(PRESS RELEASE) GENEVA, 11-Aug-2020 — /EuropaWire/ — The UN body for assessing the science related to climate change the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has announced it will have its virtual meeting held from 17 to 28 August 2020 with the aim to advance work on the contribution of Working Group II of the IPCC to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
Adapting to the challenges of a world of lockdowns and social distancing, up to 300 scientists and experts from around the world will come together online for two weeks to continue their work on the Second Order Draft of the Working Group II Assessment Report.
The Working Group II contribution to AR6 will cover the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, their vulnerabilities and the capacities they have to adapt to climate change. It will also cover options for creating a sustainable future for all through an equitable and integrated approach to adaptation efforts at all scales, linking to the assessment of climate mitigation options by Working Group III.
“Dealing with the climate crisis, its impacts on humans and societies, and on ecosystems and biodiversity as well as minimizing such impacts, including future pandemics and biodiversity loss, have become central topics of integration across chapters in the Working Group II report,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
The aim of the planned virtual meetings is to ensure coherence across the entire report and to facilitate such coordination across chapters so that all report objectives are met. Despite the enormous challenges authors and scientists are facing in the current COVID-19 crisis, work on the Second Order Draft continues, he said.
“During these uncertain times, there is increasing public interest in the forthcoming IPCC Assessment Report, and growing anticipation. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of an evidence-led response to global challenges. Given that climate change is one of the most significant global challenges we face this century, it is critical that the IPCC continues to provide the scientific evidence to inform bold and ambitious climate action,” said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
“We want to thank our authors for their commitment and dedication, and for ensuring that the work on the WG II report continues during this difficult time,” she said.
The Second Order Draft of the Working Group II Report will be open for Government and Expert Review from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021, along with the first drafts of the Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary. The Fourth Lead Author Meeting to prepare the final draft is currently scheduled for March 2021.
The intention is to release the Reports of the three Working Groups and the Synthesis Report in time to inform the 2023 Global Stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, including the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
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About the IPCC
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.
Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.
The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group I, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.
IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC assessments are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency.
About the Sixth Assessment Cycle
Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.
At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015 it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle. At its 43rd Session in April 2016, it decided to produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and AR6.
The IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.
Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty was launched in October 2018.
Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems was launched in August 2019, and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was released in September 2019.
In May 2019 the IPCC released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
The contributions of the three IPCC Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report are currently under preparation. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.
For more information visit www.ipcc.ch.