IPCC Working Group II starts preparing their contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report

Durban, 15 January 2019


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II, which deals with the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, will start preparing its contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) with a meeting of experts in Durban, South Africa, on 20 - 25 January 2019.

More than 250 authors and IPCC Bureau members from more than 60 countries will come together in Durban for their First Lead Author Meeting to map out their assessment and details of the drafting process.

“It is an honour to host the first meeting for this major report in Durban,” said Debra Roberts, Working Group II Co-Chair and Head of the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in the eThekwini Municipality in Durban. “This highlights the important leadership role of cities in the global fight against climate change. At the same time, it emphasises the contributions that the African continent makes to the IPCC assessments.”

The Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report focuses on the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems and their vulnerabilities. It also analyses the capacities and limits of these systems to adapt to climate change and options to reduce climate-associated risks and for creating a sustainable future.

The report, along with contributions from the other two IPCC Working Groups, will be finalized in 2021.

In 2022, a Synthesis Report integrating the three working group contributions and other IPCC products in the sixth assessment cycle will complete AR6, in time for the first global stocktake in 2023 by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when countries will review progress under the Paris Agreement towards their goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

“Working Group II authors will look closely at the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, human wellbeing, functioning of society and evaluate options for adaptation in the context of solution pathways at local, regional and global scales,” said IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair Hans-Otto Pörtner. “The Working Group II report will provide a profound scientific basis for country efforts to reduce the risks from climate change.”

The Bureau of IPCC Working Group II selected the author teams for the chapters from more than 1000 nominations submitted by governments and IPCC Observer Organizations. The selection aims to balance expertise, gender, countries and regions to ensure that diverse views and scientific disciplines are included.

After the Lead Author Meeting in Durban, authors will develop a draft of the report for internal review. The First Order Draft will be available for Expert Review from 18 October to 13 December 2019. The Second Order Draft will be open for Government and Expert Review from 7 August to 2 October 2020, along with the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). The approval of the SPM is currently scheduled for 4-8 October 2021.

Further information about the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, including the outline, the timeline and a link to the author database can be found on the IPCC website at: www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-ii.

Media briefing

Monday, 21 January 2019, 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center (ICC), 45 Bram Fischer Road, Durban


  • Hoesung Lee, IPCC Chair
  • Youba Sokona, IPCC Vice Chair
  • Debra Roberts, IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair
  • Hans-Otto Pörtner, IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair

Media are also invited to attend the opening ceremony of the meeting on Monday, 21 January 2019, at 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. in the same location.

Please contact the IPCC at the addresses below for further information or additional requests.

Outreach event at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban

Tuesday, 22 January, 18:30 – 20:15

Unite Building, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban

After a panel discussion with representatives of the University of KwaZulu Natal, the eThekwini Municipality and the IPCC, guests are invited to use the opportunity for conversations with the panellists and additional IPCC experts.

Outreach event at Buffelsdraai reforestation site.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Additional information upon request

For more information please contact:

IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit
Maike Nicolai (in Durban 18-27 January 2019), e-mail: maike.nicolai@ipcc-wg2.awi.de

IPCC Press Office

Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066 or Werani Zabula, +41 22 730 8120, e-mail: ipcc-media@wmo.int

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Notes for editors

About the IPCC

The IPCC provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.

The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. The IPCC currently has 195 members. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide 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.

An open and transparent review by experts and governments around the world is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment and to reflect a diverse range of views and expertise. Through its assessments, the IPCC identifies the strength of scientific agreement in different areas and indicates where further research is needed. The IPCC does not conduct its own research.

The IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force. Working Group I deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, Working Group II with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and Working Group III with Mitigation of Climate Change. The main objective of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

Alongside the Working Groups and the Task Force, other Task Groups may be established by the Panel for a set time period to consider a specific topic or question. One example is the decision at the 47th Session of the IPCC in Paris in March 2018 to establish a Task Group to improve gender balance and address gender-related issues within the IPCC.

Sixth Assessment Cycle

At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015 it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle. At its 43rd Session in April 2016, it decided to produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and AR6.

The first of these Special Reports, Global Warming of 1.5ºC was released in October 2018.

The Methodology Report, entitled 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, will be delivered in May 2019. The Special Report Climate Change and Land will be delivered in August 2019 and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in September 2019.

The three working group contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report will be finalized in 2021 and the Synthesis Report will be delivered in 2022.

Further information can be found on the IPCC website www.ipcc.ch

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