IPCC opens meeting to approve report focusing on mitigation of climate change


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday 21 March 2022 opened  a virtual meeting considering the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The session beginning today is scheduled to run until 1 April.

A third installment of the Sixth Assessment Report, the Working Group III contribution is looking into the progress made in limiting global emissions and the available mitigation options across systems and sectors. It will place mitigation in the context of sustainable development and will review the connection between short, medium, and long-term emission pathways. It also includes new chapters on social aspects of mitigation, innovation, technology, cross-sectoral mitigation opportunities and links and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation.

“The next few years will be crucial for the state of climate change in this century. This is why an updated assessment of mitigation is more important than ever,” said the Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee.

“The Working Group III report will shed light on solutions to meet this challenge by providing us with the latest scientific findings of mitigation of climate change.”

The report prepared by IPCC’s Working Group III will build on the Working Group I and II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report released in August 2021 and February 2022. The Working Group I showed that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. The Working Group II contribution stressed that cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet and how today’s actions will shape how people adapt and how nature responds to increasing climate risks.

The Working Group III session will consider the Summary for Policymakers of the report for approval line-by-line. This is done by government representatives in dialogue with report authors. The authors ultimately determine what is scientifically sound. The Working Group session concludes with the acceptance of the underlying scientific-technical assessment. Then the 56th Session of the IPCC will accept the work of the Working Group III, thus formally accepting the entire report. The aim of this process is to ensure that the Summary for Policymakers is accurate, well-balanced and that it clearly presents the scientific findings of the underlying report.

Due to the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the approval plenaries are being held remotely. This is the third virtual approval session for IPCC following the Working Group I and II meetings in August 2021 and February 2022 respectively.

The approval plenary is a culmination of a rigorous process of drafting and review that happens with all IPCC reports. Experts from all over the world provided over 21,700 comments on the first-order draft of the report.  Scientists and governments provided more than 32,500 comments on the second draft of the full report and the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers. The final government review of the Summary for Policymakers received about 4,900 comments. The Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report references over 18,000 scientific papers.

The concluding Synthesis Report to the Sixth Assessment Report is scheduled to be finalized in autumn 2022.