IPCC opens meeting to approve report focusing on impacts to climate change

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened on Monday a virtual meeting considering the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The session is scheduled to run until February 25.

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 scrutinise 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 finalised in early April and September 2022 respectively.

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