IPCC agrees Seventh Assessment cycle structure

22 January 2024

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed on its scientific structure of work for the Seventh Assessment cycle, which comes at a decisive juncture for climate action.

The IPCC Plenary session, with more than 300 delegates from 120 governments, took place from 16-20 January 2024 in Istanbul, Türkiye.

It discussed the production of Working Group I report on the Physical Science Basis, the Working Group II report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and the Working Group III report on Mitigation of Climate Change. The Synthesis Report of the Seventh Assessment Report will be produced after the completion of the Working Group reports and released by late 2029.

“The Panel has taken a critical step in plotting the course for the entire cycle. Their decisions reflect the interest of member governments in getting policy-relevant, timely and actionable scientific information as soon as possible and providing input to the 2028 second Global Stocktake. There is a notable emphasis on adaptation to climate change,“ said IPCC Chair Prof. Jim Skea.

“Today’s decision is also a clear signal to the scientific community that the work on the new assessments of the climate change science can now begin in earnest.”

The Panel had already decided to produce a Special Report on Climate Change and Cities and a Methodology Report on Short-lived Climate Forcers. Scientists have also been asked to deliver a Methodology Report on Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage.

“Knowledge from IPCC reports goes hand in hand with WMO`s regular monitoring and reporting on the State of Climate, where we recently announced that 2023 was the warmest year on record by a large margin, and 2024 could be even warmer,” WMO Secretary-General Prof. Celeste Saulo said in a video message to the plenary.

“As WMO and partners work towards achieving global coverage of early warning systems by 2027, the IPCC can play a crucial role in making the robust scientific case for investments across the full value cycle. It can also highlight the global, regional, and local changes requiring enhanced observations, adaptation, and mitigation actions,” she said.

The IPCC is co-sponsored by WMO and the UN Environment Programme. Prof Saulo and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen met in Geneva on 15 January to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations both in supporting the IPCC and carrying out other joint activities.

Two women standing next to each other in front of flags.
WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo meets UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen at WMO headquarters

Read the full IPCC press release.

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