Achim Steiner's statement to the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Delivered at the Opening of the 43rd Session of the Bureau of the IPCC
Geneva, Switzerland - 18 April 2011
Chair and Members of the IPCC Bureau,
Secretary-General of WMO,
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen:
In a few short weeks the IPCC will hold its plenary in Abu Dhabi-some six months following the Bureau meeting and plenary in Busan, Republic of Korea.
This is in important moment in the history of the IPCC-a moment to evolve the way this panel conducts and delivers its world-class assessments in order to meet the challenges of a new century.
UNEP, as one of the co-founders of the IPCC, has been unswerving in its support of the IPCC representing as it does the premier risk assessment in respect to climate change and equally importantly, impartiality.
The UN is, like many public bodies and private sector players, living with tightening budgets and financial strictures.
But support either financially or in-kind to the IPCC remains consistent with the work programme approved by the Panel.
This makes inordinate sense: The science of climate change is even more complex now than perhaps it was when the IPCC was established.
Public debate has in many ways got hotter over the past two years; a new climate agreement to date remains elusive and yet the levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere continue to rise.
Thus a strong, credible, communicative and modernized IPCC is needed as never before to inform policy-makers on the ramifications of their decisions and the choices available.
This is one reason why UNEP has supported the InterAcademy Council's review including financially and in cooperation with several governments.
The ball has been, since Busan, firmly in the court of the various IPCC Task Groups, now informed by feedback from governments.
The challenge of this Bureau meeting and of the meetings in Abu Dhabi is to complete this work and implement the final recommendations with vigour and with speed.
This is the best way of ensuring that Assessment Report 5 meets the highest possible standards and broadest political and public acceptance.