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Meeting summary: 44th IPCC Plenary

At the 43rd Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Plenary in Nairobi in April 2016, the panel approved Future Earth as an observer organisation. Future Earth attended IPCC’s 44th session of the plenary in Bangkok from 17 to 20 October in that capacity. Claire Weill was present for Future Earth. She leads the programme’s science-policy interface on climate change from the Future Earth Global Hub in Paris.

During the meeting, IPCC agreed on the outlines of two important reports:

  • A special report requested as part of the Paris Agreement that will be delivered by 2018: “Global Warming of 1.5°C – an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.”
  • A second report that will be finalised in 2019 and was called for by the IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: “2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.”

Future Earth’s main contribution to the meeting consisted of a brief report on a IPCC co-sponsored workshop held in Stockholm in late August 2016. The workshop was co-organised by Future Earth and the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). It aimed to examine the lessons learned from IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to support its upcoming Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The workshop developed proposals for  avenues that IPCC and the scientific community can follow to advance integrated research on climate risk and sustainable solutions across the three IPCC working groups.

A brief report from the workshop can be accessed on the IPCC website.

Claire Weill stressed this workshop as an example of how the global sustainability research community and Future Earth can contribute to the success of IPCC and how this collaboration can be mutually beneficial.

Another major opportunity for collaboration between Future Earth and IPCC will come up in the form of an international scientific conference on Climate Change and Cities, to take place in 2018. The panel agreed during the meeting that the conference will be co-sponsored by the IPCC. It will be organised in close partnership with IPCC by a diverse consortium of organisations that include Future Earth, but also the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Cities Alliance, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UN-Habitat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

This decision was very timely as the Habitat III conference on the future of cities was taking place simultaneously in Quito, Ecuador. The summit led to an agreement on a document called the New Urban Agenda.

In her intervention, Weill also emphasised Future Earth’s commitment to contribute to IPCC’s Special Reports and the AR6 by mobilising the global sustainability science community and by delivering needed knowledge in a timely fashion.

Decisions and documents related to the 44th IPCC plenary can be found on the IPCC website.