GENEVA, Aug 2 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a meeting on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, to consider its latest assessment, the Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
The report, to be released on 8 August 2019, subject to approval by the Panel, explores how the way we use our land contributes to climate change and how climate change affects our land.
“I hope this report will raise awareness among all people about the threats and opportunities posed by climate change to the land we live on and which feeds us,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.
Besides exploring the impact of climate change on land, the report also assesses how land management can contribute to addressing climate change and how this interacts with food security.
The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2014, found that agriculture, forestry and other land use was the source of 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.
“This report addresses all three UN Rio conventions – climate, biodiversity and desertification – and thus our report recognizes the nexus of these global challenges and demonstrates the broad policy relevance of the IPCC’s work,” said IPCC Chair Lee.
The full title of the report is 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. It is the first IPCC report in which a majority of the authors are from developing countries.
The report is being prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC Working Groups, in consultation with the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and with technical support from the Working Group III Technical Support Unit.
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Notes for Editors
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 (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.
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.
The IPCC assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to inform policymakers about the state of knowledge on climate change. The IPCC identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences and where further research is needed. It does not conduct its own research.
To produce its reports, the IPCC mobilizes hundreds of scientists. These scientists and officials are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Only a dozen permanent staff work in the IPCC’s Secretariat.
The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I (the physical science basis of climate change); Working Group II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability); and Working Group III (mitigation of climate change). It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals. All of these are supported by Technical Support Units guiding the production of IPCC assessment reports and other products.
IPCC Assessment Reports consist of contributions from each of the three working groups and a Synthesis Report. Special Reports undertake a shorter assessment of specific cross-disciplinary issues that usually span more than one working group.
About the Sixth Assessment Cycle
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.
The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was released in October 2018. The Methodology Report 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories was adopted and accepted in May 2019.
Besides the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, the IPCC is working on the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which will be considered by the Panel at its 51st Session scheduled for 20 – 23 September 2019 in the Principality of Monaco.
The three Working Group contributions to the AR6 will be finalized in 2021 and the AR6 Synthesis Report will be completed in the first half of 2022.
For more information go to www.ipcc.ch