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IPCC concludes 52nd session, opens draft of Sixth Assessment Report for review

The 52nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-52) concluded on Friday, February 28, 2020, after agreeing on an outline for the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report.

IPCC
IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee (left) and IPCC Secretary Abdalah Mokssit at the IPCC-52 in Paris, France

The outline, which was discussed throughout the week and was the subject of contact group discussions on the penultimate evening and last day of IPCC-52, contains a stage-setting introduction and three sections: Current Status and Trends; Long-term Climate and Development Futures; and Near-term Responses in a Changing Climate.

Some of the more contentious issues that came up during the discussions on the outline related to the carbon budget, timeframes, just transition, and extreme events and loss and damage, among others.

The Panel engaged in detailed consideration of the organisation of future work of the IPCC considering the Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement, on which views diverged over a range of options regarding possible alignment of IPCC and GST cycles. Some questioned the need for discussing an alignment at this point, while others suggested other ways of promoting timely inputs to the GST.

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The Panel also adopted the IPCC Gender Policy and Implementation Plan which, among other things, establishes a Gender Action Team to oversee and monitor implementation of the Plan and develop and implement a protocol and process for addressing complaints.

The Panel considered reviewing the Principles Governing IPCC Work, and whether to establish a task team to consider which elements might need reviewing, but participants did not agree on a review process, and the Panel will consider recommendations forwarded by the Bureau at IPCC-53.

IPCC-52 convened from February 24 to 28, 2020 in Paris, France, and brought together more than 130 participants from 113 countries.

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Similarly, the IPCC has opened the second order draft of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) to government and expert review, marking the continued advancement of preparation in the flagship report. 
 
The review runs from March 2 to April 26, 2020 and interested experts can register until midnight CET on 19 April at  https://apps.ipcc.ch/comments/ar6wg1/sod/register.php.
 
IPCC reports go through repeated drafts and reviews to help ensure that the report provides a balanced and comprehensive assessment of the latest scientific findings.
 
The Working Group I contribution to the AR6, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, will assess large-scale climate changes, climate processes and feedback and regional climate information.
 

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During the review, experts may comment on the structure and comprehensiveness of the report and suggest improvements on the presentation of materials graphically or through tables. They may also propose revisions, relevant additional papers with full citation, and shorten text without losing relevant information. This version includes the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers.
 
IPCC reports undergo multiple stages of reviews, first by experts and then by both governments and experts. Experts who commented on the first draft will also be invited to comment on this second order draft.

All expert reviewers will be acknowledged in the published report, due to be finalised in April 2021.

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