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IPCC Working Group III presents the outline of its 6th Assessment Report at the Cities and Climate Conference in Potsdam


Potsdam, 20 September 2017 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III joined hundreds of delegates in Potsdam, Germany, to attend the Cities and Climate Conference. The conference is the final meeting of the European-funded RAMSES project (Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for citiES).

Following its 5th Assessment Report, published in 2014, the IPCC identified key gaps in scientific knowledge relating to cities and climate change mitigation. For example, question marks remain around the emissions reduction potential of cities or on how to implement climate change strategies at a local level. The IPCC decided that its next Assessment Report would place a greater emphasis on cities, in particular by increasing engagement with urban practitioners.

“Cities were one area that would benefit from a deeper assessment by the IPCC,” said Professor Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III, the Working Group that looks specifically at mitigation of climate change. “With over half the world’s population and a large proportion of its greenhouse gas emissions, urban areas must be included in the solutions to address climate change.”

Scientists came together in April to draft an outline for Working Group III’s contribution to the 6th Assessment Report, and proposed to dedicate a Chapter to urban system. The final outline was agreed earlier this month by representatives from the 195 Governments and organisations that make up the Panel.


At the conference in Potsdam, Renée van Diemen, Science Officer within the Technical Support Unit of Working Group III, showcased how the IPCC will include the role of urban systems in climate change mitigation in its next report. The report will focus on a number of areas including links between climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development, low-carbon city options, and policy instruments to achieve decarbonisation in cities.

“It was great to meet so many experts and to discuss the opportunities to address climate change through city-level action,” said Renée Van Diemen. “I hope to see many of these researchers, urban practitioners, and policymakers involved in the IPCC reports.”

The call for nomination of authors is now open. Each country has an IPCC focal point that can put forward experts.

"Addressing climate change and cities requires finding local and regional solutions. We want the report to include experts from across the board," explained Professor P.R. Shukla, Co-Chair of Working Group III. "Contact your country’s focal point if you would like to be considered."

Nominations for authors will close on 27 October. The Working Group III Bureau will then carefully select the authors based on expertise, gender and geographical representation, and selecting a mixture of authors with and without prior IPCC experience.