The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will open the Second-Order Draft of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) government and expert review next week, which includes a dedicated Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains. The review runs from 4 December to midnight Central European Time on 29 January 2021. Registration for experts opened on 27 November and will be possible until midnight CET on 22 January. Registration details are here.

The Working Group II (WGII) contribution to AR6, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, will cover the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, their vulnerabilities and the capacities they have to adapt to climate change. It will also cover options for creating a sustainable future for all through an equitable and integrated approach to adaptation efforts at all scales. The report also features a Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains, in which mountain-specific evidence and assessment from across all topics and regions that are being covered in the report will be synthesised, and to which many from the MRI community are contributing as coordinating lead authors, lead authors, review editors, and contributing authors.

In a press release issued by the IPCC Bureau, Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of Working Group II, explains that “given current events and the increasing urgency to build back better after COVID-19, we anticipate that there will be great interest in several areas of our report such as the health chapter and the chapters on ecosystems, food, water, cities and climate-resilient development … Furthermore, our report focuses on regional climate change impacts and adaptation options that will be relevant for local and regional decision-makers around the globe”.

This version of the report includes the first drafts of the Summary for Policymakers as well as the Technical Summary and the WGII Global to Regional Atlas. All content builds on the First-Order Draft and the expert review comments submitted on this draft. Working Group II undertook a set of virtual meetings in August 2020 with the participation of over 250 experts to advance work on the report amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our authors worked day and night under difficult circumstances to finalize the Second-Order Draft on time. Now, we ask all experts, stakeholders and decision-makers to participate in this review process,” said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of Working Group II.

“We especially invite experts, practitioners and policymakers from the global South for their views on the draft to ensure that the assessment is reflective of the needs and concerns of individuals, communities, and public and private sector institutions around the world. Only in this way will we be able to identify a sufficiently diverse range of solutions options to help us adapt to climate change in an equitable and sustainable manner,” she said.

The agreed outline of the report can be found here. The list of authors of the report can be found here. The review of drafts is an essential part of the IPCC process, helping ensure that a report provides a balanced and comprehensive assessment of the latest scientific findings. To this end, the MRI encourages and welcomes the expert communities working in mountain contexts to consider registering and offering an expert review as part of this process. 

To learn more about expert reviews and the role of reviewers in this process, the MRI partnered with the IPCC WGII Technical Support Unit to provide information webinar events, where the opportunity to raise questions and seek additional guidance will be offered. We especially encourage Early Career Researchers to join and participate. The events take place on Tuesday 8 December (in English) and on Wednesday 9 December (in Spanish). Learn more about those events and how to register, here.

For more information about the IPCC, contact:

IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit
Sina Löschke, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IPCC Press Office, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066, Werani Zabula, +41 22 730 8120

About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states. The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group I, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.

About the Sixth Assessment Cycle

Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.

At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015, it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle. At its 43rd Session in April 2016, it decided to produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and AR6.

The IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.

Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty was launched in October 2018.

Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems was launched in August 2019.

The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was released in September 2019, which features a dedicated chapter on “High Mountain Areas”.

In May 2019 the IPCC released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

The contributions of the three IPCC Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report are currently under preparation. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.

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Photo by Pixabay user pemacallan.

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