Author: Siggy Luz

An IPCC Specialist on Technology and Transport in the 6th Assessment Report

Suzana Kahn-Ribeiro, Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) WG III Coordinating Lead Author, talks about the link between fuels, transport, and technology in the context of climate change.

Suzana Kahn Ribeiro is a professor at the school of engineering Graduate institute (COPPE), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Brazil. She is the deputy director of COPPE and the Coordinator of the university Green Fund for promoting the campus sustainable infrastructure.

She is also an ad-hoc consultant for the Brazilian Research and Development Council She was Vice-Chair of WG III of the IPCC and President of Scientific Committee of Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. She acted as lead author in the Fourth Assessment IPCC-2007. She worked as the Sub Secretary of Green Economy of Rio de Janeiro State Government and also had a position at the Brazilian Federal Government as the National Secretary of Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience with the IPCC?

I’m a mechanical engineer and for 10 years I worked in the private sector. I have a background in engineering, fuels, and climate change. Now, I’m the deputy director of my institution. I work with fuels and here in Brazil biofuels, such as ethanol, are quite important in relation to climate change, because of carbon sequestration. In this report I am a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of the Transport chapter. I have a long history with IPCC. I was also a CLA in AR4 on the Transport chapter, and prior to that I worked in AR3 as part of the technology chapter. In AR5 I was a Vice-Chair of Working Group III. Now, I’ve returned to be a CLA in AR6, again for the transport sector.

What does a CLA do?

We coordinate the whole chapter. It’s a challenging task because you manage people from different parts of the world, with different levels of expertise, personalities and amounts of time available, since they are volunteers. You rely on the goodwill of each other and you must make sure everyone is on-board. I enjoy the interaction and find it really interesting. It’s more a matter of communication and handling the relationships right than the technical parts of the process.

What’s your favourite part of the process?

When you get to the end! We’ve all become a family and we’re a team. There’s a sense of collective accomplishment that I really enjoy when a report is approved.

What is the transport chapter about?

Well, transport is responsible for a large portion of the world’s carbon emissions. It’s a sector with less alternative fuels – we rely a lot on fossil fuels. For example, it’s different from electricity where you can have other non- fossil fuel energy sources. Transport is mainly fossil fuel based (e.g. gasoline, diesel) and there’s a huge amount of infrastructure around transport that would be changed if fuels changed. It poses a big challenge, and due to an increased population, income etc. transport use has tended to increase, including land, air and sea transportation.

How is technology changing things?

Nowadays we are experiencing some transformation due to electrification, the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation, and artificial intelligence. For example, people use video teleconferencing rather than traveling. It may not always replace a face-to-face meeting, but there’s a lot of potential. In terms of the IoT and transport, there’s the potential to extend services to people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who may be able to travel to places for education, health etc.

We are in a changing world in terms of transport and mobility. How these changes happen will impact how much our emissions are reduced and at what cost.


The Work of an IPCC Chapter Scientist

Zyaad Boodoo talks about international co-operation and his role as a Chapter Scientist in WG III’s contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

I’m a dedicated environmentalist with a passion for global and local climate change issues and ways of addressing them. I have a somewhat unusual background of both practice – through over 16 years of professional experience in environmental and climate change mitigation and adaptation policymaking – and academia, ranging from engineering, climate change management, and international development.

As a result, I am both a researcher with a climate-practice background and a practitioner with research skills in the field of low-carbon development. This particular combination allows me to quench my thirst towards undertaking a meaningful scientific career while contributing towards the production of evidence-based policymaking. I currently work for the Government of Mauritius in the environment sector. A sports enthusiast, I love swimming at sea and spend some days per week at the gym on spinning bikes.

What is your research background?

I have a background in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. After some professional experiences in policy-making and environmental legislation, I followed a Master of Sciences in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh in 2008/2009. Further working experiences on climate change issues in Mauritius were followed by a Ph.D. in “Low-Carbon Transitions through Donor Support” from the UNEP DTU Partnership, Technical University of Denmark. Within my Ph.D., I have made theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on the challenges faced by donor organisations through their interventions in developing countries while attempting to sustain transformational change to low-carbon development. I have 16 years of practice in government and worked in policymaking and legislation for the environment.

What does a Chapter Scientist do?

I’m new to the Chapter Scientist role. We (chapter scientists) provide scientific and administrative support to the author teams. For example, we assess the overall themes that the Lead Authors and Coordinating Lead Authors develop and assist in the review of literature. Administratively, we assist in the write-up, the management of references, archiving of any grey literature that may be used, etc. It’s time-consuming and demanding, but our role is to assist the authors in any way we can towards the successful finalisation of our chapters.

How did you become a Chapter Scientist?

There was a call for volunteers on the web and I thought that it was really exciting given that I’m interested in the work of the IPCC. Indeed, an initiative whereby the most brilliant minds of the globe cooperate voluntarily to undertake a scientifically rigorous exercise in synthesising latest research on climate change is extremely laudable, as was evidenced with the Peace Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC. So, I applied to the Technical Support Unit for Working Group III of the IPCC and received support from my government: the Government of Mauritius (my host institution), as 1/3 of my job is now dedicated to the IPCC. It was quite efficient. It’s a great opportunity, especially for experts from different research backgrounds, developing countries, and small island developing states. I’m really glad to be working for the IPCC because, while there’s a lot of volunteer out of hours work, it’s really gratifying to contribute to an initiative that aims at encouraging meaningful change for the greater good of humanity.

Can you tell us about your Chapter’s focus on International Cooperation?

Yes! Our chapter reviews the literature pertinent to international cooperation published since the 5th Assessment report (2013/2014). Since the Paris Agreement was not yet a reality at that point in time, we will obviously cover that scholarship. Furthermore, given the number of conditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – that is political declarations on climate change mitigation and adaptation pledges/targets set by countries – that are in the Paris Agreement, and as someone from a developing country background, I understand such a theme as an important part of our chapter

What’s the report writing process like, and why do you think it’s valuable?

This is my first experience at a Lead Author Meeting (LAM) and as a newbie I’m impressed. To observe and interact with 200 of the brightest minds in climate change research is inspiring. As the meeting has progressed, I’ve become more confident in what I’m contributing. To me, the important thing is that we produce a report that is both scientifically accurate and communicable to the public at large. There’s quite a rigorous process to follow in order to produce a credible report. We have different cutting-edge competences in the same room as we aim to reach an agreement on what is credible and what can be written on each topic. What I really like is that this scientific process will produce different outputs, depending on the chapter, but within a coherent narrative across chapters. The report itself will be significant, but there’s also going to be a Summary for Policymakers (SPM) with very clear messages for policymakers and the public. Large reports can be tough for some people to digest, so the SPM is a good communications tool. I have a sort of dual background in both research and policy, which I believe will help within such an important part of the report writing process.

There are authors from all over the world working on this report, but what does Climate Change look like in your home of Mauritius?

Empirical observations in Mauritius have shown a drastic increase in the number of flooding events, episodes of heatwaves and an increase in sea-level rise. The impacts of climate change are compounded with the rate of development. Given that developmental issues are, by their own nature, multidisciplinary and multisectoral, this shows how complex the climate change challenge is to address. For small islands like Mauritius, there’s a strong focus on adaptation since there’s a lot at stake, such as sea-level rise and flooding. That doesn’t mean mitigation isn’t attended to. In Mauritius, there are conditional NDCs that are aiming towards mitigation through resources the country has and supplemented with international support.  


IPCC Working Group III at COP25

Updated 1st December 2019.

Welcome to the IPCC WG III programme for COP25, hosted by Chile in Madrid. Please find below a list of events hosted by WG III at the IPCC Pavilion and a list of events at which WG III authors and bureau members will be speaking or chairing.

Please note that some details are still to be confirmed. Updates will be posted here.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

WG III Events at the IPCC Pavilion

3rd December, 2-3:30pm
Land Emissions and the Global Stocktake

  • Raphael Slade, Head TSU Science, WG III
  • Giacomo Grassi, Lead Author (LA) of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL)
  • Lou Verchot, SRCCL LA
  • María Amparo Martínez, IPCC Focal Point for Mexico
  • Guest Speaker TBC

5th December, 9:30-11am
Introduction to the Special Report on Climate Change and Land

  • Hoesung Lee, IPCC Chair
  • Youba Sokona, IPCC Vice-Chair
  • Raphael Slade, Head TSU Science, WG III
  • Jo House, SRCCL LA
  • Lou Verchot, SRCCL LA
  • Francis X Johnson, SRCCL LA
  • Guest Speaker TBC

5th December, 11:00am-12:30pm
Land Degradation and Desertification around the Globe

  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair IPCC WG I
  • Minal Pathak, Senior Scientist, IPCC WG III
  • Eamon Haughey, Senior Scientist, IPCC WG III
  • Balgis Osman Elasha, SRCCL LA
  • Pirawan Wongnithisathaporn, Program Officer, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
  • Guest Speaker TBC

5th December, 2-3:30pm
The Future Food System

  • Jim Skea, Co-Chair IPCC WG III
  • Renée Van Diemen, Senior Scientist, IPCC WG III
  • Tim Benton, SRCCL LA
  • Koko Warner, SRCCL LA
  • Diane Holdorf, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • A.G. Kawamura, Western Growers

9th December, 6-7:30pm
Demand and Supply-side Policy

  • Jim Skea, Co-Chair IPCC WG III
  • Frank Jotzo, 6th Asessment Report (AR6) LA 
  • Leon Clarke, AR6 Coordinating Lead Author (CLA)
  • Jun Arima, AR6 LA
  • Sha Fu, AR6 LA

Other events and talks from WG III authors and bureau at COP25

3rd December 2019

Time: 17:00 
Pavilion: UK
Speaker: Marie-Fanny Racault (AR6, Chapter 3 author) 
Talk title:  Earth Observations of the Oceans
Event: Earth Observation and Climate Change: A Critical Capability in Understanding Our Changing World, hosted by DEFRA 

4th December 2019

Time: 9:00, 
Pavilion: IPCC
Speaker: Koko Warner (SRCCL Chapter 7 and SPM author)
Talk: Risk management and policy options for climate land interactions, from the SRCCL
Speaker: Heleen de Coninck (SR1.5 Chapter 5 and AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk: IPCC SR1.5 discussion of systems transitions and sustainable development
Speaker: Zinta Zommers (SRCCL Chapter 7 and SPM author)
Talk: Introduction to SRCCL and reasons for concern about land and climate interactions
Event: Sustainable development pathways compatible with 1.5 and 2 degrees, hosted by IPCC

Time: 15:00
Pavilion: TBC
Speaker: Nobuko Saigusa (SRCCL Chapter 6 author)
Talk title:  TBD
Event: Standardized observations are the base of all climate science, hosted by Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium * (ICOS ERIC) 

Time: 16:45
Pavilion: TBC
Speaker: Glen Peters (AR6 Chapter 3 author)
Talk title:  Global Carbon Budget 2019
Event: Global Carbon Budget 2019, hosted by Stanford, Leeds

Time: 17:30
Pavilion: Spanish Pavillion 
Speaker: Heleen de Coninck (SR1.5 Chapter 4 and AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk title:  TBD
Event: Climate Friendly Materials Platform, hosted by DIW/Comillas 

5th December  

Time: TBD
Pavilion: Japan Pavillion 
Speaker: Nobuko Saigusa (SRCCL Chapter 6 author)
Talk title:  Integrated Observation and Analysis System for Monitoring Anthropogenic and Natural Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks
Event: TBD, hosted by JAXA  

Time: 12:30
Pavilion: EU Pavillion 
Speaker: Francis Johnson (SRCCL author)
Talk title: TBC
Event: Responsible Land Use and Agriculture Management, hosted by IKEA 

Time: 13:15
Pavilion: GEF-GCF Pavillion 
Speaker: Louis Verchot (SRCCL Chapter 2 author)
Talk title: The potential of nature based solutions for enhanced climate action
Event: Harnessing Nature-based Solutions for Enhanced Climate Action, hosted by GEF-GCF 

Time: 14:30
Pavilion: EU Pavillion 
Speaker: Giacomo Grassi (SRCCL LA on Chapter 6)
Talk title: TBD
Event: Reconciling differences on anthropogenic forest CO2 fluxes between global models and GHG inventories, hosted by European Commission

Time: 16:45
Pavilion: Room 2 (UNFCCC event)  
Speaker: Heleen de Coninck (SR1.5 Chapter 4 and AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk title: The IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5C and the financial sector
Event: Following Paris Agreement, Implications for Finance, A Living Narrative, hosted by EBRD

Time: 18:00
Pavilion: TBC
Speaker: Koko Warner (SRCCL Chapter 7 and SPM author)
Talk title: Food is the new climate action – But how? (and at 18:30, Daily Briefing – Eating away at climate change: the latest IPCC special report and food)
Event: COP25 Briefing to Nordic ministers and citizens

6th December

Time: 11:30
Pavilion: TBC
Speaker: Nobuko Saigusa (SRCCL Chapter 6 author)
Talk title: GHG analyzing platform using ground sites, aircraft, ships, and satellite-based data
Event: Satellites in support of national Green House Gas (GHG) reporting and Global Stocktake, hosted by ESA, NIES, RESTEC, WUR

Time: 15:00
Pavilion: Room 2, Area 4 (UNFCCC event facility)
Speaker: Steven Rose (AR6 Chapter 4 CA, AR6 WGII Chapter 18 author)
Talk title: Realizing the Potential Value of International Cooperation – Under Article 6 and Otherwise
Event: The value of Article 6: Lessons from research and practice (a part of COP25 Business & Industry Day (BINGO DAY), Beyond Business as Usual – Leading for a Net Zero Future), hosted by EPRI, ICC, IETA, WBCSD

Time: 15:45
Pavilion: Japan Pavillion
Speaker: Jim Skea (Co-Chair IPCC WG III)
Talk title: TBD
Event: LCS-RNet Side Event: Can “our” long-term strategies make 1.5°C societies a reality?

7th December

Time: 10:00
Pavilion: CaixaForum Madrid Pavillion
Speaker: Oswaldo Lucon (AR6 Chapter 8 author)
Talk title: TBD
Event: Under2 Coalition General Assembly (side event), hosted by Under2 Coalition 

9th December 

Time: 9:00
Pavilion: China Pavilion
Speaker: Frank Jotzo (AR6 Chapter 13 author)
Talk title: Green Steel
Event: Global Alliance of Universities on Climate Change event, hosted by Tsinghua University

10th December 

Time: 15:00
Pavilion: NDC Partnership Pavillion 
Speaker: Osman Elasha Balgis (SRCCL Chapter 1 author)
Talk title: Access to financial and technical support for climate action of developing countries: best practices, challenges and needs
Event: TBC 

Time: 16:00
Pavilion: Green Zone
Speaker: Tania Guillén Bolaños (SR1.5 Chapter 3 author)
Talk title: TBC
Event: Latin American women & science

Time: 18:00
Pavilion: China Pavillion 
Speaker: Jim Skea (Co-Chair IPCC WG III)
Talk title: TBC
Event: Latest Development of Climate Economics, hosted by 7th Global Climate Change Think Tank Forum 

11th December 

Time: 11:30
Pavilion: TBC 
Speaker: Elena Verdolini (AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk title: TBC
Event: TBC 

Time: 12:30
Pavilion: EU Pavillion 
Speaker: Zinta Zommers (SRCCL SPM and Chapter 7 author)
Talk title: Session 2: Research insights – How can development cooperation boost climate ambition?
Event: The EU’s external cooperation post-2020: boosting ambitious and coherent climate action, hosted by DG DEVCO and German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Time: 13:30
Pavilion: IPCC Pavillion 
Speaker: Tania Guillén Bolaños (SR1.5 Chapter 3 author)
Talk title: N/A – moderator
Event: Early Career Scientists and IPCC, hosted by IPCC

12th December 

Time: 10:30
Pavilion: EU-side events pavilion
Speaker: Elena Verdolini (AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk title: TBC
Event: EU Technology Transition for industry – – the role of research and innovation programmes

Time: 13:15
Pavilion: Room 1 (UNFCCC events)
Speaker: Youba Sokona (IPCC Vice-Chair)
Talk title: TBD
Event: Strengthening Synergies, Accelerating Progress, hosted by UNDRR, DESA and other agencies

Time: 16:45
Pavilion: TBD
Speaker: Elena Verdolini (AR6 Chapter 16 author)
Talk title: TBD
Event: Global Climate Change Policy

Time: 18:30
Pavilion: Room 6 
Speaker: Nadia Maïzi (AR6 Chapter 5 author)
Talk title: TBD
Event: Considering social acceptance in the energy transition of states, hosted by MINES ParisTech, ParisTech and CIRED

Climate Change in our Everyday Lives

Felix Creutzig talks about people and climate change, and his role as a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) in WG III’s contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

Felix Creutzig is Head of the Land-use, Infrastructures and Transport’ Group at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Chair of Sustainability Economics of Human Settlements at Technical University Berlin. Before becoming CLA of chapter 5 on ‘demand, services and social aspects of mitigation’ in AR6 he was a Lead Author (LA) in the transport chapter of AR5, during which time he lead

the ambiguity-laden task of reconciling diverse expertise on bioenergy and climate change. Felix was previously a Visiting Fellow at the “Princeton Institute for International and Regionals Studies”, postdoc at the Berkeley Institute of the Environment and Visiting Fellow at the Energy Foundation China in Beijing. Read his full bio here.

What is your research background?

I studied Physics and have a Ph.D in Computational Science. For the past 12 years, I’ve worked in climate change science, specialising in the economics of climate change mitigation. More recently I’ve been looking at the link between the social sciences and climate change mitigation.

Does that mean you look at the impact of Climate Change on peoples’ everyday lives?

That’s one of the perspectives that our chapter is working with in the Sixth Assessment Report. Our chapter, chapter 5, is about demand, services and the social aspects of mitigation. We take people as a point of study – their wellbeing, their lives – and we are looking at climate change mitigation from their perspective. The challenge is that there are many different perspectives on that, for example academic, scientific and social perspectives. Our chapter will consider and assess these as we look at what social science can contribute to climate mitigation and what the entry points for action are.

Are these actions that individuals can take?

It starts with people and how individuals can act. For example, the Special Report on Climate Change and Land showed that dietary choices are an action that individuals can take. Another example is changing your mode of transportation. However, this alone is not enough to mitigate climate change and it puts the responsibility on only individuals when oftentimes policies and structures are partly responsible for the current situation. Individuals can be part of the answer, but this mitigation is more effective if integrated with other parts of society that include, for example, how culture and social norms evolve, the structures and institutions around us, available physical infrastructure, like in cities, etc.

Does this change depending on the region/part of the world?

Yes, there is a different ‘behaviour capacity to act’ from one place to the other, which is something we’ll be considering. In many situations, people are bound by the structures around them. These could be social structures and practices, or physical structures. These structures affect their ability or capacity to act.

We also need to look at what constitutes wellbeing and what is important in different regions. So we will be considering access to services, food, health or employment. And there isn’t only one policy or way to respond to these, rather there’s a whole social system, within which policymaking is very important.

Could you tell us about the demand and services aspect of climate mitigation?

It’s important to differentiate between demand for services and demand for energy. There is a lot of demand for services, rather than energy, insofar as people aren’t invested in having a huge amount of a particular type of energy to consume. They’re more interested in the services that energy delivers, for example, the light in their homes, or the opportunity to access hospitals or other facilities. These are important services. There are opportunities to provide these services in a very low carbon way.

What’s it like being a CLA? What do you do?

There’s lots of coordinating for myself and my colleague (Joyashree Roy) as Chapter 5 CLAs! There are many requests for our chapter to deliver and a lot of input and figuring out how to make it come together.

III AR6 authors deliver an outreach event at the Second Lead Author Meeting in New Delhi.

We need to communicate with other chapters and make sure that our concepts come together. We also need to consider what other chapters are writing. I was previously an LA, and being a CLA is more work, but it’s a lot of fun to work with so many talented people and other areas of expertise.

What happens at a Lead Author Meeting (LAM)?

The main point of the meeting is to communicate with other authors and prepare the report. It involves a lot of working in a conference room all day. It’s really the only time we all see each other in person and it wouldn’t work without really meeting. There’s a lot to discuss!


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