The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has decided the strategy and timeline for its next series of reports, the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), and the special reports that will be prepared in the next few years.
The Panel responded positively to the invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.
It also agreed to prepare two other special reports: on climate change and oceans and the cryosphere; and on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. These will be produced as early as possible in the AR6 cycle.
“These issues are not only highly relevant to policymakers and our broader audiences; they are areas where the IPCC can bring clarity to the growing volumes of scientific research through its assessments,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee after the 43rd Session of the Panel in Nairobi, Kenya.
“We now have a clear roadmap for the production and delivery of AR6,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.
The IPCC also decided to pay special attention, when the outlines of AR6 are drawn up, to the impacts of climate change on cities and their unique adaptation and mitigation challenges and opportunities.
Preparations for the main AR6 report, which is expected to be released in three working group contributions in 2020/2021 and a Synthesis Report in 2022, will start later this year.
Work on drawing up the outlines of the special report on 1.5 ºC will now start with a call for experts to scope the report.
The Panel was also informed that Mr Abdalah Mokssit had accepted an offer to become Secretary of the IPCC. Mr Mokssit is currently Director of the National Meteorological Service of Morocco and Third Vice-President of the WMO. He is a former Vice-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, which deals with the physical science basis of climate change.