Department of Energy & Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place,
London SW1A 2AW
T: +44 (0)300 068 4000
Our ref: 11/0312
Your ref: 63404-4CA9D8DB
25 March 2011
Dear Mr Holland RE: Your information Request Ref 11/0312
Thank you for your e-mail of 25 February 2011.
In your email, you make three requests for recorded information that may be held by
the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
I have searched the IPCC and DECC websites but cannot find the document
which the Task Group on Governance and Management, of which the UK is a
Co-chair, was required to be provided by 31 January 2011.
 Please supply me and electronic copy of it or a URL
 Please also supply me with copy of, or a URL, for the British government’s
comments on the Task Group’s proposals. I note that the due date for this is by
28 February 2011 and would ask that if it not now held you advise me of date
that it planned to be held.
 Please also provide me with any documented departmental
instructions for deciding when, and which, IPCC documents received, sent and
held by DECC are to be either published at the DECC website or clearly
referenced there as available at the IPCC website in accordance with EIR
We have considered these requests in accordance with the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIRs) as the information you have sought disclosure of is likely in
our view to fall within the definition of ‘environmental information’ as stated in the EIRs.
The Department does hold information which falls within your first request above
(numbered ), which requests a copy of the draft recommendations of the Task Group
on Governance and Management. However, on consideration, we have decided not to
release this information in response to your request.
We consider that this information is exempt from disclosure under the Exception listed
in Regulation 12(5)(a) of the Environmental Information Regulations, which relates to
information disclosure of which could adversely affect international relations. This
regulation covers relations between the UK and other states and international bodies.
We consider that because it is IPCC practice not to release pre-publication drafts that
releasing this information could adversely affect international relations with the IPCC
and/or individual Member States within the IPCC.
In applying this exception, we have also considered the public interest arguments for
and against disclosure of the document, applying a presumption in favour of
We consider that there are some arguments that the public interest is best served by
disclosing the document. For example, disclosing the document would allow people
with an active interest to be aware of the emerging work of the Task Group on
However, there are also arguments that the public interest is better served by
withholding the document. We consider that there is potential for the public to be
mislead if ideas expressed in early draft form are made public before the final
document is agreed, particularly when the draft document may not represent the views
of the relevant IPCC Task Group.
Furthermore, we consider that the UK public benefits considerably from the UK
maintaining a strong leadership role within the IPCC. Disclosing a document that has
been labelled as confidential by the IPCC risks jeopardising the UK’s standing within
the IPCC and the UK’s influence in this forum. On balance, we have judged that the
public interest is best served by withholding this document at this time.
However, we note that a final draft of this document is due to be made public in the
coming month on the IPCC website. We understand the IPCC also intends to publish
earlier draft versions of the document at that time, together with Government
comments on this draft. We therefore consider that those people with an interest in the
proposals of the Task Group will very shortly have access to relevant information.
At the time of your request, DECC did not hold any information falling within your
second request (a copy of the UK Government’s comments to the IPCC). This
document was generated on 9 March 2011. As noted above, we understand that the
IPCC intends to publish Government comments on the Task Group documents ahead
of the IPCC Plenary.
DECC does not hold any information falling within your third request. The DECC
website contains a link to the IPCC website, where finalised reports can be found.
Please remember to quote the reference number 11/0312 in any future
Yours sincerely, DECC Climate, Energy, Science and Analysis
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an
internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the
date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to the
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF