IPCC to hold first virtual Bureau meeting

Reissued on 18 May to correct the definition of Working Group II

GENEVA, May 18 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will hold its first virtual Bureau meeting on 19-20 May 2020 to ensure that the preparation of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and other urgent business continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPCC Bureau usually meets two or more times a year to prepare Sessions of the Panel, the IPCC’s governing body, to provide guidance to the Panel on the scientific and technical aspects of its work, and to advise on related management and strategic issues.

“The pandemic is making it harder for our authors, who volunteer their time and expertise, to work on the assessment. So we must keep our timelines under review to ensure that quality is not compromised,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “We are very grateful for their commitment.”

“At the same time, we must be creative and make the best use of technology to ensure that the work of the IPCC continues,” he said.

The virtual meeting, with participation from all over the world, will consist of two three-hour electronic sessions, following a week of on-line consultations, instead of the typical 1-1/2 days for an in-person meeting, requiring a less ambitious agenda than usual.

This 58th Session of the Bureau will focus on the selection of the Core Writing Team for the AR6 Synthesis Report, the regular review of IPCC Principles and Procedures, and consideration of recent changes to the AR6 schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among recent changes, the IPCC has extended the government and expert review of the Second Order Draft of the Working Group I contribution (physical science basis of climate change) to AR6 to 5 June and prolonged several 2020 deadlines for Working Group II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability). Working Group III (mitigation of climate change) also held its third Lead Author Meeting remotely last month instead of in person. Further changes are under discussion.

The IPCC Bureau has 34 members, including the Chair of the IPCC. At Sessions of the Bureau they may each be joined by one government representative from their country, and are supported by staff from the IPCC Secretariat and the Working Group and Task Force Technical Support Units.

For more information about the IPCC, go to www.ipcc.ch.

For more information contact:

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 (now 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. 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.

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 estimating anthropogenic emissions and removals of greenhouse gases. 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 1.5ºC was released in October 2018, the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories in May 2019, the Special Report on Climate Change and Land in August 2019, and the Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in September 2019.