7 December 2018, Katowice, Poland - 30 years ago this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed on 6 December 1988. It commemorated its 30th year on the sidelines of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24) in Katowice, Poland this week.
The IPCC was formed to provide the world with scientific assessments on the magnitude, timing and socio-economic impacts of climate change and is the most authoritative source for climate science.
Since its formation it has produced five Assessment Reports and several Special Reports on specific topics such as the IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5ºC in comparison to 2ºC, a hot topic at COP24.
The IPCC has also produced Methodology Reports, which provide practical guidelines on the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories for the inventory reporting requirements of Parties to the UNFCCC.
“We have been trying to live up to our mandate for the last 30 years and we believe we have come to a time where we must pay more attention to what is the best way to provide realistic strategies,” stated the Chair of the IPCC, Mr Hoesung Lee.
“Our focus now needs to be on the solution aspect of climate change issues.”
It was the IPCC that stated global warming was human induced and not caused by natural external factors such as solar activity or natural internal factors such as ocean cycles.
In 2007 the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.
“The IPCC has played a pivotal role in the climate change process, bringing the science to underpin what a lot of us in the Pacific islands and other countries are experiencing – the wide and varied impacts of climate change,” said Mr Mahendar Kumar, currently attending the UNFCCC COP24 in Katowice, Poland as a member of the Republic of the Marshall Islands delegation.
“It is through the IPCC that we have been empowered to call upon the global community for enhanced climate action, the science has provided us with strong support for the anecdotal evidence that climate change is happening and we are feeling it. Happy 30th birthday IPCC.”
Based in the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, the IPCC was established in partnership with UN Environment. Here at the UNFCCC COP24, it has played a pivotal role in ‘unpacking’ the findings of its Special Report on 1.5ºC, findings which portray dire consequences for the planet and her people if the world does not drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit temperature increases to 1.5ºC, urgently.
According to the IPCC Special Report it is still feasible for the planet to limit global warming to 1.5 through ambitious and urgent changes. The world will need to make an urgent switch from fossil fuels to renewables as this window of opportunity will soon close.
The electricity sector will need to be decarbonised by 2050, requiring an accelerated change in the energy transformation which has already started. The current carbon dioxide emissions will need to be halved in the next ten years and coal will need to be phased out by 2050.
“The message of the IPCC special report on global warming on 1.5 is very clear, if we want to avoid the negative impacts of cc we have to act immediately, we have to act at all levels, we have to reduce our emissions we have to increase our resilience and we have to make sure that all financial flows are climate friendly public, mobilised private and private,” said H.E Ambassador Franz Perez of Switzerland.
“This needs financial and technical capacity support provided by all those that have the capacity to do so to those who need the capacity. In Katowice we must create the right framework for such increased actions, a clear, robust, comprehensive binding rules applicable to all ensuring transparency, just and creating the framework so that we all increase our ambitions our efforts and our actions on mitigation, adaptation and support.”
The UNFCCC COP24 is hosted in Katowice, Poland from 2 to 14 December, 2018.
To learn more about the IPCC please visit: https://www.ipcc.ch/
To learn more about the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 please visit: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/