After years of intensive work, as well as disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) convened its 58th session to finalize the last pieces of its Sixth Assessment Report: the Synthesis Report and its Summary for Policymakers. The Synthesis Report and the Summary for Policymakers will reflect key findings from each of the outputs of this lengthy cycle, including the assessments produced by the IPCC’s three Working Groups and three Special Reports. The Synthesis Report, and particularly the Summary for Policymakers, are designed to give policymakers an overview of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change.
In the opening session, IPCC Secretary Abdalah Mokssit introduced a series of high-profile speakers, including Switzerland’s Albert Rösti, Federal Counsellor and Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, who highlighted the challenges climate change poses for his country and credited the IPCC for contributing knowledge to Switzerland’s successful adaptation measures. Delegates also heard pre-recorded messages from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, all of whom underscored the importance of the IPCC’s work for global action on climate change. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell called for a “closer, more productive relationship” between the UNFCCC and IPCC.
IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee formally opened the meeting, noting that the sixth assessment cycle has been the most productive in the IPCC’s history. The Panel moved quickly to the substance of its work, initiating their line-by-line review of the draft text of the Summary for Policymakers on Monday morning and continuing this work for the remainder of the day.
The IPCC will continue its review on Tuesday.
Text written and edited by Jessica Templeton, Ph.D., Deborah Davenport, Ph.D., Laura Bullón-Cassis, Ph.D., and Moritz Petersmann.
All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 58th Session of the IPCC, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Anastasia Rodopoulou
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