Key points and questions about the UN IPCC's 5th Assessment Report on climate change mitigation.

Detail

The UN’s Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the third volume of its 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change: Mitigation of Climate Change in Berlin, Germany on 12 April 2014. The report was finalised after a six day meeting attended by delegates from over 100 countries and a number of the Report’s expert authors.

The IPCC’s first report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change was published in September 2013. It showed clearly that climate change is happening now and greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the dominant cause. The second report on the Impacts of Climate Change and Adaptation to them was published in March 2014. This showed how climate change is already having an impact and warned of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts in the future if action was not taken to address emissions. The report also considered steps countries and regions could take to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This third report looks at how to address the issues and risks identified in the first two reports by reducing those activities that contribute to human-induced climate change. It looks at current greenhouse gas emissions, the levels they will need to fall to in future, and how this can be achieved. The report recognises that climate change is a global problem and looks at the contribution all regions can make in tackling the problem.

This is the most significant report on the topic since the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report in 2007. It has been prepared over the last four years by 235 experts from across the world who reached their conclusions by reviewing thousands of published research papers. It has undergone peer review by many other scientists, experts and by IPCC member governments. The thoroughness of the process is without parallel in terms of scope, rigour, transparency and level of government engagement.