and Norway, opposed by Canada, supported a section on geoengineering in the SYR, with Norway highlighting the need to discuss the merits and risk of different geoengineering options. Norway also proposed adding reference to impacts on the Millennium Development Goals in the topic on responses, and Sweden and Norway stressed that the SYR should communicate the co-benefits and tradeoffs between air pollution and climate change.
Switzerland expressed concern with capturing the wealth of information, in particular regional aspects, and said Topics 3 (responses) and 4 (transformations and changes in systems) should more clearly address the short versus long term. The US said the current structure is not easily comprehensible and noted overlaps, while Australia noted the SYR should integrate, rather than summarize, the three WG reports and that mitigation and adaptation should be addressed simultaneously. Noting the IAC recommended that the IPCC address a full range of views, the Netherlands, supported by Slovenia and opposed by Australia, suggested including alternative theories, including the views of climate skeptics so they could receive scientific appraisal in the WG reports and the SYR.
On timing, the US and the Netherlands, supported by Australia, said the WG III report should be approved before the SYR, with the Netherlands calling for moving the SYR approval date from September to November 2014 and for asking the UNFCCC Secretariat to schedule COP 20 in December 2014 so the AR5 results could be presented to the COP.
Delegates also discussed the SYR’s length and management, with the US saying that the WG Co-Chairs and TSUs should be involved at every stage of decision-making and should report directly to the IPCC Chair rather than to the Secretariat.
Discussions continued in the contact group from Tuesday through Thursday, which was co-chaired by Antonina Boncheva (Mexico) and Nicolas Beriot (France), with David Wratt (New Zealand) serving as rapporteur. Several delegates cautioned that Topic 5 (Science supporting UNFCCC Article 2) could become policy prescriptive. The US said UNFCCC Article 2 was a politically negotiated mitigation objective, and does not contain reference to impacts most relevant to policy-makers. Canada argued that science cannot support UNFCCC Article 2, although it is useful to inform decisions taken regarding UNFCCC Article 2. Supported by Saudi Arabia, he reiterated concern with the title not conveying a sufficiently policy-neutral message. Brazil said addressing Article 2 from the scientific point of view is difficult, and that Topic 5 is more political than scientific. The UK proposed using the term “stabilization” rather than referring to UNFCCC Article 2.
Delegates also discussed the nature and placement of the proposed Topic 5, with most delegates opposing its inclusion at the end of the SYR. Some countries, including Canada and Australia, reiterated their view that the issue is cross-cutting in nature and that it should be integrated into the other topics. Kiribati, the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Norway opposed, and supported having it as a stand-alone topic. Canada noted that the topic had not received the same attention in the scoping meeting as the other topics, and with Australia, the Netherlands, the US and others, suggested drawing out information that is relevant for UNFCCC Article 2 from other topics and including it in boxes, possibly throughout the text, instead of having it as a separate topic. The UK, Germany and others opposed presenting it as a box, saying that boxes present length and content limitations.
Noting that many of the key components in that topic could come under risks of climate change, WG II Co-Chair Chris Field suggested a box on UNFCCC Article 2 could serve as a roadmap, taking readers back through the SYR to understand the new scientific findings relevant to that article. As a compromise, the UK, supported by Germany Denmark, WG II TSU, Norway and others, proposed a separate topic on risks and vulnerabilities before Topics 3 (responses) and 4 (systemic transformation and changes in systems).
Discussions continued, with delegates noting the difficulty of inserting a new topic at this time without being redundant or affecting flow. In the end, key issues in the UK proposal were incorporated under the existing topics. For example, reference to: “ecosystems, food production, and sustainable economic development” (as in UNFCCC Article 2) was included under “Projections of future changes and risks”; “geoengineering—possible options, risks and status” was added under “Response options”; and “impacts and risks” was added to the title of Topic 2 (future changes).
For clarity, the group agreed to refer to “Mitigation and adaptation measures” instead of referring to “Responses” in Topic 3. Saudi Arabia called for inclusion “spillover effects” of mitigation responses under that topic.
After a brief exchange on the length of the SYR, the group agreed to limit the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) to eight pages, excluding tables, maps and figures, and the full report to 40 pages, including tables, maps, and figures.
Delegates also discussed the timing of the SYR in a breakout group. Stressing the need to ensure that the scientific work not be compromised and to allow consideration of all WG reports, delegates revised the timetable and postponed the adoption of the SYR by one month. This would allow a full advance version to be made available at the end of October for government consideration in advance of UNFCCC COP 20.
The group also discussed elements for the decision text, mostly focusing on how to express that the authors have some flexibility in the content, while providing clear guidance on how the subject matter should be treated.
IPCC Conclusions: The IPCC Panel accepted the SYR scoping document, containing: scope, content, SYR outline, and preparation of the SYR. The outline includes four topics: (1) Observed Changes and their Causes; (2) Future Climate Changes, Impacts and Risks; (3) Adaptation and Mitigation Measures; and (4) Transformation and Changes in Systems. The outline also includes a box titled “Information relevant to Article 2 of the UNFCCC.”
The document also contains a revised timetable, including a postponement of the SYR approval date, from September to the end of October, to allow for expert and government review after the completion of all three WG reports. The selection of authors of the SYR core writing team would also be slightly postponed to ensure better allocation of resources over the different tasks. The changes assume delivery of an unedited advance copy of the AR5 SYR in time for consideration by governments before UNFCCC COP 20 and for presentation at that session.
The SYR draft scoping document contains only a brief note on the writing team, with details to be filled in accordance with normal IPCC procedures. The management of the SYR will be considered at a future IPCC plenary due to lack of time for discussion.
PROGRESS REPORTS AND SCHEDULE OF AR5 RELATED ACTIVITIES: WG III Co-Chair Ottmar Edenhofer reported on a proposal in the WG III progress report (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.12) to hold an expert meeting on geoengineering. He said the meeting was meant to respond to the fact that, although geoengineering as a mitigation option remains rather abstract and lacks a comprehensive risk assessment, it is to be assessed by all three WGs in AR5. Edenhofer explained the meeting would discuss the scientific basis of geoengineering, its impacts and response options, and identify key knowledge gaps at the meeting. India stressed coherence in the treatment of geoengineering and a balanced geographical representation with regards to developed and developing countries. Germany called for an expert workshop, not an expert meeting. Noting the politically sensitive nature of the topic, the US preferred starting with a smaller meeting instead of a more open and larger workshop. Chair Pachauri proposed consultations between the US, Japan and the WG Co-Chairs. The issue was not brought back to the plenary.
REVIEW OF THE IPCC PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES: REPORT BY THE INTERACADEMY COUNCIL
On Monday afternoon, Chair Pachauri and Secretary Christ introduced the documents on this issue: IAC Report on Climate Change Assessments: Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.7); Note by the Secretariat on the Review of the IPCC Processes and Procedures Report by the IAC (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.22); Notes on the Informal Task Group on Procedures (IPCC-XXXII/INF.4); Compilations of Comments Received from Governments (IPCC-XXXII/INF.5 and Add.1); Comments by the E-team (IPCC-XXXII/INF.6); and Proposed IPCC Protocol for Addressing Errors in Previous Assessment Reports (IPCC-XXXII/INF.8).
Secretary Christ noted that the IAC Review contains three substantive chapters, including: evaluation of the IPCC’s assessment process; the IPCC’s evaluation of evidence and treatment of uncertainty; and governance and management. She highlighted that some recommendations, such as those on the use of grey literature and including a full range of views, could be addressed at this session with a view to implementing them during the AR5 process, while others would require more time. She said that the note by the Secretariat (Doc.22) highlighted the relevant sections of the Principles Governing IPCC Work that would need to be amended to implement various IAC recommendations, and identified existing work addressing recommendations, such as the Informal Task Group on Procedures and the cross-WG meeting on uncertainty guidance.
Chair Pachauri drew attention to additional topics addressed by the IAC that had not been translated into recommendations, inter alia, on: reducing the growing burden on the international scientific community; maintaining flexibility to respond to emerging science and the evolving needs of policy makers; structure of the WGs; and the timing of reports. Delegates then made general comments on the report.
All delegates welcomed the IAC Review and stressed the need for a clear and prompt response to its recommendations, emphasizing openness and transparency. Most also commented that, while the public visibility of the IPCC and expectations for its work have grown, its management and governance structures have essentially remained the same. Many agreed that the recommendations of the IAC presented a good opportunity to deal with the challenges ahead and to undertake reforms. Many felt that some recommendations could be implemented now, while others required further examination and could be addressed later. Many delegates supported establishing a task group to deal with more complicated issues requiring further study and discussion. A number of delegates said the IPCC’s good features and unique identity should not be put at risk as procedures and structure are updated, cautioned against disrupting ongoing processes, in particular the AR5, and noted that many of the IAC recommendations have already been implemented.
On what should be addressed at this meeting, but possibly completed at IPCC-33, the US suggested: the development of a conflict of interest policy for elected positions and staff and a code of conduct to apply to all; guidance on strengthening the review process; encouraging review editors to ensure all substantive comments are afforded appropriate consideration and that controversies are adequately reflected; treatment of grey literature; and the communications strategy.
Many countries made general comments about their positions regarding individual IAC recommendations, including: creation of an executive committee, its composition and functions; the role of the proposed executive director; adoption of a conflict of interest policy; defining the roles of the Secretariat and Bureau; creation of a communication strategy; addressing uncertainty; and treatment of grey literature.
Parties agreed to establish three contact groups on: governance and management; evaluation of the IPCC’s assessment process and the IPCC’s evaluation of evidence and treatment of uncertainty (processes and procedures); and communications.
Chair Pachauri said the broad terms of reference for the governance and management group, and the processes and procedures group should include: detailed discussion of the IAC Report and the proposed steps to be taken; a timetable for action; specific proposals for changes to the Principles Governing IPCC Work; and specific decisions to be taken by IPCC-32. The contact group on processes and procedures should also consider identification of responsibilities for implementation and resource implications of recommendations. The contact group on governance and management should also discuss the definition of roles and responsibilities, the manner of selecting an executive director and authorization of delegation powers to the executive committee, should the Panel decide to adopt these recommendations. He clarified that the contact groups’ terms of reference are flexible. The Netherlands said the groups should decide on those issues that should be addressed by the task groups during the intersessional period.
IAC REVIEW COMMITTEE PRESENTATION: On Tuesday morning, Sir Peter Williams, Vice-President of The Royal Society, UK, and member of the IAC Review committee, presented the major findings and recommendations of the IAC. He stressed the many important accomplishments of the IPCC and the committee’s deep respect for the assessments the Panel conducts. He emphasized that the recommendations are intended to help the IPCC manage an ever more complex assessment process, which is increasingly under the public microscope.
On management and governance, Sir Peter noted that the IAC report addressed: the increased complexity and scale of assessments; the importance of continuity of management between assessments; lack of evolution in the management structure since 1988; issues of conflict of interest, disclosure and communications; and accountability within the UN structure. He highlighted some of the main IAC recommendations, including:
- establishing an executive committee to act on the Panel’s behalf between plenary sessions, composed of the IPCC Chair, WG Co-Chairs, a senior member of the Secretariat and three independent members;
- electing an executive director to lead the Secretariat and handle day-to-day matters of the Panel;
- limiting the terms of the senior members of the Bureau to a single assessment in order to maintain the vigor of the organization; and
- developing and adopting a rigorous conflict of interest policy.
On processes and procedures, Sir Peter emphasized that the IAC sought to reinforce existing procedures within the IPCC and highlighted recommendations to improve the characterization of uncertainty, the review process, transparency and inclusiveness, and the treatment of grey literature. On review procedure, he recalled the error on the recession of Himalayan glaciers in the AR4, noting that three review comments had identified the error, which was avoidable. He acknowledged that, while procedures should be constructed to minimize errors, these were three comments out of a total of 90,000, and reiterated the complexity of the review process.
In response to several questions on the recommended executive director, Sir Peter clarified that the proposal was to enhance the Secretariat with the position of an executive director instead of a secretary, in order to: ensure the ability of the senior manager of the Secretariat to engage with eminent scientists at the same level; and improve the ability of the Panel to communicate to the public effectively and promptly. Sir Peter said that the IAC Review found communication was weak and a mechanism was needed to remedy that by further empowering the Secretariat, including through the executive director, who would be able to speak on the IPCC’s behalf when needed. He noted the perception that both the Vice-Chairs and WG Co-Chairs have not been widely used by the Panel in its communications.
Clarifying questions on the form and function of the recommended executive committee, Sir Peter noted that the committee would handle more routine, day-to-day tasks, and meet more regularly than the Bureau. Sir Peter said that the existing Executive Team (E-team) provided a very good basis from which to develop an executive committee. Responding to a question on the possible role of independent members of the proposed executive committee, Sir Peter noted the customary practice in many organizations to include such members to act as a “voice of reason.”
Responding to a question by Canada on organizational continuity and the possible contradiction with the recommendation that terms of office be limited to one assessment cycle, Sir Peter said that the term is defined liberally, allowing some overlap of WG Co-Chairs.
Iran noted the complexity of the literature, particularly for use by developing country policymakers, and called for an assessment of how countries have considered and used AR4 recommendations. Sir Peter confirmed that the IAC recommendations do stress the vital importance of increasing involvement of developing countries.
Chair Pachauri remarked that for 17 years (from 1998-2005), the size and scope of the Secretariat remained frozen, and that it must continue to evolve.
MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE: The IAC Review’s specific recommendations on management and governance (Chapter 4, IPCC-XXXII/Doc.7) were taken up in a contact group co-chaired by Conchita Martinez (Spain) and Chung-Kyu Park (Republic of Korea). Howard Larsen (New Zealand) served as Rapporteur following a suggestion by the US that the Secretariat should not undertake the position to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. The contact group met four times from Tuesday through Thursday, and in smaller drafting groups convened to further address the proposed executive committee, executive director, terms of office and the redefinition of the roles and responsibilities of the Secretariat. These texts were forwarded by the contact groups to the closing plenary for adoption. The following summary organizes discussions and outcomes by recommendation or clusters of recommendations as organized in the decision text, including: the executive; terms of office for Chairs and Co-Chairs; conflict of interest; and qualifications of Bureau members.
Recommendations and decisions on the executive: Issues addressed covered the IAC Review’s recommendations for an executive committee, election of an executive director and redefinition of the roles and responsibilities of the Secretariat.
Executive Committee: In the contact group on Tuesday, delegates considered the IAC Review recommendation to “establish an executive committee to act on its behalf between plenary sessions. The membership of the committee should include the IPCC Chair, the WG Co-Chairs, the senior member of the Secretariat and three independent members, including some from outside of the climate community. Members would be elected by the Plenary and serve until their successors are in place.”
Many delegates supported the establishment of an executive committee but agreed that its terms of reference (ToR) and composition should be carefully considered, alongside with those of the IPCC Bureau. Many also suggested the E-team serve as the basis for establishing the executive committee, with Belgium proposing that the E-team act as an interim executive committee.
In contrast, noting that the IPCC already has an executive component, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, the Maldives, Niger and others cautioned against increasing bureaucracy and called for clearly identifying needs before taking a decision to establish a new body. They suggested addressing the ToR for the Bureau as a starting point.
The US recalled the IAC’s finding that a need exists for a body that could respond quickly in moments of crisis, as well as address everyday matters.
Regarding the functions of an executive committee, various delegates proposed the committee deal with: oversight of IPCC activities and preparation of the assessments; review the effectiveness of procedures; human resource management; communications; the IPCC programme and budget; and internal problems and conflicts. Norway drew attention to the need for a body able to make immediate decisions and facilitate cooperation between WG Co-Chairs and with the IPCC Chair.
On composition of the executive committee, the US, Australia, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, and Sudan questioned the inclusion of external members. The US said the committee should include many members of the current E-team.
The UK, France, Slovenia and others supported inclusion of external members, with perhaps different terms of office, in order to bring fresh insights and provide helpful input. The UK expressed concern with making the executive committee too large.
Emphasizing transparency, the Netherlands, supported by Belgium, underscored the need for the agenda and minutes of the executive committee meetings to be made available to the Panel. Various proposals called for inclusion of: heads of TSUs, other experts, Vice-Chairs, TFI Co-Chairs, and representatives of UNEP, the UNFCCC, and the WMO.
On Thursday, many countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, France, Belgium, Sweden and Slovenia, supported creation of an executive body to act on behalf of the panel between sessions and creation of a task group to continue work on its functions and ToR. Others, including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Lesotho, Sudan, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, China, Niger, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire and Iran, said that a body should not be created until its functions are determined.
Slovenia suggested adopting a decision to establish the executive committee immediately, with the caveat that it does not begin work until the ToR have been adopted. South Africa supported establishing a task group to elaborate the ToR and functions, but emphasized that the executive committee would strengthen these functions since most of them already exist within the IPCC management structure. The Russian Federation suggested a compromise to empower an administrative team to act on behalf of the Panel to strengthen communication and oversight between IPCC-32 and IPCC-33. Saudi Arabia emphasized the decision to establish an executive committee should be carefully considered and jumping into it at this session is premature.
The issue was sent back to a drafting group where parties agreed to establish a task group to work towards establishing an executive committee and text was forwarded by the contact group to the plenary for adoption.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the IAC Review recommendation that the IPCC establish an executive committee;
- agreed to work toward establishing a formal body to provide governance functions between panel sessions, strengthen coordination, and oversee administration and communication according to the mandate to be agreed at IPCC-33;
- asked the task group to consider options concerning establishment of an executive committee, including the mandate, size, composition and functions of the body; and
- requested the task group to make recommendations on the options at IPCC-33 with a view to taking a decision.
Executive Director: On Wednesday afternoon, delegates discussed the IAC Report recommendation to “elect an executive director to lead the Secretariat and handle day-to-day operations of the organization. The term of this senior scientist should be limited to the time frame of one assessment.”
The Russian Federation, supported by the US and Brazil, proposed changing the Secretary to an Executive Secretary to raise the image and prestige of the Panel without creating confusion with the term “executive director,” which is often used in larger international organizations, such as UNEP. France said that whatever the name, the individual should have a strong management profile and the capacity to interact on a scientific level.
This issue was sent to a drafting group to develop text for a possible decision, where discussions revolved around the possible functions of an executive director and how the role fit within the context of the broader UN system.
In the Thursday morning contact group, Slovenia and the Russian Federation supported an option for an Executive Secretary, noting that such a title connoted more humility. Spain, with Australia, supported requesting a task group to consider issues associated with the “potential” creation of an executive director position to lead the Secretariat, including mode of appointment, skills required and, in consultation with UNEP and the WMO, to make recommendations at IPCC-33. A drafting group was reestablished to consider options on “creation of” or “potential creation” of an executive director or executive secretary position. During discussions in the drafting group, the decision was merged with the redefinition of roles and responsibilities of the Secretariat.
Roles and Responsibilities of the IPCC Secretariat: On Wednesday afternoon, delegates discussed the IAC Report recommendation to “redefine the responsibilities of key Secretariat positions both to improve efficiency and to allow for any future senior appointments.” Delegates agreed that the redefinition of the roles and responsibilities of key members of the Secretariat was necessary. Brazil said that it is first important to understand what the IPCC as a whole needs in terms of management. Switzerland proposed that the Secretariat prepare and work on the basis of a yearly work plan approved by the proposed executive committee and presented to the Panel, and noted the need to define the relationship between the TSUs and the Secretariat.
Belgium called for reinforcing cooperation between the head of the Secretariat and the Chair and the Bureau. Opposed by the Russian Federation, she suggested an audit of the Secretariat to determine roles and responsibilities and to identify what is needed and how to improve management. The US noted that the internal definitions by the Secretariat of their roles and responsibilities would be useful in a redefinition. The Maldives said the Secretariat plays a critical role in maintaining institutional memory. Saudi Arabia called for strengthening the linkage between the Secretariat and the TSUs, and said the exact roles and responsibilities of those currently in the Secretariat should be defined before redefining functions or hiring new staff.
This issue was sent to a drafting group to develop text of a possible decision. Delegates discussed whether this required an internal or external audit of the Secretariat or a “study” of the Secretariat. During the final meeting of the drafting group, this issue was merged with the recommendation to establish an executive director position to head the Secretariat. During the closing plenary, Germany noted that the text still required full discussion as it remained in brackets.
The US and Switzerland requested clarification on the proposed study of the Secretariat. Belgium noted an additional budget item for an external audit and evaluation to assess the quality of management and that this would improve understanding of the real needs and could be helpful to the task group.
Brazil said that many had expressed the utility of having an overall evaluation of the Secretariat in relation to all other elements of the IPCC organization and that many felt that this assessment of management would establish the need for new staff, whether an executive director or other restructuring of positions within the Secretariat.
Secretary Christ said that the budget item on the audit is specifically to audit expenditures not quality of management. Chair Pachauri said that the budget does not drive activities, rather activities drive the budget. He emphasized that the text already requests the Task Group to “examine the role of the Secretariat,” which is in a sense carrying out a study of the Secretariat, and suggested deletion of the reference to the study.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the IAC Review recommendations on redefining the responsibilities of key Secretariat positions and election of an executive director to lead the Secretariat;
- requested the task group to examine the role of the Secretariat in its relations with the WMO, UNEP, the IPCC Chair, the Vice-Chairs, WG Co-Chairs, the TFI and the TSUs;
- said consideration should include addressing strengthening or upgrading the role of the IPCC Secretary and the need for new staff; and
- requested the task group to consider how to take forward the recommendations concerning key Secretariat positions and to make recommendations to the Panel at IPCC-33.
Recommendation and decision on the terms of office: This issue was first addressed during the contact group on governance and management on Tuesday and subsequently in informal drafting groups. Draft text was discussed during the final meeting of the contact group on Thursday and text was forwarded to the IPCC plenary for consideration.
In the contact group on Tuesday, delegates considered the IAC Review recommendations stating that “the term of the IPCC Chair should be limited to the timeframe of one assessment” and “the term of the Working Group Co-Chairs should be limited to the timeframe of one assessment.” All delegates underscored the importance of continuity between assessments. The US, with Australia, Finland and others, suggested that terms be slightly overlapping to allow the Chair and Co-Chairs to be involved in the work of dissemination and providing feedback on the process. They said that it may be useful to have them serve in a possible executive committee for the duration of the term. The UK referred to a Chair and Chair-elect, and clarified that the term limit should not apply retroactively, given that the IPCC is now in the middle of an assessment cycle.
Noting strong consensus among delegates on the importance of continuity and carryover of the Chair’s knowledge and experience when he or she steps down, regardless of whether one or two terms are served, Australia called for the development of provisions and handover arrangements. He also said that although in other organizations it is common to serve two terms, in most cases the terms are not as long as in the IPCC, where the assessment cycle takes six or seven years, adding that 12 or more years is too long for the context in which the IPCC operates.
Noting that current terms are appropriate, particularly for developing countries or non-English speakers, China preferred not to limit the term in office to one term. Supported by the Russian Federation, he emphasized the need to maintain the continuity of work and the current procedures. The UK and Switzerland noted that there is sufficient talent in developing countries and among non-English speakers to take senior positions.
Australia, with France, Switzerland and Denmark, noted that there are two distinct issues that have to be addressed: continuity of experience, and ensuring growth, dynamism and the ability to respond to change. He underscored that having two terms does not generate continuity, but rather defers the gap by a single assessment period. He stressed the need ensure the IPCC can evolve with the times. The US noted the possibility of extending some functions into the next assessment period. China and Sweden said more discussion on this issue could be useful.
Given its linkages with other matters under governance and management, delegates continued consideration of the issue in a drafting group.
In the contact group on Thursday, delegates forwarded decision text to the plenary and the decision was adopted with limited debate. Debate on this decision during plenary was chaired by Vice-Chair Hoesung Lee (Republic of Korea) to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the IAC Review recommendations limiting the terms of the IPCC Chair and the WG Co-Chairs to the timeframe of one assessment;
- requested the task group to consider issues related to the recommendations, including continuity issues;
- noted that any amendments to existing IPCC Rules of Procedure for elections could be applied only to subsequent elections; and
- requested the task group report their recommendations to IPCC-33 for decision.
Recommendation and decision on conflict of interest: This issue was first addressed in the contact group on governance and management on Wednesday. It was taken up further in drafting groups before reintroduction to the contact group on Thursday. The contact group forwarded draft decision text for further consideration by the IPCC plenary.
In the contact group on Wednesday delegates addressed the IAC Report recommendation to “develop and adopt a rigorous conflict of interest policy that applies to all individuals directly involved in the preparation of IPCC reports, including senior IPCC leadership (IPCC Chair and Vice Chairs), authors with responsibilities for report content (i.e., WG Co-Chairs, coordinating lead authors (CLAs), and lead authors (LAs), Review Editors, and technical staff directly involved in report preparation (e.g., staff of the TSUs and the IPCC Secretariat).” Delegates agreed that a conflict of interest policy should be developed by the IPCC, with some proposing the formation of a task group to address this issue with a view to adopting the policy at IPCC-33. Saudi Arabia noted that addressing this issue is critical to improving the image and integrity of the IPCC and recommended establishing a legal process to define conflict of interest.
The UK, supported by the Russian Federation, suggested looking at models in other international organizations, and the need to differentiate between the various levels of IPCC members. The US agreed, stressing that the IPCC is composed of volunteers and noting the importance of not excluding people who could make a valuable contribution while addressing the issue of bias and creating transparency.
There was broad agreement in the drafting group on the importance of adopting a conflict of interest policy and proposed text was forwarded to the plenary where it was adopted with limited discussion.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- agreed with the IAC Review recommendation to develop and adopt a conflict of interest policy;
- decided to implement a rigorous conflict of interest policy, taking into consideration the specific circumstances involved in participation in IPCC activities; and
- established a task group to propose options for such a policy, in consultation with relevant organizations, for decision at IPCC-33.
Recommendation and decision on qualifications of bureau members: This issue was first addressed by the contact group on governance and management on Tuesday and was further elaborated on in drafting groups. On Thursday, it was taken up again by the contact group and text was forwarded to plenary for adoption.
In the contact group on Tuesday, delegates took up discussion of the IAC Report recommendation to “develop and adopt formal qualifications and formally articulate the roles and responsibilities for all Bureau members, including the IPCC Chair, to ensure that they have both the highest scholarly qualifications and proven leadership skills.” Saudi Arabia, with Argentina and China, noted that the current IPCC procedure for the selection of Bureau members is clear and opposed the second part of the recommendation on ensuring the highest scholarly qualifications and proven leadership skills, saying that it is too judgmental. However, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium agreed with the recommendation and called on the IPCC to adopt it in its entirety, as the current formulation in Rule 19 of Annex C of the Principles Governing IPCC Work, only vaguely says Bureau members should have “relevant scientific expertise.”
Discussion on this issue continued in a drafting group on Tuesday evening. The drafting group was unable to resolve the differences on qualifications and leadership skills, but felt that the recommendation warranted further discussion. The text was forwarded by the contact group to the plenary, where it was adopted without debate.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the IAC recommendation to adopt formal qualifications and roles and responsibilities for Bureau members to ensure they have the highest scholarly qualifications and proven leadership skills;
- decided to refer the issue to the task group with a particular focus on roles and responsibilities for all Bureau members, including the IPCC Chair; and
- requested the task group to report back to the Panel at IPCC-33.
Task Groups on management and governance: The Chair said that the terms of reference for the task groups on management and governance and the conflict of interest policy will be elaborated on in the notes on the meeting, since time at this meeting did not permit consideration of the ToR. Chair Pachauri suggested that the ToR would follow closely those of the processes and procedures task group.
PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES DECISIONS: The IAC Report’s specific recommendations on processes and procedures (Chapters 2 and 3, IPCC-XXXII/Doc.7) were taken up in a contact group co-chaired by Eduardo Calvo Buendía (Peru) and Øyvind Christopherson (Norway). Susanna Ribiero (Brazil) acted as Rapporteur. The contact group met five times from Tuesday through Thursday, and a drafting group met to draft text for further consideration on addressing uncertainty: handling a full range of views; author selection; sources of data and literature; the review process; the SPM; and handling potential errors identified after the approval of IPCC Reports. These texts were forwarded by the contact group to the closing plenary for possible adoption as decision text. These decisions include the formation of a task group on policies and procedures to address various pending issues. The following summary organizes discussions and outcomes by recommendation or clusters of recommendations as organized in the decision text, including: scoping; author selection; sources of data and literature; handling the full range of views; report review; summary for policy makers; procedure for the handling of potential errors identified after approval of IPCC reports; and the IPCC’s evaluation of uncertainty.
Recommendation and decision on scoping: Delegates addressed the IAC Report recommendation to “make the process and criteria for selecting participants for scoping meetings more transparent” during a drafting group, with broad agreement on the recommendation.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the recommendation on selection of participants for scoping meetings;
- agreed the IPCC should make the selection of participants for scoping meetings more transparent; and
- requested the task group to create an implementation plan with a view to adopting a decision at IPCC-33.
Recommendation and decision on author selection: Delegates discussed the IAC Report recommendation to “establish a formal set of criteria and processes for selecting CLAs and LAs” and to “make every effort to engage local experts on the author teams of the regional chapters of the WG II report, but should also engage experts from countries outside the region when they can provide an essential contribution to the assessment.” This issue was addressed in a drafting group and text was forwarded by the contact group to the plenary for adoption.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the recommendations on establishing formal criteria and processes for selecting CLAs and LAs, and on engagement of local experts in regional chapters;
- noted that formal criteria are included in existing procedures;
- requested the task group to consider enhanced implementation and transparency as well as potential additional criteria and procedures for author selection, with a view to making a decision at IPCC-33;
- noted that the recommendation on inclusion of local experts has already been implemented for AR5; and
- requested the task group to consider further implementation of policies on inclusion of local experts, with a view to making a decision at IPCC-33.
Recommendations and decisions on sources of data and literature (use of “grey literature”): Delegates considered the IAC Review recommendation that “the IPCC should strengthen and enforce its procedures for the use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature, including providing more specific guidance on how to evaluate such information, adding guidelines on what types of literature areunacceptable, and ensuring that unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature is appropriately flagged in the report.”
This issue was first addressed by the contact group on Wednesday. WG I Co-Chair Thomas Stocker reported on General Guidance on the Use of Literature in IPCC Reports (IPCC-XXXII/INF.4), noting that this guidance has already been issued to authors of the two special reports currently underway. He noted that it provides authors with a series of questions to determine whether a source can be used and identifies the documentation that must be provided to the reviewers of the report. He said these questions should sensitize authors on the credibility of the source, authorship and how the source arrives at its conclusions. He noted that there are two elements of the IAC Review not covered in the Guidance, including unacceptable sources of information and flagging grey literature in the reports. He noted that the WG Co-Chairs would consult with the heads of the TSUs to prepare text on unacceptable sources of information, which would point to blogs, social networking sites, news reports on the internet, visual media and personal communication. He highlighted possible options to flag non-peer-reviewed or unpublished literature through either electronic flags in the PDF version or adding lines of reference in the text.
WG II Co-Chair Chris Field noted that two elements could reinforce the effectiveness of the policy on grey literature, including clear emphasis on training authors and editors, and ensuring availability of grey literature.
Many delegates emphasized the importance of this topic. The US noted that some grey literature is reviewed every bit as rigorously as peer-reviewed journals, that authors must make a judgment on the quality of a source, and that the IPCC should demonstrate to the scientific community that it values their effort to publish literature. Australia said that the scope of the report has been broadened into fields that are likely to draw heavily on grey literature, such as adaptation. With the Russian Federation, he underscored the importance of explicit guidance on the inclusion of grey literature and for it to be implemented effectively.
Switzerland noted that, for the public, it is often easier to access grey literature than peer-reviewed literature, which is often quite expensive. Costa Rica emphasized the importance of taking local sources of information into account and said that IPCC focal points should help identify this literature. Mali stressed that grey literature might not be used broadly enough in reports, particularly on issues relating to developing countries.
Austria, with Australia and Switzerland, noted that the decision text should not give the impression that the IPCC does not have guidelines on these issues, but rather that they are being strengthened and enforced. New Zealand emphasized that the text does not reflect that in many cases grey literature has been extensively reviewed, noting government reports and works from the engineering field. This issue was addressed in a drafting group and text was forwarded by the contact group to the plenary for adoption.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- noted the IAC Review recommendation to strengthen and enforce its procedures on use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature;
- decided to implement this recommendation and further key elements through its procedures and guidance notes;
- noted the revised General Guidance on the Use of Literature in IPCC Reports (IPCC-XXXII/INF.4 and Appendix I), which addresses aspects related to the IAC Review recommendations, and decided to adopt them as a Guidance Note; and
- urged the Co-Chairs of the WGs and TFI to take any necessary steps to ensure this Guidance Note is applied in the development of IPCC reports.
Recommendations and decisions on a procedure for the handling of potential errors identified after approval of IPCC reports: Delegates noted that this was addressed in the IAC Review, which included analysis of the Himalayan glacier error, but did not result in an explicit recommendation by the IAC. There was broad consensus that a procedure to address errors was essential. While emphasizing the need to minimize errors and noting that current procedures are designed to do just that, many agreed that errors are bound to occur in a process as large and as complex as the IPCC reports. Delegates noted the proposed IPCC protocol for addressing errors in previous assessment reports (IPCC-XXXII/INF.8) and noted the need to avoid bias and to address errors as rapidly as possible after they have been identified.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- agreed on the need to establish a process for evaluating, addressing and correcting, if necessary, potential errors and further developing errata, as appropriate;
- noted the proposed IPCC protocol for addressing errors in previous assessment reports (IPCC-XXXII/INF.8), which describes a clear decision tree, based on the nature of the material and the steps necessary to avoid bias, so that potential errors can be addressed as rapidly as possible;
- urged the IPCC Bureau to take any necessary steps to ensure that this protocol is finalized and then used for evaluation of potential errors and developing errata as necessary; and
- requested the task group to further consider this issue with a view to making a decision at IPCC-33.
Recommendations and decisions on the IPCC’s evaluation of evidence and treatment of uncertainty: Delegates addressed the IAC recommendations on uncertainty, including:
- “All WGs should use the qualitative level-of-understanding scale in their SPM and Technical Summary, as suggested in the IPCC’s uncertainty guidance for AR4. This scale may be supplemented by a quantitative probability scale, if appropriate.
- CLAs should provide a traceable account of how they arrived at their ratings for level of scientific understanding and likelihood that an outcome will occur.
- Quantitative probabilities should be used to describe the probability of well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence. Authors should indicate the basis for assigning a probability to an outcome or event (e.g., based on measurement, expert judgment, and/or model runs).
- The confidence scale should not be used to assign subjective probabilities to ill-defined outcomes.
- The likelihood scale should be stated in terms of probabilities in addition to words to improve understanding of uncertainty.
- Where practical, formal expert elicitation procedures should be used to obtain subjective probabilities for key results.”
The group first addressed uncertainty in the contact group on Tuesday. WG II Co-Chair Chris Field provided an overview of the draft guidance notes for AR5 LAs on consistent treatment of uncertainties across the three WGs (IPCC-XXXII/INF.9), which was submitted by the Co-Chairs of the WGs. He noted the uncertainty guidance had been developed before the IAC Review and that almost all of the IAC recommendations were already addressed. He said the guidance: builds on AR4 guidance; is clearer; facilitates consistent application; harmonizes implementation across WGs; addresses new dimensions and challenges; and should be used for “key” findings. He stressed that uncertainty should be communicated carefully, using calibrated language for key findings, and that traceable accounts should be provided to describe evaluations of evidence and agreement.
Believing the guidance notes presented by the WG Co-Chairs represent a comprehensive and useful treatment of the IAC recommendations, Australia asked about the relationship between the two and whether the WG Co-Chairs accepted the IAC recommendations. He asked about implementation to ensure that authors have full access to these guidelines.
WG I Co-Chair Thomas Stocker reiterated that the guidance notes cover most of the IAC recommendations, noting that five of the six recommendations are already being implemented. On the qualitative scale recommendation, he said the guidance notes go further than the IAC recommendation. On traceable accounting, he said the LAs should be able to clarify how they reached conclusions. On quantitative probabilities, he said the likelihood scale worked well. Regarding the confidence scale, he noted ill-defined outcomes are flagged in the IAC recommendation and addressed in the guidance notes. On the likelihood scale, he said using words, in addition to probabilities, would ensure that results are more easily understood.
WG III Co-Chair Ottmar Edenhofer emphasized that “confidence” is a way to synthesize evidence and agreement and called for a clear understanding and procedure on how to aggregate evidence and agreement into confidence scales. Many parties welcomed the draft guidance notes but said that they required further work.
New Zealand said that implementation of the IAC recommendations should be guided by the uncertainty guidance notes. On creation of a traceable account of uncertainty, Austria questioned how to deal with the issue of expert judgment and said that both should be linked to the tasks of review editors who should ensure that the uncertainty guidance notes are used properly and in a consistent manner throughout the report.
The Netherlands, with Belgium, said further work is required on traceable account of uncertainty, and said the guidance notes should be finalized and make clear reference to their treatment of the IAC recommendations. The UK noted that the uncertainty guidelines are useful but could still lead to a variety of interpretations, and called for seeking the views of CLAs, LAs and review editors.
This issue was addressed further in a drafting group and text was forwarded by the contact group to the plenary for adoption.
IPCC Decision: In its decision, the IPCC:
- decided to improve the IPCC guidance on evaluation of evidence and treatment of uncertainty and to implement the IAC Review recommendations as part of a broader package of updates to procedures and guidance notes;
- requested the WG Co-Chairs to present the final document for adoption by the Panel at IPCC-33;
- noted the document should provide more detail on traceable accounts and explain how each of the recommendations in the IAC Review is addressed; and
- urged the WG Co-Chairs to take any necessary steps to ensure that the guidance is implemented in the development of their work.
Task Group on Processes and Procedures: The IPCC established a task group to develop proposals on further implementation of the recommendations by 31 January 2011. Governments will be invited to comment on the proposals by 28 February 2011 to allow preparation of revised drafts for consideration by the Panel at IPCC-33.
COMMUNICATIONS DECISIONS: Delegates discussed communications in the context of the IAC Review recommendation to “complete and implement a communications strategy that emphasizes transparency, rapid and thoughtful responses and relevance to stakeholders, and includes guidelines about who can speak on behalf of the IPCC and how to represent the organization appropriately.” Secretary Christ introduced the communications strategy (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.21), noting that the first IPCC communications strategy had been developed in 2005-2006, which led to the recruitment of a communications officer to address requests for IPCC speakers. She highlighted ongoing activities, including participation in the UN communications group on climate change and redesign of their website, and noted additional communication needs, in particular proactive media work to allow the IPCC to react quickly to emerging issues and events. She said the IPCC should continue participating in seminars, thematic and side events, and noted the need to increase use of frequently asked questions, interactive graphics and other visual tools, outreach in the regions, and media training for IPCC experts and authors.
Further discussions were taken up in a task group, which met on Wednesday and Thursday, and was co-chaired by Nirivololona Raholijao (Madagascar) and Darren Goetze (Canada). Co-Chair Goetze first asked the task group to address the short-term task of developing a statement of the Panel to communicate to the world what happened at this meeting, noting the longer-term task of developing a communications strategy for the IPCC may not be completed at this meeting. The group decided that a task group to guide the development of the long-term communications strategy should be developed.
Regarding the statement by the Panel, Co-Chair Goetze said the group could highlight the key messages that should be conveyed to the outside world. It was suggested that the message could convey that the IPCC: welcomes the IAC Review; sees it as a constructive input to the workings of the Panel; accepts most, if not all, of the IAC recommendations; and is working positively, constructively and quickly to bring this to conclusion. Delegates also discussed who should speak on behalf of the IPCC, with the suggestion that the IPCC Chair and Vice-Chairs and the WG Co-Chairs could do so.
Participants also raised issues related to specific guidelines that IPCC leadership should not speak to policy and there should be clarity on what they can discuss. It was suggested that IPCC is about its products and the focus should be on the assessments and the assessment process. Participants also stressed the need for a process to manage requests, and a distinction between authority and spokespeople.
The Secretariat made a presentation to the task group on the draft communications strategy, the aims of which are to, inter alia: maintain the IPCC’s credibility and reputation; and disseminate the findings of the IPCC assessment reports to all user groups in a neutral manner. She said the key communication strategies were to: establish a clear reporting line and identify spokespersons; adhere to guidelines based on communications’ best practices; share expertise with governmental focal points and their communications staff; prepare assessment-specific communication plans; and explain the IPCC’s unique qualities.
She said rapid response actions should include the ability to: monitor online activities and content, including social media; monitor IPCC-related posts on Wikipedia and major print articles featuring information about the IPCC; assess when appropriate to correct errors in major media articles; and identify trends in the blogosphere.
Co-Chair Goetze reported outcomes of the task group to plenary, which included a draft preamble, draft decision and ToR for the task group established to guide the development of the communications strategy. WG I Co-Chair Thomas Stocker suggested adding to the ToR that the task group will seek the advice of the IPCC Chair, the IPCC Vice-Chairs, WG and TFI Co-Chairs, and the Secretariat.
Regarding the draft preamble, the US requested stating that the assessment process is robust, and reflecting that the Panel’s work rests on the back of the thousands of scientists who contribute to it. France asked that the ToR mention communication takes place in many languages.
Co-Chair Goetze clarified that the draft preamble could be framed as a main message coming out of the plenary, and as a statement on how the IPCC is responding to the IAC review, and would be useful in informing a press release.
IPCC Decision: In the preamble of its decision, which is designed to serve as the chapeau to all the IPCC decisions, the IPCC:
- welcomed the IAC Review and its recommendations as an important way to improve how the IPCC works and is governed on behalf of the thousands of scientists who conduct careful and thorough assessments on all aspects of climate change and on behalf of the global community that utilizes its work;
- took decisive action to respond to these recommendations in a way that is transparent and open, and ensures the highest quality assessments are produced and made available to the international community; and
- agreed to implement many of the recommendations and establish task groups on others to undertake further work with a view to adopting decisions at IPCC-33.
The preamble also notes that the IAC Review highlights the contributions the IPCC has made to improve the understanding of the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change, and the commitment of the world’s leading scientists and other experts to the robust assessment process. Finally, it confirms that the work to prepare the AR5 remains on course and will benefit from the IPCC’s decision on the IAC Review recommendations.
In the body of its communications decision, the IPCC:
- accepted the recommendation to develop a communication strategy;
- noted the Strategy will clarify the scope and objectives of IPCC communication, with clear guidelines on authority, representation and identification of spokespeople, taking into account the core products of the organization;
- established a Task Group to guide the development of the Communications Strategy; and
- requested the Task Group present the first draft of the Communications Strategy to the IPCC Bureau at its next session with a view to adopting a decision at IPCC-33.
Communications Task Group: The ToR of the task group states that the group will, taking into account the core scientific review and assessment role of the IPCC and its scientific and intergovernmental nature, guide the development of a comprehensive and concise communications strategy that:
- defines the scope of IPCC communications, including about (a) the results and products of assessments, (b) errors, corrections and other issues arising from the work of the IPCC, and (c) improving understanding of the processes and governance of IPCC;
- provides guidance regarding whether balanced communications materials derived from IPCC products that have been approved or accepted by the Panel should be developed, and under what circumstances;
- articulates a set of general objectives for IPCC communications, including its website, emphasizing transparency, rapid and thoughtful responses, political neutrality and relevance to stakeholders, recognizing their diversity of languages;
- identifies targeted audiences and stakeholders;
- includes guidelines on who can speak on behalf of the IPCC and how and when authorized spokespersons should represent the organization appropriately, as well as how communication materials will be authorized; and
- addresses any potential conflicts of interest regarding communications.
ADMISSION OF OBSERVER ORGANIZATIONS
The issue of observer organizations (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.6) was taken up on Thursday afternoon, with Secretary Christ noting that eight applications meet the requirements of the IPCC policy on observer organizations, including: Humane Society International; New World Hope Organization; Transparency International; the International Renewable Energy Agency Preparatory Commission; the International Institute for Environment and Development; Ecology Center; Gender CC – Women for Climate Justice; and College of the Atlantic. Without objection, delegates agreed to admit them as observer organizations. The application by the Industrial Technology Research Institute submitted to IPCC-30 remained pending, due to reservations expressed by China.
RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE ELECTION OF THE IPCC BUREAU AND ANY TASK FORCE BUREAU
This issue (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.18) will be taken up by the Panel at IPCC-33, as elements of the rules of procedure may be affected by actions undertaken in relation to the IAC Review recommendations.
REPLACEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE IPCC BUREAU
On Wednesday morning, Chair Pachauri introduced the issue of replacing Vice-Chair Ogunlade Davidson (Sierra Leone) (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.19 and Add.1). He said that Sierra Leone had nominated Ismail El Gizouli (Sudan). El Gizouli was elected Vice-Chair. Following election of Vice-Chair El Gizouli, the African regional group nominated Francis Yamba (Zambia) as Vice-Chair of WG III and he was elected.
MATTERS RELATED TO THE UNFCCC
Delegates took note of the information (IPCC-XXXII/INF.1) provided by the UNFCCC Secretariat on items under consideration by the subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC.
OTHER PROGRESS REPORTS
SPECIAL REPORT ON RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION (SRREN): WG III Co-Chair Edenhofer provided a progress report (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.23), noting that, in order to enhance cross-chapter consistency and high quality in the SRREN, the WG III Co-Chairs, WG III Bureau members and CLAs and LAs present at the latest LAs meeting, had agreed on a tentative plan to hold an extra three-day targeted meeting. He said this plan, if approved, would imply postponement of the WG III approval plenary session from the end of February to the last week of April or first of May, but was deemed necessary.
TASK FORCE ON NATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES: Thelma Krug, TFI Bureau Co-Chair, reported on the activities of the TFI since IPCC-31 (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.13). She noted the continued series of expert meetings exploring inventory topics that have caused problems for inventory compilers, as well as ongoing work on the Emission Factor Database and software for the IPCC 2006 Guidelines. Upcoming expert meetings include those on: forest monitoring and estimating carbon stocks; wetlands; and inventory developments as a whole. She noted a contingency budget to hold a meeting in case the UNFCCC requests assistance on specific issues on national greenhouse gas inventories.
IPCC SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME: Secretary Christ updated delegates on the IPCC Scholarship Programme (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.17), saying that the Fund had been run on interest and additional contributions. She said out of the 2000 applications, more than 1000 had fulfilled the eligibility requirements and that the scientific selection and fundraising was ongoing. She asked to hire a staff member for the scholarship programme, noting she had asked for two staff members, but hoped that the Panel could agree to hire one.
Delegates discussed long-term administration of the programme, with some suggesting that, rather than the IPCC, an organization with expertise in administering scholarship funds be given this task. Switzerland suggested UNITAR or UNU could take care of the fund, although in the interim, a new staff member could make the programme operational. The UK also suggested involving the Global Change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START) and the WMO.
Chair Pachauri said there has been some dialogue with the UN Foundation and UNU, but that UNITAR’s overhead was high. Noting the Trust Fund is strapped, the US said managing the scholarship fund required further review, suggested other organizations that focus on managing grants and programmes be considered, and noted a conflict of interest in keeping it in the IPCC. He said now was not the right time to consider a new hire in the IPCC. Australia and the UK said the fund should be an independent fund and should not access the IPCC Trust Fund.
Mali stressed African countries should be able to benefit from these scholarship programmes. Bangladesh and Pakistan said the fund should help build capacity in developing countries. Sudan supported helping a new generation of scholars and scientists, particularly in the Least Developed Countries.
On Thursday afternoon, participants discussed the composition of the four task groups established by the Panel on: governance and management; communications; processes and procedures; and conflict of interest. Chair Pachauri read out the names of individuals and Co-Chairs that would compose each group, and asked for the Panel’s approval for 15 trips for task group meetings.
The US, supported by Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Germany, opposed this approach, and said that countries, not individuals, should be selected for each group and then each group would elect its Chairs, as it is a government-driven process. Saudi Arabia said that any government that wishes to take part in any of the groups should be able to do so. The Netherlands said that given the fact that the groups will consider important changes within the IPCC, it would be awkward for the Chair to determine who sits in what groups and who chairs the groups. He said it may appear to the outside world that the Chair is trying to influence the process and outcomes. Germany said the groups should be open ended and the process transparent.
Chair Pachauri said he had spoken with the majority of those who he had identified as group members and was seeking geographical balance. He also noted that for operational efficiency, the core groups should not be too large and that teleconferencing with large groups can be inefficient, and suggested the ideal number would be ten or less. He asked governments to raise their flags to indicate which groups they wanted to be in. Given the enthusiastic response for all of the groups, Chair Pachauri asked for approval to budget for 25 trips for the work of the task groups.
Switzerland said he understood that the Panel was now finished addressing the IAC Review and moving forward to implementing the recommendations. He asked the Chair to send a letter to the UN Secretary-General, on behalf of the Panel, explaining what steps have been taken to improve its procedures.
In closing, Chair Pachauri said this was one of the most challenging sessions. He commended the excellent set of decisions and conclusions, not only for the IPCC but for the outside world, both in spirit and substance. IPCC Secretary Renate Christ thanked everyone for their hard work and the meeting was closed at 7:06 pm.
IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri recalled in Monday’s opening plenary that the small dog-like animal, known popularly as Eohippus, that lived 45 to 60 million years ago, had evolved into the horse we know today. He used this analogy when referring to the IPCC’s transformation from a little-known institution with Secretariat staff borrowed from IPCC’s parent organizations, WMO and UNEP, to a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the most authoritative voice on climate change science just 22 years later.
While it was evident that the IPCC had to evolve, overblown public criticism over the discovery of a handful of errors in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) are forcing it to adapt more quickly. In March 2010, the UN Secretary-General and the IPCC Chair requested the InterAcademy Council (IAC) to conduct an independent review of IPCC processes and procedures, which was released in August. Responding to this review was the most important agenda item at IPCC-32. While some delegates at the session stressed that it was important not to overreact and get distracted from the substantive items on the agenda, particularly since the mistakes are drops in the ocean of evidence of climate change in the AR4, most welcomed the opportunity, recognizing that there is ample room for improvement in the processes and procedures of the IPCC.
This brief analysis looks at what was accomplished at this session, focusing in particular on the Panel’s responses to the IAC Review and the substantive work related to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).
FROM EOHIPPUS TO HORSE IN 22 YEARS
The IPCC is an organization of extraordinary complexity. In order to provide policy makers with balanced assessments of the state of knowledge on climate change, thousands of scientists from all over the world work for free as authors, contributors and reviewers, organized into three distinct working groups (WGs), and undertaking assessments of all aspects of climate change science in cycles that last approximately six years. The result of their joint work is reviewed by representatives from 194 countries. This review process includes approval of a Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) for each of the WGs word-by-word. To assist each WG, a small Technical Support Unit (TSU) is formed, each based in a different country. Another team is assembled under the IPCC Chair, in yet another country, to assist in the preparation of a Synthesis Report (SYR) and its SPM. A joint WMO-UNEP Secretariat employing 5 to 10 people is the only operational unit that is active between assessment cycles.
Since its inception in 1988, the work of the organization has grown in tandem with that of climate change science: from the first assessment report in 1990 to the most recent one in 2007, the number of authors has tripled and the length of the reports has quadrupled. Approximately 2,500 reviewers provided about 90,000 comments on the 44 chapters of the AR4. Each comment is documented on a website that also describes how and why the comment was or was not incorporated in the next revision. This allowed the IAC to trace three comments identifying the most infamous mistake on the premature melting of Himalayan glaciers among the 90,000 comments.
Yet despite this dramatic increase in work, the overall management structure of the IPCC has remained the same. The IAC Review lauded the IPCC’s accomplishments and noted that on processes and procedures stricter adherence to existing rules and procedures and strengthening others already in place will largely resolve these problems. However, having the errors come to light was in many ways a blessing in disguise: the changes currently under consideration, particularly those related to management and governance, may not have been considered with such urgency otherwise.
RESPONDING TO THE IAC
Perhaps the most important outcome of IPCC-32 was the immediate adoption of a policy for correcting errors. Thanks to the hard work of some individuals well before the session, a Protocol for Addressing Errors in Previous Assessment Reports was accepted by the Panel, pending minor finishing touches. During the closing press conference, Working Group II Co-Chair Chris Field said that he would be in his office first thing in the morning after he arrived home to begin work on clarifying the errors. Other issues deemed important for improving the assessment review process were also agreed to at this session and will be immediately implemented or are already being implemented, including: guidance on the treatment of grey literature and uncertainty; and strengthening the review process, including the role of review editors. This will allow the Panel to minimize the chance of errors in the future and, if and when they do occur, to address them quickly and definitively.
These procedural issues were perhaps more easily addressed by the Panel, as they involve careful, methodological processes already well developed in science, and are less political. Some of the management and governance issues, however, are more challenging. One critical issue goes to the heart of the IPCC’s continued credibility: its communications strategy. Many have acknowledged the Panel’s failure to adequately respond to the public and its lack of transparency. Work had already begun on the development and improvement of a communications strategy. However, the importance of developing such a strategy was magnified due to increased visibility and public interest as a result of a number of factors, including the discovery of errors in the AR4. The IAC only reinforced this criticism; it found that communication was a major weakness and recommended a strategy that emphasized transparency and rapidity, including guidelines on who should speak on behalf of the IPCC. A Task Group on Communications, established at IPCC-32, will undertake a more in-depth discussion on these guidelines.
Other related recommendations addressed a restructuring of the organization with, possibly, a new executive director and an executive committee to enable rapid response to emerging issues on behalf of the Panel between sessions and provide management oversight. These kinds of issues take longer to resolve, as they require careful consideration, for example, a mandate for the executive committee to act on behalf of the Panel, which is a more sensitive political issue. Both of these issues will be considered by another Task Group, which is expected to submit the results of its work to IPCC at its next session in early May 2011.
A related challenge is the need to improve transparency and management. It is no secret that many participants believe that there is much room for improving transparency and efficiency. The IAC recommended looking more closely into related areas, including adopting a conflict of interest policy, clarifying the selection of participants at expert meetings, authors and others, and limiting the terms of office for key Bureau positions. This is critical to gaining the public’s trust and ensuring that the assessments and science appear more credible. Another issue that will help to build trust is ensuring greater participation of scientists from developing countries, something that is well recognized and has been on the IPCC’s table for a long time.
While the IAC recommendations dominated this session, work on the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) also continued, particularly on the SYR. Continuing to ensure that the Panel’s work remains solid and objective and ensuring that the AR5 assessment process moves forward are of the utmost importance. At IPCC-32, the Panel managed to revise the outline for the AR5 SYR, a process whereby government representatives respond to scientists’ proposals as a means to ensure that the scientific findings appear relevant to policy-makers around the world.
However, some substantive work related to AR5 was postponed in light of the time it took to address the IAC recommendations. One of the most notable issues postponed was related to scenario development, a critical process since it underlies the work of all three working groups and merits careful consideration.
A HORSE, RHINO OR TAPIR?
Faced with such a different context from the one in which it originated and forced to adapt to changing circumstances, the question is, how will the IAC Review affect the IPCC’s evolution? Most agree that strengthening its scientific basis and moving as far as possible away from policy is one solution. The problem with this is that climate change science today underpins a policy process that is thoroughly political. Some of the most visible scientists contributing to the Panel can attested to this, citing threatening letters and other sad incidents. In any event, more clarity on how it will evolve should emerge at IPCC-33 when the task groups report back to the Panel.
All of the participants at IPCC-32 recognized the importance of maintaining and repairing the IPCC’s reputation as the authoritative voice on climate science. In fact, when the time came to form the various task groups to address the recommendations of the IAC, the show of hands far exceeded the Chair’s expectations, and, surprisingly, spontaneously represented a balance between developed and developing countries.
At this point, it is difficult to envisage what the IPCC will look like down the road. Different outcomes are possible, including: more scaled-down, precise, faster assessments as the focus of action moves to more local scales; focusing on “what the IPCC does best”; strengthening the traditional assessment cycle; and increasing emphasis on addressing emerging issues through special reports and other products. But these visions are not mutually exclusive. Like the Eohippus, which evolved not only into the horse, but also into the rhino and the tapir, for the IPCC the options for change are many and will depend largely on how it responds to its changing environment.
WG II – 3rd Lead Authors’ Meeting for the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events: This meeting hosted by the WMO will discuss submitted comments to the SREX Expert Review, which took place from 26 July to 20 September 2010. dates: 25-28 October 2010 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit phone: +1-650-462-1047 fax: +1-650-462-5968 email: [email protected] www: http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/extremes-sr/index.html
Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC): This will be the fourth global ministerial level conference on renewable energy and will consist of a ministerial meeting, business-to-business and business-to-government meetings, side events and a trade show and exhibition. dates: 27-29 October 2010 location: New Delhi, India contact: Rajneesh Khattar, DIREC Secretariat phone: +91-98717-26762 fax: +91-11-4279-5098/99 email: [email protected] www: http://direc2010.gov.in
Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change: This meeting, sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands, will address concrete actions to link agricultural policies with emissions reductions and adaptation benefits. dates: 31 October to 5 November 2010 location: The Hague, the Netherlands contact: Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands email: [email protected] www: http://www.afcconference.com/
Joint WG II / WG III – Expert Meeting on Socio-economic Scenarios for Climate Change Impact and Response Assessments: This meeting will bring together the integrated assessment and impacts and adaptation communities to develop a joint strategy for storyline development. dates: 1-3 November 2010 location: Berlin, Germany contact: IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit phone: +1-650-462-1047 fax: +1-650-462-5968 email: [email protected] www: http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/meetings/EMs/index.html#4
Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Trust Fund Committee and Subcommittee Meetings: This World Bank sponsored meeting will take place in Washington, DC. dates: 8-12 November 2010 location: Washington, DC contact: CIF administrative unit phone: +1-202-458-1801 email:[email protected] www: http://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/
Twenty-Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP 22): This meeting is scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2010. dates: 8-12 November 2010 location: Bangkok, Thailand contact: Ozone Secretariat phone: +254-20-762-3851 fax: +254-20-762-4691 email:[email protected] www: http://ozone.unep.org/
Sixteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and Sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol: The 33rd meetings of the SBI and SBSTA will also take place concurrently. dates: 29 November to 10 December 2010 location: Cancun, Mexico contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email:[email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/
IPCC-33: The 33rd session of the IPCC is expected to take place in late April or early May. date: TBD location: United Arab Emirates contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 / 54 / 84 fax: +41-22-730-8025 / 13 email:[email protected] www: http://www.ipcc.ch/