IPCC Working Group III holds first virtual Lead Author Meeting

GENEVA, April 9 – Experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will work virtually on 14 to 19 April 2020 to advance their work on the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report.

More than 270 experts from 65 countries will come together online for one week to start preparing a second draft of the report, which is currently due to be finalized in September 2021. The meeting was originally due to be hosted by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Ecuador, but will now be run online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IPCC Working Group III is responsible for assessing the mitigation of climate change – responses and solutions to the threat of dangerous climate change by reducing emissions and enhancing sinks of the greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming.

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) will examine topics such as the link between consumption and behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions, and the role of innovation and technology. The report will assess the connection between short to medium-term actions and their compatibility with the long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement. It will assess mitigation options in sectors such as energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, buildings, transport and industry, and consider these in the context of sustainable development.

“This is the first time that the IPCC has conducted a virtual Lead Author Meeting. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our authors and thank the Co-Chairs of Working Group III for making this happen,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “While we know this can’t achieve the same results as a meeting in person over a week, it will show what the IPCC can achieve at a distance.”

Mr Lee also thanked the Government of Ecuador for offering to host the original meeting and continuing to support the virtual gathering, as well as their general support for the IPCC.

“We would like to pay tribute to our authors and members of the Working Group III Technical Support Unit, who have supported this effort and made this virtual meeting a reality,” said Priyadarshi R. Shukla, Co-Chair of Working Group III. 

“Despite the variety of circumstances our authors and scientists are facing in their home countries at this time, they will be persisting with their work and continuing to prepare the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report,” he said. 

The Second Order Draft is currently scheduled to open for Government and Expert Review from 19 October to 13 December 2020, along with the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers. The IPCC Panel is currently due to consider the Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report at a plenary session on 6 to 10 September 2021.

“This virtual meeting will take quite a different format to previous Lead Author Meetings: recognizing the challenges, we have scaled back on ambition and spread some activities beyond the main meeting,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III. “The overall aim is to ensure coherence across the whole report and ensure that all of the original objectives are ultimately met.”

The agreed outline of the report can be found here. The list of authors of the report can be found here.

Pending decisions on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the three IPCC Working Groups is currently due to release their contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report in 2021. A Synthesis Report, due for release in 2022, will integrate them together with the three special reports that the IPCC has produced in the current assessment cycle. 

The intention is to release 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.

Virtual outreach event (open to the public)

A virtual outreach event will be held by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network and Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano in partnership with IPCC Working Group III, and with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Government of Ecuador. 

‘What do we need to know about the recent IPCC findings for Latin America?’

10:00 – 11:30 CDT (17:00-18:30 CEST) on Thursday 30 April. 

The presentations will provide an opportunity to hear from experts from across Latin America on the recent IPCC Special Reports, as well as climate mitigation in the context of cities, transport and innovation. A Q&A after the event will allow guests to submit their own questions to the panel.

This event offers the chance for members of the public to directly engage with the IPCC in the midst of an official meeting. The sessions will be chaired by Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano and Roberto Sanchez, Vice-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.  The event will be formally opened by the Ministry of Environment, Government of Ecuador, with an introduction from Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III. A full list of speakers will be confirmed shortly. 

This event will be held in Spanish with a real-time English translation.  

Event details and registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xN3f_3X7QaKkpAPEGoF7Xg

For more information contact:

IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit

Sigourney Luz (Communications Manager), e-mail: s.luz@ipcc-wg3.ac.uk

IPCC Press Office

Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066, e-mail: ipcc-media@wmo.int

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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 (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. 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.

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.

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 due to be finalized in 2021. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.

For more information visit www.ipcc.ch.