IPCC 5th assessment report and what it means for Africa

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the final version of its Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC 5AR). The reports represent a review, analyses and aggregation of the findings of the latest available scientific literatures in assessing the status of the climate systems as well as the impacts on human and natural systems. How key development sectors and ecosystems are affected by climate change are discussed and some of the response measures and strategies that are currently employed to addressing vulnerability, and adaptation are highlighted including efforts in mitigation and reduction in GHG emissions.

While there are regionally focus chapters, the overarching orientation of the IPCC reports is tailored to provide a global assessment drawing using regional cases and examples from various global regions. Thus, the contextualisation of the IPCC report become strenuous and challenging for regional application of the findings. 

These raise some pertinent questions what the IPCC assessment really mean for Africa.

This forum aims at stimulating debate on the key findings of the IPCC AR5, including the following:

  1. What does the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report mean for Africa’s development and transformation agenda?
  2. Does the Fifth Assessment Report adequately capture Africa specificity and challenges?
  3. What are the climate change opportunities revealed by the report for Africa?

As an outcome, the forum intends to generate a discussion and to shape Africa’s interest within the framework of such future globally led assessments including the IPBES. The identification of the current gaps in the IPCC AR5 in lifting Africa’s cases, and in its utilisation in addressing Africa’s climate peculiarities will be discussed with the proposition of measures to fill these gaps.

About IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Its main activity is to prepare comprehensive assessment reports about climate change at regular intervals, typically of about five to seven years. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.
The Fifth Assessment Report, finalized in November 2014, provides an update of knowledge related to climate change including information on:
  • Socio-economic aspects of climate change and its implications for sustainable development
  • More detailed regional information
  • More precise considerations of risk, economics and ethics
  • Stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations

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