IIASA scientists are contributing to the IPCC Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Author teams will be gathering virtually to work on the final draft taking into account the tens of thousands of comments which were submitted during the second round of reviews from external experts.
It is the second major virtual Lead Author Meeting (eLAM) for WGIII, after last year’s meeting was moved to a virtual meeting with weeks to go as the Corona-virus pandemic took hold.
Forced into new ways of working, compared to in-person meetings the first eLAM had increased participation and an estimated saving of over 350 tonnes CO2, whilst a third of surveyed respondents indicated major challenges due to competing domestic commitments.
The forthcoming meeting, hosted by the Government of Italy, will draw together 280 experts from around 70 countries as they start to prepare the Final Government Draft of the report. Taking into account the expert review comments, this is the final stage of the assessment before the report is submitted for approval by governments and scheduled for approval in early 2022.
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) will assess mitigation options in sectors such as energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, buildings, transport and industry, and consider these in the context of sustainable development. For the first time, it will examine the link between greenhouse gas emissions and themes such as consumption and behavior, and the role of innovation and technology.
IIASA scientists will participate in the week long virtual conference, as Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors of the following Chapters:
- Chapter 2: Emissions trends and drivers – Ferenc Toth, Shonali Pachauri
- Chapter 3: Mitigation pathways compatible with long-term goals – Keywan Riahi, Edward Byers
- Chapter 4: Mitigation and development pathways in the near-to mid-term - Volker Krey
- Chapter 5: Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation - Arnulf Grübler
- Chapter 7: Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) - Petr Havlik
In addition to planning the final stages of the report within Chapters, broader activities include consideration of the impacts from COVID and sustainable development, the use of recent net-zero commitments, emissions scenarios, carbon budgets and latest climate science from WG1, transparency of data and methods, as well as communications and media training activities.
Overall, 16 IIASA scientists from the Energy, Climate & Environment Program have been invited to contribute across six chapters and supplementary annexes. IIASA has also played a leading role in coordinating the collection and hosting of quantitative scenarios data, used by many scientists across the report. Upon publication of the report, a Scenario Explorer database will be launched to host all the quantitative scenario data, as well as detailed documentation on the participating models. Building on successes of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (https://data.ene.iiasa.ac.at/iamc-1.5c-explorer), it will mark a major step forward in improved transparency and documentation of scenario data used in IPCC WGIII.
The agreed outline of the report can be found here. The list of Lead Authors of the report can be found here.
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. It has 195 member states. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.
Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time 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 I, 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
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