These are the keys to the next IPCC report on climate change mitigation

Between March 21 and April 1, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meets to validate the study on measures to contain the climate crisis, on which more than 200 authors have been working since three years. The text, which corresponds to the third part of the expert group’s report VI, will be published on 4 April.

Stepping up action to curb climate change in this decade is crucial, because for the global temperature to not rise by more than 1.5°C, CO2 emissions must have been reduced by 45% by here 2030. This was one of the conclusions of the last climate summit, held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021. So where do countries stand in terms of measures to emit less greenhouse gas? greenhouse effect ?

We will find out on April 4, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes its Working Group III study, which assesses precisely the measures to reduce emissions and remove greenhouse gases. greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, that is to say: the mitigation of climate change.

This is an important study because, as one of its main authors, Alejandro Caparrós, explains at SMC Spain, “this is the first after the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 and entered into force in 2016. This is the first time we have assessed whether it is working”.


The previous study on mitigation dates from 2014

The previous report dates from 2014, before the Paris Agreement. In this “all signatory countries acquire voluntary commitments to reduce emissions – says Caparrós -, therefore, it is a substantial paradigm shift compared to the previous Kyoto Protocol, in which only industrialized countries limited their emissions in accordance with targets individually agreed. Now we will know if what was agreed in Paris has an effect”.

On the opening day of this week’s meeting, where the final text of this study is approved, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee stressed that “The next few years will be crucial for the state of climate change this century, which is why an up-to-date assessment of mitigation is more important than ever. The Working Group III report will shed light on solutions to address this challenge by providing us with the latest scientific findings on climate change mitigation.“.

Mitigation in all social and economic sectors

The content of the mitigation study remains strictly under embargo. But what it will be is known, says Caparrós: ​​identifying what works when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the IPCC Group III website explains, “lMitigation of climate change involves limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting activities that remove these gases from the atmosphere. Dado que estos gases proceden de diversas fuentes la mitigación del clima puede aplicarse a todos los sectors y actividades, entre ellos la energía, el transporte, los edificios, la industria, la gestión de residues, la agricultura, la silvicultura y otras de gestión Of the earth”.

The report to be published on April 4 covers all these areas, according to an index already known with fifteen chapters which also include the analysis of the trend of emissions; the forms of mitigation compatible with the short, medium and long term objectives; social aspects of mitigation; international cooperation; and technological innovation.

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239 authors from dozens of countries

The complex process of producing the report, which involves the work of 239 authors from dozens of countries, is also well known.

Five of them are Spanish, but only three were working from Spain: Caparrós, who was a professor of energy economics at the University of Durham (UK) for a few months on leave from his post at CSIC’s Public Policy and Assets Institute; Xavier Labandeira, professor of economics at the University of Vigo; and Luisa Cabeza, director of the Energy and Artificial Intelligence Research Group at the University of Lleida.

All authors were selected in 2018 by a committee of the IPCC itself after a global call, based on their academic merits.

It is an unpaid job that takes many hours”, says Caparros. “It’s done for prestige and because you want your research to have impact and be useful“, Add.

Three years of analysis of available information

He and the other authors spent almost three years reviewing all the available scientific literature. Caparrós has devoted himself, like a dozen other authors, to the chapter on international cooperation. “We met several times a year,” he says. Due to the pandemic, most of these meetings have been virtual, a new experience for the IPCC “which has worked very well.”.

Since April 2019, when a first draft was completed, several versions have been reviewed by many experts other than the authors. By November 2021, when the last draft was sent to governments, the text had received nearly 70,000 comments.

Jim Skea, co-chair of Working Group III, said at the time:Our scientists have worked tirelessly to present this report with a solid assessment of the scientific evidence. The report will inform policy makers around the world about the solutions and opportunities available to us to tackle climate change”.

The last piece of the sixth report of the IPCC

Once approved, this Group III study will form the third and final part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which is expected to be published in September 2022.

On February 28, the latest study from Working Group II was released, which studies impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change and which stated that “Climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruptions to nature, affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce risk”.

The increase in heat waves, droughts and floods has already exceeded the tolerance thresholds of plants and animals, and caused the mass mortality of various species, such as trees and coralscontinued the Group II study. “As a result of these phenomena, millions of people have been exposed to acute food and water insecurity, particularly in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, as well as in small islands and the Arctic.”.

In August 2021, Grupo I published its latest work, which analyzes climate science. Its press release stated:Many of the observed changes in climate have been unprecedented for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes that are already happening, such as continued sea level rise, may not be reversed until several centuries or millennia.”.

How to get accredited?

Directions for becoming accredited and receiving embargoed information on the latest IPCC Group III study:

Source Science Media Center Spain

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