Working Group III: Mitigation

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We are pleased to present the third volume of the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepared by Working Group III: Climate Change 2001: Mitigation. The IPCC has been established jointly by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess all available factual information on the science, the impacts, and the economics of climate change and on the adaptation/mitigation options to address climate change.

At its 14th Session in 1997 in the Maldives, the IPCC agreed on the development of the TAR. Working Group III was charged to assess the scientific, technological, environmental, economic, and social aspects of the mitigation of climate change. Thus, the mandate of the Working Group was broadened in the current report from a predominantly disciplinary assessment of the Economic and Social Dimensions on Climate Change (including adaptation) in the Second Assessment Report (SAR).

This report summarizes the state of knowledge covered in previous IPCC reports, but primarily assesses information generated since the SAR, recognizing that climate change is a global issue, but emphasizing the assessment of the sectoral and regional aspects of climate change mitigation. The assessment focuses on the policy-relevant questions of today. It also draws on the IPCC Special Reports on Aviation and the Atmosphere, on Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer, on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry, and Emissions Scenarios that were published in 1999 and 2000. The report, in accordance with the mandate given to Working Group III, explicitly places climate change mitigation in the broader context of development, equity, and sustainability. It draws on a broad set of literature also covering the social sciences and acknowledges different views on the linkages between climate change mitigation and sustainable development policies.

The report has been written by almost 150 lead and co-ordinating lead authors, some 80 contributing authors and 18 review editors from developed countries, developing countries, countries with economies in transition, and international organizations, who put in an enormous amount of time and effort. It has been reviewed by more than 300 experts from around the world, individually as well as through governments.

To involve experts beyond the writing teams, discuss issues which to date received insufficient attention to address current policy questions properly, and to allow for interaction with the writing teams of the other two Working Groups, Working Group III sponsored various Expert Meetings and Workshops, including:

  • IPCC Regional Workshop on Integrated Assessment, Kadoma, Zimbabwe, 22-28 November 1998;
  • 1st IPCC Expert Meeting on Climate Change and its Linkages with Development, Equity, and Sustainability, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 27-29 April 1999;
  • Joint IPCC/TEAP Expert Meeting on Options for the Limitation of Emissions of HFCs and PFCs, Petten, Netherlands, 26-28 May 1999;
  • IPCC Expert Meeting on Economic Impacts of Mitigation Measures, The Hague, Netherlands, 27-28 May 1999;
  • IPCC Expert Meeting on Stabilization and Mitigation Scenarios, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2-4 June 1999;
  • IPCC Expert Meeting on Costing Methodologies, Tokyo, Japan, 28 June-1 July 1999;
  • IPCC Expert Meeting on Sectoral Economic Impacts, Eisenach, Germany, 14-15 February 2000;
  • 2nd IPCC Expert Meeting on Development, Equity, and Sustainability, Havana, Cuba, 23-25 February 2000;
  • IPCC Expert Meeting on Society, Behaviour and Climate Change Mitigation, Karlsruhe, Germany, 21-22 March 2000;
  • IPCC Co-sponsored Expert Meeting on Ancillary Benefits, Washington DC, United States, 27-29 March 2000.

We are grateful to the governments of Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Germany and Cuba for making these meetings possible in collaboration with the local organisers. Proceedings of these meetings have been published or will be published in 2001. The writing teams of this report met four times to draft the report and discuss the results of the two consecutive formal IPCC review rounds, in Bilthoven (Netherlands, December 1998), Lillehammer (Norway, September 1999), Eisenach (Germany, February 2000) and Cape Town (South Africa, August 2000). In addition, several individual chapter team meetings, writing team teleconferences, and interactions with the UNFCCC SBSTA process contributed to the contents of the report.

According to the IPCC Procedures, the Summary for Policymakers of this report has been approved in detail by governments at the IPCC Working Group III Plenary Meeting in Accra, Ghana from 28 February to 3 March 2001. During the approval process the lead authors confirmed that the agreed text of the Summary for Policymakers is fully consistent with the underlying full report and technical summary, which has been accepted by governments, but remains the full responsibility of the authors.

We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Netherlands’ government in supporting the Technical Support Unit of Working Group III and the IPCC activities of Co-chair Dr. Bert Metz, and the IPCC Secretariat for supporting the activities of Co-chair Professor Ogunlade Davidson through the IPCC Trust Fund. This report would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the staff of the Technical Support Unit, Dr. Rob Swart (Head of TSU), Dr. Jiahua Pan, Anita Meier, José Hesselink, Angelique Martens, Remko Ybema, Ton van Dril, Tom Kram, Jan Willem Martens, Sascha van Rooijen and Dr. Peter Kuikman. We also express our gratitude to John Ormiston, Paul Schwartzman and Ruth de Wijs for the copy-editing, reference editing and proofreading of the document and to Martin Middelburg for preparing the final lay-out and the graphics of the report.

We, as co-chairs of Working Group III, together with the other members of the Bureau of Working Group III, the Lead Authors, and the Technical Support Unit, hope that this report will assist decision-makers in governments and the private sector as well as other interested readers in the academic community and the general public to be better informed about climate change mitigation in support of appropriate response measures.

Ogunlade Davidson and Bert Metz

Co-Chairs IPCC Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change

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