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International Scientific Conference on Risk Management: Part 2

Monday, April 10, 2017

This is a continuation of this blog.

Here are some key recommendations that came from yesterday's discussions:

  • Make science salient to different audiences
  • Engage more directly people beyond sciences (professional communicators, private sector, etc.)
  • Involve local authorities (religious, cultural etc.)  to communicate, to influence the perceptions of risks
  • IPCC needs to move from assessment at global level to regional and local level in order to help taking actions on the ground
  • Focus more on near time risks (current and near time) between now and 5 or now and 10 years.
  • We need broker kind of things – like service providers – otherwise there is no bridge between the science and the practice.
  • Long term climate change as covered by IPCC should put in the context of climate variability
  • the need to generate new information on how long term climate changes are now actually already experienced
  • IPCC – stop working on the top down approach in order to make the IPCC framework more effective. To work from a bottom-up approach.
  • Optimise the opportunities of the IPCC process – the challenge is not only to focus on the content, but also the process; more inclusive and participative process.

The afternoon of the second day was dedicated to a visit at the University of Nairobi for discussion on “The role of developing countries in climate change adaptation dialogue”. It was also a very good moment for exchanges with the students and networking. 

Resume of the day 3:

For the third day of the meeting, discussions were focused on the overview of the IPCC’s mandate and key entry point for influencing the process. The discussions was conducted by the two co-chairs of WG2

Keys mandate of the IPCC presented

  • The role of the IPCC is to assess information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human induced climate change, the impacts and the mitigation and adaptation options
  • The contents of the IPCC must be policy neutral. Otherwise there is a risk that countries might block certain information that doesn’t serve their interests
  • Governments ultimately approve the text by way of negotiation of the IPCC in a plenary
  • The authors of the chapters must come up with a consensus view of the science as much as possible because the IPCC must prepare reports in a way that policy makers can understand
  • The primary stakeholders are the negotiators in the UNFCCC process.  IPCC reports primarily target information that can be used in that space.
  • The IPCC reviews literature to develop its reports.  Peer reviewed, scientific literature – including on adaptation, vulnerability and resilience – is fundamental.  A breadth of scientific literature is lacking in that space.
  • In AR6, risk assessment is intended to be cross cutting across the working groups.  ‘How do we do this’ is a question yet to be answered.

Points of Entry presented

  • Governments decide – or not – to undertake another assessment report and also decide upon which special reports might be required. So, it was decided
  1. a)  To undertake a sixth assessment report
  2. b)  To undertake three special reports: 1) the 1.5 degrees report 2) land 3) oceans and cryosphere
  3. c)  That the working groups would be more closely integrated than in the past
  • Then, there’s an election to select the bureau, the chair and co-chairs of the working groups.  Candidates are put forward by governments and governments vote
  • Then there is a scoping meeting to identify bullet points that will guide the chapter outline for the assessment report and the special reports.  Governments put forward appropriate people to be involved in the scoping
  • Governments review and approve the chapter outlines
  • When approved, governments put forward authors.  Following September 2017 (when the chapter outline is going to be approved) there will be a call for authors. Selected authors are generally those who have a strong scientific track record in the peer reviewed literature.
  • Authors include: coordinating lead author; lead authors; contributing authors
  • Reviewers are also identified

The message heard in this pre-scoping meeting in Nairobi (5th – 7th April 2017) is very clear: IPCC wants to move from a 1.0 to a 2.0 version, where its message is more relevant to, applicable to and representative of people’s lives. This will require new voices and stakeholders to play a fundamental role in the AR6 cycle and beyond. The conclusion and recommendation of this meeting will be presented at the IPCC assessment meeting in Addis Ababa in May 2017.