What is the IPCC itself?

David Holland made this Freedom of Information request to University of East Anglia

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 refused by University of East Anglia.

Dear Mr Palmer,

Thank you for your letters of 20 and 27 January 2011 on your reference FOI_10-132; EIR_10-17. I may find it necessary to appeal your response before the 60 day limit you state, which I calculate to be 21 March 2011. In the meantime I will be grateful if you could clarify a matter for me, and since technically this a further series of requests I have sent this a new request.

In your letter of 20 January, part way down the second page you write:

“Turning to Regulation 12(5)(a), we base this on representations received from the IPCC itself in which it objected to the release of some of the requested information. Clearly the IPCC is an international body as defined by the EIR and a number of UK-based academics are involved in the IPCC process. Release of some information in the face of the objections and representations provided to us by the IPCC would, we believe, damage the ability of UK-based academics to fully participate in this significant global initiative.”

(a) Where exactly does the EIR define “an international body”

(b) By “the IPCC itself”, does UEA mean the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself or some other body such as the IPCC Bureau, or the IPCC Working Group One or the IPCC process?

(c) Do you, for instance, consider that the UEA Cricket Club can speak authoritatively for the University of East Anglia?

(d) Does UEA’s Information Services Directorate accept that “the IPCC process” with which you say UEA is involved is distinct from the legal person referred to as “the IPCC itself”?

(e) Is UEA’s ISD in possession of copies of the “Principles Governing IPCC Work” and its Appendices available at www.ipcc.ch? If so:

(f) Is ISD familiar with Principle 2 which states:

“The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”?

(g) Is ISD familiar with Principle 4 which states:

“Major decisions of the IPCC will be taken by the Panel in plenary meetings.”?

(h) Is ISD familiar with Principle 11 which 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.”?

(i) Does UEA accept that only government delegations have the right to vote at IPCC plenary meetings and decide the official views of the "the IPCC itself"?

In your letter of correction dated 27 January 2011 you direct me to a website that does indeed belong to “the IPCC itself":

http://www.ipcc.ch/scripts/_session_temp...

The first document listed on this page is indeed one from “the IPCC itself” and clearly identified as such, having an IPCC reference 5035-09/IPCC/P-31. It begins: “I am writing on behalf of the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”.

For the document that I requested in the first limb of FOI_10-112, you referred me to:
https://www.ipcc.unibe.ch/guidancepaper/... and I presume that you were actually referring to:
https://www.ipcc.unibe.ch/guidancepaper/...

This document is at a website under the control of the University of Bern which has no contractual or other formal relationship with “the IPCC itself” and not withstanding its use of the words “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” and the UN logos the document (as the UEA Cricket Club uses UEA's) was not issued by “the IPCC itself” or accepted at an IPCC plenary meeting as an official view of the IPCC. It is the work of the ad hoc Working Group One Technical Support Unit which is funded by the Swiss government, which incidentally is a signatory of the Aarhus Convention from which the EIR descend and which enshrines in European law the presumption of disclosure.

(j) Can you provide me with a link to any document at www.ipcc.ch from “the IPCC itself”, as opposed to an IPCC Working Group that requires UEA to or its employees to keep anything confidential.

(k) Please send me a copy of or a link to what you refer to as the “representations received from the IPCC itself” and any correspondence from the “IPCC itself” that UEA hold in relation to AR4 or AR5 that is not available at www.ipcc.ch.

Returning to the paragraph in your letter of 20 January you stated:

“Release of some information in the face of the objections and representations provided to us by the IPCC would, we believe, damage the ability of UK-based academics to fully participate in this significant global initiative.”

(l) Can you confirm that participation in the IPCC assessment process is a core activity of UEA and that your academics are actively encouraged and supported to participate.

Yours sincerely

David Holland

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland,

Please find attached a letter acknowledging your request received 28
January 2011. The letter also contains further information regarding the
handling of this request under the Environmental Information Regulations
2004. Someone will be in contact with you further in due course.

Kind regards,
Bob Heath

On behalf of Dave Palmer

*****************************************************

Bob Heath
LaRC Co-ordinator / Blackboard support
Learning and Resources Centre (LaRC)
The Library
Tel: 01603 593483
Email:  R[email address]

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Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

1 Attachment

Mr. Holland,

Attached please find further information on the processing of your request
of 28 January 2011. Should you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to contact me.

Your sincerely, Dave Palmer

____________________________

David Palmer

Information Policy & Compliance Manager

University of East Anglia

Norwich, England

NR4 7TJ

Information Services

Tel: +44 (0)1603 593523

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591010

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

1 Attachment

Mr. Holland,

Attached please find a response to your request received by us on 28
January 2011. Apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely, Dave Palmer

____________________________

David Palmer

Information Policy & Compliance Manager

University of East Anglia

Norwich, England

NR4 7TJ

Information Services

Tel: +44 (0)1603 593523

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591010

Dear University of East Anglia,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

Dear Mr Palmer

Your ref: FOI_11-024; EIR_11-003

Thank you for your reply to my request. I would ask that you carefully review your refusals to disclose under regulations, 12(5)(a) and 12(5)(f) in respect of item (k) referred in your reply. To assist you in this matter I will limit my request to correspondence after May 2007.

My comments sent earlier in respect of your ref: FOI_11-048; EIR_11-005, apply also to this request.

Yours sincerely

David Holland

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holland,

In response to your email of 3 April 2011, please find attached the acknowledgement of your appeal.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions

Yours sincerely,
Bob Heath

For Dave Palmer

Bob Heath
LaRC Co-ordinator / Blackboard support
Learning and Resources Centre (LaRC)
The Library
Tel: 01603 593483
Email:  R[email address]

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

1 Attachment

Mr. Holland

Please find attached a response from Jonathan Colam-French, Director of
Information Services, to your request of 3 April 2011 seeking an internal
review of my response of 24 March 2011 in this matter. Should you have any
questions don't hesitate to contact me.

Your sincerely, Dave Palmer

____________________________

David Palmer

Information Policy & Compliance Manager

University of East Anglia

Norwich, England

NR4 7TJ

Information Services

Tel: +44 (0)1603 593523

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591010