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Cooperation with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
 

Background

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an independent body founded under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It assesses the scientific literature and provides vital scientific information to the climate change process.

The IPCC is best known for its comprehensive assessment reports, incorporating summaries for policymakers from all three Working Groups, which are widely recognized as the most credible sources of information on climate change. The First Assessment Report in 1990 helped launch negotiations on the Convention. The 1995 Second Assessment Report, in particular its statement that "the balance of evidence suggests … a discernible human influence on global climate", stimulated many governments into intensifying negotiations on what was to become the Kyoto Protocol. The Third Assessment Report, released in May 2001, confirmed the findings of the Second Assessment Report, providing new and stronger evidence of a warming world.



Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 

Final outcome

At COP 9/SBSTA19 (Milan, December 2003), the Third Assessment Report (TAR) was considered by Parties for the last time. As a follow up, COP 9 requested the SBSTA to initiate work on:

  • Scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change, and
  • Scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of mitigation,

The focus of this work would be exchanging information and sharing experiences and views among Parties on practical opportunities and solutions to facilitate the implementation of the Convention.

SBSTA 19 requested the secretariat, under the guidance of the Chair of the SBSTA, to organize a workshop on each of the new agenda items during its twentieth session, to begin to explore these themes.  It also agreed to determine next steps on each of the new agenda items at its twentieth session in the light of the outcome of the workshops.



Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 

During SBSTA 26 (Bonn, May 2007), the secretariat has organized, in cooperation with the IPCC, an in-depth briefing during the sessions of the subsidiary bodies on the contributions of the three IPCC working groups to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). This in-depth briefing was held in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday 12 May 2007, 10:00-16:30. The SBSTA welcomed this in-depth briefing and encouraged Parties to make use of the information contained in these reports.  The SBSTA noted that the AR4 is relevant to the work of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.  

The IPCC finalized its work on the AR4 at its twenty-seventh session (Valencia, Spain, 12 to 17 November 2007), when it adopted and approved the synthesis report. At its thirteenth session (Bali, December 2007), the COP had on its agenda the AR4 of the IPCC. The secretariat, in cooperation with the IPCC, organized on 7 December 2007 an in-depth briefing on the Fourth Assessment synthesis report during its twenty-seventh session.

At the same session, the SBSTA invited to consider the findings of the AR4.  A draft conclusion (pdf-icon FCCC/SBSTA/2007/17 page 11, paras 48-53) and pdf-icon decision was adopted. The SBSTA invited Parties to submit, by 15 February 2008, their views on the AR4 of the IPCC and how they could contribute to the on-going work under the UNFCCC process. Submissions received by the secretariat were made available in document FCCC/SBSTA/2008/MISC.2 for the information of Parties. 



Earlier sessions

 

At COP 7 (Marrakesh, October/November 2001), Parties considered the Third Assessment Report (TAR), entitled "Climate Change 2001". Following consideration by SBSTA 15 (meeting with COP 7), Parties adopted a decision that expresses appreciation to the IPCC for its excellent work on the TAR and encourages Parties to make full use of the information contained therein. The decision also urges Annex I Parties to continue providing financial support to the IPCC.

Following invitation by the SBSTA, Parties provided their views on the TAR and possible IPCC activities in support of the needs of the Convention and its Protocol, and the secretariat organised a workshop from 4 to 6 April 2002 in Bonn to explore how the TAR can facilitate the work of the SBSTA and other convention bodies (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/MISC.5).

At SBSTA 16 (Bonn, June 2002) Parties continued consideration of the TAR. The SBSTA took note of the report (FCCC/SBSTA/2001/INF.4) of the workshop on the TAR. The SBSTA agreed that the TAR should be used routinely as a useful reference for informing the deliberations on agenda items of the COP and its subsidiary bodies. In addition, the SBSTA identified three preliminary areas for its consideration: research and systematic observation; scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change; and scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of mitigation.

The SBSTA invited Parties to submit their views on research priorities and issues covered in these conclusions and on the aspects of the TAR that could help facilitate further consideration of the agenda items of the COP and its subsidiary bodies (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/MISC.15). Synthesis of these submissions are contained in document (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/2). The SBSTA further decided to consider these issues at SBSTA 18, with a view to recommending a draft decision on these matters for adoption by COP 9.

The SBSTA 17 (New Delhi, October 2002) had an extensive discussion of research priorities and questions for the scientific community under agenda item on Research and systematic observations (FCCC/SBSTA/2002/13 paragraph 45 (a)–(q))

SBSTA 18 (Bonn, June 2003) concluded (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/10 paragraph 10 (a)–(g)) to complete its work under the TAR agenda item at its 19th session, and to initiate the following two new agenda items at its twentieth session, for regular consideration by the SBSTA: (1) Scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change; and (2) Scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of mitigation. It invited Parties to submit their views on the elements, scope and priorities of the work to be undertaken under these two new agenda items, including possible timing. SBSTA 18 also requested the secretariat to organize a pre-sessional consultation immediately before SBSTA 19 to facilitate the development of and provide an opportunity to consider the scope of the work under these two new agenda items. The outcome of the intersessional consultation was presented to the SBSTA in an oral report by the secretariat. The workshop report is also contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2002/INF.4.

SBSTA 19 (Milan, December 2003) developed a work programme on the two new agenda items noted above and a draft decision was adopted by the COP. ((PDF) Decision 10/CP.9)

Key decisions and conclusions

Fourth Assessment Report

pdf-icon Decision -/CP.13
Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

SBSTA 27 report
Paras 48-53 pdf-icon more >>

SBSTA 26 report
Para 88 pdf-icon more >>

Third Assessment Report

(PDF) Decision 10/CP.9
Scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change, and scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of mitigation

(PDF) Decision 25/CP.7
Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

SBSTA 19 report
Paras 8-15 more >>

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Key Documents

Fourth Assessment Report

FCCC/SBSTA/2008/MISC.2
Views on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Submissions from Parties

Third Assessment Report

FCCC/SBSTA/2003/MISC.11
Third Assessment Report. Elements, scope and priorities for work. Submissions from Parties  more >>

FCCC/SBSTA/2002/MISC.5
Third Assessment Report of the IPCC. Submissions from Parties more >>

more >>
 
Key Links

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change more >>

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) more >>

United Nations Environment Programme more >>