This year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, synthesizing the best available science on climate change gathered from its six prior reports published since 2014. The 6th Assessment Report warns that exceeding 1.5°C warming (“overshoot”) would have dangerous and irreversible consequences. It reinforces the fact that every fraction of a degree matters to avoid climate “tipping points” and self-reinforcing feedback loops, such as permafrost thawing and the collapse of forest ecosystems. What is undeniably evident is that we are not doing enough to avoid a 1.5°C overshoot. We urgently require substantial emission reductions across all sectors, starting with an immediate phaseout of coal, oil, and gas.
CIEL’s team dedicated a week in Interlaken, Switzerland, engaging with representatives of the IPCC’s 195 member governments and the scientists who drafted the Synthesis Report as they reached consensus on every aspect of the final text of its Summary for Policymakers — a document intended to guide political action. CIEL and partners engaged with delegates to ensure that political pressure did not compromise the scientific integrity of the IPCC’s reports. Their objective was to ensure the report’s focus remain rooted in human rights-based approaches and real solutions, not speculative, dangerous, and mostly ineffective technofixes like carbon capture, carbon removal, and solar geoengineering.
CIEL’s work around the IPCC secured significant media coverage, ensuring that journalists, policymakers, and the public understand the science, focus on immediate solutions and a rapid fossil fuel phaseout, and are not distracted by dangerous false solutions.