UN Climate Panel Approves New Program with Focus on Climate Change Adaptation

Childrens carry gallons of water as they walk through dried up rice fields in Bustos; Bulacan due to the lack of water from the irrigation sysytem. Angat and IPO dam that holds most of the water that supplies irrigation systems; are beginning to dried up due to the dry season as EL NINO approaches.
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The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has approved a new six-year working program in Istanbul, with a strong focus on adaptation to climate change. The program aims to provide comprehensive scientific assessment reports to inform governments on their climate policies. The IPCC, established in 1988, does not conduct studies but synthesizes the academic consensus in all fields concerning climate change to produce the key scientific reference for global climate negotiations.

The IPCC’s new working program was adopted by more than 300 delegates from 120 governments after four days of debates and negotiations. The program follows the previous model of releasing several intermediary reports leading up to a final synthesis report. This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the current state of climate change and its impacts.

One of the key goals of the new program is to address the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Global emissions, which have not yet peaked, must fall by 43 percent between 2019 and 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as set by the 2016 Paris Agreement. This target highlights the importance of taking immediate action to combat climate change.

To achieve this, the IPCC has established three working groups to investigate different aspects of climate change. The first group will focus on the physical science basis of climate change, examining the causes and impacts of global warming. The second group will study the adaptation and vulnerabilities of humanity and ecosystems, aiming to develop indicators and recommendations for effective adaptation efforts. The third group will explore solutions to limit global warming, including the capture and storage of carbon dioxide.

In addition to these working groups, the IPCC will produce two special reports. One will focus on climate change and cities, examining the unique challenges and opportunities faced by urban areas. The other report will delve into the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, exploring innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the new working program is a significant step forward, some scientists and environmentalists have expressed concerns about the timeline for reporting. The next comprehensive assessment report will not be ready until 2029, which is too late to contribute to the second global assessment of the Paris Agreement due the previous year. This delay may hinder efforts to address climate change in a timely manner.

Nevertheless, the IPCC’s work remains crucial in informing global climate negotiations. Its comprehensive reports provide governments with the scientific basis needed to develop effective climate policies. By synthesizing the academic consensus, the IPCC ensures that decision-makers have access to the most up-to-date and reliable information on climate change.

In conclusion, the IPCC’s approval of a new working program with an emphasis on climate change adaptation is a significant development in the fight against climate change. The program’s focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing effective adaptation measures reflects the urgency of the current climate crisis. While there are concerns about the timeline for reporting, the IPCC’s role in providing scientific guidance for global climate negotiations remains essential.

Source: The Manila Times

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