What’s Happening at IPCC-60?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in Istanbul, Türkiye for the Sixtieth Session of the Panel (IPCC-60) from January 16 to 19, 2024. The newly elected Chair and Bureau, along with member governments and observer organizations reviewed lessons learned from the Sixth Assessment Report Cycle (AR6), while moving forward their vision for the Seventh Assessment Report Cycle (AR7).

Throughout this meeting important decisions were taken, including on structure of working group reports, and whether there will be any additional special or methodology reports beyond what was decided in AR6 — i.e. a Special Report on Climate Change and Cities and a Methodology Report on Short-Lived Climate Forcers. Potential topics for additional reports are tipping points, overshoot, adaptation, and carbon dioxide removal.

Finally, delegates discussed the timeline of the cycle, and how to make it policy-relevant in accordance with key UNFCCC milestones over the next five to seven years, including the second and third Global Stocktakes. The IPCC is also planning to review how additional Expert Meetings, and other non-report materials (eg., technical papers, digital prints, and briefing notes) can be constructive to the overall goals of AR7.


The AR6 was the most rigorous and ambitious cycle of the IPCC in terms of the amount of literature assessed and reports produced. Following the conclusion of the cycle, member governments and bureau members reflected on key lessons from the AR6 that have implications on the AR7 Programme of Work, including:

  • The challenges faced in the AR6 due to the unprecedented number of reports, rapidly increasing literature, and a significant increase of review comments on the Final Government Draft, which led to a very high workload causing delays in report timelines.
  • The need for “shorter and more concise [reports], focused on new science that provides policy-relevant information”
  • The need to “further enhance collaboration between Working Groups, the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI), and the Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG-Data) as a pre-condition for more successful, interactive, and comprehensive results.”
  • The potential to increasingly deploy the instrument of Expert Meetings on dedicated topics.
  • The suggestion to “consider the adoption of a sustainability and climate-related institutional strategy”, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the assessment.

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The Co-Chairs of Working Groups I, II, and III (WGI, WGII, WGIII) prepared progress reports for review by the Panel at IPCC-60 describing activities undertaken since the election of the Bureau in July 2023. These progress reports include:

  • Update from Working Group I
    • The WGI Technical Support Unit (TSU) has been established in France at the Universite Paris-Saclay. China has agreed to provide additional support as needed.
    • WGI contributed to the preparation of the Call for Nominations for the scoping meeting of the Special Report on Climate Change and Cities, and is assisting in the selection of participants.
    • WGI organized two events at the Science for Climate Action Pavilion at UNFCCC’s COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Update from Working Group II
    • The WGII TSU will be hosted by Deltares in the Netherlands, and the Singapore Management University in Singapore.
    • WGII is assisting in the development of the Special Report on Climate Change and Cities, with direct support from its TSU.
    • WGII organized three events at the COP28 Science for Climate Action Pavilion, and engaged in several mandated events and other activities on the Global Stocktake, the Global Goal on Adaptation, Loss and damage, and the Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities Indigenous Peoples Platform.
  • Update from Working Group III
    • The WGIII TSU structure has been agreed by the WGIII Co-Chairs. The WGIII TSU will be distributed among the U.S. Global Change Research Program in Washington, DC, at partner entities in Asheville, NC, and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
    • WGIII contributed to the planning and execution of the scoping meeting nominations process for the Special Report on Climate Change and Cities.
    • WGIII organized four events at the COP28 Science for Climate Action Pavilion.

All Working Groups reported on their efforts to enhance cross-Working Group collaboration throughout the cycle, which was identified as a key lesson from AR6. Monthly meetings of the Working Group Co-Chairs, with additional weekly meetings for targeted activities, and bi-weekly meetings of the TSUs have been established to support further coordination.


During the IPCC-60 in Istanbul, the IPCC confirmed the following decisions regarding AR7:

Structure of the Cycle and Report Topics

  • The cycle will consist of reports from each Working Groups, timing to be decided at the next plenary meeting (IPCC-61):
    • Working Group I – The Physical Science Basis
    • Working Group II – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    • Working Group III – Mitigation of Climate Change
  • An update to the 1994 Technical Guidelines for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations, and adaptation indicators, metrics and methodologies, to be developed in conjunction with the WGII report but published as a distinct product.
  • The cycle will conclude with a Synthesis Report as soon as possible after the conclusion of the working group reports by late 2029.
  • A Special Report on Climate Change and Cities in early 2027.
  • A Methodology Report on Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs) by 2027.
  • An Expert Meeting of the Task Force on Inventories for Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage and provide a Methodology Report by the end of 2027.
  • A Joint IPCC-UNFCCC Workshop on IPCC Inventory Software
  • An Ad Hoc Group on Lessons Learned from the Sixth Assessment Report

Key Dates in 2024

  • February 26 to 28, 2024 (Brisbane, Australia): Scoping Meeting for a Methodology Report on Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SCLFs)
  • April 16-19, 2024 (Riga, Latvia): Scoping Meeting for SR Cities
  • May 30-31, 2024 (Geneva, Switzerland): Bureau 67
  • June 3 to June 13, 2024 (Bonn, Germany): 60th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBTSA)
  • July 1-3, 2024 (Bratislava, Slovakia): Expert Meeting on CDR/CCUS
  • July 9-11, 2024 (Varese, Italy): Expert Meeting on Reconciling Anthropogenic Land Use GHG Emissions
  • July 26 – August 2, 2024 (Sofia, Bulgaria): Sixty-first Session of the IPCC (IPCC-61)
  • November 11 to 24, 2024 (Baku, Azerbaijan): UNFCCC COP 29

Timelines for the preparation of reports will be decided upon the completion of Scoping Meetings where the outlines of reports will be finalized and approved in a later session of member governments.