Friday, May 04, 2007

IPCC Releases "Mitigation Of Climate Change" Report

May 4: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC), meeting in Bangkok, Thailand released its third in a series of three documents comprising its Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007", also referred to as AR4. The Working Group III, 35-page Summary for Policymakers report entitled, Mitigation of Climate Change, provides a comprehensive synthesis of research and analysis of climate change solutions, discussing measures such as energy efficiency, improved fuel economy and increased use of renewable energy. The Working Group III report follows the release of the Physical Science Basis [February 07, See WIMS 2/2/07] and Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability [April 07, See WIMS 4/9/07] reports. A synthesis report, integrating the three reports will be released in November 2007.

The report focuses on mitigation of climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing activities that remove them from the atmosphere. It analyzes mitigation options for the main sectors in the near-term, addressing also cross-sectorial matters such as synergies, co-benefits and trade-offs. It also provides information on long-term mitigation strategies for various concentration stabilization levels. The summary report is organized into five sections including: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends; Mitigation in the short and medium term, across different economic sectors (until 2030); Mitigation in the long-term (beyond 2030); Policies, measures and instruments to mitigate climate change; and Sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

The report looks at many key mitigation technologies available now and beyond 2030 by various sectors including: energy supply; transport; buildings; industry; agriculture; forestry and waste management. The report also looks at the various policies, measures and instruments to mitigate climate change. It indicates that a wide variety of national policies and instruments are available to governments to create the incentives for mitigation action. Their applicability depends on national circumstances and an understanding of their interactions, but experience from implementation in various countries and sectors shows there are advantages and disadvantages for any given instrument.

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Yvo de Boer, issued a statement saying "the worst effects of climate change can be staved off if the appropriate international action is immediately taken." He said, "The third installment of the report presents us with an impressive array of response options to address the results of the IPCC’s first two installments published this year. With these options, we have a chance of preventing some of the most catastrophic scenarios the IPCC has forecast."

A release from the U.S. State Department indicates that, "The United States supports the consensus summary report on climate change mitigation that was reviewed and approved by over 100 countries..." Dr. Harlan Watson, U.S. Department of State Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative and head of the interagency U.S. delegation to the Working Group III meeting said, "The United States was an active and constructive participant in the international dialogue among experts and governments meeting in Bangkok. The result of this exchange is a summary document that will help policy makers around the world make more informed decisions in addressing the economic, energy and associated technological implications of global climate change."

Access the WG III Summary for Policymakers report (
click here). Access the webcast of the press conference (click here). Access the IPCC website for additional information including links to previous reports and advance information on the WG III report (click here). Access the statement from UNFCCC (click here). Access the State Department release (click here).[*Climate]

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