Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)

 

Vol. 12 No. 248
Saturday, 13 November 2004
 

SUMMARY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE:

9-11 NOVEMBER 2004

The 22nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met from 9-11 November 2004, at the Ashok Hotel, in New Delhi, India. Over 250 participants representing governments, UN agencies, IPCC Technical Support Units, as well as inter- and non-governmental organizations attended. During the meeting, delegates discussed: the scope, content and process for an IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Synthesis Report; AR4 products; outreach; the IPCC Programme and Budget for 2005-8; and election procedures. Delegates also heard progress reports on: Working Group contributions to the AR4; the Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System; the Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage; the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories; and the work of the Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA).

In the cooperative spirit of the IPCC, delegates approved a process for developing an AR4 Synthesis Report and a decision on the IPCC programme and budget for 2005-8. Regarding the Synthesis Report, delegates agreed to a 30-page report with a five- page Summary for Policymakers to be approved by the IPCC in late October 2007. The session also saw fruitful discussions on IPCC outreach, noting the need to prepare communications strategies to ensure that special reports and the AR4 reach the broadest possible audience.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IPCC

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The purpose of the IPCC is to assess the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant to understanding the risks associated with human-induced climate change. The IPCC does not undertake new research, nor does it monitor climate-related data, but bases its assessments on published and peer-reviewed scientific and technical literature. Its Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and is staffed by both WMO and UNEP.

Since its inception, the IPCC has prepared a series of comprehensive assessments, special reports and technical papers, providing scientific information on climate change to the international community, including policymakers and the general public. This information has played an important role in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC, which provides the overall global policy framework for addressing climate change, was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994.

The current structure of the IPCC includes three working groups:

  • Working Group I addresses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change;
     

  • Working Group II addresses the vulnerability of socioeconomic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it; and
     

  • Working Group III addresses options for limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and otherwise mitigating climate change.

The IPCC also has a Task Force on National GHG Inventories. The Task Force on National GHG Inventories oversees the IPCC National GHG Inventories Programme (NGGIP), which aims to develop and refine an internationally-agreed methodology and software for the calculation and reporting of national GHG emissions and removals, and to encourage the use of this methodology by countries participating in the IPCC and by UNFCCC signatories.

KEY IPCC PRODUCTS: The IPCC completed its initial comprehensive assessments of climate change in the First Assessment Report in 1990 and the Second Assessment Report in 1995. In 1994, it prepared technical guidelines for assessing GHG inventories and subsequently revised these in 1996. The UNFCCC’s 1997 Kyoto Protocol reaffirmed the use of the guidelines for preparing national GHG inventories by Parties to the UNFCCC and, in the future, by Parties to the Protocol.

The IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR) was completed by the Panel in 2001. It addresses policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socioeconomic dimensions of climate change. It concentrates on findings since 1995 and pays attention to both regional and global scales. The TAR is composed of a comprehensive assessment from the three Working Groups, summaries for policymakers (SPM) and technical summaries of each Working Group report, and a Synthesis Report. The comprehensive assessments, Synthesis Report and SPMs were subject to extensive peer review from experts and governments. The TAR Synthesis Report is written in a non-technical style aimed at policymakers. It addresses nine policy-relevant questions identified by the IPCC based on submissions by governments.

SEVENTEENTH SESSION: Discussions on the TAR concluded at IPCC-17 and IPCC-18. At IPCC-17, held from 4-6 April 2001, in Nairobi, Kenya, participants accepted the actions of the three IPCC Working Groups with regard to adopting their contributions to the TAR. They considered progress on the TAR Synthesis Report, and discussed in depth the future of the IPCC. Participants also approved the preparation of a technical paper on the links between biological diversity and climate change, and considered a proposal for a special report on climate change and sustainable development.

EIGHTEENTH SESSION: IPCC-18 was held from 24-29 September 2001, in London, UK. Participants reviewed and adopted the TAR’s SPMs and Synthesis Report and made decisions to: retain the IPCC’s three Working Groups; maintain the Task Force on National GHG Inventories, and keep the size of the IPCC Bureau at 30 members. They also decided: to adopt the IPCC work programme and budget for 2002-4; endorse a scoping paper for the Technical Paper on Climate Change and Biological Diversity; and endorse, in principle, the preparation of a technical paper on climate change and sustainable development. In addition, they also accepted a work programme on Good Practice Guidance on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), and authorized further work on developing definitions for degradation and devegetation and the preparation of scoping papers for work requested by the UNFCCC.

NINETEENTH SESSION: Beginning at its nineteenth session, the IPCC plenary embarked on work towards the next assessment report. At IPCC-19, held from 17-20 April 2002, in Geneva, participants decided, inter alia, on a draft workplan for developing definitions for degradation of forest and devegetation of other vegetation types, methodological options for estimating and reporting emissions resulting from these activities, and elements of the procedure for agreeing on NGGIP products. They also decided: on the timing of the AR4; to hold a workshop on geological and oceanic carbon separation, capture and storage; to draft a scoping paper on climate change and water; and to hold an expert meeting on climate change and development.

TWENTIETH SESSION: IPCC-20 was held from 19-21 February 2003, in Paris, France. Participants agreed on a work plan for two expert scoping meetings on how to progress and structure AR4 and discussed a framework and set of criteria for establishing priorities for special reports, methodology reports and technical papers for the period of the fourth assessment. They also decided to hold a high-level scientific meeting to survey the processes affecting carbon stocks and human influences upon them and to produce a special report on safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system.

TWENTY-FIRST SESSION: At IPCC-21, held from 3-7 November 2003, in Vienna, Austria, participants reviewed the outlines of the proposed Working Group contributions to AR4 and the Chair’s proposal for a synthesis report of AR4. They agreed that a technical paper on climate change and water should be completed in 2007, discussed terms of reference for a document on the AR4 product set, and reviewed the report of the IPCC expert meeting on processes affecting terrestrial carbon stocks and human influences upon them. The Panel approved the terms of reference for revising the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Inventories and agreed on a revised mandate and name for the Task Group on Scenarios for Climate and Impact Analysis (now TGICA). 

IPCC-22 REPORT

IPCC-22 opened on Tuesday, 9 November, with a lamp-lighting ceremony. Thiru A. Raja, Indian Minister of Environment and Forests noted the significance of ensuring that AR4 findings reach the public at large, and the need for AR4 to highlight research in developing countries.

Prodipto Ghosh, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, highlighted the IPCC’s service to the Parties to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol and to the policymaking community in general.

IPCC Chair R.K. Pachauri said the IPCC must respect the perspectives of each member and that each member must respect the perspectives of the Panel.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the IPCC’s flexibility should enable it to address issues beyond climate change and emphasized the importance of the cross-cutting theme on water.

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer highlighted the significance of the IPCC’s work for related policy processes, and commended the increased involvement by women and developing country authors in AR4.

Halldór Thorgeirsson, Coordinator of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), highlighted the importance placed by the UNFCCC on climate monitoring, the ongoing revision of the GHG reporting guidelines, and good practice guidance on land use, land-use change and forestry.

APPROVAL OF THE IPCC-21 DRAFT REPORT

The report of IPCC-21 (IPCC-XXII/Doc.3) was approved with an amendment by Switzerland clarifying an intervention on the outcomes of the meeting on processes affecting terrestrial carbon stocks and human influences upon them.

PROGRESS REPORTS

WORKING GROUP CONTRIBUTIONS TO AR4: Dahe Qin (China), Working Group I Co-Chair, presented Working Group I’s report (IPCC-XXII/Doc.9) and highlighted that Lead Authors and Review Editors have been selected. He stated that a draft report will be presented in May 2005 and that Working Group I has developed an electronic system for easy access to documents and information.

Martin Parry (UK), Working Group II Co-Chair, introduced the Working Group II report (IPCC-XXII/Doc.10). He said Working Group II has selected authors, emphasizing the need for balanced geographic representation and involving scientists new to the IPCC. He outlined future steps and the incorporation of cross-cutting themes, including water.

Referring to Working Group III’s report (IPCC-XXXII/Doc.11), Ogunlade Davidson (Sierra Leone), Working Group III Co-Chair, said the group has attempted to increase regional representation on its AR4 team and introduce new authors into the writing process. He called attention to upcoming meetings on integrating adaptation and mitigation and sustainable development, and on emissions scenarios.

Iran requested that the timetables for the zero-order drafts of the Working Groups should be adjusted to accelerate the completion of each report. India urged that Working Group I’s online journal access be extended to other Working Groups and recommended that details of gender and geographical balance should be reported using the same categories for each Working Group.

Austria suggested that the plenary be briefed on the outcomes of the Working Group III meetings on emissions scenarios, given the high sensitivity and relevance of this information. Switzerland stressed that politically sensitive questions should not be addressed technically.

SPECIAL REPORT ON SAFEGUARDING THE OZONE LAYER AND GLOBAL CLIMATE SYSTEM: Bert Metz (the Netherlands), Working Group III Co-Chair, introduced the report (IPCC-XXII/Doc.13/Rev.1), reviewed changes in the report’s scope and said it would be completed by April 2005.

SPECIAL REPORT ON CARBON DIOXIDE CAPTURE AND STORAGE: Working Group III Co-Chair Metz said completion of this report has been delayed until September 2005 to take full account of new literature in the field (IPCC-XXII/Doc.14). He noted an experiment in the review process being undertaken in which the expert review is being conducted anonymously to improve objectivity when responding to comments. Austria, opposed by the Russian Federation, supported the experiment of using anonymous reviews. Chair Pachauri noted that the outcomes of this experiment would be discussed by the Panel in due course.

2006 IPCC GUIDELINES FOR NATIONAL GHG INVENTORIES: Thelma Krug (Brazil), Co-Chair of the Task Force on National GHG Inventories, reported that five meetings have been held covering all five volumes of the guidelines (IPCC-XXII/Doc.12). She said methodologies for estimating harvested wood products may be included, and noted that the guidelines would aim to provide further guidance on improving consistency of reporting of carbon dioxide emissions. Noting the complexity and uncertainties regarding the aerosol issues, Taka Hiraishi (Japan), Co-Chair of the Task Force on National GHG Inventories, highlighted alternative views on the timing of an expert meeting and noted that a small expert meeting would be convened in 2005 (IPCC-XXII/Doc.16).

The Russian Federation said volcanic aerosols should be addressed. Switzerland recommended continuing work on aerosols, but questioned further discussing methodologies for issues not fully resolved under the UNFCCC process, and advocated consultations with SBSTA.

TASK GROUP ON DATA AND SCENARIO SUPPORT FOR IMPACT AND CLIMATE ANALYSIS: Renate Christ, IPCC Secretary, introduced the progress report on the TGICA (IPCC-XXII/Doc.15), highlighting outcomes of the first meeting under its new mandate, held in September 2004. She noted that participants considered several issues, including facilitating access to new General Circulation Model archives, capacity building, and socioeconomic data. The Netherlands warned against misinterpreting output derived from TGICA datasets as “IPCC data.”

SCOPE, CONTENT AND PROCESS FOR AN AR4 SYNTHESIS REPORT

Delegates discussed the AR4 Synthesis Report in the plenary on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and in contact group meetings held on Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday afternoon, delegates approved a process for developing a Synthesis Report. Throughout the discussions, the issues of timing and content of the Synthesis Report proved to be the greatest challenges for negotiations.

In Tuesday’s plenary session, Chair Pachauri outlined the proposal for an AR4 Synthesis Report (IPCC-XXII/Doc.5) and emphasized the need for such a report, noting that its length should be limited to about 30 pages, and explaining that the proposed writing team would consist of four to six writers from each Working Group. IPCC Secretary Christ introduced two possible timelines, noting that both options take into account IPCC-XIX/Decision 6, requiring that the Synthesis Report be finalized in the last quarter of 2007. Martin Manning, Working Group I Technical Support Unit, expressed concern regarding the proposed timeline for presenting an advance copy of an AR4 Synthesis Report at UNFCCC COP-13 in November 2007, and urged postponing a decision on timing.

Many delegates supported producing the AR4 Synthesis Report, and stressed the need for agreement on its scope and timing. The US pointed to potential problems related to drafting the Synthesis Report prior to approval of the Working Group reports. Switzerland said the Synthesis Report should present findings since the TAR.

Some delegates stressed that trying to finalize the Synthesis Report in time for COP-13 might compromise the report's quality. Working Group III Co-Chair Davidson stressed that quality is a given parameter, and emphasized the importance of completing the report by COP-13 for its findings to reach policymakers, with Germany stating that the UNFCCC is the IPCC’s “main customer.” The UK said no Synthesis Report by COP-13 would represent a “retrograde step” and make the IPCC “irrelevant,” in the views of some.

On Wednesday morning, Martin Parry, Working Group II Co-Chair, suggested that work on the Synthesis Report begin earlier, giving writers an opportunity to brainstorm about key issues and monitor their development in the Working Group SPMs.

The Netherlands and Mexico advocated overlap between the Working Group and Synthesis Report writing processes to allow re-examination by the Working Groups of any inconsistencies identified by the Synthesis Report process. The US said work on the Synthesis Report should not be initiated until after the completion of expert reviews of the Working Group reports, including the incorporation of comments into the reports.

Many delegates agreed that the Synthesis Report must be short and concise. Cuba, Costa Rica, Peru and others emphasized that the Synthesis Report must use inputs from the best experts with balanced geographical representation, and said cross-cutting themes should be integrated into the substance of the report. Some delegates stressed that the Synthesis Report reflect a true synthesis of the Working Group reports, as well as the special reports.

China questioned the Synthesis Report’s added value and stated that if the Synthesis Report is prepared, it should provide a full explanation of uncertainties to avoid misleading policymakers.

Malawi, Uganda, the Netherlands, Spain, Peru and others reiterated the need to produce the Synthesis Report by UNFCCC COP-13 in 2007. Slovenia favored producing the Synthesis Report by COP-13, but only if this does not compromise quality. The US expressed concern that time constraints would compromise the preparation of a high quality report. Belgium said producing the Synthesis Report by COP-13 need not compromise quality, and opposed postponing delivery.

Chair Pachauri established a contact group to further examine content, length and timing of the Synthesis Report.

During the contact group’s discussions, co-chaired by Geoff Love (Australia) and Ismail Elgizouli (Sudan), delegates stressed that listing topics should not constrain authors but should instead provide guidance, with some stating that the debate was preliminary and that content should not be finalized at this time.

A new timeline was proposed, and several participants expressed concern that it was too tight, noting in particular that it calls for approval by the IPCC one week prior to COP-13.

During Thursday morning’s plenary session, Co-Chair Love reported on progress made in the Contact Group, noting agreement that the proposed content should be considered flexible and as guidance for the authors. On content, participants debated proposed changes to the topic heading on “stabilization of GHG in the context of sustainable development,” which had been changed to “sustainable development and mitigation in the long-term context.” Some supported retaining the term “stabilization,” while others favored its deletion. The contact group reconvened to discuss this issue.

In the contact group, delegates discussed the proposed topic on the long-term context. Some delegates supported making reference to UNFCCC Article 2 (Objective), but after others opposed, the reference was removed. Some insisted on referring to different stabilization scenarios in a bullet point, but others opposed and the issue was again put before Plenary.

In the Thursday afternoon plenary, Chair Pachauri introduced a new version of the proposal for a Synthesis Report (IPCC-XXII/Doc.5/Rev.1). He explained the proposed Synthesis Report would consist of two parts, a SPM of up to five pages of text and a longer report of up to 30 pages of text. He noted that this page-limit would include maps and figures but not indices.

Delegates then discussed content. New Zealand and the Netherlands emphasized that the topic headings reflected agreed wording for chapter titles, while the bullet points under each heading were only meant as guidelines for authors, and asked that a sentence to that effect be included in the proposal.

On the long-term perspective, China opposed referring to stabilization scenarios in a bullet point. Chair Pachauri proposed inserting the text “different scenarios of GHG concentrations” instead of “stabilization,” which many delegates said they could accept as a compromise. However, China, with Saudi Arabia, opposed this formulation, and supported using only “scenarios,” stating that other scenarios are also covered. The US said the Report’s authors would address all scenarios and there was no need to be specific. The Russian Federation insisted that “stabilization” be retained, stating that this is the main objective of the UNFCCC. Chair Pachauri proposed that only “scenarios” be referenced. France, the Netherlands and others regretted that stabilization was not mentioned, but agreed to the proposal. Canada regretted the absence of the terms “GHG” and “stabilization” anywhere in the section on content. Chair Pachauri said the Russian Federation’s opposition to deleting “stabilization” would be noted in the record. It was decided that the Chair’s proposal to only reference “scenarios” would be used in the final document.

On adaptation and mitigation options and responses, the US, supported by New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, suggested that authors should consider the same factors for both adaptation and mitigation.

The US suggested adding a sixth topic in the content section that identifies robust findings, key uncertainties and research needs. Cuba, supported by Belgium, said cross-cutting issues should be well integrated into the Synthesis Report. Contact Group Co-Chair Love noted that there was agreement that cross-cutting themes would be integrated in the Report.

Chair Pachauri stated that, in keeping with IPCC procedure, the members of the Synthesis Report Writing Team would be selected by the Chair in consultation with the Working Group Co-Chairs and that the composition of the Writing Team would be approved by the Bureau. New Zealand, supported by Italy and Belgium, recommended that Working Group Report Review Editors could be considered for the Synthesis Report writing team.

On the timing of the delivery of the Synthesis Report, Chair Pachauri noted agreement among the Technical Support Units and the Working Group Co-Chairs that the Synthesis Report could be completed by COP-13 without a loss in quality.

Saudi Arabia said delivery prior to COP-13 may cause writers to be pressured by political considerations and recommended postponing a decision on this issue. Germany urged that the Synthesis Report be completed by COP-13. He added that political considerations should not influence the timing of the report. The US and Saudi Arabia expressed hesitance that a high-quality report could be completed by COP-13. The US also called for consideration of the authors’ needs. Belgium said the schedule appeared reasonable and Austria noted that the Co-Chairs felt that the schedule would not compromise the quality of the reports. IPCC Secretary Christ and Chair Pachauri noted that the proposed timetable is similar to that used for the TAR Synthesis Report.

Chair Pachauri said he would contact the UNFCCC Executive Secretary to determine whether COP-13 could be postponed by one month to address any lingering concerns regarding the Synthesis Report. UNFCCC SBSTA Coordinator Halldór Thorgeirsson said he would also inform the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, but noted that postponement would have to be decided by the Parties.

Final Document: The final document has a background paragraph, and sections on scope, content and process. It states that the proposed Synthesis Report would consist of an SPM of up to five pages of text, and a longer report of up to 30 pages of text, including maps and figures.

The content section contains topic headings and a list of bullets that are intended as guidance to the authors, and states that cross-cutting themes will be addressed throughout the report, and that topics will highlight new finding since the TAR, and uncertainties. The topics address:

  • observed changes in climate and its effects;
     

  • causes of change;
     

  • climate change and its impacts in the near and long term under different scenarios;
     

  • adaptation and mitigation options and responses, the inter-relationship with sustainable development, at global and regional levels;
     

  • the long-term perspective: scientific and socioeconomic aspects relevant to adaptation and mitigation, consistent with the objectives and provisions of the convention and in the context of sustainable development; and
     

  • robust findings and key uncertainties.

The document also lays out the process regarding the writing team, time schedule, and management of the Synthesis Report. It states that the Core Writing Team would consist of four to six members from the author teams for each Working Group report and should be chosen to ensure that the team has the scientific and technical expertise required to cover a range of views and has geographical representation. The proposal provides for selection of the writing team in late 2005, with writing to begin in the second half of 2006 after the second order drafts of all three Working Group reports have been set out for government and expert review. Adoption and approval of the Synthesis Report is foreseen from 22-26 October 2007, to allow delivery of an unedited version of the Synthesis Report to UNFCCC COP-13. The section on management of the Synthesis Report lays out expertise and technical support required, and related costs that would be incurred.

AR4 PRODUCTS

In plenary on Wednesday, IPCC Secretary Christ introduced a document on AR4 Products (IPCC.XXII/Doc.6), noting that it reflected points raised by a contact group convened at the 31st Session of the IPCC Bureau in April 2004.

New Zealand stressed the importance of providing regionally relevant information and datasets, and Saudi Arabia called for addressing regional issues in the Working Group reports. Working Group II Co-Chair Parry described two possible approaches for indexing regional information. He explained that the first is based on a content analysis of the final text, while the second involves the authors making note of the topic and region concerned by each reference in the report. For the latter option, he noted the need to first discuss such an approach with the authors. Not opposing the use of regional centers to disseminate information, Switzerland stressed the need for integrity in the process of selecting information to be disseminated. Australia said comprehensive indexing and cross-referencing of products enhances the utility of the Working Group reports, and underlined the value of establishing an electronic search facility. Canada stressed the need to explore the feasibility of introducing an index, noting that the IPCC is not the body to discuss how it is done. Jean Palutikof, Working Group II Technical Support Unit, stated that the AR4 process is too advanced to ask Lead Authors to index their work, since their terms of reference have already been agreed. Germany stressed the urgency of indexing regional information.

On making models, datasets, scenarios and visualization tools available, the Netherlands questioned labeling datasets or models as “IPCC approved,” but acknowledged the usefulness of making available supporting materials for graphs, referring to similar practices in science journals. Denmark, with Belgium, called for easy access to graphs and tables in the final report, and asked that the translation of the text in the figures be facilitated. Citing the need for transparency and accountability, Belgium and Denmark called for making the simple model used to produce those graphics available with its source code and parameters. No decision was presented on this issue.

OUTREACH

This item was discussed in a Task Group on Outreach on Tuesday and Thursday, and in plenary on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the Task Group meeting on Tuesday, Outreach Task Group Co-Chair John Stone (Canada) asked the group to consider fact sheets prepared by the Secretariat introducing the IPCC, its history, membership, procedures, and activities. Regarding fact sheets proposed at IPCC-21 on climate change and small island States, delegates expressed the need for a different preparation process for these particular sheets. Some participants proposed that these be treated as short technical papers, as their preparation might require interpretation of IPCC-approved reports.

In plenary on Wednesday, IPCC Secretary Christ introduced the document on outreach (IPCC-XXII/Doc.7), highlighting sections on interaction with the media and on the distribution of IPCC publications. Task Group Co-Chair Stone reported on progress in the Task Group, explaining that discussions had focused on the fact sheets, with broad agreement that these should be translated into the six UN languages and formally sent to governments. He noted that some participants proposed that fact sheets should include a statement making it clear that the materials they contain are derived from previously approved IPCC documents.

Several countries stressed the urgent need for developing an outreach strategy. The Netherlands, with the US, stressed the importance of reviewing fact sheets. On producing a list of speakers, Austria and Belgium said experts must be clear about the capacity in which they are speaking. Stressing the need for improved outreach in his region, Iran, supported by Afghanistan, proposed that the IPCC hold workshops focusing on Asia and the Middle East. Switzerland and Belgium recommended exploring synergies with activities taken under UNFCCC Article 6 (education, training and public awareness). Working Group III Co-Chair Bert Metz and Germany warned against postponing a decision on outreach, with Metz noting that two upcoming Special Reports will be completed prior to IPCC-24.

In the Task Group on Thursday, participants discussed the preparation of a communications strategy, agreeing to prioritize a strategy for the 2005 release of the Special Reports on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System and on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. Noting resource constraints, they identified the preparation of a longer-term communications strategy as a second priority. Stressing that outreach for the Special Reports should be carried out in collaboration with relevant Technical Support Units and the Task Group Co-Chairs, participants emphasized the need to:

  • post the translation of the SPMs on the IPCC website within a month of their release;
     

  • prepare press releases;
     

  • organize media and other briefings;
     

  • prepare a CD-ROM and a set of slides with key graphs; and
     

  • provide a mechanism for feedback from users.

In plenary on Thursday, Task Group Co-Chair Stone reported on progress. Noting that one of the Special Reports is due for release at IPCC-23, he explained that the Bureau would be consulted on the communications strategy, and underlined a consensus that the Secretariat should proceed without delay to hire the appropriate expertise. No decision was presented for adoption.

IPCC PROGRAMME AND BUDGET FOR 2005-8

The issue of the IPCC Secretariat’s programme and budget for 2005-8 was taken up in plenary on Tuesday and Thursday, and in contact group sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In plenary on Tuesday, IPCC Secretary Christ presented a document containing the proposed programme and budget for 2005-8 (IPCC-XXII/Doc.4/Rev.1). Chair Pachauri asked Marc Gillet (France) and Zhenlin Chen (China) to co-chair a contact group of the Financial Task Team to discuss the proposed programme and budget for 2005-8. On Thursday, the plenary adopted a decision on the programme and budget for 2005-8.

In the contact group meetings, the Task Team discussed advantages and disadvantages of a proposal to level the annual expenditure across the four years, requesting details on the implications of such a measure, given the IPCC’s multi-year work programme. Some participants stressed that contributions necessary for publication of AR4 should be collected prior to 2007, given the significant cost of publication. They also addressed various options for the length and cost of IPCC-23 in 2005. Participants suggested documenting projections of expenditures and contributions.

Participants considered the possibility of applying unused funds that are budgeted for specific items of the programme to other items that risk over-expenditure. Similarly, the group addressed options for enhancing the flexibility of the budget to apply funding for unused journeys to one meeting to support additional participants’ travel to other meetings.

Participants also debated at length the feasibility of sponsoring Lead Authors’ participation in non-IPCC meetings, and discussed provisions on co-sponsoring workshops.

Supported by others, one participant proposed a meeting following the expert review process where authors and reviewers could discuss diverging opinions in order to improve transparency.

Task Team participants raised the issue of the Secretariat hiring additional staff for outreach purposes, asking whether this was included in the budget.

In its final two contact group meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, Task Team participants examined the draft decision on the Secretariat’s programme and budget for 2005-8, discussing how and whether to reflect the annual carry-over amount of CHF 4 million, and the implications that this reference may have on contributions by governments. They agreed to refer to the carry-over, without referring to any desire to maintain it beyond 2008. Some supported defining clearly the rationale for the carry-over.

In plenary on Thursday, Co-Chair Gillet summarized the contact group’s discussions and presented the draft decision. Recalling the decision at IPCC-18, Belgium, supported by Canada, stressed the urgency of hiring an outreach specialist for the IPCC, and stressed that this salary should be reflected in the budget for 2005. The US noted that the IPCC-18 decision does not specify a full-time position, which was confirmed by the Secretariat, who noted that the decision on hiring staff was dependent upon agreement on an outreach strategy.

Regarding options for increasing the budget, Tunisia pointed to revenues from the sale of IPCC products, and Belgium suggested that the IPCC should receive a portion of the revenues. IPCC Secretary Christ clarified that in exchange for receiving sales revenues, the publisher offers a cheaper bulk ordering price.

Responding to a question from Australia on whether the AR4 Synthesis Report is provided for in the budget, IPCC Secretary Christ confirmed that this was the case, but noted that the budget could be reconsidered in light of a decision on the Synthesis Report. India suggested considering the possibility of producing the Working Group reports in countries where production costs are lower. The IPCC then adopted the decision.

Final Decision: In the decision (IPCC-XXII/Doc.17), the Panel adopts the revised budget for 2005 and takes note of the forecasted budget for 2006 and of the indicative budgets for 2007 and 2008. The Panel encourages the Working Group Bureaus, the Task Force Bureau and the Co-Chair of the TGICA to continue providing the Secretariat with early notice of planned meetings and other activities proposed to be funded by the IPCC Trust Fund. It also recommends that the Secretariat continue regularly updating and presenting the annual rate of voluntary cash contributions to the IPCC Trust Fund, and communicating this information to governments and other contributors when seeking voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund.

The Panel also expresses gratitude to governments, the WMO, UNEP, UNFCCC and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for their contributions and thanks the IPCC Chair and Secretary for their efforts to widen the basis of financial contributors to the IPCC. It invites governments to contribute to the IPCC Trust Fund and requests the Chair to formally write to governments and other possible contributors requesting such contributions.

ELECTION PROCEDURES

IPCC Secretary Christ introduced, and delegates discussed, this issue in plenary on Thursday morning (IPCC-XXII/Doc.8). Open-ended Task Group on Election Procedures Co-Chair David Warrilow (UK) highlighted the need for discussions on the replacement of Bureau members, the nominations committee, size of the Bureau, and using UNFCCC rules as a model.

Switzerland noted issues requiring clarification, including: implications of using provisions taken from UNFCCC rules of procedure that have not yet been agreed by that body; consistency among provisions; and nomination procedures. The US and Belgium underlined the need for a definition of the assessment cycle or for an end date for each Bureau.

The Russian Federation and Election Procedures Group Co-Chair Richard Odingo (Kenya) recommended that the WMO rules should be used as a model and, with Austria and Switzerland, urged fair regional representation on the Bureau.

The US and others noted the need for further discussions on the nomination committee and Co-Chair Odingo supported its use.

Belgium, opposed by Co-Chair Odingo, said the current size of the Bureau is effective. Co-Chair Odingo said the Chair should determine its size. Opposed by the Russian Federation, Belgium suggested that Bureau and Chair elections should be staggered. The US suggested that further discussions were needed. Belgium and Germany made separate proposals for the replacement of Bureau members in midstream.

The Panel agreed to ask members to forward comments to the Co-Chairs of the Election Procedures Group and to the Secretariat by 15 January 2005, and agreed that the contact group would prepare a revised draft for consideration at IPCC-24.

CLOSING PLENARY

IPCC Secretary Christ said IPCC-23 would be held on 8 April 2005, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Chair Pachauri thanked India for hosting the session, and gavelled the meeting to a close at 6:26 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF IPCC-22

RECIPE FOR AN ASSESSMENT REPORT

At its 22nd session, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met to continue the preparation, initiated in 2002, of its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) on climate change, its causes, possible impacts and related response measures. As a result of its previous assessments, the IPCC has come to be known as the most esteemed, credible and comprehensive mechanism for the review of the state of knowledge on climate change. While hundreds of scientists are brought together to author the reports, governments are also included in the review process, offering a bridge between science and policy concerns. The following analysis highlights the successes of IPCC’s 22nd session, while reflecting on implications for the AR4 in the broader context of global efforts to address climate change.

MEASURE OUT THE INGREDIENTS

Since its inception, the IPCC has played an important role in the formulation of policy to address climate change. This is particularly reflected by the catalytic impact of the IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 in generating the impetus leading to the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. Hence, the relationship between the IPCC and the UNFCCC has always been close, with the UNFCCC relying heavily the IPCC’s outputs and the IPCC looking the UNFCCC for mandates on special reports. The resulting balance between scientific and political agendas has led to suggestions that this forum might be more efficient if it involved only scientists striving for the highest standard of science, or only policymakers familiar with the UNFCCC process, which would ensure that participants are speaking the same “language.” However, many point to the participation of both scientists and policymakers as a key characteristic of the IPCC, and extol the inclusive and interactive nature of the intergovernmental process.

ADD THE SPICES

Recent efforts aimed at expanding the gender and geographic diversity of contributors and maintaining an open and transparent process have ensured that more governments preserve a sense of ownership of the final products, while upholding the scientific integrity of the reports. Now in its 17th year, the IPCC continues to garner credibility from policymakers for its policy-relevant reports, while its extensive review process continues to enlist the trust and commitment of the scientific community. Indeed, the ever-growing breadth of financial contributions, as demonstrated in the programme and budget adopted at this session, shows the strong dedication that countries have to the process.

Nevertheless, IPCC-22 reflected the potentially delicate nature of such a science/policy mixture. In particular, the issue of the AR4 Synthesis Report demonstrated that even while endeavoring to achieve the goal of policy-relevant, but not policy-prescriptive outputs, the Panel must make a continuous effort to avoid accommodating policy agendas. This Report is widely acknowledged to be the most important IPCC document for the UNFCCC process, and hence its contents are subject to greater pressures to reflect political interests.

MARINATE AND COOK

Coming into IPCC-22, there was widespread recognition that the Synthesis Report would be the main bone of contention for a variety of reasons. Indeed, even its preparation was in doubt, and formal and informal discussions on the Report’s scope, length, content, and timing kept corridors and meeting rooms buzzing throughout IPCC-22, including through early morning, lunch and evening sessions. On timing, much of the deliberations centered on a goal of delivering the Report before UNFCCC COP-13, scheduled for November 2007. Many warned against an accelerated Synthesis Report process that may prioritize the political process over scientific quality. Others recalled that the UNFCCC is the IPCC’s “main customer,” and feared that if a Synthesis Report were not available, policymakers may rely on alternative interpretations of the three Working Groups’ reports, thus not only weakening the significance of the IPCC’s work, but also decoupling it from the UNFCCC process. As one participant put it, “COP-13 is late; COP-14 is too late.”

In the end, fears that a Synthesis Report would be evaded were alleviated, as participants agreed to a compromise proposal for a 30-page report with a five-page Summary for Policymakers to be approved by the IPCC in late October 2007. Through close consultations with Co-Chairs of the Working Groups and heads of the Technical Support Units, IPCC Chair R.K. Pachauri was able to instill considerable confidence that quality would not be sacrificed for the sake of expediency.

… AND SERVE!

The dissemination of IPCC products also tests the Panel’s ability to retain its trademark integrity, through its struggles to convey the findings of the IPCC’s outcome documents without distorting their content. As a result, there was a strong commitment to developing an outreach strategy and the Outreach Task Group’s discussions were fruitful in identifying priorities for disseminating the special reports on Ozone and Climate Change and on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, which are due for completion in 2005. Participants saw this as an opportunity to gather experience and build a long-term communications strategy, which would be in place to ensure that the AR4 reaches the broadest possible audience. While concerns were expressed regarding the costs of such activities, the long-standing interest in this matter is sure to generate the necessary political will for overcoming these financial constraints.

The process of creating an “international dish” out of the available ingredients proved successful at IPCC-22. With firm deadlines now in place for the completion of the three Working Group reports and the Synthesis Report, the AR4 process is well on its way to providing the international community with another serving of reviews of climate change science.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

EMA EMERGING MARKETS CONFERENCE: EMISSIONS & RENEWABLES: This conference will be held from 14-17 November 2004, in Houston, Texas, US. For more information, contact: David Feldner, EMA Executive Director; tel: +1-414-276-3819; fax: +1-414-276-3349; e-mail: dfeldner@emissions.org; internet: http://www.emissions.org/conferences/houston04/

FIRST MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE METHANE TO MARKETS PARTNERSHIP: This meeting will be held from 15-17 November 2004, in Washington, DC. For more information, contact: Conference Management Division; tel: +1-781-674-7374; fax: +1-781-674-2906; e-mail: meetings@erg.com; internet: http://www.methanetomarkets.org

16TH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL AND ITS ASSOCIATED MEETINGS: MOP-16 and its associated meetings will be held from 17-26 November 2004, in Prague, Czech Republic. For more information, contact: Ozone Secretariat, UNEP; tel: +254-2-62-3850; fax: +254-2-62-3601; e-mail: ozoneinfo@unep.org; internet: http://www.unep.org/ozone/Meeting_Documents/mop/16mop/16mop.asp

WORLD CONFERENCE ON ENERGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: This conference will take place from 6-9 December 2004, in Cairo, Egypt. For more information, contact: Fuad Abulfotuh, Arab Academy; e-mail: mceet@link.net; internet: http://www.aast.edu/mceet/confindex.htm

WORLD CONFERENCE ON ENERGY FOR DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 12-14 December 2004, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. For more information, contact: Energy for Development Secretariat; tel: +31-70-339-1812; fax: +31-70-339-1306; e-mail: projectteam@energyfordevelopment.org; internet: http://www.energyfordevelopment.org/

TENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC: COP-10 will convene from 6-17 December 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_10/items/2944.php

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION: This conference will take place from 10-14 January 2005, in Port Louis, Mauritius. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UNDSD, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/smallislands2005/

SUMMIT ON CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS & OPPORTUNITIES: LEARNING FROM THE LEADERS: This summit is scheduled to meet from 13-14 January 2005, in New York. For more information, contact: Robyn Stewart, Center for Economic and Environmental Partnership, Inc.; tel: +1-518-432-6400; e-mail: robyn@ceepinc.org; internet: http://www.climatechangenyc.org/

WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION (WCDR): The WCDR will meet from 18-22 January 2005, in Kobe-Hyogo, Japan. For more information, contact: UN/ISDR Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-2529; fax: +41-22-917-0563; e-mail: isdr@un.org; internet: http://www.unisdr.org/eng/wcdr/wcdr-index.htm  

RIO 05 CONGRESS � WORLD CLIMATE AND ENERGY EVENT: This congress will be held from 15-20 February 2005, in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil. This event aims to bring together experts from the scientific community, industry and the public sector to discuss research, policies and products relating to sustainable energies. For more information, contact: Vanessa Espi, Organizing Committee; tel: +55-21-2233-5184; fax: +55-21-2518-2220; e-mail: info@rio5.com; internet: http://www.rio5.com/

CARBON MARKET INSIGHTS EVENT 2005: This event will be held from 1-3 March 2005, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to provide a forum to discuss the latest developments in the carbon market, including the state of the Kyoto Protocol�s Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation initiative, the EU�s emissions trading scheme, and other regional and national schemes. For more information, contact: Point Carbon Organizing Committee; tel: +47-924-29-400; fax: +47-925-70-818; e-mail: conference@pointcarbon.com; internet: http://www.pointcarbon.com/category.php?categoryID=286

CAIRO 9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT (EE9): EE9 will be held from 13-19 March 2005, in Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. For more information, contact: Ralph Kummler, Wayne State University; tel: +1-313-577-3775; fax: +1-313-577-5300; e-mail: rkummler@chem1.eng.wayne.edu; internet: http://ee9.sat-eng.com/index.htm

IPCC-23:The 23rd session of the IPCC is scheduled for 8 April 2005, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel. +41-22-730-8208/84; fax +41-22-730-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/
 

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Pia Kohler, Leila Mead, Lisa Schipper, Ph.D., and Hugh Wilkins. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. General Support for the Bulletin during 2004 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Swan International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556. or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.