SURREY (UK), March 21 –The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has opened today a virtual meeting considering the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The session beginning today is scheduled to run until 1 April.
A third installment of the Sixth Assessment Report, the Working Group III contribution is looking into the progress made in limiting global emissions and the available mitigation options across systems and sectors. It will place mitigation in the context of sustainable development and will review the connection between short, medium, and long-term emission pathways. It also includes new chapters on social aspects of mitigation, innovation, technology, cross-sectoral mitigation opportunities and links and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation.
“The next few years will be crucial for the state of climate change in this century. This is why an updated assessment of mitigation is more important than ever,” said the Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee.
“The Working Group III report will shed light on solutions to meet this challenge by providing us with the latest scientific findings of mitigation of climate change.”
The report prepared by IPCC’s Working Group III will build on the Working Group I and II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report released in August 2021 and February 2022. The Working Group I showed that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. The Working Group II contribution stressed that cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet and how today’s actions will shape how people adapt and how nature responds to increasing climate risks.
The Working Group III 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. The authors ultimately determine what is scientifically sound. The Working Group session concludes with the acceptance of the underlying scientific-technical assessment. Then the 56th Session of the IPCC will accept the work of the Working Group III, 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 approval plenaries are being held remotely. This is the third virtual approval session for IPCC following the Working Group I and II meetings in August 2021 and February 2022 respectively.
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 21,700 comments on the first-order draft of the report. Scientists and governments provided more than 32,500 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 4,900 comments. The Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report references over 18,000 scientific papers.
The concluding Synthesis Report to the Sixth Assessment Report is scheduled to be finalized in autumn 2022.
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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, 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 measuring emissions and removals.
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.The Working Group II contribution, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, was released on 28 February 2022.
More information about the Working Group III report, including its agreed outline, can be found here.
The concluding Synthesis Report is due in autumn 2022.
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.
For more information visit www.ipcc.ch.
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