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Jan 15 -- The Department of State, in cooperation with the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), requests expert review of the second-order draft of the IPCC Working Group III (WGIII) contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report cycle (AR6), including the first draft of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Comments should be submitted by February 22, 2021. WGIII focuses on the mitigation of climate change.
 
FR notice inviting review: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/15/2021-00769/call-for-expert-reviewers-to-submit-comments-on-the-intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change-ipcc
 
The Working Group III (WG III) contribution to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) assesses literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of mitigation of climate change. The report reflects developments and changes in approaches in the literature on climate change mitigation published since the AR5, including:   
 
Globally effective climate mitigation needs to be implemented to achieve global sustainable development and to eradicate poverty as enshrined in 17 SDGs, recognising there are synergies and/or trade-offs. Climate mitigation is one of many goals that societies pursue in the context of  sustainable development, as underlined by the wide range of UN Sustainable Development Goals. There has been a strong relationship between development and GHG emissions, as historically both per capita and absolute emissions have risen with industrialisation. Countries have different priorities in achieving the SDGs as dictated by their respective national conditions and capabilities. Given the differences in historical and current responsibilities, impacts, as well as capacities within and between nations, equity and justice are important issues to address to get national and international support for deep decarbonisation. Failures to address such inequities over time can undermine social cohesion and stability. International co-operation can enhance efforts to achieve ambitious global climate mitigation in the context of sustainable development. {1.4, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 13 and 17}.   

Advances in technologies and policies, including transformative changes in some regions and sectors, has opened up new and large-scale opportunities for deep decarbonisation, and for alternative development pathways, which could deliver multiple social and developmental goals (robust evidence, medium agreement). The development and deployment of innovative technologies and systems at scale are important for achieving deep decarbonisation. In recent years, several clean energy technologies have expanded rapidly and declined in costs, and significant numbers of countries have sustained emission reductions. The understanding and scope of technology and policy options to respond has increased. This enhances opportunities for mitigation. However, competing priorities combined with institutional and political inertia could pose challenges. The transition to low carbon development depends on a wide range of additional drivers and enabling conditions. These include: the means by which services are being provided and for whom, the emissions intensity of traded products, finance and investment, political economy forces, equity and fairness, social innovation and behaviour change, legal framework and institutions, and the quality of international cooperation. These factors matter in different measures with each exacting more or less force depending on prevailing social, economic, cultural and political context. They often exert both push and pull forces at the same time, in the same and across different scales. {1.3, 1.5, Chapter 4}

Accelerating mitigation to avoid or limit dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system will require integration of broadened assessment frameworks and tools that combine multiple perspectives, applied in a context of multi-level governance (robust evidence, medium agreement). Analysing a challenge on the scale of fully decarbonising our economies requires integration of multiple analytic frameworks including approaches to risk assessment established across IPCC Working Groups. Economic frameworks indicate increasing convergence of cost-benefit assessment with cost-effective delivery of the Paris goals. Ethical frameworks are essential to choose policies to avoid negative distributional impacts across income groups, countries and generations. Transition and transformation frameworks explain the dynamics of transitions to low-carbon systems arising from interactions amongst levels, with inevitable resistance from established socio-technical structures. Psychological, behavioural and political frameworks underline the constraints (and opportunities) arising from human psychology and the power of incumbent interests. A comprehensive understanding must combine these multiple frameworks. Together they explain potential synergies and trade-offs, imply a need for a wide portfolio of policies attuned to different actors and levels of decision15 making, and underpin ‘just transition’ strategies in diverse contexts. {1.6}

The speed, direction and depth of transition will be determined by choices in geophysical, environmental, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional realms (robust evidence, high agreement) Transitions typically are not smooth and gradual. They can be sudden and disruptive. The pace of transition can be impeded by ‘lock-in’ from existing physical capital, institutions, and social norms. The interaction between power, politics and economy is central in explaining why broad commitment does not always translate to urgent action. At the same time, attention to and support for climate policies and low carbon societal transition has generally increased. Supporting policies in the realms of finance, regulation, institutions and societal norms are essential to accelerate low carbon transitions in multiple sectors, whilst addressing distributional concerns endemic to any major transformation. {1.5, 1.6, Chapters 2-4}

Achieving global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable world requires purposeful and largely coordinated planning and decisions at many scales of governance including municipal, subnational, national and global levels (robust evidence, high agreement). Multi-level governance of climate change is necessitated by the imperative for strong action across multiple jurisdictions and decision-making levels. Choices that cause climate change as well as the decisions and processes involved in making and implementing decisions on climate change involve a range of non-nation state actors such as cities, businesses, and civil society organisations. At global, national and subnational levels, climate change policies and actions are interwoven with and embedded in the context of much broader social, economic and political goals. Therefore, the governance required to address climate change has to navigate power, political, economic, and social dynamics at all levels of decision making. Institutions, ideas, and experimentation are key factors in shifting perceptions, engaging stakeholders, and building momentum for effective climate action at all scales of governance. {1.2, 1.5, 1.7, Chapters 13-14}   
 
WGIII Report Table of Contents:
 
Chapter 1: Introduction and Framing   
Chapter 2: Emissions trends and drivers   
Chapter 3: Mitigation pathways compatible with long-term goals   
Chapter 4: Mitigation and development pathways in the near- to mid-term   
Chapter 5: Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation   
Chapter 6: Energy systems   
Chapter 7: Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU)   
Chapter 8: Urban systems and other settlements   
Chapter 9: Buildings   
Chapter 10: Transport   
Chapter 11: Industry   
Chapter 12: Cross sectoral perspectives   
Chapter 13: National and sub-national policies and institutions   
Chapter 14: International cooperation   
Chapter 15: Investment and finance   
Chapter 16: Innovation, technology development and transfer   
Chapter 17: Accelerating the transition in the context of sustainable development   
Annex B - Definitions, Units and Conventions   
Annex C - Scenarios and Modeling Methods

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