As part of the lecture series SDG Academy, the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute (ASI) organised a discussion on the latest IPCC 3rd instalment, dedicated to climate mitigation and adaptation. The mitigation report is the third and final part of the Sixth Assessment Report, with the Working Group III providing an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions.
Prof. Elin Lerum Boasson, from the University of Oslo (UiO), opened the discussion with her insightful presentation on IPCC report processes, and key messages. As one of the lead authors of IPCC's Chapters 13 and 14 responsible for national policies and institutions, she shared her optimism with the audience: ‘’In this third report many positive messages are included, comparing to the previous two installments. Our report shows that never have so many done so much to stop climate change’’
The big question expressed both by Elin and Philipp Pattberg, director of the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute and event moderator, is what’s next. What can governance scholars do next and how they can better communicate their positions? How can we all spread to message? Elin argued that over the last years, more and more social and political scientists are getting involved in the climate arena, and such multi-disciplinary gives hope:
‘’It is hopeful to see a broader perspective in this IPCC report, as there is more diversity by governance scholars and social scientists’’.
She also underlined the fact that almost 90% of all countries have climate targets now, while more and more local governments and municipalities are getting engaged with climate policies and measures. As the next few years will be critical for taking action, it is crucial that the development pathways in all countries and levels should be reconfigured to shift towards sustainable development. However, the importance of the political system, local culture and tradition need to be taken into account. This is particularly related to the IPCC processes during the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), a high-level summary of the key findings of the Working Group III Report which needs to be approved by the IPCC member governments line by line.
After Elin’s thorough presentation, Dave Huitema shared some critical observations for the report and governance-related topics. He expressed his concern on how this great momentum on IPCC report can be translated into something bigger. He also raised the point on how to drive impact in the local level, with local initiatives and cities. Elin reflected on that by underlying the need to drive change at all governance levels. Additionally, more collaboration among critical scholars and policy scientists with climate scientists is needed.
During the last part of the event, the audience raised many interesting points, underlining the need for further interdisciplinary viewpoints by the IPCC report.
We would like to thank all speakers, and especially Elin Lerum Boasson for sharing her insights and for allowing us to view more closely into the IPCC report from climate governance perspective. The recording of the event is available on our YouTube channel.