The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: its role and prospects

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is perhaps the biggest science-policy experiment ever, involving thousands of researchers and practitioners in each assessment cycle since its establishment in 1998.

As the UN body tasked with providing science to the world's governments for climate change-related decision making, its reports are arguably the most reviewed documents in history.  They contribute the synthesized science basis that has helped inform globally-significant decisions – the latest being the Paris Agreement.

The IPCC is currently in the 6th Assessment Cycle and there are various ways of contributing.  The main  Assessment Reports (AR6) are just starting and nominations for contributors are open.  Three special reports are also open for expert review:  Global Warming of 1.5 °C, Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and Climate Change and Land.  

In this seminar, Prof Howden will address the purpose, history, function and prospects for the IPCC as well as reflections on his own IPCC experiences, providing guidance for those wanting to engage.   He'll then open the floor to audience questions.   A light lunch will be provided.

About the speaker

Prof Mark Howden has been involved in the IPCC since 1991. He has had leadership roles in the IPCC 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and now 6th Assessments, in two IPCC Special Reports and a range of other IPCC processes. He is currently a Vice Chair of IPCC Working Group 2 that addresses climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.  Prof Howden has had roles in Working Group 2, Working Group 3 (Mitigation) and with developing the IPCC GHG inventories as well as contributing climate science used in Working Group 1 (Climate Science). He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC contributors and Al Gore.