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mendations for amendments that could enhance the authority
of IPCC reports.
The IAC published its review of the IPCC in August 2010.
It found that the IPCC assessment process was successful
and that the IPCC has \u201cheightened public awareness of climate
change, raised the level of scientific debate and influenced the
science agendas of many nations.\u201d Additionally, the IAC eval-
uated the IPCC as a \u2018significant social innovation\u2019 for its decen-
tralized and widely distributed scientific infrastructure.
Nonetheless, it recommended amendments in the governance
and management structure, the review process, methods
for characterizing and communicating uncertainty, com-
munications strategies, and assuring transparency in the assess-
ment process.
During the 33rd session of the IPCC panel in May 2011, the
IPCC made decisions on several amendments in the IPCC
processes based on the recommendations of the IAC review.
IPCC plenary decides
for special report
Governments nominate
experts for report
IPCC bureau
selects authors
Final IPCC plenary
Authors prepare
draft 1
Expert and
SPM review
Stages of report
Authors prepare
draft 2
Authors prepare
final draft
Authors prepare
SPM final draft
Authors prepare
SPM draft 2
Authors prepare
SPM draft 1
Accepts rest
of report
Approves SPM
Final government
Figure 2 IPCC report processes.
Climate Change and Policy | Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 51
Amendments that reflect the key recommendations include the
following: An executive committee will be formed with the aim
of strengthening and facilitating IPCC work including the co-
operation among working groups and task forces. The applica-
tion of IPCC procedures will be strengthened and amended
where necessary to enable review editors to fully exercise their
authority, assuring that reviewer comments are adequately
reflected in the report. A common methodology for evaluating
uncertainty across working groupswas agreed and accepted (see
section \u2018Communication of Uncertainty\u2019 below). Task groups
have been formed to evaluate the full scope for implementing
other key IAC recommendations including that to (1) elect an
executive director to lead the secretariat, (2) adopt a more
targeted and effective process for responding to reviewer
comments, (3) complete and implement a communications
strategy, and (4) adopt criteria for assuring transparency in,
for example, selecting participants for scoping meetings and
selecting coordinating lead authors and lead authors.
The IPCC reform process is ongoing. Additional decisions
on the implementation of IAC recommendations are sched-
uled for the 34th session of the IPCC panel in November 2011.
The Science and Policy Interface
The IPCC intends to provide unbiased, objective, policy relevant \u2013
but not policy prescriptive \u2013 information on the sciences related
to climate change to policymakers. By its very construction, the
IPCC sits uniquely in the interface between science and politics:
Governments actively provide the scope for its reports, nominate
authors, review results, and approve report summaries. Volunteer
scientists from across the globe evaluate and assess the available
scientific, technological, and socioeconomic information avail-
able on climate change, and draft and review the reports.
There are two traditional models for the science/policy in-
terface (for a seminal description of the predominant models,
see works by Habermas) that can be readily applied to climate
change science and climate policy: (1) the technocratic model
and (2) the decisionist model. More advanced models have
been the subject of debate for several years. Each model is
characterized by a different division of labor between scientists
and decision makers.
The technocratic model gives all decision-making power to
scientists on the assumption that only science can objectively
determine informed, appropriate directions for society and
that public policy problems can be solved by scientists. In
this model, scientists determine both the ends and the techno-
logical means to the respective end. The role of politicians is for
implementation only. In the frame of climate change policy,
this would require science to determine, for example, the most
appropriate limit to global surface temperature increase and to
provide the technological options as well as the political tools
to reach that target. Admittedly, the technocratic model is
almost a caricature because democratic decision making in-
volves value judgments which are beyond the scope of science.
While some value judgments can be justified by rational rea-
soning, moral reasoning in general cannot be limited to the
scientific domain.
Therefore, Max Weber proposed a strict distinction be-
tween facts and values, implying that decision makers have
to set values and societal goals, whereas scientists should
provide facts and explore the most efficient means for achiev-
ing those goals. In this decisionistic model, scientists serve
only to provide technological means to the ends decided by
policymakers. In the frame of climate change policy, this
would mean that policymakers make a decision on, for ex-
ample, a specific limit to global surface temperature increase,
and scientists would be responsible strictly for identifying
means to meet said targets.
Hilary Putnam discussed the idea that fact\u2013value separabil-
ity (which underlies both the technocratic and the decisionist
model) can be considered a precondition to the distinction
between means and ends. As John Dewey argued, however, the
traditional separation betweenmeans and ends collapses when
indirect consequences of means have the potential to under-
mine the achievement of the societal goals (ends) the means
are intended to address. This then necessarily serves to discredit
the idea of fact\u2013value separability \u2013 revealing it as a weak
foundation. The simple, decisionistic model of the science/
policy interface neglects to critically examine the risks and
unintended consequences of political means to achieve a
given decision or end and to feed this back into the decision-
making process.
In a more adequate model of the science/policy interface,
mitigation targets would be decided by legitimate democratic
decision bodies. However, if the means to achieving those mit-
igation targets cause unforeseen side effects (e.g., adverse influ-
ence on food security due to the extensive unsustainable use of
bioenergy), ongoing communication between science and pol-
icy is needed. This exchange does not start when policymakers
have decided on the targets, and it does not end when scientists
have explored the means. Both sides have to be involved in a
social learning process where goals are revalued as indirect
consequences are revealed by science.
The IPCC, acting as the \u2018honest broker\u2019 of policy alternatives \u2013
a title coined by Roger Pielke \u2013 provides objective but policy-
relevant scientific information to policymakers. By combining
this with judgments by society (possibly by means of public
debate that considers scientific inputs), policymakers can make
informed decisions that relate to climate change. Examining the
risks and possible indirect and often unintended consequences
associated with political means and feeding this back into the
sphere of discussion may result in substantial revisions of the
original decision, possibly even reversing its course. This consid-
eration is especially pertinent to working groups II and III of the
IPCC, who are expected to provide policy-relevant