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IPCC to consider climate change and land report at Geneva session

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will consider the Special Report “Climate Change and Land” during its 50th Session to be held from August 2 to 6, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hoesung Lee  IPCC to consider climate change and land report at Geneva session Lee IPCC
Hoesung Lee, IPCC chair

The full title of the report is “Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” or SRCCL.

Formally, the draft Summary for Policymakers (SPM) will be considered by the Second Joint Session of IPCC Working Groups I, II and III. The work of the Working Group Session is then submitted to the 50th Session of the IPCC for acceptance.

A press conference to present the Summary for Policymakers of “Climate Change and Land” will be held after the 50th Session on Thursday, August 8, subject to approval of the Summary for Policymakers. IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee and the Co-Chairs of the three Working Groups of the IPCC and the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories will address the press conference.

Lee will address the opening session on Friday, August 2 along with senior officials from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Switzerland.

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The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the UNEP and WMO in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.

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.

The IPCC assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to inform policymakers about the state of knowledge on climate change. It identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences and where further research is needed. It does not conduct its own research.

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To produce its reports, the IPCC mobilises hundreds of scientists. These scientists and officials are drawn from diverse backgrounds.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I (the physical science basis of climate change); Working Group II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability); and Working Group III (mitigation of climate change).

It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals. All of these are supported by Technical Support Units guiding the production of IPCC assessment reports and other products.

IPCC Assessment Reports consist of contributions from each of the three working groups and a Synthesis Report. Special Reports undertake a shorter assessment of specific cross-disciplinary issues that usually span more than one working group.

At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015 it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle.

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The Special Report on “Global Warming of 1.5°C” was released in October 2018. The Methodology Report “2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories” was adopted and accepted in May 2019.

Besides the Special Report on “Climate Change and Land”, the IPCC is working on the “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”, which will be considered by the Panel at its 51st Session scheduled for September 20 to 23, 2019 in the Principality of Monaco. The three Working Group contributions to the AR6 will be finalised in 2021 and the AR6 Synthesis Report will be completed in the first half of 2022.

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