Countries call on IPCC to make reports more accessible


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should alter the way it communicates and publishes reports to make them more accessible and user friendly, according to governments.

The IPCC publishes reports on the current state of scientific knowledge and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, which are used by governments around the world. Thousands of scientists have contributed to the reports over the years. The reports have been lengthy, with the 2014 working group report being over 1,800 pages long.

Governments have responded to the IPCC setting out options for its future, with many highlighting improved accessibility as a must.

Germany was amongst the countries calling for reports to “become more concise with an enhanced focus on policy relevant topics in order to increase their usefulness for policymakers”. The submission adds that the IPPC should decide on page limits for the report and each chapter at the time of scoping and that the digital era offers new ways of sharing information that could make IPCC data and reports “more readily accessible and user friendly”.

The UK submission also notes that over the course of 25 years and five assessment reports that communications have changed across society. As a result, the submission strongly recommends that the IPPC make more use of electronic media and online tools given the change in knowledge transfer and formats since the original report in 1990.

Canada also supported utilising digital offerings for improving information sharing and conducting paperless meetings, noting that improved engagement through digital platforms will minimise overall costs and greenhouse gas emissions from air travel.

Photo: squeaks2569 via Flickr

Further reading:

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IPCC climate report means cleantech ‘an attractive proposition for any investor’

IPCC report sparks debate on climate change

IPCC: climate change is man-made and potentially irreversible

Costing the Earth: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change