The 57th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-57) opened on Tuesday, 27 September, in Geneva, Switzerland. IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee welcomed delegates, highlighting the impact of the IPCC during its sixth assessment cycle despite the limitations imposed by COVID-19.
In the opening ceremony, delegates heard messages from several dignitaries. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), expressed regret that the Synthesis Report of the sixth assessment cycle would not be published ahead of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Conference. By video message, Inger Andersen, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), highlighted the role of science in guiding the world in its response to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. She encouraged the Panel to keep speaking up to guide the world to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), called the scientific evidence provided by the IPCC the “bedrock” of the UNFCCC’s endeavors. Ambassador Franz Perrez (Switzerland) underscored the importance of delivering an accessible synthesis report that is relevant to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement by March 2023, emphasized the need to take decisions during IPCC-57 to launch work on the seventh assessment cycle and to make sure the IPCC maintains its relevance for the next phase of climate policymaking.
Delegates then discussed:
- the agenda;
- the IPCC-56 draft report;
- the IPCC Trust Fund Programme and Budget;
- admission of observer organizations; and
- the report of the Ad Hoc Group on the Size, Structure, and Composition of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau for the Seventh Assessment Cycle.
IPCC-57 will resume its work on Wednesday.