EPA statement on the publication of the IPCC Working Group 1 report

  • IPCC Report echoes key findings of EPA publications on Ireland’s projected greenhouse gas emissions
  • For Ireland to transform to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich and climate neutral economy by 2050, there needs to be a significant and immediate increase in the scale and pace of greenhouse gas emission reductions 
  • Irish authors and scientists contributed to the new report

The EPA welcomes the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The report reaffirms and strengthens the findings in previous reports on the human impacts on climate change. This latest IPCC report provides new and important insights on the current state of the global climate system, and the steps needed to halt human-induced climate change.  
The EPA also welcomed the contributions by authors and scientists from Ireland to the report. The work of the IPCC relies on information and analysis provided by research and sustained systematic observations of the climate system.
Commenting on the report Frank McGovern, EPA Chief Climate Scientist, said: 
“This is an important and timely report, which will be considered by policymakers at the COP26 meeting in November.  However, the information it provides can inform decision making on climate change at all levels.  
It is essential that we maintain and develop targeted climate change research in Ireland. This is needed to inform actions here and, in particular, the responses that we require.  This includes enhanced management of greenhouse gas emissions and removals, as well as the adaptation responses needed to ensure that we can manage the impacts of climate change”.Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: “For Ireland the report underlines the key messages from the recent EPA publication  on Ireland’s greenhouse gas emission projections, which states that the next decade needs to be one of major developments and advances in relation to Ireland’s response to climate change and there needs to be a significant and immediate increase in the scale and pace of greenhouse gas emission reductions. In addition, the IPCC report makes it clear that we must chart a course to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades”. 
Additional information The EPA leads in the development and coordination of national climate change research in Ireland.  It works with other agencies and research bodies in development of key climate related observations including observations of greenhouse gases, aerosols, river flows and fresh water levels.    The EPA provided support for Prof. Peter Thorne, Maynooth University, who acted as a coordinating lead author on the chapter on observations in the Working Group I (WGI) report of the 6th Assessment Cycle.   
The EPA has also supported the research at Mace Head cited in the report, and the work of Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite, who was an author on the chapter on air pollution in the WG1 report.The EPA has supported work on the 6th Climate Modelling Inter-comparison Project (CMIP-6) used throughout the IPCC report through the work of Dr Paul Nolan in ICHEC.  The EPA hosts the Climate Ireland information portal which provides interactive access  to climate information for Ireland.
Notes The EPA published Ireland’s GHG projections 2020-2040 in June 2021. The report provides an updated assessment of Ireland’s total projected greenhouse gas emissions out to 2040, which includes an assessment of progress towards achieving its emission reduction targets out to 2020 and 2030, set under the EU Effort Sharing Decision (Decision No 406/2009/EU) and Effort Sharing Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/842).The Report is available at on the EPA website.
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.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.
The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases.

About the Sixth Assessment Cycle
Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the  Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.The IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.
Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty was launched in October 2018.Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems was launched in August 2019.
The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in a Changing Climate was released in September 2019.
In May 2019 the IPCC released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
The contributions of the three IPCC Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report are currently under preparation. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.Note: The Working Group I report was originally scheduled for release in April 2021. The release of this report was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Completion of the Working Group II and III reports has also been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.For more information please visit www.ipcc.ch.

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