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Source: University of Canterbury – statements

23 July 2020

A University of Canterbury (UC) expert on sustainability, youth, climate and democracy is the only New Zealander appointed to the prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Core Writing Team of thirty world experts.

  • Professor Bronwyn Hayward, Political Science and International Relations at University of Canterbury, has been appointed to the prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Core Writing Team of thirty world experts.

Professor of Political Science and International Relations Bronwyn Hayward currently co-leads the IPCC chapter on cities and infrastructure and will now join the team of 30 who will prepare the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

The report will integrate all the IPCC climate assessment studies to inform the 2023 Global Stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, including the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee, will lead the preparation of the report. “The biggest simultaneous challenge and opportunity for the Sixth Assessment Report Synthesis Report is the massive increase in public awareness of climate change since the Fifth Assessment Report, and the readiness of governments and other actors to address the challenge,” he says.

The Synthesis Report is due to be released in 2022.

Professor Hayward said the opportunity to serve in the Core Writing Team is “both honour and a significant responsibility”, particularly as the world copes with the interaction of climate change and a global pandemic. 

“The aim of the cycle of Assessment reports is to understand the new knowledge about the implications and risks of climate change, as well as advances in adaptation and mitigation strategies, and this particular assessment round comes at a time when the world is confronting multiple challenges, including COVID-19.”

“Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. New Zealand is well served by an outstanding group of authors working on the Assessment reports, and I am grateful for the change to bring interdisciplinary insights to the summary report about such a complex problem.”

This is also an excellent time for our students in political science and across UC to think about how they can bring their diverse research insights to complex challenges that confront our society.”

“I am grateful to the UC colleagues and the Ministry for the Environment for their encouragement and support to allow me to contribute to this work.”

Read more about the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the IPCC here.

About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.

Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

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