• Working groups were interactive.

  • IPCC approaches were utilized throughout the assessment, including evaluation of uncertainty, two rounds of review, and use of an independent review board.

  • Strong communication strategy with specific products designed for a variety of stakeholders; wide distribution of products as well as web availability.

  • Events publicizing program results held simultaneously in a host of major cities around the world.

  • The prime audiences were all of the environmentally based UN conventions, which provided a stimulus for greater interaction among them.

Weaknesses:

  • There was no direct government involvement beyond interaction with the Conference of the Parties.

  • There was no plan for follow-up activities.

THE GERMAN ENQUETE KOMMISSION

The German Parliament (Bundestag) has the opportunity to create parliamentary investigation committees called “Enquete Kommissions” to address specific subjects of societal interest. As a rule, half of the members who serve on these committees are elected members of the Bundestag, while the other half are experts in the field of the study. This model is notably different from other assessment processes, which in the United States normally do not include politicians. The members work jointly to address the questions under deliberation, so that in this institutional arrangement there is no “firewall” between scientists and policy makers. The rationale for composing an Enquete Kommission with both policy makers and scientists is that scientific findings can be integrated much more rapidly and comprehensively into the parliamentary deliberations.

In October 1987, the Bundestag established, for example, an Enquete Kommission to recommend to the executive branch “Preventive Measures to Protect the Earth’s Atmosphere.” It was to assess the importance and consequences to the country of stratospheric ozone depletion and of climate change in a comprehensive manner. It advised both the Eleventh and Twelfth Deutsche Bundestag from 1988 to 1994. As of November 1988, this particular Enquete Kommission included 11 members of the Parliament (five Christian Democrats, three Social Democrats, one from the Free Democratic Party, and one from the Green Party) and nine members from the academic and scientific world. The secretariat, which was providing technical help, included eight members in addition to a study director.



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