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New report to assess options for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Geneva, 28 February 2001 - This earlier work sets the stage for the third and final IPCC assessment, which will be launched in Accra, Ghana on 5 March. The Accra report will review the many technologies and policies that are available for reducing or limiting greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize future climate change.

During the past several weeks, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has finalized two comprehensive assessments, one on observed and projected changes in climate, the other on climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation.

Some of the questions to be addressed by this report are:

  • What technologies are available for controlling greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What can industry and the energy sector do to promote the transition to cleaner energy production?
  • What contributions can the forestry and agriculture sectors make to cutting emissions?
  • What policies can governments adopt to achieve cost-effective and ?no regrets? emissions reductions?
  • What are the political, cultural, and institutional barriers to introducing effective policies and technologies, and what can be done to overcome them?
  • What are the costs and benefits of introducing these policies and technologies?

A 1,000-page draft volume entitled ?Climate Change 2001: Mitigation? has been written and reviewed over the past three years by experts drawn from economics, technology, sociology, environment, and other disciplines. This volume will be accepted in Accra by government delegates from some 100 countries, who will also discuss and approve a brief Summary for Policymakers.

The Summary will be made publicly available on 5 March (the full report will be available some weeks later). Journalists can cover this new report in four ways:

  • The report?s Summary for Policymakers will be posted on the Internet in English at, and at 9h00 a.m. GMT on Monday, 5 March.
  • A press briefing will be held at the press room in the Accra International Conference Center at 10h00 local time on Monday, 5 March.
  • Telephone interviews can be arranged on Monday the 5th. IPCC Chairman Robert Watson, Working Group III Co-Chairs Ogunlade Davidson (Sierre Leone) and Bert Metz (The Netherlands), IPCC Chairman Robert Watson, and other IPCC experts and scientists can be reached in Accra via the following contacts: telephone +233-21-660413, cell +41-79-409-1528, fax +233-21-661514, or
  • Interviews can also be arranged after 5 March with experts who have returned home. Please contact: - Jose Hesselinjk, IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit, +31-30-2744281 - Michael Williams on Monday at the Accra numbers above. - Tim Higham, UNEP Bangkok, +662 288 2127 or

All three assessment volumes will be formally accepted by a meeting of the full IPCC Plenary in Nairobi from 4 6 March. The entire report will be published by Cambridge University Press soon after. The final step will be the adoption of the ?Synthesis Report? in London from 24 29 September; this report will address nine specific policy-relevant questions that require input from all three Working Group reports.

About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its mandate is to provide objective scientific, technical and economic assessments of the current state of knowledge about various aspects of climate change.

Each report is written by some 200 scientists and other experts from academic, scientific and other institutions, both private and public, in approximately 120 countries around the world and is reviewed by another 400 independent experts.

The experts are neither employed nor compensated by the IPCC or by the United Nations system for this work.

The IPCC currently has three Working Groups: on the Scientific Basis, on Impacts and Adaptation, and on Mitigation. The Third Assessment Report is the result of almost three years of work by interdisciplinary teams that have assessed the scientific literature.

During this process, the reports were subjected to an extensive review process, firstly, a scientific peer review, and secondly, a combined government and expert review. Independent "review editors" ensure that all comments from these two review rounds are taken into account by the authors and that genuine scientific controversies are addressed adequately in the reports.

Each report has a short Summary for Policymakers (SPM), which is approved in detail during a session of the Working Groups. During this approval process the SPM is usually revised, the authors of the Report guaranteeing that the contents remain fully consistent with the underlying report, which is their full responsibility and theirs only. Acceptance of a Report by a Working Group signifies that it represents a comprehensive, objective and balanced view of the topics covered by the Report.


Wednesday 28 Feb 2001
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