The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has rescheduled next year’s approval sessions for the Working Group II and Working Group III contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and for the Synthesis Report.
The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed scientific work, including the preparation of scientific literature to be assessed in AR6. The work of the IPCC authors has also been disrupted. As a result, the IPCC has had to make several changes to the timing of milestones in the preparation of the AR6 reports.
The approval session for the Working Group II report, which assesses climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, will now take place from February 14 to 18, 2022, and the approval session for Working Group III, which assesses the mitigation of climate change, will now take place from March 21 to 25.
The approval session for the Synthesis Report, which will integrate the findings of the three Working Groups and the three Special Reports already released in this assessment cycle, will take place from September 26 to 30, 2022.
These changes, according to the IPCC, are based on the premise that the approval plenaries will take place in person. The final dates are provisional and will be determined subject to suitable venue availability.
On the basis of these provisional dates, the Working Group II report would be released on February 21, 2022, the Working Group III report on March 28, 2022, and the Synthesis Report on October 3, 2022.
The Panel also made several changes to the review periods for the reports. The Government Review of the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group III report will now run from November 29, 2021 to January 30, 2022, the Government and Expert Review of the Synthesis Report will run from January 10 to March 20, 2022, and the Government Review of the Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report will now start take place from June 13, 2022 to August 7, 2022.
These changes do not affect the approval session for the AR6 contribution of Working Group I, which assesses the physical science basis of climate change. As announced recently, this will take place in the 14 days from July 26, 2021, with the report released, subject to approval and acceptance by the Panel, on or around August 9.
The modalities for this meeting are said to be still under consideration.