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NEWS: How to review IPCC Assessment Reports – webinars and guidance for climate experts

Climate experts from developing countries were invited to join a webinar series reviewing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, facilitated by Future Climate for Africa and CDKN.

The objective of these webinars was to increase the involvement of expert reviewers from developing countries in IPCC reports, focusing on the first draft of the Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the Sixth Assessment Report. The Working Group II review period will be from 18 October to 13 December 2019. The webinars were delivered by international experts with extensive past involvement in the IPCC.


The IPCC periodically assesses scientific literature on climate change and how to deal with it. Since 1990, has provided the main scientific background for climate change policies all over the world. The webinars will enable participants – and especially first-time reviewers and early career climate experts – to understand how the IPCC works and how to influence its draft reports, by providing review comments on chapters (or sections, or just one paragraph or figure). This will help the authors to include more science and to increase the relevance for policy makers.

It is particularly important that reviewers from developing countries with much regional and local knowledge bring their expertise into the IPCC assessments, in order to keep a balance of scientific input from all regions of the world. Therefore, the webinars were aimed at participants from developing countries, especially from the African, Latin American and Southeast Asian regions.

1.  Webinar 1: How the IPCC and its review process works

Presented by Dr Leo Meyer and Prof Jean-Pascal van Ypersele

  • The role of the IPCC
  • Governance and structure
  • IPCC products
  • What is an Assessment, ‘IPCC style’
  • The assessment process including its reviews
  • Interactions of the IPCC with society and policy making

Download the English presentation HERE

Download the French presentation HERE and watch the webinar with French subtitles HERE

Download the Spanish presentation HERE and watch the webinar with Spanish subtitles HERE

Download the webinar Q&A’s HERE

2. Webinar 2: How to review an IPCC draft report

Presented by Prof Arthur Petersen and Dr Leo Meyer

  • Review procedures
  • How to find your way in a draft IPCC report
  • Judging draft texts, diagrams and figures
  • Analysis of the validity of a statement
  • The appropriate usage of grey literature and non-English scientific literature
  • Phrasing effective review comments
  • Practical hints and further guidance material

Download the English presentation HERE

Download the French presentation HERE and watch the webinar with French subtitles HERE

Download the Spanish presentation HERE and watch the webinar with Spanish subtitles HERE

Download the webinar Q&A’s HERE

3. One-on-one feedback

Course attendees have the opportunity to obtain feedback and guidance from the presenters, on a one-to-one basis by email exchange, on preparing their review comments on the First Order Draft of WGII report.

Registration for the one-to-one feedback part is open from 23 October until 8 November 2019. The number of participants for this part may be limited to 30 individuals. Priority will be given to first–time reviewers on a first come, first served basis. All correspondence between the participants and the presenters will be kept fully confidential.

Register for the one-on-one feedback HERE

Webinar structure and schedule

The webinars will be conducted in English, and translated into Spanish and French. There will be two 75-minute webinars, consisting of 60 minutes of live presentations and 15 minutes for questions and answers. The webinars will be recorded and made available on the FCFA and CDKN YouTube channels afterwards.

Useful links

Image courtesy of United Nations.

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