Ideas for future IPCC reports

A New Delhi discussion on the IPCC’s future focused on synergies in research and inclusivity, writes Nick Perkins. 

The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit now in its 16th year is a formidable affair — an inspired combination of activism, research, seminar and symbolic communication

Plastic-free and vegetarian, this year’s edition (5—7 February) managed to attract Arnold Schwarzenegger to its opening ceremony and CNN celebrities to emcee the events. An impressive array of Nobel laureates and heads of state attended the sessions. Occasionally, the earnestness seemed a little eccentric like the multi-faith panel at its closing, but you can’t fault The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the organisers, for effort. It’s all done in-house. 

For me though the Summit’s enduring value was best captured by a parallel session I attended on future reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that functions under UN auspices. It was relevant, connected and pulled no punches. 

The session featured three former IPCC report authors, climate negotiators and some from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), which is primarily tasked with sharing knowledge from these reports with policy audiences. On the face of it, we had a credible group to assess the future of the IPCC but, as Yvo de Boer of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) pointed out, this gathering of insiders does not bode well for radical reform. Nonetheless, there were some reasonably radical ideas on offer. 

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