During the first week of May, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) member countries discuss the focus of the next IPCC’s Assessment Report. The outline of the report (including the coverage of the three Working Group contributions: physical science; impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and mitigation) will be approved next October, but AR6 will only be completed 5 years from now, in the first half of 2022.
IPCC assessment reports are indeed massive undertakings. They include the review of thousands of scientific papers published each year on a wide range of scientific, technical and policy relevant issues, helping to point out to policymakers what science knows and does not know about the risks related to climate change. So far these reports have proven to be greatly influential in shaping the global policy agenda to respond to climate change. For example, the publication of AR5 in 2014 has provided crucial scientific evidence that has already helped shape the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It has also helped countries like Cambodia access key scientific information that they can use to develop more effective climate policies. For example, AR5 information for example is now being used to develop more sound downscaled climate projections for the Mekong region and, in the near future, for Cambodia.
IPCC’s AR6 and other Special Reports will keep setting new politically agreed climate goals and help design the necessary response mechanisms; for example, as noted in a recent press release, IPCC decided to pay special attention to the impacts of climate change on cities and their unique adaptation and mitigation challenges and opportunities. Cambodia’s inputs to the preparation of these reports will help place in IPCC’s agenda issues that are critical to the future sustainable development of the country, thus helping to mobilize global support for their resolution. For more information, including links to the IPCC reports, go to: www.ipcc.ch.