An Evaluation of the IPCC WG III Assessments
This chapter identifies some challenges, strengths and weaknesses of Working Group (WG) III contributions to the Assessment Reports (ARs) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The focus is on the Fourth (AR4) and Fifth (AR5) assessment cycle of the IPCC. For this purpose, the evaluation criteria and heuristic tools developed in Part II are employed, along with the results of the critical analysis of the underlying economics in Chaps. 7, 8 and 9. Evaluating the IPCC WG III contributions in this way will help us identify the appropriate means of improving IPCC assessments. This chapter argues that in the AR4, both the policy-relevance and the transparency of ethically relevant assumptions could have been higher. This may partly result from the adherence to misguided science-policy models. The AR5 was an improvement in these regards, but faced challenges inter alia in terms of (i) considerable research gaps regarding retrospective, social-science policy analysis, and (ii) political disputes over value-laden findings with far-reaching implications for domestic policies. All things considered, however, both the AR4 and the AR5 did a good job. In contrast to some existing criticisms, there is no clear case of a considerable hidden bias in these WG III ARs, for instance towards more ambitious global mitigation goals.
KeywordsClimate Policy Policy Option Climate Change Mitigation Mitigation Option Mitigation Cost
- Beck, Silke. 2009. Das Klimaexperiment und der IPCC. Schnittstellen zwischen Wissenschaft und Politik in den internationalen Beziehungen. Marburg: Metropolis.Google Scholar
- Beck, Silke, Maud Borie, Jason Chilvers, Alejandro Esguerra, Katja Heubach, Mike Hulme, Rolf Lidskog, et al. 2014. Towards a reflexive turn in the governance of global environmental expertise. The cases of the IPCC and the IPBES. GAIA 23(2): 80–87.Google Scholar
- Carraro, Carlo, Charles Kolstad, and Robert Stavins. 2015a. Assessment and communication of the social science of climate change: Bridging research and policy. Memorandum from Workshop conducted 18–20 February 2015 in Berlin. http://www.mcc-berlin.net/fileadmin/data/pdf/climate_assessment_memorandum-1.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2015.
- Carraro, Carlo, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland, Charles Kolstad, Robert Stavins, and Robert Stowe. 2015b. The IPCC at a crossroads: Opportunities for reform. Science 350(6256): 34 f.Google Scholar
- Dunn, William. 1994. Public policy analysis: An introduction, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Edenhofer, Ottmar. 2014. IA models and WGIII: Lessons from IPCC AR5. Presentation at the 7th IAMC meeting, University of Maryland, 17 Nov. http://www.globalchange.umd.edu/iamc_data/iamc2014/Edenhofer_IAMC_17November.pdf. Accessed 20 Apr 2015.
- Edenhofer, Ottmar, and Martin Kowarsch (equal contributions). 2015. Cartography of pathways: A new model for environmental policy assessments. Environmental Science and Policy 51: 56–64.Google Scholar
- Edenhofer, Ottmar, and Jan Minx. 2014. Mapmakers and navigators, facts and values. Policy forum: Climate policy. Science 345(6192): 37 f.Google Scholar
- Edenhofer, Ottmar, Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, and Patrick Criqui, et al. 2010. The economics of low stabilization: Model comparison of mitigation strategies and costs. The Energy Journal 31, Special Issue 1: The Economics of Low Stabilization: 11–48.Google Scholar
- Edenhofer, Ottmar, Johannes Wallacher, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Michael Reder, Brigitte Knopf, and Johannes Müller (eds.). 2012. Climate change, justice and sustainability: Linking climate and development policy. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Edenhofer, Ottmar, Christian Flachsland, Robert Stavins, and Robert Stowe. 2013. Identifying options for a new international climate regime Arising from the Durban platform for enhanced action. Issue Brief. https://www.mcc-berlin.net/uploads/media/Edenhofer_Flachsland_Stavins_Stowe_Identifying_Options_for_a_New_International_Climate_Regime_2013.PDF. Accessed 30 Jun 2015.
- IAC. 2010. Climate change assessments: Review of the process and procedures of the IPCC. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/IAC_report/IAC%20Report.pdf. Accessed 13 Mar 2015.
- IISD. 2015. Summary of the forty-first session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: 24–27 February 2015. Earth Negotiations Bulletin 12(627), http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/enb12627e.pdf. Accessed 30 Jun 2015.
- IPCC. eds. James P. Bruce, Hoesung Lee, and Erik F. Haites. 1996. Climate change 1995: Economic and social dimensions of climate change: Contribution of Working Group III to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- IPCC. eds. Bert Metz, Ogunlade Davidson, Peter Bosch, Rutu Dave, Leo Meyer. 2007. Climate change 2007: Mitigation of climate change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- IPCC. eds. Ottmar Edenhofer, Ramón Pichs-Madruga, Youba Sokona, Ellie Farahani, Susanne Kadner, Kristin Seyboth, Anna Adler, et al. 2014a. Climate change 2014 – Mitigation of Climate change: Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- IPCC. eds. Core Writing Team, Rajendra K. Pachauri, and Leo A. Meyer. 2014b. Climate change 2014: Synthesis report. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Knopf, Brigitte, Martin Kowarsch, Christian Flachsland, and Ottmar Edenhofer. 2012. The 2 °C target reconsidered. In Climate change, justice and sustainability: Linking climate and development policy, ed. Ottmar Edenhofer, Johannes Wallacher, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Michael Reder, Brigitte Knopf, and Johannes Müller, 121–138. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Manning, Martin R. 2006. The treatment of uncertainties in the fourth IPCC assessment report. Advances in Climate Change Research 2(Suppl 1): 13–21.Google Scholar
- Mastrandrea, Michael D., Katharine J. Mach, Gian-Kasper Plattner, Ottmar Edenhofer, Thomas F. Stocker, Christopher B. Field, Kristie L. Ebi, and Patrick R. Matschoss. 2011. The IPCC AR5 guidance note on consistent treatment of uncertainties: A common approach across the working groups. Climatic Change 108: 675–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mulkay, Michael. 1978. Consensus in science. Sociology of Science 17(1): 107–122.Google Scholar
- Oreskes, Naomi. 2003. The role of quantitative models in science. In Models in ecosystem science, ed. William K. Lauenroth, Charles D. Canham, and Jonathan J. Cole, 13–31. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Skodvin, Tora. 1999. Science-policy interaction in the global greenhouse. Institutional design and institutional performance in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). CICERO Working Paper 1999:3. http://www.cicero.uio.no/media/188.pdf. Accessed 13 Mar 2015.
- Victor, David G., and Charles F. Kennel. 2014. Climate policy: Ditch the 2 °C warming goal. Comment. Nature 514: 30 f.Google Scholar
- Weimer, David L., and Aidan R. Vining. 1992. Policy analysis. Concepts and practice, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar