Climate and Peace Part III
7: Who does what? How?
The IPCC is an intergovernmental body and open to countries that are all members of UNEP and WMO. But non-state actors can also take part in the IPCC’s work. It is the annual plenary meeting for the member countries that makes all important decisions. For the panel – but not employed by it – work thousands of researchers appointed by the governments of the Member States.
The panel’s mandate – with the help of the many researchers – is to summarize the scientific knowledge embodied in the literature on all aspects of the climate problem. The research groups are composed so that researchers with different points of view are included, and geographical spread is taken into account. Since the process is based on consensus, the conclusions are usually relatively cautious. According to YOUREMAILVERIFIER, the IPCC is responsible for following up on the 1992 UN Convention on Climate Change (see below).
The researchers work in three working groups, each of which will submit an interim report
- available scientific knowledge on climate change
- the effects of climate change on nature and society
- possible measures to counteract climate change.
On top of this comes a main report (final report) which summarizes the content of the sub-reports. After various research teams have finished writing their reports, these are the subject of thorough consultation processes with other experts and authorities. Finally, the reports are approved by all the party countries, while the proposals for measures are approved “sentence by sentence” (cf. consensus above).
8: Sub-reports – main reports
So far, the climate panel has published main reports in four rounds:
- 1990 – a report that provided important information to the Rio de Janeiro summit on the environment and development, cf. the climate convention and the decision that it is primarily the responsibility of the industrialized countries to reduce their emissions.
- 1995 : – this second main report included for the first time studying the effects of climate change on the economy and society
- 2001 : Among other things, it is scientifically established that the effects of climate change on both biosystems and humans are palpable.
- 2007 : In the first interim report (Feb.), the status of the scientific understanding of climate change is given. Subsequent 2007 reports address b. The effects of climate change on nature and society, c. Measures and instruments to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The main report (synthesis report, completed in Nov.) summarizes the conclusions and main views from the three sub-reports.
A total of 2,500 researchers from more than 130 countries have contributed to the 2007 reports. The main report will be an important basis for the UN Summit (within the UNFCC = UN Climate Convention) on climate change, which will take place in December 2007 on the island of Bali (Indonesia). The goal is for the scientific reports with subsequent negotiation meetings to culminate in a new climate agreement (succeeding the Kyoto agreement) with new goals and commitments for the period after 2012.
9: Founding of the Nobel Committee
… The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 will be shared, in two equal parts, between
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- Albert Arnold (Al) Gore jr.
for their efforts to create and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures required to counteract these changes.
Extensive climate change can change and worsen living conditions for many of the human race. They will be able to contribute to large migrations and increase competition for resources on earth. The changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the most vulnerable of the states in the world. The risk of violent conflicts and wars in and between states could increase.
With scientific reports, the IPCC has for two decades created an even broader professional consensus on the connection between human activities and global warming.
An While global warming in the 1980s could stand as an interesting hypothesis, in the 90s there was a stronger test for such a view. In recent years, the connections have become clearer and the consequences more visible.
For a long time, Al Gore has been one of the leading environmental politicians in the world. … Through a strong commitment to political work, lectures, films and books, he has strengthened the fight against climate change. He is probably the individual who has worked most to create a greater global understanding of measures that are necessary.
By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to take part in action now, before climate change gets out of human control.