The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has circulated the final draft of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) to governments for comment on the Summary for Policymakers, in one of the final stages before plenary consideration of the report.
The Final Government Distribution, running to June 20, 2021, will allow governments to check whether the draft Summary for Policymakers reflects the underlying report of Working Group I, which assesses the physical science basis of climate change. The authors of the report have already addressed 23,462 comments provided by expert reviewers of the report’s First-Order Draft, and 51,387 comments from expert reviewers and 42 governments on the Second-Order Draft.
Working Group I and the IPCC are expected to hold plenary sessions for two weeks from July 26 to consider the Summary for Policymakers for approval and the full report for acceptance as an IPCC assessment. The modalities for these approval sessions are still under consideration. On this timetable, the Working Group I report would be released on or around August 9.
“Thanks to the commitment of our authors, contributors and reviewers, with the help of our Bureau members and Technical Support Unit, we have prepared this comprehensive and rigorous assessment of climate science in a timely manner,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of Working Group I.
During the Final Government Distribution, Working Group I is planning a series of dialogues to help governments prepare their written comments on the report.
Working Group I will run an online Q&A forum for governments’ IPCC Focal Points and their registered delegates, who will also be able to submit clarification questions for response by Working Group I Bureau members and authors. These questions and answers will be visible to all registered participants.
It will hold a series of informal webinars on the major themes of the report in which the authors will present key concepts of the report and how they are treated in the Summary for Policymakers, including in figures, and how the synthesis elements are grounded in the detailed underlying assessment.
And it will hold informal live Q&A sessions for delegations to join to ask clarification questions.
The webinars and Q&A sessions will be repeated twice so that participation is comfortable for those from all time zones, and presentations by authors will be recorded so that delegates can watch them when convenient.
“We are making these innovations to support and strengthen the written review process and facilitate inclusive participation despite the challenging circumstances,” said Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.
The timing of the approval sessions next year for the other two IPCC working group reports and for the AR6 Synthesis Report is still under consideration.