The publication of the Synthesis Report is the crowning completion of the IPCC fifth Assessment Report. It contains the scientific work of about 800 scientists during five years. Only one day after the approval in Copenhagen, key contributors presented its most important findings to stakeholders, media and public in Bern on 3 November 2014. For the first time, the report is not just an aggregation but puts the content into an integral perspective and emphasizes cross-cutting issues. Federal Council Doris Leuthard informed about the Swiss climate policy and honoured IPCC and its important work.
Prof. Thomas Stocker (Co-Chair IPCC WGI, University of Bern) welcomed the more than 320 participants to the event, organized by IPCC, University of Bern, FOEN and ProClim. He emphasised in his welcome remarks, that one result of the Synthesis Report is that the human influence on climate change is clear. In his presentation he shared his view about the future direction of IPCC. ()
Prof. Martin Täuber, Rector University of Bern, spoke about the contribution of the University of Bern to «one of the greatest challenges of our time». Research in climate topics has got a long tradition in Bern, it goes back to times, when climate issues were not seen as important as today.
Federal Council Doris Leuthard, Swiss Minister for the Environment, Transportation, Energy and Communication, underlined, that the work of IPCC is absolutely necessary. Its work is objective, provides an integrated vision and clear statements and gives guidelines to politics. Climate politics are important for Switzerland as the country is highly vulnerable. She hopes that the findings of the newest IPCC report relay a solid ground for decisions on the next climate summit in Lima in December and then in Paris next year. Each and every country has to be ready to do its share. Leuthard assured that Switzerland is committed to be an ambitious country.
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of IPCC, pointed out that the more we disrupt our climate, the more we risk severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts. As potential impacts of Climate Change Pachauri listed food and water shortages, increased displacement of people, more poverty and coastal flooding. The chair of IPCC made clear, that «the window for action for achieving the 2°C goal stated by the governments is rapidly closing. Today 65% of our carbon budget compatible with the 2°C target is already used». ()
Prof. Qin Dahe, Co-Chair IPCC WGI, talked about the challenge of climate change in China. Some climate change impacts that China already underwent were low-temperature, freezing rain and snow hazards or extreme hazes in several cities. ()
Prof. Jochem Marotzke, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, focused on the observed changes and their causes. He stressed out that «recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history». ()
Prof. Petra Tschakert, Pennsylvania State University, made clear, that «continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe impacts for people and ecosystems». Together with adaptation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions could limit climate change risks. ()
Dr. Leon Clarke, Joint Global Change Research Institute, explained that mitigation requires changes throughout the economy and that systemic approaches are expected to be most effective. Mitigation efforts in one sector determine efforts in others. ()
Prof. John Broome, University of Oxford, spoke about decision making and ethics in confronting climate change, as for the first time these topics are integrated in an IPCC report. Broome pointed out: «Climate Change is a transaction that will harm some people while others will benefit». ()
Dr. José Romero, Federal Office for the Environment and IPCC Focal Point Switzerland, and Prof. Thomas Stocker closed the event with thanks and further thoughts about the future of IPCC.
Key contributors of the Synthesis Report present the most important findings The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report continues the series of comprehensive summaries of current knowledge on climate change. The assessment reports document the observed and projected change of climate, its causes and impacts as well as possible strategies of mitigation and adaptation to global warming. They build a standard for everybody engaged with climate change in research, government, industry, or policy. The new Synthesis Report combines the content of the three Working Group reports I (the physical science basis), II (impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation) and III (mitigation of climate change) into an integral perspective and emphasizes cross-cutting issues.
The IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report is based on the reports of the three Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including relevant Special Reports. It provides an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).
> IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report