IPCC to finalize Second Assessment Report

Rome and Geneva, 4 December 1995 - The full plenary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting in Rome at the invitation of the Italian Ministry of the (SAR) Environment from 11-15 December to finalize the 1995 IPCC Second Assessment Report for publication. Some 180 participants are expected from around 120 countries.

The plenary has two main tasks. The first is to review and adopt the IPCC Synthesis Report. The draft Report is a 9,000-word document that brings together the scientific, technical and socio-economic analyses in the Second Assessment Report that could be applied to interpret Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Article 2 contains the Convention's ultimate objective, which is "to achieve ... stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

The second task is to consider and accept the contributions of the IPCC's three working groups, including their Summaries for Policymakers to the Second Assessment Report. The Working Groups adopted their respective Summaries and contributions at earlier meetings. Working Group I was responsible for assessing the current scientific understanding of climate change, particularly the effect of human activities. Working Group II explored the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change, as well as response options for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions and for managing the impacts of climate change. Working Group III made a technical assessment of information related to the economic and social dimensions of climate change.

The full Second Assessment Report will therefore comprise the Synthesis Report, three Summaries for Policymakers, plus three full-length volumes, some 2000 pages in all. Around 2,000 scientists and experts world-wide contributed to the writing and reviewing of the Report.

The plenary will start on Monday, 11 December, at 15.00h with an address by H.E. Mr. Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, the President of the Republic of Italy. This will be followed with welcoming remarks from the Italian Minister of the Environment, Mr. Paolo Baratta, and the Mayor of Rome, Mr. Francesco Rutelli, and statements by Prof. G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Ms. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Prof. Bert Bolin, Chairman of the IPCC. Dr. N. Sundararaman, Secretary of the IPCC, will follow with a vote of thanks. Mr. Michael Zammit Cutajar, Executive Secretary of the Climate Change Convention, will speak to the working session which will follow the opening ceremonies. Working hours for the week are expected to be 10.00h to 13.00h and 15.00h to 18.00h.

The IPCC was established in 1988 by UNEP and WMO. Its First Assessment Report, released in 1990, helped pave the way for the 1992 Climate Change Convention. The IPCC has also released a 1992 Supplement and a 1994 Special Report. Future IPCC reports and a work programme for 1996-2000 will be considered at the Rome meeting.

The three contributions of the IPCC working groups to the SAR will be available in early 1996 from Cambridge University Press. A volume containing the Synthesis Report and the three Summaries for Policymakers will be published by the IPCC Secretariat. If possible the Synthesis Report, Summaries for Policymakers, and ordering information for the print version will be posted on the Internet at the following web sites:, and For additional information on ordering, please contact the IPCC Secretariat, c/o WMO, C.P. 2300, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland.

Note to journalists: The meeting is being held at Salone delle Fontane, Via Ciro del Grande no. 16, 00144 Rome, Italy. For further information on the venue and accreditation, please contact the Press Office of the Italian Ministry of the Environment at phone: (39-6) 6705875 or 6789509 and fax: 6783844. While the opening ceremonies of the Monday afternoon session will be open to the press, the remainder of the meeting will be closed. However, press facilities are available and it will be possible to arrange interviews.

IPCC Secretary Dr. N. Sundararaman will give two background briefings in advance of the meeting. The first will be in Geneva on Tuesday, 5 December at 11h15 in Salle III of the Palais des Nations. The second, together with Mr. Paolo Baratta, the Italian Minister of the Environment, will be on Monday, 11 December at 11h30 at Salone delle Fontane. The final press conference by IPCC Chairman Prof. Bert Bolin and Mr. Paolo Baratta will be held on Saturday, 16 December at Salone delle Fontane at 11h30.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Williams Eirah Gorre-Dale O.Spinelli

UNEP WMO Ministry of Environment

Geneva, Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Rome, Italy

Tel: (41-22) 979 9242 Tel: (41-22) 730 8315 Tel: (39-6) 5806070

Fax: (41-22) 797 3464 Fax: (41-22) 740 1439 Fax: (39-6) 5814370

email: email:



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