Personal reflections on the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of Global Warming

  • Date: Tuesday 13 November 2018
  • Time: 12:00 - 13:00
  • Venue: SEE seminar rooms 8.119
  • Speakers: Piers Forster, James Ford and Chris Smith


After a week-long approval session, at 3pm on October 6th the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) was approved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The culmination of 2 years of work involving the review of >6000 articles and ~42,000 expert and government review comments, SR15 has been hailed as the most policy-relevant solutions focussed IPCC report yet. Piers Forster and James Ford were lead authors on the assessment and helped craft the summary for policy makers (SPM). Chris Smith was called in as a contributing author on two chapters.

In this interactive session, the three Priestley Centre academics will offer their personal reflections on the main findings of the report and its novelty and also reflect on the process through which the SPM was created and the intense negotiations through which the final text was crafted and approved. What were the main points of contention in the approval of the SPM? What text was changed and why? Which nations were constructive? How well did the scientists do in ensuring the text was not watered down?

They will also reflect on the process through which science is produced and articulated in the heated interface of an IPCC approval session, and the last minute sleep-deprived manner in which important changes are made. Finally, they will discuss ways of getting involved in the IPCC and/or other international assessments, and the research still required in order to make 1.5°C possible.