School of Life Sciences

Welcome to the Working Group II Technical Support Unit
The School of Life Sciences is host to the Durban office of the Working Group II Technical Support Unit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
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IPCC Report Urges Swift Climate Action with Strong Focus on Africa and Cities
This is the message from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released on 28 February 2022.
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Booklet: Climate Change – An African Perspective
This booklet presents a summary of key Africa-specific messages in the three IPCC 6th Assessment Special Reports.
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Booklet: What I Can Do About Climate Change
We have produced this booklet to highlight what Durban’s residents can do to contribute to ambitious climate change action.
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About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC along with 195 member governments, assesses scientific information related to climate change, in different sectors (e.g. water resources, ecosystems, food security, agriculture and forests, coastal systems, industry, human health, urban and rural areas, etc.) and for different regions. 

The information is published as regular comprehensive Assessment Reports and more focused Special Reports, among others. They form the scientific basis upon which decisions can be made, and local and global action (e.g., Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement etc.) can be based. The current assessment cycle is the sixth since 1990. With each cycle, the understanding of global climate change with its complex web of interconnected cause-and-effects has grown, deepened, and widened.

The IPCC comprises three Working Groups and a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Each Working Group is assisted by a Technical Support Unit. Working Group I deals with the physical science base of climate change, including future climate scenarios. Working Group II focuses on the potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity and human societies: How vulnerable are they to climate change, and to what extent can they adapt? Can risks be reduced? What are the options for creating a sustainable future for all? Working Group III focuses on “mitigation”, i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing those already emitted from the atmosphere. The Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories oversee the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.

Meet the Team

Working Group II is Co-Chaired by Professor Debra Roberts (South Africa) and Professor Hans-Otto Portner (Germany). Professor Roberts is a local government practitioner and currently works as the Acting Head of the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in eThekwini Municipality. Roberts is the first South African practitioner-scientist working in local government to have been elected for a leading role in the IPCC. Her election reflects the increasing efforts to link scientific knowledge with practice. Having a local IPCC office will also help strengthen the African voice in IPCC processes and products

The Working Group II Technical Support Unit is located at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremen and at the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal. In February 2018, Dr Marlies Craig and Dr Andrew Okem joined the Durban IPCC office as Natural Science and Social Science Officers respectively, with Ms Philisiwe Manqele as the Administrative Officer. Dr Michelle North and Dr Nina Hunter are two postdoctoral researchers associated with the office as part of the commitment to build local climate change.

Publications

Below are a number of publications that our team produced or contributed to.

Booklets

April 2021: The Durban Office of the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit has produced this booklet to highlight what Durban’s residents can do to contribute to ambitious climate change action.

During the course of its Sixth Assessment Cycle, the IPCC has released three Special Reports which highlight the importance of bold action and the need for global system transitions that involve major changes in society and the economy. This booklet draws on the science available in these reports, as well as other sources.

This book is free for download. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the copyright holders.

>> Download the booklet here

>> Download action checklist here

What do the IPCC 6th Assessment Special Reports say about Africa? This booklet is based on a slideshow presented at a virtual outreach event in May 2021, entitled: “Accelerating Climate Action through Science and Policy: The Work, Activities and Findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Significance and Implications for Africa.” The outreach slideshow presented a summary of key Africa-specific messages in the three IPCC 6th Assessment Special Reports. This booklet is based on the slideshow. The text is the narration that accompanies the slides and can be read out loud when presenting the slides to an audience, about two 40 minute lectures. The slides are available on the IPCC outreach event page.

>> Download booklet here (Please contact us for a printer-ready version)

What do the IPCC 6th Assessment Special Reports say about Africa? This booklet is based on a slideshow presented at a virtual outreach event in May 2021, entitled: “Accelerating Climate Action through Science and Policy: The Work, Activities and Findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Significance and Implications for Africa.” The outreach slideshow presented a summary of key Africa-specific messages in the three IPCC 6th Assessment Special Reports. This booklet is based on the slideshow. The text is the narration that accompanies the slides and can be read out loud when presenting the slides to an audience, about two 40 minute lectures. The slides are available on the IPCC outreach event page.

>> Download booklet here

>> Read more

 

This booklet briefly explains the main messages of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, explaining ‘where we are now; why every half a degree of global warming matters; why every year matters; and why every choice matters.’

>> Download booklet here

>> Read more

 

This document provides guidance and suggestions that aim to help the scientific community participate and contribute more effectively in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) processes and products, and to stimulate activities that can improve the global knowledge base relevant to climate change.

>> Download booklet here

 

Contact Us

Telephone

+27(0) 31 260 7917

Email

wg2tsu-durban.ipcc@ukzn.ac.za