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IPPC: The schedule for the finalization of the 6Th Assessment Report could be revised due to impact of Covid-19

Part of the activities at the 52 second session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) headquarters. PHOTO/IPCC


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the schedule  for the finalization of its Sixth Assessment Report could be affected due to impact of Covid-19.

The IPCC assessment reports assess scientific, technical, and socio-economic information regarding climate change.

In a statement, the United Nations agency for assessing the science behind climate change added that other activities to be affected included  the three Working Group reports and the Synthesis Report.

“It is anticipated that some or all of the original schedule for the finalization of the Sixth Assessment Report – the three Working Group reports and the Synthesis Report – including  milestones and deadlines for activities for the preparation of these reports, could shift, in consultation with the National Focal Points, with further adjustments to the schedule taken as the situation evolves,” the UN agency said in a statement. 

It added that for example they will extend the government and expert review of the Second Order Draft of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, originally scheduled to run until 26 April 2020, by six weeks to 5 June.

“The Third Lead Author Meeting of Working Group III, originally scheduled to take place in Quito, Ecuador, on 15-19 April, will now take place in a virtual “e-LAM” format with a pared-back agenda, and other measures relating to the Lead Author Meeting are under consideration. Further details and announcements about other activities will be made in due course,” the statement noted.

Dr Hoesung Lee the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). PHOTO/IPCC.

The IPCC said that during the current global public health crisis, its Secretariat and Technical Support Units continue to operate remotely adding that it has been monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic and related measures undertaken by governments.

“We support the strong and swift action undertaken worldwide, but note this has serious implications for the timely completion of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report,” the statement added. 

It observed that among these is the ability of IPCC authors, who volunteer their time and expertise to the IPCC, to continue to work to the agreed schedule, and experts and governments, who provide essential feedback on draft reports, to undertake their reviews.

“The IPCC leadership is well aware of the additional challenges faced by many working from home, from caring for loved ones and communities to managing their main employment in changed conditions, including the effort to move teaching online and pursue research, modelling and observation programmes. We are very grateful for their unprecedented efforts to support the work of the IPCC,” the UN agency said.

It said it was consulting with authors, member governments and other stakeholders to inform a strategic response to the pandemic.

This included reviewing the timing and format of Lead Author Meetings and other activities in the coming months and the schedule for delivery of the Sixth Assessment Report.

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