The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting at UNESCO on 24-28 February to consider the outline of the Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Report, which will provide policymakers in 2022 with the most up-to-date scientific information related to climate change. The opening ceremony brought together government representatives and heads of UN-Agencies*, who stressed the importance of providing a sound scientific basis to develop strong climate policies. It was followed by a panel discussion on the role of knowledge systems to improve climate action.
“The Synthesis Report will integrate all the information the IPCC is preparing in its current special and assessment reports to provide policymakers with the most up-to-date policy-relevant information pertinent to climate change,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. Due to be released in the first part of 2022, it will serve as the basis for international negotiations and will be ready in time for the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement in 2023.
“Science is key in tackling the climate crisis and other sustainability challenges,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “The work of the IPCC is of vital importance here and UNESCO, as the host of IPCC-52, is determined to draw on its scientific expertise, and on the work and experience of its biosphere reserves, natural heritage sites and education programmes, in leading the transformation we need for people and the planet.”
São Tomé e Príncipe is developing such transformative action, to foster development that protects biodiversity, while addressing climate related challenges that are already affecting the lives of the islanders, such as agricultural lands contaminated by saltwater as the sea level rises. These initiatives were presented by Mr José Cassandra, President of the Regional Government of Principe Autonomous Region - Principe Island.
The panel discussion “Planet in Peril: Transforming the Course of Climate Action” focused on the need for more ambitious responses to the climate crisis. In recent years, there have been unprecedented wildfires, hurricanes and drought, amplified by climate change. Less extreme events are not covered by news report, but are nonetheless threatening entire communities. Eminent scientists, climate experts, youth leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples, who have firsthand knowledge of the climate issues, focused on the solutions that are available to us, on ways and means to raise ambition for more effective climate action and on the role and contributions of science and knowledge.
Young dancers came to share their own call for climate action with “Steps for a change”, developed by scientist Yunne-Jai Shin of the IRD and choreographer Emily Lartillot, of Les Arts en Scène, Montpellier. Using danse to illustrate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and society, the dancers came to support the scientific effort, stressing the urgency to act for their generation’s future, and following generations.
IPCC-52 will continue in closed session until 28 February to consider the Synthesis Report outline, to elect a member of the Bureau of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, to launch the regular review of IPCC procedures, and transact other business.
- Full programme of the opening and panel session
- Photos | B-roll is available in the press room
- 52nd Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC-52
- Changing minds, not the climate
* Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO; Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Mr Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Mr Florin Vladu, Manager, Adaptation Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Mr Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC; Ms Élisabeth Borne, Minister for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition of France.
Photo: Steps for a change, performed by Les Arts en Scène de Montpellier.© UNESCO / Luc Valigny