Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yet another modest suggestion

Eli is accepting signatures for his first modest suggestion to improve IPCC processes by allowing public comment on the second stage review. Those wishing to sign can put a comment under the appropriate post or send Email to EliRabett2003 at yahoo.

Another day, of course and another suggestion. Frankly the Bunny is stumped on how to write a suggestion for fully funding the lead authors and review editors, but is willing to listen to others, since the idea appears somewhat popular. This one deals with injecting a regulatory science component into the Summaries for Policy Makers.

Comment to the InterAcademy Council Review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

1. Summary

The IPCC was founded to provide Policy Makers with summaries of climate research. While the Working Groups' focus on current research and future research needs is appropriate, there is a gulf between their reports and the need of policy makers and regulatory agencies to settle on and justify actions. We suggest that representatives of regulatory agencies be involved in drafting all Summaries for Policymakers and the Synthesis Report

2. The Problem

IPCC reports contribute to global public policy debates and processes, which may have major effects on the daily lives of every person in the world. Every government and large enterprise has already been affected. As the century continues, the effects of policies based on IPCC work will increase in their scope and impact: they will create whole new industrial sectors, thousands of businesses, and many ways of life.

For this reason, the IPCC reports and the processes which create them have been under increasing scrutiny as the reports provide the scientific basis for regulatory action, but the reports themselves are summaries of research and suggestions for future research directions. The need for action has become clearer with time, but the recommendations for action must be within the context of regulatory actions and laws.

3. Proposed solution

The InterAcademy Council should consider how regulatory agencies could be better integrated into the drafting of the Summaries for Policy Makers and the Synthesis Report. These documents would then be better aligned with the needs of Policy Makers and governments.

This suggestion formalizes much that has naturally occurred.

4. Recommendations

This is a series of concrete recommendations for amendments to the document “Principles Governing IPCC Work, Appendix A – Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC Reports”, with the effect of implementing the solutions described above. Changes are shown in bold

4.3 Approval and Acceptance of Summaries for Policymakers and Adoption of Overview Chapters of Methodology Reports Related to national Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Summary sections of Reports approved by the Working Groups and accepted by the Panel will principally be the Summaries for Policymakers, prepared by the respective Working Groups of their full scientific, technical and socio-economic assessments, and Summaries for Policymakers of Special Reports prepared by the Working Groups. The Summaries for Policy Makers should be subject to simultaneous review by both experts and governments and to a final line by line approval by a Session of the Working Group.

Governments should ensure that appropriate regulatory agencies are involved in the simultaneous review, and selected representatives should be present as observers during the final line-by-line approval to advise the Working Group

Responsibility for preparing first drafts and revised drafts of Summaries for Policymakers, lies with the respective Working Group Co-Chairs. The Summaries for Policymakers should be prepared concurrently with the preparation of the main Reports. . .

4.4.1 The Synthesis Report

The Synthesis Report will synthesise and integrate materials contained within the Assessment Reports and Special Reports and should be written in a non-technical style suitable for policymakers and address a broad range of policy-relevant but policy-neutral questions approved by the Panel. The Synthesis Report is composed of two sections as follows: (a) a Summary for Policymakers and (b) a longer report. The IPCC Chair will lead a writing team whose composition is agreed by the Bureau, noting the need to aim for a range of views, expertise and geographical representation. The team will include diverse representatives of appropriate regulatory agencies nominated by governments. An approval and adoption procedure will allow Sessions of the Panel to approve the SPM line by line and to ensure that the SPM and the longer report of the Synthesis Report are consistent, and the Synthesis Report is consistent with the underlying Assessment Reports and Special Reports from which the information has been synthesised and integrated. This approach will take 5-7 working days of a Session of the Panel.
5. Conclusion

We believe that involvement of regulatory agencies in the drafting of the AR5 Summaries for Policy Makers and Synthesis Report will help governments use the AR5 to guide policies related to climate change.



Arthur said...

One typo: "recommendations for action must be occur" - extra "be".

There are definitely some folks at EPA very competent in review and response, is the idea to get them more formally included? Sounds good to me!

David B. Benson said...

I see a problem. This would tend to limit the SPM to existing laws and regulations whereas quite clearly new laws and regulations are required.

Ron Broberg said...


how many govts are involved with the IPCC. Is the plan to have physical representatives from each govt at the final reviews? Isn't that an awfully large number of strap hangers?