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IPCC Emissions Reduction Report Due Today After Negotiations Go Into Overtime

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due to issue a landmark report today at 3:00 PM GMT, capping two weeks of intense negotiations on the actions that governments and other institutions can take to get the climate crisis under control.

The IPCC media team announced late Sunday evening that negotiations had concluded, about 48 hours later than planned. The results of those negotiations—from a short summary for policy-makers to the much more voluminous review of peer-reviewed literature—will be a closely-guarded secret until today’s news conference begins. But the outline of the report [pdf], approved at a meeting in Montreal 4½ years ago, is a public document that calls on IPCC authors to address:

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• Greenhouse gas emissions trends and drivers;

• Emission reduction pathways that match up with long-term net-zero goals;

• Shorter-term pathways for emission reductions and their compatibility with “national development objectives” for job creation, competitiveness, poverty, sustainable development, and more;

• Social aspects of greenhouse gas emission reductions, including objectives to meet human needs under the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

• Energy systems;

• Agriculture, forestry, and other land uses;

• Cities and other human settlements;

• Buildings;

• Transportation;

• Industry;

• Costs and opportunities across different economic sectors;

• National and sub-national policies and institutions;

• International cooperation;

• Investment and finance;

• Innovation, technology, and tech transfer;

• Connections between sustainable development and the response to climate change.

Today’s release is the third of three working group reports leading up to the IPCC’s full climate assessment expected in September, ahead of the COP 27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The report on climate science last August warned of an “unimaginable, unforgiving world” without drastic emission cuts. The report on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in late February had UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointing to the “atlas of human suffering” contained in its 3,675 pages.