Ethny Childs
April 2023

The argument for transformative change: IPCC’s AR6 Synthesis Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded it’s sixth assessment cycle last month with the publication of the AR6 Synthesis Report. This report brings together the findings of the preceding three reports: 

The Synthesis Report contains no new science, but summarises the findings from the sixth assessment cycle of the IPCC in a more digestible format, including a dedicated summary for policy makers

The next assessment cycle will not conclude until 2030, so these reports are incredibly important as they will inform and direct our action over the next five years; a period of time which will be pivotal in achieving climate ambitions.

This assessment cycle highlighted stark warnings that the window of action to keep warming in line with the Paris Agreement is fast closing – but it also contained the science and evidence we need to inform effective climate action and galvanise stakeholders towards implementing climate solutions.

To mark the end of this assessment cycle, this article explores some of the headline findings of the assessment cycle: 

The decisive decade

We are now entering the decisive decade of climate action. This is a daunting statement, but should also be seen as an empowering moment to push forward the transformative change needed to transition to a sustainable society. The AR6 Summary Report calls attention to the scale and severity of climate impacts that are already being felt, and the costs of inaction in the future, but also underlines the opportunities to avert these changes and limit the impacts.  

The report findings are therefore a rallying call. There is still time to limit climate change impacts if we invest in climate mitigation, resilience and adaptation. We must ensure that climate action is embedded across all of our activities and hold our leaders to account for delivering on commitments and ramping up action. 

A move to science-led solutions-focussed action, underpinned by conditional optimism, must dominate climate action moving forwards so that we can secure a sustainable future for people, planet and nature. 

Get involved 

If you are a member of the IES, join our Climate Action Community, a multi-disciplinary community of environmental scientists leading our work in this area and championing interdisciplinary working and a systems approach to the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. 

If you want to support the work of the IES to promote science-led solutions to climate change, you can join as a Climate Affiliate, or if you’re a professional in the environmental sector working with science, consider becoming a member of the IES