The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that begins on 13 March 2023 is concluding its session today 17 March, 2023 by finalizing the Synthesis Report of its sixth assessment cycle, giving policymakers an overview of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change.
According to the IISD report, after years of intensive work, as well as disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the IPCC convened its 58th session to finalize the last pieces of its Sixth Assessment Report: the Synthesis Report and its Summary for Policymakers.
The Synthesis Report and the Summary for Policymakers will reflect key findings from each of the outputs of this lengthy cycle, including the assessments produced by the IPCC’s three Working Groups and three Special Reports.
The Synthesis Report, and particularly the Summary for Policymakers, are designed to give policymakers an overview of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change.
In the opening session, IPCC Secretary Abdalah Mokssit introduced a series of high-profile speakers, including Switzerland’s Albert Rösti, Federal Counsellor and Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, who highlighted the challenges climate change poses for his country and credited the IPCC for contributing knowledge to Switzerland’s successful adaptation measures.
Delegates also heard pre-recorded messages from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, all of whom underscored the importance of the IPCC’s work for global action on climate change.
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell called for a “closer, more productive relationship” between the UNFCCC and IPCC.
IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee formally opened the meeting, noting that the sixth assessment cycle has been the most productive in the IPCC’s history.
The Panel moved quickly to the substance of its work, initiating their line-by-line review of the draft text of the Summary for Policymakers on Monday morning and continuing this work for the remainder of the day.
Just beyond the halfway point of the 58th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, significant work remained for delegates charged with reviewing and approving the Summary for Policymakers of the synthesis report for the Sixth Assessment cycle.
Delegates met in plenary, contact groups and huddles throughout the day, working to reach agreement on each line of the proposed text.
Delegates to the 58th session held discussions in plenary, a contact group, and informal huddles as they sought to reach consensus on which elements of the Sixth Assessment Report are most critical for inclusion in the Summary for Policymakers.