Two scientists study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean’s chemistry and ecosystems. Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. Established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988, it provides the world with a scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its environmental and socio-economic impacts.

“Even though the science on climate change has become ever more robust over the past three decades, there are still several research gaps hindering effective decision-making and climate risk management.” Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at SEI

Lisa Schipper, co-ordinating lead author for the chapter ’Climate-Resilient Development Pathways’ (Chapter 18 of Working Group II on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) hopes that the chapter, despite its buzzword-heavy title, will show how development interacts with climate change in a way that can pave the way toward sustainable solutions. It is important that this report can translate the burgeoning scientific knowledge on adaptation to decision makers.

As an SEI Associate and research fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford (UK), Lisa also contributed to the IPCC Special Report on extreme events, the Fifth Assessment Report, and is currently part of the author team preparing the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

“Climate change adaptation research is thriving but translating that science into practice has been one of the biggest obstacles to actually reducing vulnerability to climate.” Lisa Schipper, SEI Associate

Sivan Kartha, Senior Scientist at SEI is one of the lead authors for the chapter ‘Mitigation and Development Pathways in the Near- to Mid-Term’ (Chapter 4 of Working Group III on mitigation of climate change). He believes this chapter is particularly relevant for policy makers faced with the task of ramping up mitigation, while they simultaneously grapple with many other sustainable development challenges. This is particularly important in the era of pledge-based national efforts to deal with climate. Sivan was previously a coordinating lead author of the chapter on ‘Sustainable Development and Equity’ of the Fifth Assessment Report.

“In the context of continuing campaigns to undermine public trust in climate science, credible scientific assessments such as the IPCC Reports are especially important now for policy-makers and civil society.” Sivan Kartha, Senior Scientist at SEI

Richard Klein will be review editor of the chapter ‘Decision-Making Options for Managing Risk’ (Chapter 17 of Working Group II). Richard has been involved in IPCC assessments since 1994 and in this role will support the authors in ensuring they do justice to the large number of review comments they will receive on the chapter.

In addition, two members of the SEI Science Advisory Council will be involved. Roberto Schaeffer will be coordinating lead author of the chapter on mitigation pathways compatible with long-term goals and Diana Liverman will be review editor of the chapter on climate-resilient development pathways.

Before the Sixth Assessment Report will be published, three IPCC Special Reports are already in the pipeline. Francis Johnson, Senior Research Fellow, is lead author of the chapter ‘Risk Management and Decision-Making in Relation to Sustainable Development’, which is part of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.