United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC)
In this blog Paul Richardson, our Policy Adviser (Agriculture & Climate Change), summarises information on the newly published United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
The IPCC is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. Although not policy prescriptive, the scientists’ assessments inform governments with the information they need to develop policy and underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference.
Today’s report [published 9 August 2021] – the Sixth Assessment Report, known as the Summary for Policymakers – is the first significant review of the science of climate change since 2013. The headline news from the report is that under all emissions scenarios, temperatures will reach 1.5C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels by 2040, sooner than anticipated.
According to the report, the impacts of this include increases in wildfires and extreme weather events, rising sea levels and therefore flooding, land loss and displaced populations. Its findings will be a wake-up call for governments in the run up to COP26.
On a more positive note, the scientists are optimistic that if global emissions can be halved by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050, then the rise in temperatures could be stopped and even reversed. Benefits for air quality would come relatively quickly, however it could be two to three decades before global temperatures stabilise.
The report is the latest to be released from a series, with more to be published in the coming months.