For the second year in a row, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) invited APECS to present their work with the IPCC on organizing group reviews of IPCC reports by Early Career Researchers (ECR). Gwanaëlle Gremion (APECS Individual Council Member, leader of the IPCC group review project during the past three review cycles) and Jilda Caccavo (APECS President 2018-2019, current ex-officio to the Executive Committee) presented the results of the group reviews that APECS has run of IPCC reports. The session was chaired by Tania Guillén Bolaños, a chapter scientist for the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, and included Thelma Krug, Vice Chair of the IPCC, Palmira Cuéllar from the Young Earth Systems Scientists (YESS) network, and Adachi Muneki and Justice Musah, chapter scientists for Working Group III of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
Jilda introduced APECS, followed by describing the APECS IPCC group review, from the call for reviewers to the selection process, training, comment sorting, submission to the IPCC, and finally the post-review survey to assess the experience of ECR reviewers, improve the project, and collect valuable data on the impacts of including ECR in the IPCC review process. She presented the results from four reviews the group has completed since late 2017, from the first and second order drafts (FOD and SOD) of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), to the FOD of the Working Group I and II reports of the AR6 (the latter two in collaboration with other ECR networks). The audience was told to keep an eye out for a publication currently under review with the journal Geosciences Communications, which goes into more detail about the results from the group review and subsequent participant survey from the FOD and SOD of the SROCC.
Jilda emphasized that the value of the group review lay not simply in providing an opportunity for ECR to review IPCC reports, as anyone can review an IPCC report to any degree, but in raising awareness about the IPCC review process, empowering ECR to realize that they have the capacity to contribute to that process, as well as of course providing support to ECR who take part in the group review itself (through training webinars and a guide). The latest call for applications to participate in the APECS-led group review of the SOD of the Working Group I report of the AR6 was advertised, with the deadline to apply on January 8th, 2020.
The session included four short talks, followed by a discussion led by questions from the session chair. In response to a question about barriers to ECR to engage in the IPCC process, Gwen responded that simple lack of awareness by ECR of the opportunity to review IPCC reports remains the largest impediment to greater participation. The APECS-led group reviews are helping to break down that barrier, bringing more ECR into the IPCC report review process.
This is was the first of two panels Jilda participated in representing APECS at COP25, the second being a panel on indigenous youth and ECR engagement in Arctic decision-making, hosted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s Arctic Programme.
Authors: Jilda Caccavo, Gwanaëlle Gremion
© Leanne Clare / WWF