Research update

Climate science as foundation for global climate negotiations

Our new paper discusses the reasons for COP26’s success and reflects on subsequent events at COP27.  The continued importance of science in global climate negotiations throughout this critical decade for climate is clear.

One of the successes of COP26 (the 26th Conference of the Parties) was the prominence of climate science: science was written into the Glasgow Climate Pact, recognizing ‘the importance of the best available science for effective climate action and policy making’.

Our new paper, published in Environmental Research: Climate highlights how climate science is at the forefront of political and public discourse like never before, and how IPCC assessment reports are directly informing UNFCCC global climate negotiations.

We also highlight how climate science and IPCC reports need to be made evermore more useful and relevant going forward, with new understanding on climate system physics, chemistry and biogeochemical processes, as well as the uncertainties of the climate response to human activities and emerging risks, especially for data-poor and vulnerable regions.

Essentially, climate science needs to answer policy-relevant questions: what risks do we face in the future and what do they mean at different levels (regional, national, local, individual); how do we manage these risks and impacts through mitigation and adaptation; what are the options for resilient solutions that provide multiple desirable benefits; and how do we implement these solutions ensuring a just transition locally and globally.

The full paper is: Climate science as foundation for global climate negotiations, Piers Forster et al. 2023 Environ. Res.: Climate 2 023002, DOI 10.1088/2752-5295/acc67f.