Rajendra Pachauris tale ved COP18

28. november 2012

På tredjedagen havde klimakonferencen i Doha besøg af IPCCs leder Rajendra Pachauri. Jeg har ikke kunnet finde en video med hans tale i Doha, men den er gjort tilgængelig via IPCCs hjemmeside, og jeg har kopieret teksten ind herunder. Herover kan man i en 12 min. samtale med RTCC fra samme dag høre Pachauri udfolde sit perspektiv på den nødvendige indsats.

Han bliver indledende spurgt om sit syn på den nuværende “level of ambition” – og svarer lidt afværgende, at COP18 stadig lige er begyndt, så det endnu er for tidligt at sige noget om. Men det handler om at gøre den nødvendige indsats attraktiv. Han ser et styrket pres fra befolkningerne ikke mindst i verdens demokratier som nødvendigt for at skabe det nødvendige politiske mandat i forhandlingerne til at træffe de nødvendige beslutninger.

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – har til opgave løbende at sammenfatte verdens viden om klimaudfordringen. Den seneste store rapport, AR4, forelå i 2007, mens AR5 forventes klar i 2014 og allerede er under sammenfatning. Så Pachauri gav i sin forelæsning en lille forsmag på AR5 (Fifth Assessment Report), som den næste store klimarapport kommer til at hedde. Den vil som tidligere bestå af store blokke fra forskellige arbejdsgrupper hver på flere hundrede sider, samt en sammenfattende rapport.

Men Pachauri fortæller i videoen herover, at AR5, IPCCs 5. Assessment Report, i forhold til tidligere udgaver vil blive mere regionalt fokuseret, da den nødvendige klimaindsats og ikke mindst klimatilpasningsindsats vil være meget forskellig fra område til område.

Pachauri har tidligere omtalt den kommende AR5 som skræmmende læsning. Det vi i dag ved om klimaforandringerne burde kunne få alle ansvarlige politikere til at træffe de fornødne beslutninger nu. Ikke bare bliver det jo dyrere, jo længere vi venter. Det bliver fuldt så meget jo grusommere.

Se indlæg tagged COP18 video, COP18 noter, COP18 linksCOP18COP17COP16, COP15.

Lauren Lavitt: Managing extreme weather risks at COP-18, Un Earth News 30.11.2012.

Climate action should be seen as risk management, says Pachauri, RTCC 28.11.2012.



Your Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, President of COP 18,
Madame Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres,
Distinguished delegates,
Members of civil society,
Representatives of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a privilege for me to be invited to address COP 18 in the city of Doha. I have been a
student of the history of this region, and can look back on the period a thousand years ago
when this region was a fountain of knowledge on subjects ranging from astronomy to
chemistry. Today Qatar is moving again in the direction of knowledge, and I salute the
leadership of this country for investing financial capital for creation of human capital and
educational infrastructure. Qatar, therefore, promises to become in this day and age a
source of new knowledge and enlightenment.

And it is new knowledge and enlightenment that must drive the level of ambition towards a
satisfactory outcome in this COP 18. Hence I submit with deep humility the rich knowledge
produced by the IPCC since its inception in 1988, a full four years before the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change came into existence. The drafting of the
Convention benefited enormously from knowledge created in the First Assessment Report
of the IPCC, and I would like to submit with due emphasis that knowledge from the recent
work of the IPCC must drive and define decisions that need to be taken now to deal with
the growing challenge of climate change. Let me place before you some findings of the
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) which outline the seriousness of impacts that would be
faced by the world in the years ahead if we do not take timely and adequate action to limit
the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the earth’s atmosphere, and if we do not
adapt to the level of climate change which is now committed to happen.

On regional impacts, several important findings were put forward in the AR4. For instance,
in respect of Africa it was stated that by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are
projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. Agricultural
production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely
compromised. This would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate
malnutrition. By 2080, an increase of 5 to 8 per cent of arid and semi-arid land in Africa is
projected under a range of climate scenarios.

Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea level rise will affect low-lying coastal
areas with large populations.

The cost of adaptation could amount to at least 5 to 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product

Several abrupt and irreversible impacts were also highlighted in the AR4. Partial loss of ice
sheets on polar land could imply metres of sea level rise, major changes in coastlines, and
inundation of low lying areas, with greatest effects in river deltas and low-lying islands.
Such changes are projected to occur over millennial timescales, but more rapid sea level
rise on century timescales cannot be excluded.

Approximately 20 to 30 per cent of species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk
of extinction if increases in global average warming exceed 1.5 to 2.5°C above the 1980-
1999 temperature. As global average temperature increase exceeds 3.5°C, model
projections suggest significant extinctions ranging from 40 to 70 per cent of species
assessed around the globe.

The IPCC has assessed that responding to climate change involves an iterative risk
management process that includes both mitigation and adaptation, taking into account
actual and avoided climate change damages, co-benefits associated with several actions,
and addressing issues of sustainability, equity and attitudes to risk.

Our Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance
Climate Change Adaptation has been acknowledged worldwide. It has found on the basis of
evidence from observations gathered since 1950 of change in some extremes, that it is very
likely there has been an overall decrease in the number of cold days and nights, and an
overall increase in the number of warm days and nights, at the global scale, that is, for most
land areas with sufficient data. There is medium confidence of a warming trend in daily
temperature extremes in much of Asia. It is likely that there have been statistically
significant increases in the number of heavy precipitation events (e.g., 95th percentile) in
more regions than there have been statistically significant decreases, but there are strong
regional and subregional variations in the trends. There is medium confidence that since
the 1950s some regions of the world have experienced a trend to more intense and longer
droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts
have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America
and northwestern Australia.

During the period from 1970 to 2008, over 95% of deaths from natural disasters occurred in
developing countries. Middle-income countries with rapidly expanding asset bases have
borne the largest burden. In small exposed countries, particularly small island developing
states, losses expressed as a percentage of GDP have been particularly high, exceeding
1% in many cases and 8% in the most extreme cases, averaged over both disaster and
non-disaster years for the period from 1970 to 2010.

Models project substantial warming in temperature extremes by the end of the 21st century.
It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily
temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur in the 21st century at the
global scale. It is very likely that the length, frequency, and/or intensity of warm spells or
heat waves will increase over most land areas.

Based on established IPCC emissions scenarios without additional mitigation measures, a
1-in-20 year hottest day is likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st
century in most regions, except in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is
likely to become a 1-in-5 year event.

It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from
heavy falls will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the globe. This is
particularly the case in the high latitudes and tropical regions, and in winter in the northern
mid-latitudes. Heavy rainfalls associated with tropical cyclones are likely to increase with
continued warming. There is medium confidence that, in some regions, increases in heavy
precipitation will occur despite projected decreases in total precipitation in those regions.
Neither adaptation nor mitigation alone can avoid all climate change impacts; however, they
can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate
change. Many impacts can be reduced, delayed or avoided with mitigation, as we stated in
the AR4.

Fossil energy use is responsible for about 85% of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions
produced annually. Natural gas is the fossil fuel that produces the lowest amount of GHG
per unit of energy consumed and is therefore favoured in mitigation strategies, compared to
other fossil fuels.

The AR4 assessed a range of economically viable and technologically feasible mitigation
options. We found, for instance, that mitigation opportunities with net negative cost have the
potential to reduce emissions by about 6 gigatons of C02 equivalent per year in 2030.
Realising these requires dealing with implementation barriers. Policies that provide a real or
implicit price of carbon could create incentives for producers and consumers to significantly
invest in low-GHG products, technologies and processes.

In the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, we
have found, for instance, that deployment of renewable energy (RE) has been increasing
rapidly in recent years. Various types of government policies, the declining cost of many
RE technologies, changes in the prices of fossil fuels, an increase of energy demand and
other factors have encouraged the continuing increase in the use of RE. The levelized cost
of energy for many RE technologies is currently higher than existing energy prices, though
in various settings RE is already economically competitive. Monetizing the external costs of
energy supply would improve the relative competitiveness of RE. RE can help accelerate
access to energy, particularly for the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity and the
additional 1.3 billion using traditional biomass.

A significant increase in the deployment of RE by 2030, 2050 and beyond is indicated in the
majority of the 164 scenarios reviewed in this Special Report. The global primary energy
supply share of RE differs substantially among the scenarios. More than half of the
scenarios show a contribution from RE in excess of a 17% share of primary energy supply
in 2030 rising to more than 27% in 2050. The scenarios with the highest RE shares reach
approximately 43% in 2030 and 77% in 2050.

There are now many low stabilisation scenarios available through the SRREN – relevant for
the review of the two 2 degree target, and there are scenarios included in the SRREN
moving away from the typical perfect world assumptions that have been used previously.
Substantial progress has been made with preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report
(AR5). I must express my deep gratitude to the scientific community for the overwhelming
enthusiasm they have displayed in being involved with the AR5. We had an unprecedented
number of approximately 3,000 nominations of outstanding scientists who volunteered to
work on the AR5. The IPCC selected 831 out of this number as Lead Authors and Review
Editors for direct involvement in the preparation of the Report. If we add the large number of Expert Reviewers we get a massive magnitude of thousands of scientists engaged in the
preparation of the AR5. All of these thousands contribute their expertise and hard work on a
voluntary basis. They deserve all our gratitude and support, and more specifically the direct
support of governments. Only though this system is the broadest scientific basis of a
comprehensive assessment guaranteed.

The AR5 has several novel features which on the basis of new published material would
add a significant amount of new knowledge beyond that of the AR4. The First Order Draft
(FOD) of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the WGI Report is now out for review.
From the literature and the science performed since mid 2006 (the cutoff for WGI in AR4),
we now have a much more comprehensive and extended view and understanding of a
changing planet, with for example a better appreciation of mass loss of the large ice sheets
of Greenland and Antarctica where satellite missions planned in the 1990s now bear fruit.
This is leading to a more quantitative understanding of ongoing sea level rise which is also
reflected in the fact that WGI dedicates an entire chapter on this in the AR5. Similar
statements can be made on clouds and aerosols, the latter also being significant for air
quality and health.

In the case of the WG II, core themes in the framing of the contribution to the AR5 include
the central role of managing risk in dealing with climate change, the importance of
recognizing the diversity of values and value systems that stakeholders bring, the
recognition that consequences of investments in mitigation are delayed by decades, placing
a priority on effective adaptation in the near term, the essential continuity between
adaptation and mitigation and the role of links to sustainable development, and the critical
importance of impacts altered by multi-stressor interactions.

In the case of WGIII, an innovation in AR5 is the “Human Settlements, Infrastructure and
Spatial Planning” chapter. This is important because while urban planning is referenced in
AR4 there is no comprehensive survey on the role which urban planning can play in
adaptation and mitigation. WGIII is also providing greater emphasis on social science
aspects of mitigation measures. For the first time, WG III is going beyond the technical
aspects and into the social science aspects. WG III AR5 Report is also providing greater
focus on technologies, sectors and regions, in order for the distribution of risks and costs to
be more specific, i.e, there is less reliance on averages. And finally, it is focusing more
explicitly on mitigation options, costs, strategies and policy requirements, with a more
integrated approach to adaptation and mitigation.

When I had the privilege in 2007 of accepting the Nobel Peace prize on behalf of the IPCC,
in my speech on the occasion I asked the rhetorical question “Will those responsible for
decisions in the field of climate change at the global level listen to the voice of science and
knowledge, which is now loud and clear?” I am not sure our voice is louder today, but it is
certainly clearer on the basis of new knowledge. I hope the world at large and this august
audience would shape their actions on the basis of scientific evidence on all aspects of
climate change and projections of the future, a future that we are all responsible for.

Thank you.

Statement of R.K.Pachauri at the eighteenth Conference of the Parties, Doha, Qatar 28.11.2012 (pdf).