IPCC Synthesis 2014 — Meeting Report

Report and presentations from the meeting 3 November 2014 in Bern

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.

Teaser: IPCC Synthesis 2014 — Meeting Report

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. (Presentation Thomas Stocker)

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». (Presentation Rajendra Pachauri)

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. (Presentation Qin Dahe)

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». (Presentation Jochem Marotzke)

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. (Presentation Petra Tschakert)

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. (Presentation Leon Clarke)

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». (Presentation John Broome)

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.

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