The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brings together thousands of scientists from around the world to assess the scientific work on climate change that is published each year. Based on this work, they can provide policymakers and the general public with a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks. The latest (fifth) Assessment Report was completed in 2014 and was an important foundation for the Paris Climate Agreement.

On March 20, 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the synthesis of the sixth assessment report. It summarizes the core messages of the volumes of the three working groups and the current special reports SR15 (1.5 °C global warming), SROCC (ocean and cryosphere) and SRCCL (climate change and land systems). As a reference work, decision-makers around the world will rely on the information published by the IPCC over the next few years. The report leaves no doubt that climate change is in full swing, is already having massive negative effects and that these will continue to increase with every additional tenth of a degree of warming. Previous efforts to mitigate climate change have clearly failed to stabilize the climate at +1.5°C and 2°C.

In order to convey the contents of the report in Austria and to once again point out the urgency of the global situation, the CCCA published a press release on the IPCC synthesis report on March 20, 2023.

In addition, the CCCA, together with the BMK and the Commission for Climate and Air Quality of the OeAW, organized a symposium on March 24, 2023 on the key messages of the IPCC Synthesis Report in the ballroom of the OeAW in Vienna. Around 100 participants took part on site and another 150 online in the dialogue event, which was moderated by Katrin Brugger (CCCA).

Here you will find the presentations of the speakers in brief:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (History, Present, Future) - Manfred Ogris | BMK, Austrian IPCC Focal Point
  • Synthesis of current knowledge on climate change - climate risks and how we should deal with them - Hans Otto Pörtner | Alfred Wegener Institute (WG II Co-Chair)
  • Synthesis of current knowledge on climate change - The great challenge of a climate-neutral future - Oliver Geden | Science and Politics Foundation (IPCC author)
  • The bridge from Europe in the 6th status report on the situation in Austria - Birgit Bednar-Friedl | University of Graz (IPCC author)
  • On the status of the development of the 2nd Austrian Assessment Report on Climate Change - Keywan Riahi | Climate and Air Quality Commission, ÖAW & IIASA (IPCC author)

After the lectures, representatives of the Association of the Austrian Citizens’ Climate Council discussed the topic together with Barbara Ruhsmann (ÖGUT):

  • "Together for the climate" - How participation processes can help to help shape central and complex future issues in our society. Interactive insights into the Climate Council, the first nationwide Citizens' Council in Austria.

Further information and the recommendations can be found in the final report: Citizens' Climate Council. Climate neutrality by 2040: The recommendations

On August 9, 2021, the IPCC released the first partial report of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The report, prepared by 234 IPCC Working Group I authors and titled "Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis," summarizes the current physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, as well as recent advances in climate science. It provides the latest understanding of warming projections, shows how and why the climate has changed to date, and includes an improved understanding of human influence on climate (including extreme events). More focus is placed on regional information that can be used for climate risk assessments.

The other parts of the Sixth Assessment Report will be completed in 2022: the Working Group II report will address impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability; Working Group III will provide an evaluation of mitigation options and actions. Then, in summer 2022, an additional IPCC synthesis report will be published, providing a synopsis of the individual reports of the three working groups.

More about the IPCC, its working methods and the key findings from the first AR6 report can be found in our poster "New UN climate report: more data, better knowledge"!

The posters are published under the CC BY 4.0 license and may be used freely with attribution:
New UN climate report: more data, better knowledge © 2021 by Bernd Hezel, Philip Hillers, Toralf Staud | Design: Climate Media Factory | Publisher: Deutsches Klima-Konsortium, klimafakten.de, Climate Change Centre Austria and MeteoSwiss is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Previously published IPCC reports

  • SRCCL and SROCC presentation in Innsbruck (Oct. 16, 2019)
  • Eternal ice and green marrow (9th Styrian Climate and Energy Forum, topic: SRCCL and SROCC) (07.10.2019)
  • 1.5 °C global warming - Future Dialogue Austria [Talanoa Dialogue] (18.10.2018)
  • Workshop: Austrian science in the IPCC AR6 (01.07.2016).

Land Sector & Oceans / Cryosphere Special Reports

  • IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land Systems (SRCCL)

On the one hand, the "IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems" makes clear that climate change is increasing pressure on land systems and may therefore increasingly threaten human livelihoods and well-being. However, it also highlights the important role of landsystems in climate change mitigation: For example, through ecosystem conservation, more sustainable agriculture and forestry, more climate-friendly diets, and avoidance of food waste. Such actions often also benefit climate change daptation, mitigation of land degradation and food security, and other sustainable development goals. www.ipcc.ch/srccl/download/

The IPCC invites its member states and observer organizations to nominate "Coordinating Lead Authors (CLA)", "Lead Authors (LA)" and "Review Editors (RE)" for the preparation of these special reports: Land Sector Special Report & Oceans and Cryosphere Special Report.

At the 45th IPCC Plenary Session, held March 28-31, the content, structure, and scope of two Special Reports were agreed upon:

  • Special Report on the Land Sector

("Special Report on 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"). The adopted outline can be obtained via the following link: https://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session45/Decision_Outline_SR_LandUse.pdf

  • Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere

("Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate"): https://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session4/Decision_Outline_SR_Oceans.pdf

If you are interested in participating as CLA, LA or RE in the preparation of the (or one of the) Special Reports, you are cordially invited to inform the Austrian IPCC Focal Point (Mag. Manfred Ogris, manfred.ogris@bmlfuw.gv.at) about it.For a nomination are needed:

  • CV (English, pdf, maximum 4 pages)

completed nomination form:

  • Special Report on Land Sector (Excel)
  • Special report on oceans and cryosphere (Excel)
  • The invitation letter from the BMLFUW (07.04.2017) can be found here (pdf).
  • Information on how to contribute to IPCC reports
  • The detailed rules of procedure when preparing an IPCC report are outlined in
  • Appendix A of the "Priciples Governing IPCC Work": https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles-appendix-a-final.pdf 

A short information about how authors are selected by the IPCC can be found via the following link:

The time commitment that authors must expect is considerable. CLA and LA are expected to attend four meetings and RE two meetings during the period 2017 to 2019 (in addition to writing the relevant texts and participating in "web conferences"). Plenary adoption of the special reports is scheduled for September 2019.

Tasks and objectives of the IPCC

The main task of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to compile scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge and to evaluate it from a scientific perspective.

In addition to presenting the scientific basis, impacts and risks of climate change, the IPCC also identifies mitigation and adaptation options. In 2013 and 2014, the Fifth Assessment Report consisting of the contributions of the three working groups and the overarching synthesis report was published and can also be obtained electronically: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/index.shtml

In April 2016, the IPCC Plenary identified and adopted the schedule for the sixth reporting cycle, 2016 to 2022.

As part of the IPCC's sixth reporting cycle, three special reports are to be produced in addition to the Sixth Assessment Report with its three Working Groups:

  • 1.5 degrees of global warming. This responds to the UNFCCC's request for areport on the state of knowledge of the consequences of 1.5 degrees of warming relative to pre-industrial conditions, with correlated greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Land sector including desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, and food security.
  • Oceans and cryosphere

Details can be found here.