(2014-12-30)The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading UN body for the assessment of climate change, will continue its work, no matter whether countries arrive at a global climate deal next year in Paris or not. Its successive science-based reports had always been key inputs for negotiators in the past over two decades.
The IPCC had come out with its last (fifth) assessment report in November ahead of the Lima climate talks. It is also most likely to come out with its sixth assessment report in future, bringing more scientific information to the table for policy-makers and general public on causes and impact of climate-damaging greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Amid speculation over the future of the IPCC once it submitted its 'synthesis' report, its chairman R K Pachauri said his expectation was that the body would also come out with the sixth assessment report (AR6) and a decision in this regard would hopefully be taken by member countries in February, 2015.
"Whether it is going to be structurally identical to the fifth assessment report (AR5) or whether it would be different would be clearer by the end of February when the next plenary of the IPCC takes place", he told the TOI.
Asked about future of this Nobel Prize winning UN body, Pachauri said, "I think the work of the IPCC will continue as there is also growing desire on the part of the scientific community across the world to contribute to the work".
The IPCC is a scientific body which reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It was established in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
The body has since then come out with five successive assessment reports, telling the global community how human activities are playing havoc with environment and how it led to extreme weather events, melting of glaciers and acidification of oceans due to global warming.
Pachauri said, "It seems to me that the result of the fifth assessment report would perhaps only strengthen the need for carrying out updated assessment. Given the fact that we have a lot more information and knowledge in this report (AR5) than what we had in AR4 and similarly the AR4 had much more as compared to the AR3. This only strengthens the need for coming out with successive assessment".
It was the IPCC second assessment report (AR2) of 1995 that had provided important material and key inputs to negotiators in the run-up to adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
On its present task, the IPCC chief said, "We, in the immediate future, are going to ensure that the findings of the synthesis report are spread and made known to communities all over the world. This is going to be something which I personally will be focusing on in the next six to eight months".