HomeNewsIPCC AR6 Synthesis Report: An energizing focus on solutions

IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report: An energizing focus on solutions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent Synthesis Report passed its final committee review at the end of last month, finalizing the work of hundreds of researchers who spent roughly six years working on the various reports that make up the Sixth Assessment Report cycle. The AR6 cycle completion comes at a time when countries are hoping to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making this research and ideation necessary to contribute to those goals.

We checked in with Jamie Gerber, an IonE Fellow and AR6 contributor, to further explain the importance of the AR6 cycle and his hopes for the synthesis report.

Gerber, a longtime Institute on the Environment principal researcher, contributed to the Working Group III report, one of the reports that was synthesized to help create the AR6 Synthesis Report. Gerber spent 13 years working at IonE before transitioning to a new role at Project Drawdown earlier this year. When working on the report, he focused on bringing IonE’s viewpoint and lenses to his work as a lead author for the Working Group III Chapter 4: Mitigation and Development Pathways in the Near-to-Mid-term. 

“There are many important updates that separate the AR6 cycle apart from its predecessors,” Gerber says. The numbers are updated, of course; the data is eight or nine years more current. During the time of the AR6 cycle, “there were also nearly twice as many papers written for what the IPCC report covers,” Gerber explains. But what makes AR6 most unique is how “there is more of a focus on what it takes to implement solutions,” Gerber says. “What does it look like when the solutions are implemented? AR5 explained some of what could be done, but little was mentioned of policies or obstacles that needed to be overcome to implement climate action.” 

The IPCC’s Synthesis Reports help advance national and global change by giving policy makers and leaders the evidence and pathways to implement action. As Gerber explains: Even though individual actions can add up to change, policies are needed to make effective and wide-scale differences in communities, cities, and on the national level. These synthesis reports are great resources for policymakers to make decisions so businesses and individuals are enabled to make meaningful actions for the future.

Gerber hopes that AR6 has this kind of influence that past reports have accomplished. “The IPCC report might bring some pessimism, but hopefully it will bring optimism, provide ideas, and enact some spine-stiffening to policy makers around the world,” Gerber says. “Maybe there is information in there to make a case to fellow legislatures, to others in the business community, or help whatever goals people and policy makers are trying to achieve.” 


Interested in the IPCC report process? If you are based in the Twin Cities, Arlene Birt, Graphics Officer for the IPCC, will be sharing a case study on visually communicating climate change this Thursday at IonE. Registration for the event is necessary as spots are limited. For more information and to register, please visit our Eventbrite page: Visually Communicating Climate Science.

Michael Zarbock is an IonE communications and editorial assistant. He is completing his final year of undergraduate studies in Strategic Communications with a minor in User Experience design.

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