Chris Mooney | Will the IPCC Be Ready to Communicate About Its Fifth Assessment Report?
The IPCC just released a “Communications Strategy,” drafted at its May Abu Dhabi session, which says many of the right things. The organization will apparently be hiring a Senior Communications Manager and trying to coordinate a mechanism for rapid response. And there is much else in the document to praise—but I also note the following:From the "Communications Strategy" above:
It appears that the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report is due out in 2013 and 2014. So basically, the IPCC has about two years to really get together a serious communications mechanism for the moment when it is going to be needed most. Let us hope that the current strategy document is only the beginning, and that dollars will follow good intentions.
How authorized spokespersons should represent the IPCC
The ability of IPCC spokespersons to provide neutral and objective statements that are grounded in the assessments reports and other products adopted by the Panel will be essential to preserving the trust and confidence placed in the IPCC by decision-makers and other key audiences. Authorized spokespersons should act in accordance with the guiding principles that have been set out for IPCC communications, most notably maintaining policy neutrality, scientific balance, and refraining from, or being perceived as advocating or communicating personal views on climate policy while speaking in their official IPCC capacity.