IPCC advances work on final product of upcoming assessment report

GENEVA, Aug 16 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a week-long virtual meeting of experts on Monday to advance preparations of the Synthesis Report, the final product of its current assessment.

Members of the Synthesis Report Core Writing Team will meet virtually from 16 to 20 August 2021 to continue drafting the Synthesis Report, which brings together the key findings of the three Working Group contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and the Special Reports prepared by the IPCC in this assessment cycle.

The meeting follows the release of the first part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, by IPCC Working Group I, on 9 August.

With the Synthesis Report, to be finalized in September 2022, the Sixth Assessment Report will provide policymakers with the most up-to-date scientific information related to climate change since the publication of the last IPCC assessment in 2014.

“We saw the enormous public interest in climate change with last week’s release of our latest report. And we also noticed a great deal of demand for an integrated view of climate change issues,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “This meeting to prepare the Synthesis Report will help provide the integrated picture of the latest scientific knowledge of climate change at the end of our assessment.”

The meeting is the second official gathering of the AR6 Core Writing Team, although the authors have been meeting virtually on a continuous basis over hundreds of hours since their last official meeting, which also took place virtually at the end of January 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the Synthesis Report authors have completed the development of the pre-draft of the Synthesis Report Longer Report, which underwent an internal review from 31 May to 25 July 2021. In this second official virtual meeting, the authors will consider the 1905 comments received on the pre-draft from 52 internal reviewers. They will consider the development of the report’s Summary for Policy Makers in a focused workshop in October.

The Synthesis Report will integrate the three most recent IPCC Special Reports on Global Warming of 1.5°C, Climate Change and Land, and The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, as well as the contents of the three Working Group contributions to AR6: Working Group I – The Physical Science Basis, Working Group II – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, and Working Group III– Mitigation of Climate Change.

For more information contact:

IPCC Press Office, Email: ipcc-media@wmo.int

Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066, Werani Zabula, +41 22 730 8120

Technical Support of the AR6 Synthesis Report

Noëmie Leprince-Ringuet, Head, noemie.leprinceringuet@ipcc-syr.org

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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. 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 II, 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 estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases.

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 Working Group I contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report was released on 9 August 2021. The Working Group II and III contributions are currently under preparation. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.

About the Synthesis Report

The agreed outline of the AR6 Synthesis Report can be found here (Decision 10, page 24). Information about the Core Writing Team is available here.

The Draft Synthesis Report Longer Report under preparation is composed of four sections – Introduction, Current Status and Trends, Long-Term Climate and Development Futures and Near-Term Responses in a Changing Climate. The Core Writing Team is also working on key messages that each section can deliver, and cross-section topics.

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