What is the IPCC report? Here’s what to expect from the latest UN climate change assessment
On Monday, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its latest climate report.
Since its inception in 1988, the IPCC has published six sets of these assessments. They are the most comprehensive and powerful evidence of human-caused climate change.
And as the consequences of climate change become more pressing, Monday’s release is shaping up to be a “fundamental” document for the future of climate action.
What can we expect from the latest IPCC report?
Every five to seven years the IPCC publishes a series of reports summarizing the latest information on climate change. The reports come from the work of three different working groups focused on the science of climate change, its effects and possible solutions.
It has also published 14 “Special Reports” focusing on specific areas such as aviation, emissions and oceans.
Monday’s IPCC Synthesis Report, the last of the cycle, draws on information from the six reports published so far and highlights the main points of the three working groups.
Each of these reports made strong statements about the reality of climate change “clear” consensus that human activity is responsible about the risks they are exposed to half of humanity. Monday will likely feature similar bold headlines.
Who writes the IPCC report?
The IPCC has 195 member countries.
hundrets of scientist work together to collect evidence on climate change from around the world. They review everything and come to a consensus by identifying the key messages in the thousands of studies that are published each year.
It is a collaborative effort between governments and scientists, with each line in a report being negotiated and approved by all IPCC members. This process ensures that the information contained is not only scientifically correct, but also relevant to the governments involved.
An analysis by the British news agency Carbon Brief shows that women and experts from the Global South have been more strongly represented in the IPCC over the past 30 years. But they are still underrepresented.
In 1990, less than 10 percent of the 100 authors were women and less than 20 percent were from the United States Global South. The current review cycle has 700 authors with 30 percent women and more than 40 percent from the Global South.
Why do we need these IPCC reports?
The conclusions reached by the IPCC will be used by governments, businesses and communities – anyone who wants to understand the cause and effect of climate change – to make future decisions.
They show what the reality of climate change is and provide a blueprint for the urgent action the world needs to take.
IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee told a panel that the Synthesis Report will become a “fundamental policy document for shaping climate change for the remainder of this crucial decade.”
It also provides a framework for scientists to coordinate their efforts. Reporting cycles are synchronized with international scientific efforts and experiments are conducted to test the reliability of our current climate change models.
What happens after this IPCC report?
The IPCC will start its next assessment cycle in July this year.
In 2028 there will be a global stocktaking of the progress made towards the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is to be hoped that the new round of reports will be ready in time for this.