‘SYNTHESIS REPORT’ on Climate Crisis Coming Today from UNITED NATIONS

by Diana Gooding on March 20, 2023

The all-important ‘synthesis report’ will be the primary working document for the next 10 years

Nations approve key UN science report on climate change

News from Article by Frank Jordans, ABC News, March 19, 2023

ASSOCIATED PRESS — Governments gave their blessing on Sunday to a major new U.N. report on climate change, after approval was held up by a battle between rich and developing countries over emissions targets and financial aid to vulnerable nations.

The report by hundreds of the world’s top scientists was supposed to be approved by government delegations on Friday at the end of a weeklong meeting in the Swiss town of Interlaken.

The closing gavel was repeatedly pushed back as officials from big nations such as China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union haggled through the weekend over the wording of key phrases in the text.

The report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change caps a series that digests vast amounts of research on global warming compiled since the Paris climate accord was agreed in 2015.

A summary of the report was approved early Sunday but agreement on the main text dragged on for several more hours, with some observers fearing it might need to be postponed. The unusual process of having countries sign off on a scientific report is intended to ensure that governments accept its findings as authoritative advice on which to base their actions.

At the start of the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on delegates to provide “ cold, hard facts ” to drive home the message that there’s little time left for the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) compared with preindustrial times.

While average global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 Celsius since the 19th century, Guterrres insisted that the 1.5-degree target limit remains possible “with rapid and deep emissions reductions across all sectors of the global economy.”

Observers said the IPCC meetings have increasingly become politicized as the stakes for curbing global warming increase, mirroring the annual U.N. climate talks that usually take place at the end of the year.

Among the thorniest issues at the current meeting were how to define which nations count as vulnerable developing countries, making them eligible for cash from a “loss and damage” fund agreed on at the last U.N. climate talks in Egypt. Delegates have also battled over figures stating how much greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by over the coming years, and how to include artificial or natural carbon removal efforts in the equations.

As the country that has released the biggest amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since industrialization, the United States has pushed back strongly against the notion of historic responsibility for climate change.

The U.N. plans to publish the report at a news conference early Monday afternoon, March 20th.

SEE ALSO: What is the IPCC AR6 synthesis report and why does it matter? ~ Fiona Harvey, The Guardian UK, March 19, 2023

Summary report by world’s leading climate scientists sets out actions to stave off climate breakdown

The fourth and final installment of the sixth assessment report (AR6) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world’s leading climate scientists, is the synthesis report, so called because it draws together the key findings of the preceding three main sections. Together, they make a comprehensive review of global knowledge of the climate.

The first three sections covered the physical science of the climate crisis, including observations and projections of global heating, the impacts of the climate crisis and how to adapt to them, and ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They were published in August 2021, February and April 2022 respectively.

The synthesis report also includes three other shorter IPCC reports published since 2018, on the impacts of global heating of more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, climate change and land, and climate change and the oceans and cryosphere (the ice caps and glaciers).

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