What is Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?

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What is Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?

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 What is Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?
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Highlights:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is helping policymakers and decision-makers by assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts, future risks, and adaptation and mitigation options.
  • The IPCC Focal Point for Canada helps in connecting the government of Canada and the Canadian scientific community with IPCC.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is the leading federal department that deals with various environmental issues.

Climate change has become a threat to societies and the environment. Climate change is a shift in temperature, winds, precipitation, and other weather conditions that can impact Canadians and the world.

Reducing and fighting climate change is a complex challenge that needs sound science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a leading international body that assesses the science regarding climate change. In this article, we will learn about the IPCC.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) incorporated IPCC in 1988. The IPCC provides scientific evidence to policymakers and others making decisions on reducing climate change impact.

The three Working Groups of the IPCC focuses on the following:

  • Physical science basis of climate change (Working Group I)
  • Climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (Working Group II)
  • Mitigation of climate change (Working Group III)

Also read: What is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999?

Canadian scientist's contribution to IPCC assessments

Canadian experts from various organizations, including the private sector, universities, and government are engaged in preparing IPCC assessment reports. Environment and Climate Change Canada also contribute to the IPCC.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is a leading federal department that deals with various environmental issues and helps Canadians by providing them with information about conserving the natural heritage and preparing them to make decisions on climate conditions.

This department’s scientists have played a major role in each of the comprehensive assessment reports of the IPCC. In its reports, the IPCC also assesses the contribution of this department's climate change science and research activities, and it adds to the international body of data and knowledge.

For example, the Climate Research Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada manufactures computer models to determine future climate projections of Canada and the world. 

The IPCC Focal Point for Canada helps in connecting the government of Canada and the Canadian scientific community with the IPCC. The major responsibilities of IPCC Focal Points include submitting nominations of experts for IPCC activities.

Over 50 Canadians are playing roles as lead authors, chapter scientists, coordinating lead authors, contributing authors, and review editors in the drafting of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) products.

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Canada’s involvement in the IPCC

Since the establishment of IPCC in 1988, Canada has been an active contributor to it and has leadership positions in the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the IPCC Bureau. It provides financial support to the IPCC and is counted among the top 10 supporters of IPCC’s Trust Fund.

What is Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?

Canada has developed three national climate change assessments from the past two decades, including Maxwell et al in 1997, Lemmen et al in 2008, and Warren and Lemmen in 2014. It has also developed sector- or region-specific assessments on transportation, marine coasts, and human health too.

These reports inform Canadians about the risk and opportunities related to climate change. National climate change assessments help citizens and stakeholders to get information and become a part of the discussion about responding to climate change challenges using mitigation and adaptation plans.

Also read: What are the key climate change issues in Canada?

Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action is one of the national assessments that was established in Canada in 2017. This national assessment helped in examining how the climate is changing in Canada and how communities, the economy, and the environment will be impacted by these changes.

The Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate will educate Canadians about how their health will be impacted by climate change. It will provide information on the impact of climate change on health and healthcare systems.

Also read: Why is energy efficiency important for the environment?

Three Working Groups of IPCC.

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Bottom line

The IPCC is helping policymakers and decision-makers by assessing the science related to climate change impacts, future risks, and adaptation and mitigation options. Many scientists across Canada and the world serve the IPCC as reviewers, authors, and contributors.

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