Report 1 from IPCC by Thomas Sterner

10 Apr-2014 | Skrivet av klimat i Thomas Sterner

Sunday 6th April.

60 people have been sitting from 8.00 AM to 11 PM in the Estrel Hotel. These 60 are the CLAs (Coordinating Lead Authors) and some Lead Authors and the Cochairs and the staff of the Technical Support Unit.  So far it is “practice”, we have been going through our Summary For Policymakers (SPM). This is the document that is to be agreed, line by line with the governments of the world in the Approval Session. They are arriving now, you see them in the lobby – some are old friends and colleagues but usually they are more formally dressed than we researchers. Countries have the right to send teams of up to 6 people. Luckily the Estrel is the biggest hotel and conference centre in Europe with over a thousand rooms. Located in the outskirts of Berlin in a southern suburb called Neukölln. We have had no time to go out but actually it does not look enormously tempting in spite of the nice name of the street Sonnenallee.

We spent already about 25 hours and went through the whole SPM text. Several times we discussed for hours about the wording of a particular sentence. We have to try to find the best wording – on the one hand reflecting the science but also of course thinking somewhat about what might be easiest to defend in the plenary. We know that certain governments have strong opinions on certain issues and so there is sometimes a tricky balance.

Now we have moved into the formal parts of the process: There is a floor Manager, Panel Manager, Head Spotter, Online Editor, Co Chair Assistant, Figure Manager, Communication Manager, Co Chairs, CLAs, Contact Groups, Consultation Groups. Quite a lot of new jargon and process we must know about and we are instructed to: Keep our statements short and concise, avoid jargon, do not lecture the delegates, do not become emotional. We are currently deciding who will sit where at the podium for the various paragraphs – basically the CLAs take turns.

Tomorrow the show will begin. Rumour has it that there may be sessions that run all night. In the last approval session (for the Special Report on Emission Scenarios) some sessions lasted 26 hours flat. Does not seem fair to the smaller nations that have only one delegate…

Thomas Sterner

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