Friends of Science New Blog Post Questions Article 2 of Principles Governing IPCC Work and Claims Recommendations are Understood as the IPCC is an Authoritative Body

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Friends of Science Society's new blog post discusses how phase-out coal activists and the authors of “Acting on Climate Change” issued by McGill/Trottier Institute in the spring of 2015 appear to believe the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is recommending certain actions, despite Article 2 of Principles Governing IPCC Work that states it must be policy neutral. IPCC spokespeople have made public recommendations, and the media report on "IPCC recommendations" says Friends of Science, saying this is unfortunate and misleading.

New Climate Change Billboard Campaign by Friends of Science

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘recommendation’ as: “a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.”

In a new blog post, Friends of Science Society are questioning the validity of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Article 2 which states: "IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies." Article 2 of the Principles Governing IPCC Work.

Friends of Science Society have a new blog posting that discusses whether or not the IPCC directly or indirectly is making recommendations, and that asks how the perception of the authority of IPCC reports affect policy makers around the world, as this is a matter of public interest prior to COP-21 climate talks in Paris.

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘recommendation’ as: “a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.”

Friends of Science point to an example found in the April 2014 IPCC Working Group III – Mitigation Summary for Policy Makers SPM.4.2.2 report, page 20:

“Decarbonization…” Decarbonizing (i.e. reducing the carbon intensity of) electricity generation is a key component of cost-effective mitigation strategies in achieving low-stabilization levels …” and goes on to say “many RE (renewable energy) technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions…to enable deployment at significant scale.”

According to Friends of Science the term ‘decarbonize’ is a recommendation of itself. There is no evidence that decarbonizing or phasing-out coal is cost-effective, thus the statement is not objective, nor does it consider socio-economics. They say the opposite is true citing E&E of Jan 3, 2014, on the rise in heat-or-eat poverty.

“Coal power phase-out in favor of renewables has tripled the power costs in most Western industrial nations,” says Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society. "Google engineers say renewables do not address power needs or climate change, so the IPCC's obvious supportive reference to renewables is not scientifically or technically sound either."

As the IPCC is considered to be a world authoritative body on climate change and mitigation, Friends say policymakers obviously understand statements as recommendations.

For example, the McGill/Trottier publication of the spring of 2015 entitled “Acting on Climate Change,” supported by some 70 scholars refers to The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group III ) and says “…we believe that a long-term target of 80% emissions reduction, aligned with IPCC’s recommendation for developed countries, should be adopted immediately to inform current decision making…”

Friends of Science says that report’s proposed Canadian national wind and hydro power grid, said to be possible by 2035, is technically infeasible.

Past chair of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri made recommendations to walk more, eat less meat, and turn down thermostats, as reported Sept. 24, 2009 by The Progressive. []. Even The Guardian of Nov. 7, 2014 refers to "IPCC recommendations.." [LINK:]

"The examples cited here show that IPCC statements are clearly not “neutral with respect to policy” because the IPCC is making statements about specific policies that are understood as recommendations," says Stirling. "In our opinion, this suggests the IPCC is in contravention of its mandate. As reported in our press release "Say NO to Climate CO2-ercion at COP21," there have been serious negative consequences."

Friends of Science have spent a decade reviewing a broad spectrum of literature on climate change and have concluded the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).

Friends of Science Society
P.O. Box 23167, Mission P.O.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience(dot)org
Media: media(at)friendsofscience(dot)org

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Michelle Stirling
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