IPCC opens meeting to approve the report focusing on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change

BERLIN, Feb 14 –The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has opened today a virtual meeting considering the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The session beginning today is scheduled to run until 25 February.

The report, a second installment of the Sixth Assessment Report, integrates more strongly natural, social and economic sciences, highlighting the role of social justice and diverse forms of knowledge such as indigenous and local knowledge. It also reflects the increasing importance of urgent and immediate action to address climate risks. The report brings more knowledge at local and regional levels and linkages between biodiversity and climate change.

The report prepared by IPCC’s Working Group II will build on the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report released in August 2021 that showed that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying.

The Working Group II session will consider the Summary for Policymakers of the report for approval line-by-line. This is done by government representatives in dialogue with report authors. This session concludes with the acceptance of the underlying scientific-technical assessment. Then the 55th Session of the IPCC will accept the work of the Working Group II, thus formally accepting the entire report. The aim of this process is to ensure that the Summary for Policymakers is accurate, well-balanced and that it clearly presents the scientific findings of the underlying report.

Due to the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings are being held remotely. It is the second time IPCC is holding a remote approval session following the success of the first virtual approval session of the Working Group I report.

“This is the final phase of a strict and meticulous review process of the report assessing impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, integrated across scientific disciplines inclusive of diverse forms of knowledge. Over the next two weeks, governments and scientists together will scrutinize the Summary for Policymakers line-by-line. Collectively, they will deliver a sound, tested and robust Summary. Its findings will be critically important for policymakers around the world,” said the Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee.

“I have no doubt that we will see constructive and collaborative work in the next two weeks as we work across all time zones to deliver this report.”.

The approval plenary is a culmination of a rigorous process of drafting and review that happens with all IPCC reports. Experts from all over the world provided over 16,000 comments on the first-order draft of the report.  Experts and governments provided more than 40,000 comments on the second draft of the full report and the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers. The final government review of the Summary for Policymakers received about 5,700 comments. This reports references over 34,000 scientific papers.

The Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report and the concluding Synthesis Report are scheduled to be finalized in early April and September 2022 respectively.

For more information, please contact:

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

Andrej Mahecic, + 41 79 704 2459, Werani Zabula, + 41 22 730 8120

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, experts volunteer their time as IPCC authors  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 Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis was released on 9 August 2021.

More information about the Working Group II report, including its agreed outline, can be found here. The Working Group II contribution is scheduled for release in late February 2022.

The Working Group III contribution is expected to be finalized in early April 2022.

The concluding Synthesis Report is due in September 2022.

The IPCC has published three special reports in this assessment cycle.

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 for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

For more information please visit www.ipcc.ch.

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