A panel of speakers
Panel speakers during the opening plenary in Nairobi. Photo by IISD/ENB

This week in Nairobi, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will decide its agenda for the next 5–7 years. At the top of the list is the Sixth Assessment Report, a comprehensive review to be published in 2021–22. But the most crucial work ahead involves shorter, more focused reports.

The IPCC brings together scientists and other experts from around the world to assess the state of climate science. The IPCC’s work is important because it provides the scientific underpinning for climate policy, without being prescriptive. The findings are vetted by all the governments, so even if countries’ political priorities differ, they have a shared understanding of the science.

When world leaders approved the historic Paris Agreement last December, their actions were informed by the findings of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2013–2014 – including its warnings of potentially serious climate change impacts from even modest temperature increases.

In addition to the Sixth Assessment Report, in Nairobi the IPCC will consider 28 proposals for new Special Reports (though some overlap ), on topics ranging from cities; to forests, land use and land degradation; to human health and food security; to oceans and the cryosphere; to aviation and shipping; to carbon markets.

Source: Climate Home, UK