UN climate report meeting underway

2013-09-23 14:05
Greenpeace activists perform above an underwater art museum in Cancún to draw attention to the risk for millions of people living in coastal areas. (Jason Taylor, Greenpeace, AP)

Greenpeace activists perform above an underwater art museum in Cancún to draw attention to the risk for millions of people living in coastal areas. (Jason Taylor, Greenpeace, AP)

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Stockholm - Researchers and government representatives from 110 countries on Monday began a week-long session in Sweden to finalise a UN climate panel report expected to offer further support that man-made emissions drive global warming.

The report from one of three working groups in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focuses on the scientific basis of climate change, including changes of temperature, oceans and glaciers, clouds as well as the influence of man.

During their closed-door meeting, delegates were to approve wording of an executive summary for policymakers. The report - due to be presented on Friday - is based on the work of hundreds of experts and about 54 000 comments from expert reviewers and governments.

"I know of no other document that has undergone so much scrutiny," said working group co-chair Thomas Stocker.

The report "stands out as a reliable and indispensable source about climate change", added Stocker, professor of climate and environmental physics, at Bern University, Switzerland.


The summary for policymakers will form part of the basis for upcoming climate talks, said IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri, who also addressed delegates.

Pachauri later told reporters that "the strength of the IPCC was the blending of scientific expertise with approval by the governments, and therefore a sense of ownership by all the governments of the world".

Leaked drafts suggest the upcoming report will conclude with even greater certainty than in the IPCC's global report from 2007 that man-made emissions are the main cause for rising global temperatures since the 1950s.

The IPCC chair said he did not expect major changes in the content of the report, citing past experience.

"Our job is to provide the science and it is for the world to make the best use of it, and I am sure people will make use of it," Pachauri said.

Growing global awareness about climate change provided "some reason for optimism that this report will be very well received", he said.

Environment group Greenpeace, one of 70 observers, said it expected "the prognosis to be grim and to confirm more strongly than ever that our reliance on fossil fuels has warmed the atmosphere and oceans".

Other effects include melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and changed water cycles, said Greenpeace International campaigner Stephanie Tunmore.

Next year, two other IPCC working groups were also to present reports. One, due in March, focuses on the effects of climate change on humans and nature; the other, due in April, centres on how to reduce climate change.

The three working group reports were to be compiled in an overall synthesis report due in October 2014.
Read more on:    un  |  climate change

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