Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Official Statistics The Way Forward Peter Harper Deputy Australian Statistician Australian Bureau of Statistics International Conference."— Presentation transcript:
Climate Change and Official Statistics The Way Forward Peter Harper Deputy Australian Statistician Australian Bureau of Statistics International Conference on Climate Change, Development and Official Statistics in the Asia-Pacific Region, Seoul, December 2008
Background 2008 UNSC meeting asked for a programme review into climate change statistics –ABS to prepare review Draft agenda for action from Oslo Conference used as basis for recommendations Subsequent consultation, including Seoul Conference Report back to 2009 UNSC meeting –Agreement on actions and priorities
Review objectives Mainstream the climate change aspect of official statistics, which basically means mainstreaming environment statistics in general. –Encourage NSOs to proactively engage in providing statistical services to support climate change analysis –Encourage greater international engagement of official statistics with international climate change activities. –Obtain agreement on a programme of activity for UNSD and other international agencies to support the global statistical effort on climate change and to enhance national capacity
The mandate for official statistics Climate change is caused by economic and social pressures Climate change has economic and social, as well as environmental impacts Official statistics can provide information on these economic and social pressures and impacts Official statistics can provide relevant classifications and standards Official statistics can lead the integration of economic, social and environmental data
The role of official statistics To provide the best available data for climate change analysis, including relevant statistical data for input into models To undertake relevant statistical analysis to inform climate change issues To ensure that climate change aspects are considered in the development and maintenance of statistical standards and that these standards are promulgated outside official statistics To develop and advocate statistical tools for the integration of economic, social and environment information to inform climate change issues.
Scope of climate change related official statistics Many existing official statistics are relevant to climate change –But there is a need to consider whether these could be more useful for climate change analysis There may also be statistical gaps that need filling – environmental, economic or social There is a need for better frameworks to describe climate change related statistics
Recommendation I The environment, and climate change in particular, dimensions should be mainstreamed in official statistics and the capability of countries to produce high quality basic statistics following standard concepts and classifications should be strengthened
Actions This work should be built into the work programme of the UN Statistical Commission and should be carried out as part of the ongoing revision of the different statistical programmes, standards and classifications and as part of the programme on capacity building. The relevant international agency should take the lead responsibility for revising the statistical programmes, standards and classifications. Statistical standards should be informed by and bridge those used by UNFCCC and IPCC. Priority should be given to the development of a land use/land cover classification with a strategy to be devised by the UNCEEA, in consultation with the London Group and with FAO. Other areas of priority are energy statistics and energy use statistics, which are being considered by the Oslo group.
Recommendation II The use of official statistics for scenario development and modelling should be improved and promoted
Action There is a need for a dialogue between the scientists and the official statistical community to enhance the usage, and improve the usefulness, of official statistics for scenario development and modelling. It is recommended that the UN Statistical Commission urgently initiates a dialogue with IPCC in order to improve the use of official statistics in future assessments of climate change, scenarios and modelling. It may want to appoint a small Committee to affect this.
Recommendation III The availability, quality and timeliness of greenhouse gas emission estimates should be improved through the provision of high quality official statistics for the calculations the role of official statistics in the production of emission inventories should be strengthened
Action In view of their importance to national policy, statistics on emissions should become part of the regular production and dissemination process of official statistics at national level with appropriate institutional arrangements, even if the NSOs are not the formal reporting agency to the UNFCCC or the publisher at the national level. As part of this initiative, there is a need for improving knowledge of NSOs on the links between activity statistics and emissions of greenhouse gases. The initiative for greater involvement has to come from the NSOs themselves. To facilitate this, it is proposed that a Working Group be set up to look into these issues and, in particular, how to best develop the knowledge base of national statistical offices in this area, especially in developing countries. Collaboration with UNFCCC is essential.
Recommendation IV The analysis of the impacts of climate change and vulnerability to climate change should be supported by the exchange and discussion of good practices
Action To improve the support to the analysis of the impacts of, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, the major task is to pull up examples from the world and learn about them by establishing a knowledge base on new approaches, to gather, compile and share experience. Therefore it is recommended that an electronic platform by one of the UN agencies is set up for the dissemination of good practices and an international forum (regular expert group meetings or workshops) is established for their discussion. With support from UNSD, UNCEEA should agree on a program of work to support this work
Recommendation V The statistical standards associated with funds and mechanisms should be reviewed
Action Government Finance Statistics should provide sufficient disaggregation to allow for analysis of Government’s responses to climate change, especially mitigation and adaptation strategies. The IMF is responsible for the Government Finance statistics classification but they should work with UNCEEA on any revisions to the existing classification. The UNFCCC classifications should be a starting point for deciding what changes are needed.
Recommendation VI The monitoring of emission trading schemes and other mitigation measures should be supported by the advanced analysis of existing tools and by developing new statistics
Actions It is proposed that the London Group on Environmental Economic Accounting includes this work in their agenda with the objective of identifying how NSOs might be able to best assist. It is likely that the forms of assistance will vary from country to country. As with Recommendation IV, there should be some exchange and discussion of good practices. The UNSD should coordinate this.
Recommendation VII The implications for the national accounts and other key macroeconomic statistics of emission trading schemes should be assessed
Action The ISWGNA should review the implications for the National Accounts of existing and prospective emission trading schemes and whether any adjustments to the SNA or explanatory material are needed. These adjustments should flow through to other macro-economic standards as necessary.
Recommendation VIII UNSD should develop further and implement the System of Integrated Environmental-Economic Accounting as an international statistical standard
Action The areas for development in SEEA to support climate change analysis need to be identified. This should be a priority of UNCEEA who should also oversee the development strategy and subsequent work. The development strategy should consider country training needs.
Recommendation IX National statistical offices could support the analysis of climate change through the publication of a set of well selected variables, that are possible to collect and provide a clear picture, both in physical and monetary terms, of the impacts of climate change and efforts to combat climate change
Action It is proposed that a set of standard statistical tables that countries could choose to produce as appropriate to their circumstances be developed. The UNSD should lead this effort under the guidance of UNCEEA.
Recommendation X The analysis of the adaptation strategies should be supported by the exchange and discussion of good practices
Action To improve the support to the analysis of adaptation strategies, the major task is to pull up examples from the world and learn about them by establishing a knowledge base on new approaches, to gather, compile and share experience. Therefore, consistent with Recommendation IV, it is recommended that an electronic platform is set up for the dissemination of good practices and an international forum (regular expert group meetings or workshops) is established for their discussion. With support from UNSD, UNCEEA should agree on a programme of work to support this.
Recommendation XI The use of Geographic Information Systems and other spatial data infrastructure for the spatial analysis of official statistics should be improved and promoted
Action UNSD should engage all the stakeholders within the UN system to initiate this process as soon as possible. Responsibilities and specific actions will have to be determined. Some suggested activities for consideration include: –workshops on the development of spatial frameworks and the coding systems that need to be established to support these frameworks; –building on existing Census based workshops on the utilization of GIS systems to cover their use for analysis of climate change, and –developing a module on the use of spatial frameworks and GIS systems for the analysis of climate change for training workshops on environment statistics.
Recommendation XII Indicators at the national level for advocacy and to convey messages should be considered
Action UNCEEA should identify potential climate change indicators that might be derived from SEEA and other sources. These might be able to be added to existing national and international indicator sets.
Recommendation XIII NSOs should exchange practices and experiences with the provision of data to support modelling of climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation policies on the macroeconomy
Action This should be done through the electronic platform discussed in previous recommendations and possibly the occasional workshop.
Recommendation XIV A structure for the organisation of climate change statistics should be developed and agreed
Action The UNSD, in consultation with UNCEEA, should take the lead on this. The IPCC classification of impacts, mitigation and adaption policies could be used as the starting point.
Recommendation XV It is recommended that the name, mandate, terms of reference and membership of the UNCEEA and its Bureau be amended and extended and that this Committee be trusted with the governance of the statistical tasks related to climate change including engagement with, UNFCC, IPCC and other stakeholders.
Action One of the earliest tasks of the Committee should be to develop, in consultation with UNSD, an Implementation Strategy, with agreed outputs, timelines and assigned responsibilities, for the agreed recommendations
Timing and priorities To do everything would require a lot of work, both internationally and within countries –Some of the work has already commenced, however There is a need to prioritise
Short-term -- immediate Devise a strategy for Land use/Land Cover statistics. Initiate a dialogue with the IPCC in order to improve the use of official statistics for scenario development and modelling. Improve the provision of official statistics to support the estimate of greenhouse gas emissions and liaise with the UNFCCC to encourage their support. Support the analysis of climate change, vulnerability and adaptation by the exchange and discussion of good practice. Review the implications for the national accounts for emission trading schemes Continue to further develop and implement the System of Integrated Environmental-Economic Accounting as an international standard. Improve and promote the use of Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Data Infrastructure for spatial analysis. Develop a model set of indicators.
Medium term – as soon as possible Review sectoral statistics to assess whether our statistical standards require updating to reflect the importance of environment and climate change analysis. Produce relevant statistics for the use of the IPCC for its scenario development work in its Fifth Assessment Round. Review Government Finance Statistics classifications to ensure they support climate change analysis. Support the monitoring of emission trading schemes and other mitigation measures by the advanced analysis of existing tools and by developing new statistics. Develop a model set of tables. Improve indicators at the national level to convey messages. Identify data to best support climate change modelling. Develop a framework for the organisation of climate change statistics.
Long-term Implementation strategy for introducing revised standards