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The important work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is receiving worldwide attention following the recent release of the Panel’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The report, prepared by hundreds of experts over the last four years, reviews and assesses the most advanced research on climate change and summarizes it for policy makers around the world. The IPCC’s assessment reports are considered the benchmark for scientific understanding of climate change.
AR5 is composed of three sub-reports, prepared by separate working groups. The Working Group III contribution, Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, approved by IPCC member governments at an intensive review session in Berlin last week, was released to the public on Tuesday (April 15).
Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, and director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, served for the last four years as co-coordinating lead author of the chapter (pdf) of the Working Group III report on “International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments.” Dr. Zou Ji, Deputy director of China’s National Center for Climate Strategy and International Cooperation, served as the other Co-Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter. They chaired the work of an international team of thirteen lead authors (pdf).
Its contributors hope that the report will influence national lawmakers and intergovernmental bodies as they contemplate policy solutions to meet the challenge of global climate change in the coming months and years. The Report emphasized that to meet the climate change goals that have been adopted by the United Nations, it will be necessary to reduce emissions drastically during this century. "None of that is going to happen on its own," Stavins told National Geographic. "So public policy is required at the international level."
The IPCC report is receiving significant media coverage. Stavins was a featured guest on PBS’ Newshour (April 15) and on NPR’s On Point (April 14). He was also quoted in several other news reports, including The New York Times (April 15), NPR’s Morning Edition (April 14); National Geographic online “Daily News” (April 13); and The Weather Channel (April 13).