IPCC Authors Recognition Event 2022 | Student Perspective
On Tuesday 3 May, ClimateUEA were proud to welcome staff and students to an evening event celebrating the contribution of UEA researchers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 6 (AR6). Hosted by Corinne Le Quéré, the event featured presentations from our working group authors, a roundtable discussion on the future of the IPCC and the UEA contribution, followed by an opportunity for networking with colleagues.
Stephen Kirk, MSc International Development and the Environment student writes about the event and his reflections on the presentations from a student perspective.
UEA is the university that has made the most substantial and sustained contribution to the IPCC across disciplines
"During the event, I heard from key contributors to the IPCC AR6 Report from within the University of East Anglia's ClimateUEA project. Sat alongside incredible lecturers, researchers, students, and staff from a broad range of disciplines, we learnt how the University has contributed to all Assessment Reports, covering not just the Science (Working Group 1), but all three working groups (WG), Adaptation and Vulnerability (WG2) and Mitigation to Climate Change (WG3) over the whole timeframe of the IPCC Assessment Reports."
"My key take from the event wasn’t just the importance of urgent climate action, but the significance of making the reports more interdisciplinary, adding psychology and social science dimensions to solutions and most importantly, indigenous peoples, their knowledge and heritage in combatting the crisis. We learnt how they made the most recent report more impactful for policymakers through psychological design choices, and how approaches to solutions must be built within communities. It also struck me that the next report is due to be released in 7 whole years, 2030 - our targeted halfway point of 50% reductions in GHG's, and what we do now will not only impact us reaching 1.5 or below, but the many generations born today, who will most likely live until 2100.
Studying International Development and the Environment at UEA has opened new pathways and interconnections with climate change and the future of our planet. Taking modules in environmental science, I saw my lecturers Dr. Jeff Price and Prof. Rachel Warren stand up and talk about their key contributions to the IPCC reports and in that moment, I thought to myself “I want to be there one day”, I felt inspired and excited for not only my future, but my peers and every one of us because what these people have done and continue to do, has ensured that the planet and its inhabitants are climate secure.
On reflection, I saw that we’re not only at our deepest understanding of the climate and biodiversity crisis, but also of each other. We know the human drivers of climate change, the threats it poses to us and our planet, we understand the solutions available today and those being created, to both protect and mitigate and to make our world safe and sustainable, we have the knowledge and collectively we can push for change.
Finally, I want to say a big thank you from my generation and well done to all the contributors to the IPCC Assessment Report 6, I saw a glimpse of how difficult and stressful the whole process is for the individuals at the heart of the report and want you to know that we hear you and we want action.
To those reading that haven’t taken action, please feel inspired to do so, our world has the science and answers in this report, but needs the governance and openness to change, and we all need to play our part."
The conversation continued with a The Future of the IPCC: Challenges and Opportunities panel discussion, Chaired by Asher Minns, on 6 July for ClimateUEA Day 2022.