Summary report, 18–19 November 2011
34th Session of the IPCC (IPCC-34)
The 34th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was held from 18-19 November 2011 in Kampala, Uganda. The session was attended by more than two hundred participants, including representatives from governments, the United Nations, and intergovernmental and observer organizations. Participants focused primarily on the workstreams resulting from the consideration of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) Review of the IPCC processes and procedures, namely those on: procedures, conflict of interest policy, and communications strategy.
The Panel adopted the revised Procedures for the Preparation, Review, Acceptance, Adoption, Approval and Publication of IPCC Reports, as well as the Implementation Procedures and Disclosure Form for the Conflict of Interest Policy. The Panel also formally accepted the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX), approved by WGs I and II at their joint meeting from 14-17 November 2011. Delegates also addressed issues such as the programme and budget, matters related to other international bodies, and progress reports.
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 (WGs): WGI addresses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change; WGII addresses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, impacts of climate change and adaptation options; and WGIII addresses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Each WG has two Co-Chairs and six Vice-Chairs, except WGIII, 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). TFI 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 Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA) is an entity set up to address WG needs for data, especially WGII and WGIII. The TGICA facilitates distribution and application of climate change related data and scenarios, and oversees a Data Distribution Centre, which provides data sets, scenarios of climate change and other environmental and socio-economic conditions, and other materials.
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 and are subject to extensive review by experts and governments.
The IPCC has so far undertaken four comprehensive assessments of climate change, each credited with 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) to be completed in 2014.
The latest Assessment Reports are structured into three volumes, one for each WG. Each volume is comprised of a SPM, a Technical Summary and an underlying assessment report. All assessment sections of the reports undergo a thorough review process, which takes place in three stages: a first review by experts; a second review by experts and governments; and a third review by governments. Each SPM is approved line-by-line by each respective WG. The Assessment Report also includes a Synthesis Report (SYR), highlighting the most relevant aspects of the three WG reports, and a SPM of the SYR, which is approved line-by-line by the Panel. 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: 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); Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (2005); Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) (2011); and, most recently, the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) (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 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 WGI 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. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC 28 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ipcc28
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 re-elected Rajendra Pachauri (India) 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 Peace Prize. It also asked the Bureau to consider a scoping meeting on the SREX, which took place from 23-26 March 2009 in Oslo, Norway. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC-29 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ipcc29
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 provided guidance for an AR5 scoping meeting, which was held in Venice, Italy, from 13-17 July 2009. The Panel also gathered climate change experts to propose the chapter outlines of WG contributions to the AR5. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC 30 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ipcc30
IPCC-31: This session was held from 26-29 October 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. Discussions focused on approval of the proposed AR5 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 the involvement of scientists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, use of electronic technologies, and the longer-term future of the IPCC. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC 31 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ipcc31
INTERACADEMY COUNCIL REVIEW: In response to public criticism of the IPCC related to inaccuracies in the AR4 and the Panel’s response, as well as questions about the integrity of some of its members, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri requested the IAC to conduct an independent review of the IPCC processes and procedures and to present recommendations to strengthen the IPCC and ensure the on-going quality of its reports. The IAC presented its results in a report 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-32: This session, held from 11-14 October 2010 in Busan, Republic of Korea, addressed the recommendations of the IAC Review. The Panel adopted a number of decisions in response to the IAC Review, including on the treatment of grey literature and uncertainty, and on a process to address errors in previous reports. To address recommendations that required further examination, the Panel established task groups on processes and procedures, communications, conflict of interest policy, and management and governance. The Panel also accepted a revised outline for the AR5 SYR. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC 32 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/climate/ipcc32
SRREN: The eleventh session of WGIII met from 5-8 May 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and approved the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) and its SPM. Discussions focused, among others, on chapters addressing sustainable development, biomass and policy. Key findings of the SRREN include that the technical potential for renewable energies is substantially higher than projected future energy demand, and that renewable energies play a crucial role in all mitigation scenarios.
IPCC-33: The session, held from 10-13 May 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, focused primarily on follow-up actions to the IAC Review of the IPCC processes and procedures. The Panel decided to establish an Executive Committee, adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy, and introduced several changes to the rules of procedure. The Panel also endorsed the actions of WGIII in relation to SRREN and its SPM and considered progress on the preparation of the AR5. Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of IPCC 33 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12500e.html
SREX: The First joint session of IPCC WGs I and II, which took place on 14-17 November in Kampala, Uganda, accepted the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) and approved its SPM. The SREX addressed the interaction of climatic, environmental and human factors leading to adverse impacts of climate extremes and disasters, options for managing the risks posed by impacts and disasters, and the important role that non-climatic factors play in determining impacts.
IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri opened the 34th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Friday, 18 November 2011, highlighting ongoing work related to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and progress in the implementation of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) recommendations. He also referred to the communications strategy and the need to ensure policy relevance and reach out to policymakers. Pachauri said it was critically important that the results of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) and the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban, South Africa. He emphasized the significance of the meeting being held in Africa, given the findings related to climate change impacts and development challenges in the region, and thanked Uganda for hosting the meeting and Norway for its support.
Norwegian Ambassador Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther highlighted that the SREX is an important tool for understanding, taking actions, and making decisions on managing the risks of extreme events and disasters. He noted that extreme weather events and their negative impacts are apparent everywhere, including in Uganda, for fishermen on the Lake Victoria who experience reduced catch, as well as in his native Norway, which experiences dramatic flooding, shrinking Arctic ice and other events. He said the SREX would be presented to governments at the Durban UNFCCC meeting and would provide a good basis for them to take action. He thanked the Ugandan government for its hospitality and said Norway was pleased to have contributed to the organization of the meeting.
Peter Gilruth, on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, stressed the potential of the SREX, including as a foundation on which the disaster risk reduction and the climate change communities can build stronger bridges, and as a basis for environment and development work. He noted various UNEP initiatives and assessment reports, including the Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation, the fifth Global Environmental Outlook and the Emissions Gap Assessment, and invited delegates to participate in the “Eye on Earth” summit in December to build partnerships on knowledge sharing.
Florin Vladu, on behalf of Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, updated the plenary on developments in the negotiating process, highlighting the achievements of the Cancun Agreements in establishing an institutional infrastructure, but noting a failure to address the future of the Kyoto Protocol and a mitigation framework. Vladu said that in Durban countries face a challenge to find a viable way forward, but expressed hope that the conference will help build confidence in post-2012 climate finance through clarity on long-term finance and making the Green Climate Fund operational. Vladu highlighted that the UNFCCC process has benefited from an active research dialogue with the IPCC, most recently in the form of a presentation on the SRREN at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) session in June 2011. He also noted the special role of the IPCC in the UNFCCC review of the adequacy of the goal of limiting average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and the overall progress towards achieving this goal, which is scheduled to commence in 2013. On SREX, he said the report would contribute both to the work of SBSTA, and Adaptation Framework, and work programme on loss and damage, once those become operational.
Noting that this has been a transformative year for the IPCC, Jeremiah Lengoasa, on behalf of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, reaffirmed support for the work of the Panel and emphasized the importance of the IPCC’s work and procedures remaining relevant and timely. He welcomed the AR5 preparations moving ahead as scheduled and stressed that the AR5 will provide a strong basis for decision-making, including in relation to water resources, agriculture and food security. He also highlighted the role of the WMO Global Framework for Climate Services, to be launched in the near future, to further assist in decision-making.
Maria Mutagamba, Minister for Water and Environment, Uganda, expressed warm greetings from the people of Uganda and welcomed delegates to the country traditionally known as the Pearl of Africa. She said that it is with great pride that Uganda continues to participate actively in the work of the IPCC and hosts this meeting, and thanked Norway, which co-funded the session. She said that Uganda has already started experiencing extreme weather events attributed to climate change such as severe droughts, floods and increased frequency of landslides. Highlighting the inevitability of climate change, she noted that her country has adaptation policies in place. On mitigation, she underlined Uganda’s early efforts under the Clean Development Mechanism. She further noted the need to strengthen national meteorological and hydrological services in developing countries and thus expressed support for the WMO Global Framework for Climate Services. She also suggested the IPCC continue to consider the role of indigenous knowledge in areas where peer-reviewed literature is unavailable or insufficient as well as issues of technology transfer to developing countries and dissemination of information.
The Panel then observed a minute of silence for the untimely and sad passing away of Mama Konate, UNFCCC SBSTA Chair and IPCC colleague.
APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT REPORT OF THE 33RD SESSION
The draft report of IPCC-33 (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 2, Rev.1) was adopted on Friday morning with a minor editorial amendment. Belgium noted the lack of reference in the meeting minutes to the Expert Meeting on Geoengineering and the participation of media representatives in at that meeting.
SPECIAL REPORT ON EXTREME EVENTS AND DISASTERS
This issue (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 21) was taken up by the plenary on Friday morning. The IPCC plenary formally accepted the actions taken at the Joint Session of Working Groups I and II on the SREX, including approving its Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). Underscoring the importance and usefulness of the SREX, Austria said that, among others, this landmark report introduces terminology to be understood both by the risk management and the climate change community, identifies a range of practices and options to reduce risk, and provides clarity on what the most vulnerable sectors, groups and areas are, making it of tremendous use for taking appropriate actions.
PREPARATION OF THE FIFTH ASSESSMENT REPORT (AR5)
The item (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 5) was presented to the plenary on Friday afternoon. Chair Pachauri recalled that the Panel had issued a clear mandate to start very early with the AR5 Synthesis Report (SYR), and Leo Meyer, Head of the SYR Technical Support Unit (TSU), reported on process and management issues related to the SYR (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 5). Meyer noted, inter alia: the inclusion of the IPCC Vice-Chairs on the SYR writing team since they have responsibilities related to cross-cutting issues; the possibility of a workshop on UNFCCC Article 2, which could feed into the UNFCCC review of the adequacy of the Convention’s ultimate goal; and the suggestion to reduce the time of eight weeks allowed for government comments on the final draft of the SPM to six weeks given the compressed timeline of the SYR.
On the time frame, the US suggested, and the Panel agreed, to seven weeks instead of the six weeks proposed for government comments.
With regard to a possible workshop on UNFCCC Article 2, Chair Pachauri suggested inviting general comments by governments. Emphasizing the importance of the IPCC retaining distance from the policy process, the US, supported by New Zealand, Canada, Saudi Arabia and others, opposed the suggestion. Saudi Arabia underscored that the issue of Article 2 is very sensitive. The Panel agreed to have the Bureau consider the matter at its next meeting.
REVIEW OF THE IPCC PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY: This issue (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 8, Rev. 1) was first addressed in the plenary on Friday and then in several meetings of a contact group co-chaired by Andrej Kranjc (Slovenia) and Jongikhaya Witi (South Africa), with Samuel Duffett (UK) as Rapporteur. The workstream on the Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy arose in response to the recommendations made in the IAC Review to develop and adopt a rigorous COI Policy. At IPCC-33 delegates adopted a COI Policy and extended the mandate of the Task Group on COI in order to develop proposals for annexes to the COI Policy covering Implementation Procedures and the Disclosure Form.
Contact group discussions focused on the draft Implementation Procedures prepared by the Task Group. During the group’s first meeting, Co-Chair Kranjc noted that the Task Group held four teleconferences in between sessions and that the WGs already have experience applying the COI Policy on an interim basis. Rapporteur Duffett then explained the proposed decision-making process on COI, noting there would be different procedures for Bureaux members and non-Bureaux members.
The discussions centered on several issues, including: which body determines whether an individual has a COI; the role of the COI Expert Advisory Group; which body is responsible for the final decision in cases of COI; cases of tolerance of COI for non-Bureaux members; and principles for considering COI issues.
On a body to determine whether an individual has a COI, the proposal of the Task Group was to form a special committee comprised of representatives from each of the six WMO regional groups. Some participants noted that implementation of COI policies is a relatively simple and technical procedure and in most cases there is no COI, so it would be an additional burden to establish a new committee and conduct elections for its members. In this regard, they suggested making use of existing bodies and assigning this function to the Executive Committee. They also suggested that the Executive Committee members would be the ones most interested in maintaining the integrity of the IPCC. Others expressed concern about Bureaux members who are part of the Executive Committee making decisions on their own COI. A compromise was reached on establishing a COI Committee composed of voting members of the Executive Committee and representatives of WMO and UNEP, with a recusal clause.
Delegates also developed principles for considering COI issues, introducing those in relation to exploring options for resolution of COI and an appeals procedure. The group added a provision requiring members of bodies involved in considering COI issues to recuse themselves from a discussion on their own COI.
The Task Group proposed that the Expert Advisory Group, which would be comprised of three representatives from WMO and UNEP, review COI forms of Bureaux nominees. However, some expressed a concern about this approach and a change was introduced that the COI Committee consults the Expert Advisory Group when it deems necessary.
Further discussion took place on which body would be responsible for a final decision on COI. An opinion was expressed that all final decisions should be made in plenary; however, others raised concerns about maintaining the confidentiality of personal information in that case. The contact group elaborated on an appeals procedure, assigning a function to the IPCC Bureau to review a COI determination on request by the individual in question.
On COI in relation to non-Bureaux members, several supported some flexibility in this regard as there are too few experts in some areas and those are often involved with industries or organizations. Delegates developed the relevant procedures on the tolerance of COI in such cases.
In the final plenary, the Panel adopted the Implementation Procedures and Disclosure Form for the COI Policy with minor editorial corrections. Chair Pachauri said COI was clearly one of the trickiest and most complex issues to address in relation to the IAC Review.
The US expressed its satisfaction with an “excellent” outcome on COI, in particular regarding the creation of a body that will implement the COI Policy effectively and very soon, composed of those with a strong interest in ensuring the integrity of its outcomes.
Canada noted that the contact group discussions were exceedingly positive and that the Implementation Procedures for the COI Policy will provide an effective process to promote transparency. The Netherlands underlined the enormous importance of the documents on COI for the transparency and integrity of the Panel, and its acceptance by the outside world. Thanking all members of the Task Group, Australia congratulated the plenary on a “groundbreaking” COI mechanism for many international organizations, both in substance and in the procedure of how it was developed.
Secretary Christ asked the plenary how the set of documents on COI should be integrated into IPCC regulations and suggested a paragraph be added that states these documents constitute an appendix to the Principles Governing the IPCC Work. To this, the US replied that more consideration is needed before the documents are elevated to the level of principles and suggested leaving them as standalone documents. The Panel agreed to the suggestion.
Final Decision: In its decision, the Panel, inter alia:
- adopts the COI Implementation Procedures and decides that the Procedures will apply to individuals who are subject to the COI Policy;
- decides to establish a COI Committee comprising all elected members of the Executive Committee and two additional members with appropriate legal expertise from UNEP and WMO, appointed by those organizations;
- decides to establish an Expert Advisory Group on COI and invites the Secretary-General of WMO and the Executive Director of UNEP to select members of the COI Expert Advisory Group and to facilitate the establishment of the COI committee as soon as possible;
- notes that the WG and Task Force Bureaux have adopted interim arrangements for dealing with COI issues and that those arrangements are broadly consistent with the COI Policy;
- decides that, to ensure a smooth transition, the existing interim arrangements will continue to operate, with respect to individuals who are not Bureau members until the Executive Committee decides that the implementation procedures apply to those individuals;
- requests IPCC and TFI Bureaux members to submit a COI Form to the Secretariat within three months;
- decides to receive a report on the operation of the COI Expert Advisory Group and the COI Committee within twelve months of their establishment and to review their operations, as appropriate, within twelve months after the next Bureaux election(s); and
- notes that the COI Committee will develop its own methods of working and will apply those on an interim basis pending approval by the Panel, and decides that the COI Committee should submit its methods of working to the Panel within twelve months of its establishment.
Implementation Procedures: The Procedures address the following:
- The overall purpose of the Implementation Procedures is to ensure that COIs are identified, communicated to the relevant parties and manage to avoid any adverse impact of IPCC balance, products and processes, and also to protect the individual, the IPCC and the public interest.
- In their scope, the Implementation Procedures apply to all COIs and all individuals defined in the COI Policy, and compliance with the COI Policy and the Procedures is mandatory.
- The Implementation Procedures further set out the review process on COI for IPCC and Task Force Bureaux members prior to and after their appointment. According to this process, the COI Disclosure Forms for all nominees should be submitted to the Secretariat to be reviewed by a COI Committee. The COI Committee may request advice from the Expert Advisory Group on COI. If the COI Committee determines that a nominee has a COI that cannot be resolved, the individual will not be eligible for election to the Bureau.
- The Implementation Procedures also outline the review process for Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, Review Editors and TSUs prior to and after their appointment. In this case, Disclosure Forms are submitted to relevant TSUs and reviewed by WG or Task Force Bureaux. The document defines exceptional circumstances in which a COI in relation to non-Bureaux members may be tolerated, that is when an individual can provide a unique contribution and when a COI can be managed. Such cases should be disclosed. The document also outlines the process to deal with a COI after the appointment of non-Bureaux members, including updating information, review and an appeal procedure.
- The Implementation Procedures set out principles for considering COI issues that are applied to all bodies involved in advising on and deciding COI issues. In this regard, they require those bodies to consult the relevant individual regarding potential COIs and explore the resolution options as well as provide for an appeal procedure. The document also requires members of the bodies involved in consideration of COI issues to recuse themselves when being a subject of consideration.
- The Implementation Procedures further contain provisions on processing and storage of information to ensure confidentiality of submitted information.
- The document further sets out the composition and functions of the COI Committee and Expert Advisory Group on COI.
- Annex B to the Implementation Procedures also contains a COI Disclosure Form.
PROCEDURES: This issue (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 9, Add. 1) was first introduced in the plenary on Friday and then taken up by a contact group co-chaired by Eduardo Calvo (Peru) and Øyvind Christophersen (Norway), with Arthur Petersen (Netherlands) as Rapporteur. Work centered on the finalization of revisions to the Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work: Procedures for the Preparation, Review, Acceptance, Adoption, Approval and Publication of IPCC Reports, which started at IPCC-32. The Panel adopted the revised Procedures Appendix in plenary on Saturday, completing the work of the Task Group on Procedures.
Discussions in the contact group centered on the production and treatment of guidance material, the selection of participants to IPCC workshops and expert meetings, matters related to the transparency, quality and efficiency of the review process, anonymous expert review, and SPM approval sessions.
On guidance material, Belgium and others called for stating that guidance material needs to be taken into account in the preparation of the reports in addition to stating what guidance material is, while others cautioned against excessively normative language. The group agreed leave the text as is.
On the selection of participants to IPCC workshops and expert meetings, the group addressed text related to the distinction between these two types of meetings.
On matters related to the transparency, quality and efficiency of the review process, the group considered the Revised Guidance Note on the Role of Review Editors (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 9, Add.1) prepared by the WG and TFI Bureaux. The group also addressed the current practice of expanding the number of Review Editors per chapter. After some discussion, the group agreed that there was a need to limit the number of Review Editors to four per chapter.
On text related to open invitations for expert reviewers, recommendations were made to circulate second in addition to First Order Draft Reports by WG/TFB Co-Chairs for review. In relation to inviting as wide a group of experts as possible, Review Editors were added to a list of potentially nominated experts. Text was also added on notifying Government Focal Points when this process starts.
On anonymous expert review, the group discussed the need to ensure the appropriate flexibility and agreed to add text that clarifies that the procedures do not prescribe WGs and the TFI to use either anonymous or named expert reviews. In order to document past experience with anonymous expert reviews by WGIII and the TFI during the AR4, the group agreed to include the Note by the Task Group on Procedures on IPCC Anonymous Expert Review: Past experiences and arguments in favor or against (Appendix 3 of IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 9) in an annex to the Report of IPCC-34.
On the process for the SPM approval, the group addressed text on the process for sending government comments to the Second Order Draft prior to the plenary approval session of the SPM, bringing the procedures in line with current practice.
During the final plenary, Austria noted that, although important progress was made, there is a need to further strengthen the Procedures, in particular related to the calibrated uncertainty language of assessments, to increase transparency and traceability of the decisions of authors so these can be understood in the future. He also proposed further addressing the management and working rules for the writing teams so they are the same across WGs. With regard to calibrated language, New Zealand drew attention to the existing Guidance Paper on Uncertainties and cautioned against having the Panel decide on this, stressing that this should be the province of the WGs.
The European Union (EU) asked for clarification on whether participating organizations are also considered in the round of comments by governments for SPM approval. Co-Chair Christophersen responded that this was not brought up or considered by the group. The EU noted that it would be useful to introduce this in the future given the EU’s particular character. Australia proposed, and the Panel agreed, to record the EU’s concern in the minutes of the meeting along with Austria’s suggestion.
Final Decision: The decision on Procedures addresses the following:
- On the IPCC guidance material, the Panel decides that guidance material is a category of IPCC supporting material aimed to guide and assist in the preparation of IPCC reports and Technical Papers. The Panel also clarifies who is responsible and who may commission guidance material.
- On selection of participants to IPCC Workshops and Expert Meetings, the Panel elaborates on the distinction between these two types of meetings, including their composition, and establishes that the WG/TFI Bureaux or the IPCC Chair will report to the IPCC Bureau and Panel on the process of selection of participants, including a description of how the selection criteria have been applied.
- On matters related to transparency, quality and efficiency of the review process, the IPCC welcomes the revised Guidance Note on Review Editors and finds that the recommendations of the IAC on the Review Editors have been taken adequately into account. The Panel also encourages the implementation of this revised Guidance Note in the AR5 and invites the WG Co-Chairs to monitor progress in their WG progress reports. In addition, the Panel decides that to provide a balanced and complete assessment of current information, each WG/TFI Bureau should normally select two to four Review Editors per chapter and per technical summary of each Report. Furthermore, it decides that the WG/TFI Bureaux shall seek the participation of reviewers encompassing the range of scientific, technical and socio-economic views, expertise, and geographical representation, and shall actively undertake to promote and invite as wide a range of experts as possible.
- On anonymous expert review, the Panel decides: not to amend the IPCC Procedures; not to preclude a different approach in the future; and to include the Note by the Task Group on Procedures on IPCC Anonymous Expert Review: Past experiences and arguments in favor or against (Appendix 3 of IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 9) in an annex to the Report of IPCC-34.
- On the process for the SPM approval, the Panel specifies the process for governments submitting written comments prior to the plenary approval session.
GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT: This item (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 19) was taken up in the opening plenary on Friday. IPCC Chair Pachauri explained that both Co-Chairs of the Task Group on Governance and Management, David Warrilow (UK) and Taha Zatari (Saudi Arabia) were unable to come to Kampala, and that Task Group Co-Chair Warrilow suggested postponing the consideration of the matter until IPCC-35 and proposed holding IPCC-35 in the middle of 2012 rather than in the second half of the year. The UK explained that this will provide for a prompt response to the IAC recommendations and will allow moving forward with the AR5. The UK also proposed that if holding an earlier session is not possible, two sessions could be held next year instead of one. Several countries highlighted that an earlier meeting should not coincide with preparatory meetings for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the Conference itself.
Delegates agreed to postpone the consideration of the item until IPCC-35.
COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: This item (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 20) was addressed in plenary on Friday. Secretary Christ recalled that IPCC-33 agreed on guidance on a communications strategy and requested the Secretariat to elaborate on the strategy according to that guidance. She noted delays with hiring a senior communications specialist who will not be on board for several months and in this context explained that the Secretariat asked its long-term consultant, Charlie Methven, to help prepare the draft communications strategy in order to respond to the plenary’s request.
Methven then elaborated on the main points of the proposed strategy. Highlighting the unique challenges the IPCC faces, he underlined that the future communications system should be a resource rather than a typical corporate structure. At the same time, he said, it should provide a central communication function and a stronger link between various elements of the IPCC, including the WGs and their TSUs. Noting the already existing ad hoc support on communications across WGs, Methven said these practices should be incorporated to make for a more accountable and coherent structure. He also mentioned that the proposed strategy is achievable within the current level of funding.
Chair Pachauri then requested guidance from the plenary on major pillars of the draft strategy.
Many, including New Zealand, US, Austria and Japan, expressed a deep concern about the delay with hiring a senior communications specialist who should be involved in the development of the strategy. Chair Pachauri explained that the hiring process is conducted according to WMO procedures but an individual had been selected and the discussion is now on a compensation package. He noted that this person cannot start immediately after accepting the offer, and that the selected candidate is not aware of the IPCC process sufficiently to actively contribute to its communications strategy.
Referring to the unique nature of the IPCC, the US highlighted the important role of WG Co-Chairs in communication of relevant products and that the proposed communications structure should not be independent from the WGs. He highlighted in this regard that a senior communication specialist should be facilitative in nature and expressed concern that the Executive Committee had no interaction with candidates for this role. Pachauri explained it was difficult to engage all members of the Executive Committee and that some of them were involved in developing the draft communications strategy.
Austria suggested preparing a Panel’s letter to WMO highlighting the urgency of hiring a communications person for the IPCC. He also suggested there should be a role for governments in the communications strategy, especially when it comes to regional matters. Switzerland underlined the importance of scientific integrity in the communication of the IPCC’s work, which often means “sticking literally to what has been said.” Australia proposed that a strategy should be forward-looking and contain a clear set of communications objectives: what to communicate, to whom and how. Several delegates suggested the document be forwarded to the full Executive Committee and Bureau for discussion.
Pachauri concluded that the draft communications strategy would now be discussed by a small group comprising representatives of the WGs, TFI, Secretariat and consultant Methven before being forwarded to the Executive Committee, Bureau and eventually the plenary.
In the final plenary on Saturday, Belgium recalled its proposal to re-establish a Task Force on Outreach and Communications Strategy, noting that such a Task Force had existed but disappeared when Pachauri became Chair, and to collect written comments by governments to advance the issue. Chair Pachauri supported the proposal and suggested Belgium submit it in written form. On a request for clarification by IPCC Vice-Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Chair Pachauri confirmed agreement at the Executive Committee meeting to have one of the IPCC Vice-Chairs involved in the group in charge of formulating the communications strategy.
The UK proposed, and the Panel agreed, to circulate the new draft communications strategy for comments and revision before the next session. Chair Pachauri said the Executive Committee will come up with a timetable to do so.
MATTERS RELATED TO UNFCCC AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL BODIES
During the opening plenary session, Chair Pachauri informed the Panel that, in contrast to all previous occasions when the IPCC had addressed the UNFCCC COP in plenary, he had now been asked to only present at SBSTA in Durban. He emphasized that this was an issue of institutions, not of personalities. Many countries expressed their disappointment and underscored the importance of conveying the IPCC’s findings to the COP directly, possibly also at the high-level segment. South Africa noted the concerns expressed on the participation of the IPCC at Durban and assured that the matter would receive proper attention by the upcoming COP Presidency.
A drafting group prepared a letter to the UNFCCC, which was distributed to the Panel for approval. The letter, addressed to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, expressed the Panel’s disappointment and noted the inappropriateness of the decision, underscoring the strategic importance of having the IPCC address the UNFCCC at the COP level as has been the case since the first COP. The letter called for conveying the message to the current and upcoming COP Presidencies. The US, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand called for reflecting on the wisdom of this mode of communication and proposed Chair Pachauri speak again informally to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary on this matter.
On Saturday morning, Chair Pachauri informed the Panel that, after further communication, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary had written to say that she had consulted with the South African delegation and that, although the opening session of UNFCCC COP 17 will be more of a ceremonial nature, the IPCC would be invited to address the COP on Wednesday, 30 November, when it takes up substantive matters.
RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE ELECTION OF THE IPCC BUREAU AND ANY TASK FORCE BUREAU
In plenary on Saturday, Secretary Christ invited the Panel to provide guidance on how provisions arising from the review of IPCC processes and procedures at IPCC-33 and 34 are to be reflected in the revision to Appendix C to the Principles Governing IPCC Work: Rules of Procedure for the Election of the IPCC Bureau and Any Task Force Bureau (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 7). New Zealand, with Malaysia and Australia, noted that there was no representative from Region V (South-West Pacific) on the WGIII Bureau, and that the revised text leaves open the possibility that someone from Region V is not on the WGIII Bureau. Australia also highlighted that Region V does not have representation on the Executive Committee and said that these issues should be a high priority for IPCC-36. Secretary Christ said that the Secretariat would distribute a text to governments taking into consideration suggestions from IPCC-33 and 34, and would make this a high priority agenda item for IPCC-36.
IPCC PROGRAMME AND BUDGET AND FINANCIAL PROCEDURES FOR THE IPCC
During Friday’s opening plenary session, Secretary Christ gave an overview of issues related to the IPCC Trust Fund Programme and Budget (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 3, Rev.1) and the adoption of the revised “Appendix B to the Principles Governing IPCC Work: Financial procedures for the IPCC” (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 4, Corr. 1). She noted the need to address the greater cost of the publication and translation of the SRREN and an additional expert meeting on wetlands by TGICA, and urged resolution on the revised Appendix B in order to allow auditing of IPCC accounts.
The Financial Task Team, co-chaired by IPCC Vice-Chair Ismail A.R. El Gizouli (Sudan) and Nicolas Beriot (France), met to address these issues, convening twice on Friday. On Saturday morning, Co-Chair Beriot presented the deliberations of the Task Team to plenary, noting that the meetings had been well attended. He highlighted changes made to Appendix B, including the addition of a paragraph on the Financial Task Team and the revision of a paragraph that grants authority to the Secretariat to adjust allocations in the event that the IPCC Trust Fund is less than the approved budget. On Appendix B, the WMO and EU queried the implication of the IPCC Trust Fund being administered under International Public Sector Accounting Standards. Secretary Christ clarified that the text was drafted with the WMO legal consul, and expressed hope that in negotiating future agreements with the EU the various financial requirements will be reconciled.
Co-Chair Beriot highlighted two other Financial Task Team recommendations to the Panel in relation to simplifying language on procedural matters in the revised Appendix B no later than IPCC-37 and greater flexibility in financing travel arrangements for experts or members of the Bureau from developing countries. The UK and Austria recommended adding a second plenary session next year in order to have enough time to respond to the IAC Review; however, after further discussion, the Panel agreed that a four-day plenary session would be preferable to two two-day plenary sessions because of both time and resource constraints. New Zealand also suggested that teleconferences can be used for preparation meetings prior the next IPCC session.
Final Decision: In its decision, the Panel, inter alia:
- approves the modified 2011 budget with respect to cost-related increases in the translation and publication of the SRREN;
- approves the modified 2012 budget, which includes cost-related increases in the preparation of the 2013 IPCC Guidelines on Wetlands;
- approves the revised “Appendix B to the Principles Governing IPCC Work: Financial Procedures for the IPCC” (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 4, Corr.1) with modifications, which include adding the Financial Task Team and granting authority to the Secretariat to make adjustments to allocations if there is a budget shortfall;
- requests the Secretariat simplify language in the revised Appendix B document to improve clarity and readability no later than IPCC-37;
- notes the forecast budget for 2013 and the indicative budgets for 2014 and 2015;
- urges governments from developed countries to continue providing financial support for travel of experts to IPCC meetings;
- requests that countries maintain their contributions in 2011 and 2012 and invites governments, which may be able to do so, to increase their level of contributions to the IPCC Trust Fund or to contribute in case they have not done so; and
- endorses the expression of concern regarding the imposition of travel plans and arrangements on some experts or members of the Bureau from developing countries, with little concern to the particular traveler constraints and commitments, and that this be relate to the WMO Secretary-General.
AR5, PROGRESS REPORTS OF WGs I, II AND III: The WG Co-Chairs presented on progress since IPCC-33. WGII Co-Chair Vicente Barros (Argentina) highlighted a range of on-going expert, regional expert and lead author meetings, and Head of WGII TSU Kristie Ebi discussed the draft chapter writing schedule (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 10).
Head of WGIII TSU Jan Minx highlighted a range of expert and lead author meetings, and noted changes to the WGIII AR5 schedule and the writing process, which include a review of cross-chapter consistency and a policy to remove inactive authors (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 18, Rev.1).
WGI Co-Chair Thomas Stocker discussed a variety of expert meetings, including a Joint Expert Meeting in Lima, Peru, on Geoengineering in June 2011; a second WGI Lead Author meeting held in Brest, France in July 2011, which engaged primarily with cross-chapter issues; and a third Lead Author WGI meeting to be held in Marrakech, Morocco in April 2012. Stocker noted that on 16 December 2011 the First Order Draft of the WGI contribution to the AR5 will become available for an eight-week expert review (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 14).
TASK GROUP ON DATA AND SCENARIO SUPPORT FOR IMPACT AND CLIMATE ANALYSIS (TGICA): Due to the absence of TGICA representatives at the meeting, Chair Pachauri referred the plenary to the report of the Task Group (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 13).
TASK FORCE ON NATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES: TFB Co-Chair Thelma Krug (Brazil) reviewed progress on the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands (2013 Wetlands Supplement) work programme (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 12), and noted that a recent Lead Author meeting in Japan identified the scope and coverage of each chapter and addressed several cross-cutting and interacting issues. A Zero Order Draft is expected to be ready for the first science meeting next year. Co-Chair Krug also highlighted ongoing expert meetings and the success of an open symposium hosted in Japan on 22 August 2011, which aimed to explain the purpose and achievement of the TFI to the public.
SRREN: Head of WGIII TSU Jan Minx introduced this issue (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 17), noting the outreach activities and publication process timeline.
CROSS-CUTTING THEMES: IPCC Vice-Chair Hoesung Lee (Republic of Korea) discussed the coordination of cross-cutting themes for the AR5 SYR, highlighting that a questionnaire has been prepared and will be sent to the WGs to gain input into how the IPCC Vice-Chairs should best facilitate this process.
IPCC SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME: Secretary Christ updated the plenary on progress with the IPCC Scholarship Programme (IPCC-XXXIV/Doc. 16), noting that a total of nine students and researchers from developing countries had been awarded scholarships for the period 2011-2012. She said these included a postgraduate student from Uganda, Jamiat Nanteza, who would be working on climate-related disaster management issues. Secretary Christ stressed that the Secretariat does not have sufficient capacity to continue fundraising activities as there are no specific funds allocated for that work. She said they have been in contact with the UN Foundation that can conduct fundraising in the US but there would be charges involved.
Chair Pachauri underlined that the Programme had been launched with great success, highlighting many applications from the least developed countries, and said guidance is needed from the plenary on how to keep the Programme going. He said given the number of applications, it would be desirable to award at least 40 to 50 scholarships. The US expressed caution regarding this suggestion as it might require a big commitment from the IPCC leadership and Secretariat. He noted that this might also influence how the IPCC is perceived as an assessment body and recalled that when the Programme was launched there was no expectation this would become a major workstream. Belgium expressed interest in the opinion of the Board of Trustees to the Programme.
Chair Pachauri suggested this matter would be discussed at the Bureau meeting, which would provide a paper with a set of options on further direction for the Programme and ways to reduce the workload burden on the Secretariat, to be presented at the next IPCC session.
TIME AND PLACE OF THE NEXT SESSION
Croatia presented its offer to host the next session in Dubrovnik or elsewhere on the Adriatic Coast at a time to be determined.
Recalling the untimely death of SBSTA Chair Mama Konate, IPCC Vice-Chair van Ypersele called for always scheduling a break between any WG or approval session and a plenary session scheduled back-to-back in a way that, insofar as possible, respects participants’ health and wellbeing.
OTHER BUSINESS AND CLOSING OF THE SESSION
Secretary Christ presented on the outcome of the 16th WMO Congress related to the IPCC. She also noted that WMO had not yet decided on the request by IPCC-32 to WMO to not convert their in-cash contribution into in-kind contribution.
Also, Secretary Christ drew attention to a notification from UN Headquarters that the Republic of South Sudan was admitted as a new Member State by the UN General Assembly on 14 July 2011, and that the official name of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had been changed to Libya (IPCC-XXXIV/INF.2). The Panel agreed to reflect these changes in the necessary amendments. South Sudan has therefore become a new member of the IPCC, bringing the total of its members to 195 countries.
In his final remarks, Chair Pachauri thanked the government and people of Uganda for their hospitality and excellent organization of the meeting. The session closed at 4:45 pm with a dance performance celebrating Africa by Francis Hayes, conference officer, and local organizers.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF IPCC-34
THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE
It was just a little over a year ago, in October 2010 in Busan, Republic of Korea, when Sir Peter Williams, Vice-President of The Royal Society, UK, presented the major findings and recommendations of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) review of the IPCC processes and procedures. The review was called for by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri to address major criticisms of the IPCC’s work as a result of the discovery of a small number of serious factual errors in the Fourth Assessment Report, allegations of conflicts of interest among those involved in the assessment, and failure to respond adequately to these charges. The IAC report contained recommendations on reforming IPCC’s management and governance, communications strategy, and processes and procedures.
Since then, the IPCC has been busy addressing these recommendations, enacting changes that it hopes will make it more solid and able to weather the intense public scrutiny and attacks by climate change skeptics. At the same time, the IPCC has had to focus on its work on the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), the cornerstone of its activities. With the IPCC midway through the AR5 cycle, these changes stand to have an impact on the AR5. It is a useful moment in time to begin to assess how much the decisions taken so far have led to substantive changes in the IPCC. This brief analysis will address these questions.
IPCC-34 came at a time when the most difficult decisions in response to the IAC review have already been taken or are well advanced. A variety of organizational, procedural, governance and policy changes were made prior to the Kampala meeting. These include the establishment of an Executive Committee to provide management oversight and address emerging issues on behalf of the Panel between sessions; limiting the terms of office for key Bureau positions; the development of a conflict of interest policy; and increasing transparency in its procedures, including clarifying the selection of participants at expert meetings, authors and others. Other critical issues that have been tackled include a clear policy for correcting errors, strengthening of the review process, and improved guidance for authors, including on evaluation of evidence and consistent treatment of uncertainty.
This session in Kampala concentrated on completing revisions to the Procedures for the IPCC reports. As a result, the Panel finalized its work on the production and treatment of guidance material, the selection of participants to IPCC workshops and expert meetings, matters related to the transparency, quality and efficiency of the review process, anonymous expert review, and approval sessions for Summaries for Policy Makers.
Perhaps most notably, at this session the IPCC agreed on the Implementation Procedures for the Conflict of Interest Policy, which had been developed at IPCC-33. The agreement represented a source of much satisfaction among participants, who feel that the decision taken here allows for prompt implementation and adequate oversight by those who are most interested in maintaining the integrity of the IPCC—that is, the Panel’s Executive Committee. Importantly, implementation of the new comprehensive Conflict of Interest Policy will contribute to increased transparency of the IPCC process—just what the Panel needs to ensure the credibility of its findings.
To the dismay of many, however, the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy is still incomplete. The IPCC has long acknowledged that its outreach and communication is critically deficient and attempts had been initiated to address it in the past, such as the first IPCC communications strategy in 2005-2006, which included the recruitment of a communications officer. The IAC review reinforced this criticism, finding that communication was a major weakness, and recommended the development of a communications strategy, including guidelines on who should speak on behalf of the IPCC. More than a year later, however, the IPCC still has no strategy in place and has not appointed a senior communications officer. In Kampala, the draft communications strategy was met with wide discontent. Many felt a senior communications professional should have been involved in the preparation of the strategy. In addition, others were concerned that the draft strategy had not been discussed by the Executive Committee prior to its presentation before the IPCC. With both the strategy and the appointment delayed, lack of progress on communications elicited much frustration among participants in Kampala and many others in the climate change community alike, and remains a critical gap in the response of the IPCC to the IAC review.
ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF CHANGE
Although it is too early to judge the transformational extent of the changes introduced in the IPCC as a result of the IAC review, it is useful to note some signs of the effects of these changes.
The most evident and welcome changes relate to increased transparency in the IPCC processes and procedures. There is more transparency and consistency over different stages of the assessment process, including the preparation, review, and endorsement of IPCC reports. There is a policy in place to address real or potential conflict of interest among all participants. There is even a better understanding of how the Panel is run, including its management structure, and roles and responsibilities. All these are critically important.
Changes affecting the quality of management and governance are, however, more difficult to see and assess. Having good rules is the start, but adherence and practice is what makes a difference. The fact that the Executive Committee was not consulted or involved in the recruitment of the senior communications professional came as a surprise to many.
One question was how the changes resulting from the IAC review would affect progress on the AR5. In many ways, the IAC review came at a convenient time for the IPCC—having just completed the Fourth Assessment Report and with the bulk of work concentrated on the Working Groups (WGs) as they initiated the AR5. In fact, many of the changes implemented had already been initiated by the WGs, including on a conflict of interest policy, guidance on the treatment of uncertainties and other guidance on procedures. Even the Executive Committee is a formalization of the previous Executive Team. As to the deliverables, the approval in the space of six months of two timely Special Reports –on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation and on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Adaptation (SREX) —comes as evidence that the IAC review has not distracted the IPCC from its core business.
As one participant noted, the IAC review was not meant to illicit a revolution but an evolution. The significance of the IPCC reforms will only become apparent as new challenges arise. Assessing the quality of change, that is whether the reforms that the IPCC has already undertaken will actually lead to making the Panel stronger in front of the increased public scrutiny, remains to be seen.
Unfortunately, the lack of a comprehensive communications strategy stands in the way of making the Panel’s reforms and its work evident to the outside world. Communicating the complex science of climate extremes and impacts as presented in the SREX could have already benefited from it. That is why most participants see rapid progress on a communications strategy as vital to ensure success in the implementation of the IPCC changes. While progress on the AR5 is going well, the impact of the IPCC’s findings, and consequently its relevance, will be significantly influenced by how it is communication to the outside world.
Joint 9th Meeting of the Vienna Convention COP and 23rd Montreal Protocol MOP: The 23rd session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 23) and ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (COP 9) are taking place in Bali. dates: 21-25 November 2011 location: Bali, Indonesia contact: Ozone Secretariat phone: +254-20-762-3851 fax: +254-20-762-4691 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://ozone.unep.org
UNFCCC COP 17 and COP/MOP 7: The 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the 7th session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol will take place in Durban, South Africa. The 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP), and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) will also meet. dates: 28 November - 9 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: email@example.com www: http://unfccc.int/ and http://www.cop17durban.com
Eye on Earth Summit: The Eye on Earth Summit: Pursuing a Vision is being organized under the theme “Dynamic system to keep the world environmental situation under review.” This event will launch the global environmental information network (EIN) strengthening initiative and address major policy and technical issues. dates: 12-15 December 2011 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: Marije Heurter, Eye on Earth Event Coordinator phone: +971-2-693-4516 email: Marije.firstname.lastname@example.org or Eoecommunity@ead.ae www: http://www.eyeonearthsummit.org/
Fifth World Future Energy Summit: The fifth World Future Energy Summit will take place from 16-19 January 2012, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Summit will concentrate on energy innovation in policy implementation, technology development, finance and investment approaches, and existing and upcoming projects. The Summit will seek to set the scene for future energy discussions in 2012 with leading international speakers from government, industry, academia and finance, to share insights, expertise and cutting edge advances in technology. dates: 16-19 January 2012 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates contact: Naji El Haddad phone: +971-2-409-0499 email:email@example.com www: http://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com/
IPCC WGIII AR5 Second Expert meeting on Scenarios: Scenarios have a key role in the WGIII contribution to the AR5 as an integrative element. Authors from all relevant chapters will meet to coordinate and integrate the scenario activities across chapters. dates: 17-18 March 2012 location: Wellington, New Zealand contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email:IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
UN Conference on Sustainable Development: The UNCSD (or Rio+20) will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil dates: 20-22 June 2012 location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
IPCC WGIII AR5 Expert Meeting for Businesses and NGOs: Based on the good experiences made during the SRREN, WGIII will organize and execute an Expert Meeting for Businesses and NGOs. The meeting aims to gather structured input for consideration by the AR5 authors from these communities. The meeting will take place during the Expert Review Period (22 June – 20 August 2012). date: to be determined location: to be determined contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email:IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
IPCC 35th Session: The 35th session of the IPCC will consider pending issues arising from the consideration of the IAC Review of the IPCC processes and procedures, namely those on: governance and management, and communications strategy. dates: to be determined location: Croatia contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email:IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
Fifth Assessment Report