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WEBINAR: What Latin America needs to know about the latest IPCC findings

About the event

In late April 2020, lead authors from Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered virtually for the third meeting of the Sixth Assessment Report cycle. The focus was on mitigation and the group was assessing global efforts to reduce climate change.

They held a public event on 30 April, as part of this process, to reach out to the public and discuss their findings. The public event was supported by the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador with participants from the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA).

The session was moderated by Gabriela Villamarín from Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano and Roberto Sánchez, the vice-president of the IPCC Working Group II. The webinar was opened by the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, with presentations by Jim Skea, co-president of the Working Group III. The webinar was held partly in Spanish and partly in English with simultaneous interpretation. The recordings of the event are provided below; please note that most of the recording is in Spanish. In the second video below, the presentation by Jim Skea (from minute 3:15) and the presentation by Suzana Kahn (from minute 20:00) are in English.


Programme (1 hour 45 minutes):
Introduction by Jim Skea and the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador.

Part 1: Climate Change, Land & Oceans: What are the implications for Latin America (30 mins)

Representatives from CDKN and Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano present two explainer guides summarising the most relevant results for Latin America from the Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere (SROCC) and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL)

Moderator: Gabriela Villamarín from FFLA/CDKN
-Introduction to CDKN – Gabriela Villamarin
-Presentation on CDKN explainer guide for the SROCC – Patricia Velasco from FFLA/CDKN
-Presentation on CDKN explainer guide for the SRCCL – Maria Jose Pacha from FFLA/CDKN
-Questions and answers
For each explainer guide, CDKN has prepared a toolkit with presentations, images and infographics for public access.

Caja de Herramientas sobre el Informe Especial del IPCC  sobre el Cambio Climático y la Tierra  (Communications toolkit on the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, also available in English

Caja de Herramientas sobre el Informe Especial del IPCC sobre el Océano y la Criósfera (Communications toolkit on the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, also available in English

Part 2: Climate Change and Mitigation, a Latin American Focus (75 mins)

Authors of the IPCC working with climate mitigation for the Sixth Assessment Report took a detailed look at transport, cities, sustainability and technology in Latin America. The session addressed questions such as: What are the implications of the above in terms of limiting global warming? What does climate change mitigation look like in cities? What role can technology and transport play in limiting global warming? What are the opportunities for Latin America? What role can sustainability play?

Moderator: – Roberto Sanchez from WG III
-Introduction to the Working Group III on climate change mitigation – Jim Skea
-Cities – Osvaldo dos Santos Lucon
-Transport – Suzana Kahn Ribeiro
-Technology and Innovation – Gabriel Blanco
-Sustainability and development María Virginia Vilariño
-Questions and answers
-Close of session: Jim Skea

IPCC Webinar Presenters

Roberto Sánchez

Vice president of the IPCC, Roberto Sánchez is a Professor at the Urban and Environmental Studies Department at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte – a research centre in the network of the Public Centres of Research of the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico. He is also Professor Emeritus at the Department Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. His research addresses the social aspects of global environmental change, vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change, reduction of disaster risk and sustainable development. He is a member of the National System of Researchers of Mexico (Level III) and is on the board of directors of the Urban Futures Mistra (Gotemburgo, Sweden). He was the lead author in the Working Group II of Chapter 15 (Adaptation Planning and Implementation) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.


Jim Skea

Jim Skea is Professor of Sustainable Energy at the Imperial College of London. His research focusses on energy, climate change and technological innovation. He is currently co-president of the IPCC Working Group III for the Sixth Assessment cycle. He was Research Director at the UK Energy Research Centre from 2004 to 2012 and Director of the Policy Studies Institute from 1998 to 2004. His career has centred on the interface between research, policy formulation and business. He was a member of the UK Climate Change Committee from its onset in 2008 until 2018. He currently chairs the Scottish Fair-Transition Commission. Until June 2017, he was president of the UK Energy Institute. He was awarded a CBE for his contributions to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for sustainable transport services in 2004.

Osvaldo dos Santos Lucon

Osvaldo dos Santos Lucon has a PhD in Energy, Civil Engineering and a B. Law. He specialises in Energy Policy and Climate Change. He currently works at the Sao Paulo State Government (Infrastructure and Environment Secretariat). He is the Executive Coordinator of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change by presidential appointment, also a research professor at the Institute of Energy and Environment (IEE), University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has been an author for the IPCC since1998, and has been the CLA for chapters of three reports.


Suzana Kahn Ribeiro

Suzana Kahn Ribeiro is President of the Scientific Committee of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (BPCC). She studies energy efficiency of buildings, the micromorphology of soil archaeology and the effects of geography and geology on human settlements. She is also a professor at the School of Engineering at The Graduate Institute (COPPE) at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She is Vice President of the IPCC WG III and an ad-hoc consultant for the Research and Development Council of Brazil. She was the lead author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007. She currently works as the sub-secretary of the Green Economy (Rio de Janeiro State government). She also works in the Federal Government of Brazil as the National Secretary of Climate Change in the Ministry of Environment.

Gabriel Blanco

Gabriel Blanco is Professor of Engineering UNICEN. He graduated in Engineering at the University of Buenos Aires and went on to do postgraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts (USA) in the field of Energy Resources and Renewable Energies. On return from the USA in 2002, he was significant in integrating these issues into the Engineering Faculty at UNICEN. To this end he formed a team of educators, researchers and students (dedicated to the issues) and he participated in research, development, collaboration and transfer (of knowledge). He was the National Coordinator of the Technological Needs Study by MINCYT/PUMA and coordinated the Mitigation and Greenhouse Gases Inventory Study in the Waste Sector for the National Communication on Climate Change in Argentina, in the recently published UNFCCC.

María Virginia Vilariño

Maria Virginia Vilariño has been in charge of the Climate and Energy section of the Business Council of Argentina for Sustainable Development since 2004. She coordinated the CEADS Sustainable Agriculture Round Table, which focussed on sustainable food systems. More recently she headed the CEADS Circular Economy Programme in collaboration with the GIZ Global Programme. She is a member of the Climate Policy Working Group of the WBCSD. She participates in the expanded round-table of the National Climate Change Cabinet in Argentina. She also presents seminars and is a visiting lecturer at various academic institutions.

Conference Presenters from CDKN /Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano

Gabriela Villamarín

Gabriela Villamarín is the Regional Coordinator for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) based in the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano. She has more than 15 years’ experience in project management and coordination in Latin America working with issues of sustainable development and, more recently, climate change, and has collaborated in processes of lessons learned, monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management. Her professional experience aligns with her academic track record. She specialised in Leadership, Climate Change and Cities at FLASCO Ecuador, she holds a Diploma in Social Interventional from the Private Technical University of Loja and an online Diploma in Decentralization and Local Development from the Alberto Hurtado University of Chile.

Patricia Velasco

Patricia Velasco is the Regional Coordinator of the Programme for Dialogue and Capacity (Building) for Climate Change Water and Energy for the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano. She has more than 10 years of experience as an independent consultant, an academic and public functionary on issues related to sustainable development, climate change and water resources. She has held several senior management positions in environmental issues and climate change, such as National Secretary for Planning and development, National Secretary for Water and the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. She holds a Master of Science in Water, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, UK, and a Master of Global Environmental Change from the University of London – King’s College. Her undergraduate degree in Pure Chemistry was done at the University of Ecuador.

María José Pacha

María José Pacha is Knowledge Management and Communication Coordinator for CDKN Latin America, based in the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano. She has spent more than 16 years working in conservation and sustainable development for non-governmental organisations, universities and international organisations in the United Nations (PNUD, PNUMA, FAO). She has coordinated education and knowledge exchange processes on a global level for systematising projects, identifying best practices and lessons learned regarding climate change. She qualified as a Biologist at the National University of Córdoba (Argentina) and has a PhD in Biology and a Master of Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster (UK).

About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an (intergovernmental) body of the United Nations dedicated to the evaluation of scientific (data) related to climate Change. It was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to provide world leaders with frequent scientific assessments on climate change, the associated risks and implications, and to present strategies for adaptation and mitigation. It is made up of 195 member states.
Thousands of people from around the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to evaluate the thousands of scientific articles published each year and provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its future impacts and risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

The IPCC has three Working Groups: Working Group I, which focusses on the physical science of climate change. Working Group II, which focusses on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and Working Group III which deals with climate change mitigation. It also has a Working Group on National Greenhouse Gas Interventions which develops methods for measuring emissions and absorption.

About the Sixth Assessment Cycle

The final reports on scientific assessment are published every six to seven years. The Fifth Assessment report was finalised in 2014 and presented the main scientific findings in Paris on the eve of the Paris Agreement.

At its 41st session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to create the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At the 42nd session, in October 2015, a new supervisory body was selected to oversee the work on this report and the special reports to be produced. At the 43rd session, in April 2016, it was decided that three reports would be compiled, a methodological report and the AR6.

The IPCC has also published the following special reports on more specific issues as part of the Sixth Assessment cycle:

Global Warming of 1.5 ° C – an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels and sources of greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on strengthening the global response to threats, and sustain developments and efforts (October 2018).

The Special Report on Climate Change and Land – an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation and sustainable land management, food security and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in land-based ecosystems which was released in August 2019.

The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was published in September 2019.

In May 2019, the IPCC published the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National GHG Inventories, to update the methods used by governments to estimate emissions and absorptions of GHGs. The contributions by the three Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report will be finalised in 2021. The final Synthesis Report will be presented in 2022.

Register for the 30 April webinar here.



Image (above, right): Sunset over Rio de Janeiro, courtesy Rodrigo Soldon, flickr.

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