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Economic Costs of Climate Change from the Perspective of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Seminar Paper 2018 7 Pages

Business economics - Economic Policy

Excerpt

Economic Costs of Climate Change from the Perspective of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Connection between the IPCC’s Values and Interests

The Connection between the IPCC’s Advocacy Positions and Its Use of Science

The Extent to Which I Support the Views of the IPCC

Conclusion

References

Introduction

Over the years, climate change has been observed to be a global challenge that requires global intervention. Therefore, the analysis of the obligations that are created by climate change has nowadays focused on the global and intergenerational distribution of climate change risks and responsibility for these risks, leading to the emergence of diverse organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IPCC is a United Nations body dealing with scientific as well as technical information provision on climate change, perceived impacts, and response options (an international body that assesses the science of climate change). The IPCC was officially constituted in November 1988, during its first meeting in Geneva, by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), to provide policymakers with regular climate change scientific assessments, current and future risks, and options for mitigation and adaptations. IPCC is responsible in assessing and reviewing diverse pieces of technical as well as scientific literature concerning climate change, using these materials to surface critical assessment climate change reports. As a result, climate policy makers in the member states use these reports to come up with solutions and strategies on climate change. Significantly, this paper aims at assessing the connection between the IPCC’s values and interests, its advocacy positions and use of science, alongside outlining my view on the IPCC’s views.

The Connection between the IPCC’s Values and Interests

The IPCC’s values and interests are correlated in diverse ways. For instance, the IPCC has been observed to assess the most recent technical, scientific along with socio-economic global climate change information (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 1). With respect to this, this organization relies on the derivative data sources that are available, and it does not monitor or conduct the parameters related to climate change. One of the main activities done by this organization is source reviews, which ensures that there is an absolute objective current information assessment. The available information will, thus, be utilized by the panel in preparation of comprehensive climate change reports that are normally termed as Assessment Reports (IPCC, 2007, p. 119).

It is the duty of the IPCC to prepare reports that are neutral in terms of climate change policy, although some factors that influence this climate change may be managed objectively. In other words, the panel transparently presents risks, uncertainty alongside ethical foundations of mitigation policies of climate change on regional, state and global levels, investigating mitigation measures for all large sectors and assessing finance and investment matters (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 3). IPCC’s assessment reports are supposed to have a sound scientific, as well as technical standard, reflecting an extensive expertise, opinions and geographical coverage. It is a phenomenon that facilitates collection and application of the required and perfect data. In addition, scholars and experts have noted that this organization has high transparency, integrity and neutrality, alongside practicing other viable values in any organization. Thus, it is an aspect that makes sure that all the nations in the globe relying on this information, are well fed with the correct and viable data concerning climate change, data that the international community may as well apply in their decision making processes to mitigate environmental adversities (IPCC, 2007, p. 170).

Evidently, IPCC is renowned in its principle of engaging experts from every corner of the globe, alongside stressing on cooperation with its resolutions being made from assessment reports that are collected from different scientists across the globe (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 2). The data produced by this organization is scientifically unique and balanced because of its nature; scientific and intergovernmental character. The states governments are accrued in the IPCC’s reports implementation as they are given opportunities to recognize their scientific content’s integrity. It is important to note that IPCC’s reports are rather policy-relevant, not prescriptive since they do not directly offer guidelines to be followed by the interested parties (IPCC, 2007, p. 158). In this sense, a wide range of options is provided to the policy makers, instead of placing a sole option to be put in place in fighting climate change impacts. Moreover, this organization highly engages itself in assessing socio-economic impacts of climate change, especially on climate change effects that are caused by mankind. IPCC also devises practical response actions, provides significant options for curbing the problem of climate change and the so-termed adaptation, a premise that has been applied in different nations’ protocol (Bulkeley, 2001, p. 435). A number of scientific reports have been provided by the IPCC since its initiation, which have amounted crucial data on global climate change.

The reports provided by this agency are used by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is a renowned global treaty responsible for the coordination of climate change efforts. It is a treaty that alleviates the amount of green-house gases in the environment at a level that may reduce human activities impact on the environment (IPCC, 2007, p. 112). IPCC maintains that level used has to be timely, giving the ecosystem a room for climate change forces adaptation, a phenomenon that ensures the nation’s economy and food security are not adversely affected (2007, p. 112).

IPCC is comprised of three important functional groups and various task forces that aid in meeting its goals and objectives: Working Group I (WGI), Working Group II (WGII), and Working Group (WGIII) (IPCC, 2007, p. 838). The main objective of the first group (WGI) is to assess data on the physical science basis of climate change (the science of climate change). The second group reviews how climate change affects the environment and health, alongside analyzing the different response actions on the basis of mitigation and adaptation strategies (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) (IPCC, 2014, p. 3). The last group (WGIII) is responsible for assessment and review of options for climate change mitigation, with the three groups demonstrating IPCC’s unique nature of partial scientific and intergovernmental nature (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 3).

The Connection between the IPCC’s Advocacy Positions and Its Use of Science

Experts have also demonstrated a correlation between advocacy positions of IPCC and its scientific use. The panel has been noted to engage in imperative advocacy positions to mitigate adverse effects of climate change, advocating that international cooperation is the key for mitigation goals achievement (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 2). In this sense, the panel maintains that climate change negatively affects ecosystems as well as mankind. According to IPCC, individuals, organizations and the government should all cooperate in coming up with strategies that can reduce climate change, affirming that poor decisions and lack of policy implementation will exacerbate climate change in the future (2014, p. 2).

According to this panel, the problem of unemployment may be alleviated when nations adopt the various policies stressed in their reports because governmental and even nongovernmental organizations have several job opportunities (IPCC, 2014WGIII, p. 47). For example, these organizations, including IPCC require different professionals in carrying out research, formulating and implementing policies such as field workers, technologists and scientists. Furthermore, this panel demonstrates that new technologies will be invented as the climate change efforts are being induced and executed, and in the process, raise nation’s economy besides alleviating the effects of climate change (IPCC, 2007, p. 707). According to IPCC, although there are significant economic costs of mitigation, the estimates of these economic costs do not describe the economic benefits of reduced climate change (2014WGIII, p. 1). The panel also takes an advocate position by suggesting that the policies concerning climate change that are not sufficient and suitable in a certain area or region should not be implemented. In this context, a nation may be wasting the available resources putting in place policies that cannot reduce or control the perceived adverse effects of climate change (IPCC, 2007, p. 124).

Notably, because of its scientific nature, this organization applies scientific data and methods in the assessment of climate change aspects and their subsequent effects. For example, the panel states that the use of different technological measures on top of changes in behavior will make it possible to limit the increase in global mean temperature to 20C above pre-industrial levels (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 1). In other words, IPCC assesses various scientific literature reviews concerning climate change, using this data to formulate the best ways of controlling the impacts. After these pieces of literature have been analyzed, the panel combines all climate change aspects and surface several options of mitigation, an activity that makes this agency a vital source for climate science. Significantly, this scientific content is normally used by climate scientists and scholars, socio-economic and political policy makers to come up with solutions to this problem (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 1).

Objectively, IPCC uses different pieces of information from a significant number of scientists who work in distinct fields, determining the contribution of mankind to global climate change (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 2). The scientists are often believed to work as volunteers, and the IPCC reports are deemed to take a number of years in assessment and review processes before they are made public. Once the reports have been finalized, an international scientific agreement concerning climate change will be produced, attracting global attention (IPCC, 2007, p. 99).

IPCC is also noted to analyze distinct measures and technologies pertinent in the reduction of green-house gas emissions different sectors such as energy production and use, land use, human settlements, transport, waste management and disposal, and even and construction (IPCCWGIII, 2014, p. 2). The organization asserts that even though, there have been several measures implemented to mitigate climate change effects, level of the emission of green-house gases such as carbon dioxide remains to be high, and may even elevate if strict measures are not imposed in the various sectors. Bulkeley notes that significant alterations to global temperatures and regional climatic conditions have to be expected, adding that there is a possibility for impulsive changes in the climate system as suggested by the IPCC (431).

The Extent to Which I Support the Views of the IPCC

There are quite a number of grounds as to why I support IPCC view, although I also disagree with some of its views. I totally agree with IPCC view that the best way of mitigating climate change impacts is engaging national governments and the international community. In this context, it is evident that climate change is influenced by national as well as international factors, and thus; it is quite challenging for a single nation to fight climate change. Indeed, there is a need of cooperation between nations since most of the activities cannot be physically controlled as there is no territorial control of the atmosphere. Therefore, the presence of IPCC has significant roles in the global mitigation of climate change effects as it provides nations with critical data on climate change. Remarkably, I also agree with the view that the processes of formulating policies on climate change helps in job creation and economic development. It is a point clearly noted because this policy process involves several specialties from fields such as chemistry, biology, technologists among other experts beneficial in the entire process.

However, I do not support the idea that IPCC relies on other scholars work instead of carrying out their research. As aforementioned, the assessments and reviews of IPCC are entirely based on different literature materials concerning climate change, an issue that causes validity concerns. Again, the advantage given to the Lead Authors creates intellectual conflicts of interest as they regularly review their work and that of their critics. Lead Authors have the final say over the published content, an aspect that cannot be changed even after the involvement of adversarial reviewers who can mitigate this bias.

Conclusion

The issue of climate change has over the years been debated on the imposed risks on the environment and human health and its impact on future generations. Accordingly, the assessments of climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation are carried out to inform policymakers in an environment of uncertainty. The main purpose of IPCC is to assess and review diverse scientific as well as technological data on climate change so as to come up with comprehensive and clear reports concerning this problem. It is a scientific body that is comprised of UNEP and WMO member states whereby their respective governments are wholly involved in supporting the resolutions of this agency. As an intergovernmental organization, IPCC is responsible in the assessment of the socio-economic effects of climate change alongside scrutinizing the effect of human-induced climate change on human health and the environment.

References

Bulkeley, H 2001, Governing climate change: the politics of risk society, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 26(4), p. 430-447.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, Climate Change 2007 - Mitigation of Climate Change: Working Group III contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The IPCC Working Group III, 2014 , The IPCC: Greenhouse gas emissions accelerate despite reduction efforts, Viewed October 9, 2017, from http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ar5/pr_wg3/20140413_pr_pc_wg3_en.pdf

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Details

Pages
7
Year
2018
ISBN (eBook)
9783668732995
File size
463 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v429861
Grade
1
Tags
economic costs climate change perspective intergovernmental panel ipcc

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Title: Economic Costs of Climate Change from the Perspective of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)