47th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
March 13 to 16, 2018: Paris, France
The main decision items for the 47th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-47) are the approval of the IPCC Trust Fund Programme and Budget, the Terms of Reference for the Task Group on Alignment of the Cycles of the IPCC and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global stocktake and the establishment of a gender task team.
- Head of Delegation: Laird Shutt, Director General, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
- Delegate: Tristan Landry, Counsellor and Head of the Political Section, Embassy of Canada in France
In addition, Gregory Flato (Senior Research Scientist, ECCC) will participate in his capacity as a member of the IPCC Bureau.
Item 2: approval of the draft report of the 46th Session
Candel can approve the draft report of the 46th Session.
Item 3: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change trust fund program and budget
Part B: budgets for the years 2018 and 2019
Canadian Delegation (Candel) will participate in meetings of the Financial Task Team (FiTT) to review the revised 2018 budget (for adoption), proposed 2019 budget (for adoption), forecast 2020 budget (to note) and indicative budget for 2021 (to note). Canada will ensure that the budgetary implications of decisions made throughout the course of the plenary session are accurately reflected. When discussing budget issues, Candel will continue to stress that the IPCC should operate within its means, optimize the use of resources and prioritize the delivery of its core products.
Item 5: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scholarship programme
- Canada is supportive of developing partnerships with academic institutions or Academies of Sciences to help identify potential beneficiaries that could be co-sponsored
- To strengthen the administration of the program, Canada would prefer the IPCC to improve the review process as opposed to using additional resources
- Canada also supports the establishment of networks of IPCC Scholarship recipients to provide peer support and to integrate them into the work of the IPCC assessment process
- Canada is also willing to engage in discussions on other ways of using the scholarship funds to best satisfy IPCC objectives related to developing scientific capacity
Item 9: admission of observer organizations
Candel supports the presence of observer organizations in plenary meetings. Their involvement in plenary meetings enhances transparency and broadens the exchange of information between the IPCC and other stakeholders. Canada supports the new IPCC observer status applications received by the Secretariat since the 46th Session of the IPCC.
Item 12: aligning the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the needs of the global stocktake under the Paris Agreement
Canada notes that, while the UNFCCC is a key receptor for IPCC reports, there are many other audiences (academic, private sector, other levels of government, NGOs) who rely on the IPCC for objective climate science assessments. Therefore, discussion of changes to the IPCC procedures and timelines must keep this broader audience in mind.
As such, Canada would like the Terms of Reference amended as follows: “To prepare a comprehensive analysis report, identify viable options and make recommendations for consideration by the Panel for aligning the work of the IPCC in order to ensure the relevance of future IPCC products with the needs of the Global Stocktake under the UNFCCC, recognizing that IPCC products serve other purposes and audiences as well.”
Canada further stresses the importance of establishing effective mechanisms to ensure the timely delivery and responsiveness to the UNFCCC on the global stocktake issue. In this regard, under Meetings and Reporting, Canada would like the following tasks to be included:
- “Update mechanisms of work for the Task Group as needed and based on recommendations of the Panel in order to ensure that the needs of the UNFCCC global stocktake continue to be met”
- “Communicate with relevant counterparts at UNFCCC as needed to ensure a streamlined report preparation and review and approval process”
- “Report back to the UNFCCC on progress made”
Item 13: gender
Canada supports the establishment of a gender task team with the aim of developing a framework of actions to improve gender balance within the IPCC’s structures. Canada supports a report on the progress of the gender task team at the 49th Session of the IPCC.
Canada encourages the IPCC Secretariat to broaden the aim of the task team to strengthen gender mainstreaming through all aspects of the IPCC process as addressing gender imbalance is only the first step towards gender equity. The task team should also consider aligning its work with what is being done by other United Nations bodies in order to identify best practices and synergies including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Gender Action Plan.
To inform their work, Canada would like a task team to consider outcomes and discussions from the event on enhancing gender balance in the IPCC that took place prior to the 46th Session of the IPCC in Montreal Canada on 5 September 2017.
Item 15: participation of developing countries in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change activities
Canada strongly encourages the participation of developing countries in IPCC activities. As such, Canada supports the organization of pre-Plenary briefing sessions, when feasible and pending the availability of resources, in order to enable effective involvement of developing countries in IPCC activities.
Canadian objectives and approach
Canada’s overarching objectives for IPCC-47 are to support and preserve the scientific integrity of the IPCC, and to enhance the IPCC’s ongoing relevance to decision-making on climate change in Canada and international fora, especially the UNFCCC.
Opportunities will be sought to highlight Canada’s action on climate change, including local and regional activities, noting the critical role of the IPCC’s scientific assessments in informing evidence-based decision-making.
During IPCC-47, the following principles will apply to Candel’s participation. Candel will:
- make interventions to move discussions towards outcomes aligned with its objectives
- support consensus-building and be flexible in looking for solutions in order to minimize the likelihood of outcomes to which Canada would object
Delegates will participate constructively and not block consensus should Parties broadly support decisions that are not aligned with Canadian objectives (Candel will consult the Head of Delegation and ECCC for further instructions).
Delegation members can speak to the media about their work and field of expertise. Media inquiries specific to Canada’s engagement in the IPCC or outside of the scope of the event should be directed to the Head of Delegation or referred back to headquarters.
Candel will produce a report on meeting outcomes and will immediately notify ECCC of any sensitive issues that arise.
Report on outcomes
The main outcomes of IPCC-47 were the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the IPCC, the approval of the IPCC Trust Fund Programme and Budget, the Terms of Reference for the Task Group on Alignment of the Cycles of the IPCC and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global stocktake and the establishment of a gender task team.
30th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change event
On March 13, the Government of France hosted a celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the IPCC (established in 1988). This celebration included presentations from three cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who announced that France would increase its annual contribution to the IPCC to one million euros. The celebration consisted primarily of panel discussions focused on the following:
- decisions, tensions, failures, successes and dialogue between science and politics on environmental issues from 1988 to 2018
- IPCC reports and how the IPCC’s message has become more refined over time
- impacts of the IPCC on climate science
- education and research
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Trust Fund Programme and Budget / Ad Hoc Task Group on Financial Stability
The Panel discussed results of a survey to Member Governments on preferred fundraising options to address IPCC budgetary challenges. Twenty-two (out of 195 or 11% of) Parties responded to the survey. Canada’s responses aligned with the majority view, which is to seek to increase voluntary contributions from Member Governments of the IPCC and contributions from United Nations entities, as well as international and regional financial institutions.
An updated questionnaire and request will be sent by the Secretariat encouraging more responses. Results will be discussed at an upcoming Plenary (IPCC 48 or 49).
Progress reports and updates
- Progress Report on Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15):
- in total, 25,000 review comments were submitted on the Second Order Draft
- the final government review will take place from 4 June – 29 July, 2018
- Please consult the SR15 schedule
- Report by the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of the Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis:
- the Panel considered a report from the Ad-Hoc Task Force on the Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA)
- TGICA was established in 1996 and oversees the IPCC Data Distribution Centre (DDC)
- the Panel decided to re-name it as Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG-Data). It will report to the Bureau and continue to provide oversight of the DDC in support of IPCC assessment activities
- Report on Selection of Authors and Review Editors for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6):
- the Working Group Bureau presented an update on the selection of coordinating lead authors, lead authors and review editors for AR6
- selected authors are now being invited to participate
- Canada is well represented with seven Canadians in Working Group I (two women), ten Canadians in Working Group II (eight women) and five Canadians in Working Group III (two women)
- Expert Meeting on Assessing Climate Information for the Regions:
- the Working Group I Technical Support Unit provided information to the Panel on an upcoming IPCC Expert Meeting on Assessing Climate Information for the Regions
- the meeting will be held in Trieste, Italy, 16-18 May, 2018, and will serve in part to scope the regional climate atlas that will be included in the Working Group I 6th Assessment Report
Aligning the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the needs of the global stocktake under the Paris Agreement
Parties were asked to consider the Terms of Reference (purpose, term, membership) for a task group on this item. The proposed terms of reference were adopted (see attached) as well as a group name: “Task Group on the organization of the future work of the IPCC in light of the global stocktake”.
Many Parties cautioned that the IPCC should proceed slowly, await clear direction from the UNFCCC on needs and retain independence being careful not to change IPCC rules, procedures and processes. Canada noted that the IPCC serves a broader audience and that this should be kept in mind during discussions related to alignment with the Global Stocktake.
A proposal for a gender task team with the aim of developing a framework of actions to improve gender balance within the IPCC will be presented for consideration at IPCC 49 (May 2019).
Canada indicated its support for the establishment of a task team on gender and urged that experiences and best practices from other organizations be considered. Canada also requested that the task team integrate outcomes from the gender event held in conjunction with IPCC 46 in Montreal (September 2017).
Place and date for next plenary meetings
IPCC 48 will be held in Incheon, Korea, 1-5 October, 2018.
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