Official IPCC Views

David Holland made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Energy and Climate Change

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sirs,

On 17 October 2014 at 15:58, I sent an email to Mr David Warrilow at his DECC address. With it, I attached three letters from AR5 WGI and I asked a number of questions in relation to them but have received no reply or even acknowledgement. The letters are being represented by the Met Office and the Information Commissioner to represent the official views of the IPCC itself. I am asking to receive any recorded information that confirms or refutes this.

On 7 November 2014 at 15:00, I emailed Mr Warrilow again and pointed out that I believed the first email might be considered to be an EIR request but have still received no response. I also added “It may well be that there are no IPCC decisions that support the views of WGI that I listed and a simple a response to confirm that will be satisfactory.”

I believe that as the IPCC ‘focal point’ you are obliged to tell me whether or not you hold any recorded information that supports the claims of the Met office and the Information Commissioner that the views of AR5 WGI are also those of the IPCC itself. I have received no error message or ‘bounce’ to suggest the emails were not delivered.

[a] Please provide me with any recorded information that my emails were received and if so who decided to ignore them.

[b] Please provide me with any recorded information that that is held by DECC that indicates an official view or decision of the IPCC exists in relation to the 6 statements that I cited. For your convenience I will copy them here:

"I wish to know which, if any, of the statements below, cited from the attached IPCC Working Group One letters, are the official view of IPCC itself in accordance with item 11 of the Principles Governing IPCC Work that were approved again by the IPCC in October 2013. This, I am sure you know states “Conclusions drawn by IPCC Working Groups and any Task Forces are not official IPCC views until they have been accepted by the Panel in a plenary meeting”. At its web site, I can find no recorded decision of the IPCC that accepts any of them and I would appreciate it if you can point me to any decisions that you know of.

Letter of 23 March 2011

[Item 1] “Emails and attached material sent by the IPCC WGI TSU are intended solely for the addressee. They have a specific purpose and readership and are therefore not intended for public distribution. As an overarching principle, we do not give permission for their release.”

[Item 2] “In your letter to Dr. Midgley, you asked about the effect of the release of these documents on the international relations between the IPCC WGI TSU and academic institutions within the United Kingdom. As stated in earlier correspondence on related requests, we believe that this would have a deleterious effect because it would force us to reconsider our working arrangements with those experts who have been selected for an active role in WGI AR5 from your institution and others within the United Kingdom.”

Letter 12 September 2013

[Item 3] “It is the previously stated position of the current Co-Chairs of WGI that the disclosure of such documents would erode trust in the UK as a partner in an international process. It could prejudice the UK’s ability to engage in free and frank discussion in future through its experts at this crucial and early stage of assessment development.”

Letter 21 October 2013

[Item 4] “Any comments on the ZOD are also internal so WGI does not feel that any purpose is served by publishing the ZOD.”

Letter 24 January 2014

[Item 5] “However the opinion of the WGI Co-Chairs is that there is no justification for releasing ZODs or internal review comments on them even after a report is completed because these are intended as internal working documents only.”

[Item 6] “Release of the ZODs would undermine the authors’ confidence in the IPCC process because it would make public documents and thoughts that were not mature.""

[c] A Met Office letter ref: 0030308/RR dated 23 December 2012 is published at: Holland Revised response.docx.pdf

In the letter, it states:

“The IPCC has an unwritten agreement of confidence with authors in relation to all ZODs produced as part of its assessment reports, and the understanding that they are not for public disclosure.”

Please provide me with a copy of any recorded information that this or any other unwritten agreement of the IPCC with individuals or organisations exists.

[d] In Decision Notice FER0521520 dated 19 June 2014, presently before a Tribunal, the Information Commissioner stated:

“The Met Office’s position is that disclosure would adversely affect the UK’s international relations with the IPCC because it (the IPCC) objects to the information being released which it considers to be confidential. In the view of the Met Office disclosure would risk it and other UK based experts being excluded from any further participation in the IPCC process.”

Please supply me with any recorded information that DECC holds to indicate that AR5 WGI or any future WGI is or would be authorised by the IPCC to exclude the experts from any IPCC member state from participation in the IPCC process.

Yours faithfully,

David Holland on behalf of FOI Requests,

DECC Ref: FOI2014/29443

Dear Mr Holland

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 30th
December. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at
the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to deal with.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and/or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and we will reply at the latest by 28th January.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights Unit at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
who provide a shared service to DECC.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future

Kind regards,

Information Rights Unit

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Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET | |
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with DECC to process and advise on their FOI requests

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FOI Requests,

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Dear Mr Holland

Please see the attached reply from DECC to your request - ref 2014/29433.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information Rights Unit at BIS.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,
Information Rights Unit
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Orchard 1, 6th Floor
1 Victoria Street

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